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TappingPortsmouth PDF Print E-mail

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Strawbery Banke Museum presents “Tapping Portsmouth: How the Brewing Industry Shaped the City” exhibit open daily May 1-October 31, 2013 (10 am - 5 pm)

Portsmouth, New Hampshire -- Recognized as a “foodie” destination, with more restaurant seats than residents, Portsmouth has loved its “public houses” from the start. Strawbery Banke Museum’s featured 2013 exhibit, “Tapping Portsmouth: How the Brewing Industry Shaped the City” explores 300 years of that brewing history, literally from the ground up, thanks to the hops grown in the Aldrich House garden.

The new 2013 exhibit offers a pub crawl through history as brewers and tavern keepers kept “something brewing” in Portsmouth, then and now. Brewing helped shape Portsmouth’s history from the beginning, when beer and hard cider were the healthier alternative to water and European settlers frequented four taverns in nearby New Castle and three more in Portsmouth. During the American Revolution, Pitt and Stoodley’s taverns (both now part of Strawbery

Banke) rang with the impassioned voices of loyalists and patriots, including Paul Revere. In the 19th century, thanks to entrepreneur Frank Jones, Portsmouth became synonymous with beer, delivering the nation’s largest output of beer (100,000 gallons per year) across the country. The Frank Jones empire helped shape the seacoast’s hospitality by drawing guests to Wentworth By the Sea and The Rockingham hotels; while other brewers followed suit.

Today, with two major breweries and brewpubs helping to put Portsmouth on New Hampshire’s Beer Tour map, the city is a favorite stop for thirsty travelers and both micro brewmasters and home brewers. The gardens of Strawbery Banke provide constant inspiration and ingredients for the mash. Smuttynose Brewing Co., Red Hook Brewery, The Portsmouth Brewery, Earth Eagle Brewings and A&G Homebrew Supply, along with Kennebunk Savings Bank are funding the new Tapping exhibit and related programs.

The brewers will host collaborative beer tastings in Pitt Tavern and another event is planned right before the annual PASSPORT NH's Craft Beer & Culinary World Tour that benefits Strawbery Banke and NH Public Television. Talks and demonstrations will discuss beer and brewing techniques in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

 “’Tapping Portsmouth’ looks at Portsmouth from the perspective of a still popular local product that made the city and its brewers famous,” said Lawrence J. Yerdon, President and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum. “By examining tavern life, the breweries and their marketing then and now we put Portsmouth’s contemporary brewpub landscape into its historically authentic context – and give visitors an added dimension for enjoying the experience.”

The exhibit, “Tapping Portsmouth” opens May 1st and is open daily, seven days a week, 10 am to 5 pm through October 31st.


Something’s always brewing in Portsmouth; and even, better, something’s always on tap

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