Peter Egelston, the owner and founder of the Smuttynose Brewing Company is quite well known in the New England brewing community. Not only did he start one of the two original New England brewpubs (The Northampton Brewery), he has also succeeded in opening the Granite State's first brewpub (The Portsmouth Brewery), and a brewery (the critically acclaimed Smuttynose). His beer career started in 1986 when his sister Janet and her boyfriend convinced Peter to quit his teaching job in Brooklyn, New York and move to Massachusetts to open a brewpub. Peter stayed in Massachusetts until 1991, at which point he opened New Hampshire's first brewpub, the Portsmouth Brewery. With two successful brewpubs under his belt, Peter was ready open his first brewery.
Smuttynose Brewing opened in 1994 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In their 12 years of brewing excellence, they've taken home more medals than we can count (we tried, seriously, there were too many… but we welcome you to try for yourself, there's a listing at their website at: http://www.smuttynose.com/pages/awards.html). Their attention-grabbing name comes from Smuttynose Island, one of the isles of Shoals, a small archipelago of nine islands which lies nine miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Southern Maine. Legend has it that mariners in the 1600s named the island for the nose-shaped smutch of seaweed on the southeast corner of the island.
Today, a lone structure remains on the island: the Haley House (pictured on the Shoals Pale Ale label). Made infamous by the grisly murders which occurred there in 1873 in which two women were hacked to death at the hands of a crazed, axe-wielding fisherman. Recently, the murder weapon was unearthed, rekindling a macabre interest in the killings.
Murder and mystery aside, there is today another reason to remember the Smuttynose name and that is the magnificent brews created by the Smuttynose Brewing Company. If you're not lucky enough to be in one of their distribution areas, don't fret—you can always reorder brews we've featured by contacting us at 800-625-8238.
For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call (603) 436-4026, or visit their website at www.smuttynose.com.