• Smuttynose is an unusual name for a company. What is its origin?
Our company is named for Smuttynose Island, the third largest of the nine islands that comprise the Isles of Shoals, a small, rocky archipelago that lies seven miles off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. The name appears on nautical charts going back as far as the seventeenth century, so its true origins are lost to time. Prior to the arrival of Smuttynose Brewing, the island was best known for a brutal double axe murder that occurred there in 1873.
• What's the animal on your logo?
The cute little critter featured on our logo is a Common Harbor Seal, also known as phoca vitulina, many of whom call Smuttynose Island their home.
• When was Smuttynose Brewing Company founded, and what was its first beer?
Smuttynose was founded in January, 1994. It released its first beer, Shoals Pale Ale, in July of that year, followed shortly thereafter by Old Brown Dog.
• When did the rest of the Smuttynose lineup appear?
Chuckwheat - 1996 (retired)
Portsmouth Lager - 1998 (retired)
The Big Beer Series - 1998 to the present
Belgian White Ale - 1999 (retired)
Robust Porter - 2001
Weizenheimer - 2002 (retired)
Pumpkin Ale - 2003
Finestkind IPA - 2004
Summer Weizen - 2005
Winter Ale - 2006
Short Batch Series - 2007
Hanami - 2007 (retired)
Star Island Single - 2009
Big A IPA (as year-round offering) - 2010
Vunderbar Pilsner - 2012
Noonan Black IPA - 2013
• Is there is a connection between the Portsmouth Brewery, the brewpub in downtown Portsmouth, and Smuttynose and, if so, what is it?
Smuttynose Brewing is related by common ownership & history to the Portsmouth Brewery and, indirectly, to the Northampton Brewery, located in western Massachusetts. The chronology goes like this:
1987 - Brother & sister Peter & Janet Egelston, along with partners Cora Lee Drew & Mark Metzger, start the Northampton Brewery, which is now the oldest brewpub in New England.
1991 - The Egelstons & Metzger start the Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire's first brewpub.
1992 - Peter & Janet buy Metzger out of the Northampton & Portsmouth partnership.
December, 1993 - Peter attends the bankruptcy auction of the Frank Jones Brewing Company & purchases the assets that form the basis for Smuttynose Brewing, founded in January, 1994.
2000 - Peter & Janet Egelston buy each other out of their partnership. Janet remains owner of the Northampton Brewery; Peter & his partner Joanne Francis own Smuttynose and the Portsmouth Brewery.
• How widely are Smuttynose beers distributed?
Smuttynose beers are distributed in 22 states and the District of Columbia, from Maine to Florida and as far west as Wisconsin.
• Do you ship beer to people who live in places where you don't have distribution?
No. We are prohibited by law from making such shipments.
• Are your beers made using animal products like isinglass or gelatin?
No. We do not use any animal products in any of our beers.
• How many people work at Smuttynose Brewing?
Approximately 50, depending on the season.
• Can I visit the brewery and take a tour?
Yes, you can. Tours are offered at 5:30 PM Fridays and at Noon and 2:00 PM on Saturdays.
• Can I purchase beer at the brewery?
Yes. Sixpacks, cases and Big Beer Series bottles are available for purchase at the Brewery. We have a limited selection of apparel, as well, though the retail shop at the Portsmouth Brewery has a wider selection of wearables. We do not sell kegs to the general public at the brewery. For that, we recommend a local store like Gary's in Portsmouth.
• I heard that Smuttynose is planning to build a new facility? Where's it going to be and when will it be finished?
You heard right. For details regarding our new facility, visit the blog we've dedicated to that topic: Smuttynose Brewing Builds its Dream Home.