By: Jenny D.
One thing I love about living in the Freecoast is the vast number of great local breweries, with new ones popping up all the time. I have lived here for a year, but I feel I have barely scratched the surface for beers I have sampled. One great way I have found to sample lots of Freecoast beers at one time is by attending 7th Settlement’s annual Seacoast Microbrew Festival, held at Henry Law Park in Dover, NH in July.
During my second year in a row of attending, they had 19 breweries, including many prominent breweries around the Freecoast such as Bad Labs Beer Co., Deciduous Brewing Company, Earth Eagle Brewings, Great Rhythm Brewing Company, Liars Bench Beer Company, Neighborhood Beer Co., North Country Hard Cider, Portsmouth Brewery, Stoneface Brewing Company, Throwback Brewery, and more. As in the previous year, two large tents were set up where you could get your beer samples and there was plentiful space around the park to hang out with your beer buddies. Water stations were nearby for rinsing glasses and for hydration.
When we walked in, Dan, Nick, and I were given tasting glasses which we got to keep, and a VIP cloth goodie bag which included a Frisbee, a lip balm/sunblock stick, and a water pouch, which all had the Seacoast Microbrew Festival logo on them. The VIP ticket got us in one hour early, so we got to enjoy shorter lines and early access to beer for that first hour.
I used a phone application called Untapped to record my ratings for the beers I sampled. According to Untapped, I sampled 16 beers that day. Of these, my top 3 were:
- Deciduous Brewing Company’s Lollipop Forest, Sour ale, 5.5% ABV, My rating: 5.0. Nick’s rating: 5.0. Overall Untapped rating (based on 700 ratings): 4.25
Both Nick and I rated this a 5.0, which makes it the clear winner. It is described as a sour ale with milk sugar, fruited with raspberry and blackberry. It tasted sour, fruity, and sweet and it was super refreshing on a sunny day by the river. I would order this beer again in a heartbeat and recommend it to everyone, even if you may not be a sour fan. This definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite sours now.
This was another good sour, brewed with raspberries. At just 4% ABV, it is a light tasting and smooth sour, making it more palatable for those who are on the fence about sours.
3. North Country Hard Cider Company’s Pineapple Thunder, fruit cider, 4.8% ABV. My rating: 4.00. Nick’s rating: 4.50. Overall Untapped rating (based on 67 ratings): 3.99
This was a very tasty cider. I am very much a fan of pineapple ciders, and although this wasn’t the best I’ve had, it was still refreshing and enjoyable with its sweet pineapple taste.
Although this was not a comprehensive representation of all of the great beers available on the Freecoast, the festival provided a great jumping off point to explore new favorites. I highly recommend checking it out for yourself next year, if you have the opportunity and a designated driver. With plenty of space and green grass to relax and play on, it is for sure the most relaxed and fun beer festival I have ever attended.