Smuttynose Brewing Company - Vunderbar!
- ABV: 4.9%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 33
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass or Flute
- Malts: German Pilsner, North American 2-Row, Acidulated
- Hops: Sterling
Brewed in the style of a German pilsner, Vunderbar! pours a bright pale straw color topped with plenty of crisp white foam. Hopped solely with Sterling, the beer makes a good showcase for this varietal. Look for a touch of lemon in the aroma, backed by a somewhat tropical character invoking pineapple and some herbally spice. As it warms a bit and opens in the glass, a malty note of biscuit dough and honey begins to come through. On the palate, we found the pale malts offered a nice backdrop of mild bread, but ultimately the hops really star here. Sterling is a descendant of, and very similar to, the Czech Saaz noble hop traditionally used for aroma in German pilsners, and here it offers the same characteristic spicy quality but with a bit more lemony citrus and an intriguing fruity quality reminiscent of fruit cocktail. Acidulated malt contributes a touch of tartness which works well with the hop flavors. Refreshing on its own, Vunderbar! is a very food-friendly brew too; try pairing with grilled bratwurst with spicy mustard, spicy Vietnamese spring rolls, or even a salad with lemon-grilled chicken and a dusting of pecorino pepato. Prost!
Smuttynose Brewing Company takes its name from Smuttynose Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, a small archipelago just 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. The brewery was founded in Portsmouth, NH in 1994 by Peter Egelston who, years earlier, opened one of the two original New England brewpubs (Northampton Brewery in western Massachusetts), as well as the Granite State's first brewpub (Portsmouth Brewery). 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 – Northampton, which opened the next year. Peter stayed in Massachusetts until 1991, at which point he opened the Portsmouth Brewery.
You might think that with two successful brewpubs under his belt, Peter would have begun looking to expand by setting up a production microbrewery, but in fact, he sort of stumbled into starting Smuttynose. As Peter puts it himself, "There was a small brewery that had opened here in Portsmouth and went out of business, and the bank auctioned off their assets. I attended the auction without having any intention of purchasing anything. Of course, I ended up purchasing this building full of brewing equipment."
By 2008 the company had begun reaching the limits of their existing brewery, and a plot of land was acquired that would become the home of a brand new facility. With all preparations complete, in June of 2014 Smuttynose moved in to their new brewery at Towle Farm in Hampton. A short walk from the brewery lies their Hayseed Restaurant, offering a great destination to grab a beer from among over two dozen taps while enjoying a beer-friendly meal prepared from local ingredients. For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call 603-436-4026, or visit their website at www.smuttynose.com.
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