My visit to Smuttynose Brewing Company was an unplanned portion of my scheduled road trip to some pet businesses in honor of Bring Your Dog to Work Day, which took place on Friday, June 22nd. I’ll be sharing a separate post that chronicles my experience while visiting Kurgo and Wellness Pet Food soon. Right now I want to tell you about my chance encounter while swinging by Smuttynose and how it resulted in a very fun and special follow up visit AND my July Brew Dog of month, Bindi!
I work in college admissions, which sometimes requires me to travel for attending conferences. A couple years ago, I was in New Hampshire for a conference I helped to plan and I somehow managed to escape the evening activities one night to venture to nearby Smuttynose Brewing Company. I chatted with the staff where merchandise was sold, grabbed some beer for my time at the hotel, and stopped by the brewery’s Hayseed Restaurant for a bite to eat. Alone time dinner with a book and zero small talk is a lovely treat for a person with social anxiety disorder.
The meal was so amazing, it etched a spot in my brain and I was looking forward to an excuse to be in the area again for another bite to eat. When I was at the Kurgo headquarters, I just so happened to be 6.1 miles away from Smuttynose! Hurrah! I programmed my Waze app, and was on my way. You would think for a person who clearly had enough juice in her Verizon network to know the exact distance from point A to point B, I’d also take a moment to look up whether or not the Hayseed Restaurant was actually open, but NOPE, I sure didn’t. I drove to the location, to be met with signage listing restaurant hours that didn’t include Tuesdays. Wamp, wamp.
Let’s talk about the best worst scenario, yes...I couldn’t eat in their restaurant, but I could drink beer and bring some home. Things could have been a whole lot worse!
If you haven’t been to Smuttynose Brewing, you’re in for a treat. The grounds are beautiful and sprawling. It includes a disc golf court (is that what they call them?), picnic tables under the shade, and other grassy areas to stroll and take a sip of beer. They have a newish apple orchard on site and gardens that grow produce that’s used in the restaurant. The brewery frequently hosts events like 5K road races, disc golf tournaments, and dog friendly gatherings that are fundraisers for local animal rescue organizations.
I was wandering around outside when it happened. I saw the cutest (don’t tell Bean and Yoda I said that) dog in the distance. She was black and white, with an adorable smile, and I NEEDED her to be in my life. I essentially forced myself into the conversation of two lovely ladies who indulged me while I visited with the pup I later learned was named Bindi. I asked to take photos of Bindi, and I essentially sprinted to my car to get my big girl camera and to the brewery to buy some of their new blueberry sour beer, “Blueberry Short Weisse,” for a beer and dog glamour shot session.
The two women I had interrupted just so happened to be on the Smuttynose staff, and I had crashed their well-deserved lunch break. Instead of being annoyed, they excitedly talked to me about their love for dogs, beer, and Smuttynose. Bindi’s human is the Digital Media Specialist for Smuttynose and the Hayseed Restaurant. This means, she takes glamour shots of beer, food, and dogs FOR HER JOB! I want to be her, but for right now, I’ll just be incredibly jealous.
Bindi is a young, recently adopted pit mix who would likely be a great Tour Guide Trainer and Brewery Greeter for the Free brewery tours that are offered daily! You might not understand what she’s trying to tell you, but you’d be enamoured by her and her passion for Smuttynose! Love is a universal language, and you’d totally fall in love with Bindi, which means you’d also fall in love with Smuttynose!
Bindi is just one of many dogs that are members of the Smuttynose Brewing Staff. Dogs have been a part of the Smuttynose Brewing fabric since its origin. One of their popular brews is a brown ale called “Old Brown Dog” which has been complimented by a stock ale version called “Very Old Brown Dog.” The same dog, Olive, is shown on both labels with her photo having been taken 13 years apart! This ale can be cellared to be enjoyed later on, much like cellaring a red wine.
My chance encounter with Bindi and her human resulted in a special invitation for my return to try their New England Style IPA called “Lady Star Dust,” complete with song lyric on the bottom of the can and an easter egg of the head brewer’s face hidden on the label. I was able to give it a try before it was released to the public. I even had a chance to share a sip or two with the Smuttynose CEO! Ownership of Smuttynose recently changed hands, so the CEO is still new, but the entire team stayed onboard and many of the staff I spoke with spoke positively about the change. In fact, they were excited about a competition going on with staff members joining teams to create a new brew from soup to nuts. That creative energy and teamwork was exciting to hear about and is invigorating to the team.
It would be a shame if I concluded this post without talking about the two beers I tried while I was visiting the brewery. I love sour beers and stouts, so I was pumped to try their “Blueberry Short Weisse,” a sour with a higher ABV than other Weisse beers. It’s crisp, tart, and refreshing, especially on a warm and sunny day. I enjoyed a few in the blazing heat of the Fourth of July. I normally don’t love IPAs since I don’t like the hoppy bitterness. When Bindi’s human told me that my trip back would be to sample their New England Style IPA, I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to make the “I don’t really like this but I’m trying to like it so I don’t make you angry,” face I’ve sometimes made when being forced to try an IPA. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the “Lady Star Dust” because there was a crisp and fruity hop presence, with very little bitterness or haze. Some people may give push back because of the hop bombs that are popular nowadays, but I really enjoyed the beer. It’s an IPA that I could drink an entire pint of, which is rare for me.
I had a BLAST visiting Smuttynose Brewing Company and hanging out with the July Brew Dog of the month, Bindi. Thank you for being a dog friendly establishment that makes some pretty amazing beers!