Yesterday, my little sister turned 21, and my girlfriend, her brother, and I decided to take my sister out on a good old fashioned brewery tour to celebrate. We began the day at Throwback Brewing in North Hampton, New Hampshire. Throwback is located on a main road, but is housed in a warehouse unit alongside construction companies and other industrial oddities. The location reminded me a lot of Night Shift and Idle Hand’s location in Massachusetts, only at Throwback, I didn’t feel like I was about to be murdered… Throwback has a prime set of garage doors that open into a big huge warehouse room that serves as their brewery. Seating and the taps are found right up front in the room and the back of the room presumably holds the brewing equipment, etc… but was blocked off by the bathrooms and boxes of bottles, so only the smoker that Throwback uses for its malts was visible. The seating was made up of a hodgepodge of old tables and chairs and helped to give the brewery a really nice and inviting feel.
The beer was poured from a nice wooden bar by one of the two brewers and their assistant, and all three were very friendly and excited about their beer. They also had a nifty little system where customers would take one “mini-poker chip” for each sample that they drank, so that at the end of the customer’s visit, the samples could be tallied up easily. The system honestly felt like it could be cheated very easily, but the coziness of the tasting room and the confined space helped to discourage against that.
On tap, Throwback had a nice list of offerings. I had already had their Hog Happy Hefeweizen the day before, so I opted out of tasting that and instead started with their pilsner, Love Me Long Time. The flavors were crisp and refreshing, with a nice grassy bitter and a light touch of malt, making this beer very refreshing. According to one of the brewers, the Love Me Long Time pilsner is actually the base beer for the Spicy Bohemian beer that Throwback makes with jalapeno peppers, and which I thoroughly loved at American Craft Beer Festival. After Love Me Long Time I sampled the Rhubarb Wit, a beer I had actually already sampled at Extreme Beer Fest back in February. The beer was tart and refreshing with a light lemon-bready flavor from the wit yeast. While I was sampling my first two beers, my girlfriend and her brother sampled the campfire porter, a deliciously smoky porter with chocolate and coffee undertones that was definitely my favorite from Throwback. The beer was smoked on apple woodchips in the smoker found in the brewery, and has wonderfully complex flavors from all of the smoke. After the first round of beers I sampled their brown ale, Dippity Do, which had a nice chocolaty roast to it, while being supremely smooth on the mouth and giving off light toffee notes. My final beer at the brewery was Hopstruck, their “red IPA,” which was nicely juicy with a light bitter bite that landed the beer further on the juicy side, especially with the addition of caramel malts that gave the beer its amber color.
Throwback is a great local brewery. Unfortunately they were out of bottles of the Spicy Bohemian, as I really wanted to do a review of it, but I did come away with their double IPA, Donky Hote, which I hope to review sometime soon. In all, I liked their darker beers a touch more than I like the lighter ones, though their pilsner was definitely an exception to this statement. They’re a great little place and you should go check them out.