A Smutty Tale
Our Story

Founded in 1994, our company is named for Smuttynose Island, the third largest of the nine islands that form the Isles of Shoals, a small, rugged archipelago that lies seven miles off the craggy New Hampshire coast. The name Smuttynose appears on nautical charts from the seventeenth century, but its origins have been lost to time. Over the centuries the Isles of Shoals have been home to pirates and poets, ghosts and fishermen. In the 1870’s Smuttynose Island itself was the scene of a notorious double axe murder. Today, it is peaceful and desolate, a windswept haven for harbor seals and seagulls whose stillness belies its colorful and sometimes violent history.

Although our beers are now distributed in more than two dozen states, as well as overseas in Europe and Asia, our identity is anchored firmly here in coastal New England. We are still fundamentally a small brewer whose beers are inspired by the history, character and flavor of our region. Try one yourself and see!

Watch our video history here for a more in-depth look at our history.

Northampton Brewery

Jan 1987

Northampton Brewery

Siblings, Peter & Janet Egelston, along with partners Cora Lee Drew and Mark Metzger, start the Northampton Brewery, now the oldest brewpub in New England.

Portsmouth Brewery

Jan 1991

Portsmouth Brewery

The Egelstons and Metzger start the Portsmouth Brewery, New Hampshire's first brewpub.

Steps Toward Smutty

Jan 1992

Steps Toward Smutty

Peter and Janet buy Metzger out of the Northampton & Portsmouth partnership.

Smutty Finds a Home

Dec 1993

Smutty Finds a Home

Peter attends the bankruptcy auction of the Frank Jones Brewing Company. As the only bidder, Peter buys the brewery that would become Smuttynose.

Let the Brewing Begin!

Jan 1994

Let the Brewing Begin!

Smuttynose is founded.

History is Made

Jul 1994

History is Made

The first pint of Shoals Pale Ale is poured by Mayor Eileen Foley at the Stockpot Restaurant in downtown Portsmouth.

Bottoms Up!

Jul 1994

Bottoms Up!

Bottled Shoals Pale Ale and Old Brown Dog are released.

The Siblings

Jan 2000

The Siblings

Peter & Janet Egelston buy each other out of their partnership. Janet remains owner of the Northampton Brewery; Peter and his partner, Joanne Francis, own Smuttynose and the Portsmouth Brewery.

Home Hunting

Jan 2004

Home Hunting

Smuttynose starts to explore moving to Newmarket, Portsmouth and Kittery, ME.

Eyes to the Future

Aug 2008

Eyes to the Future

Smuttynose closes on the property at Towle Farm.

Let's Get to Work!

Sep 2012

Let's Get to Work!

Smuttynose breaks ground on the new Brewery.

Brewery Sweet Brewery

Jun 2014

Brewery Sweet Brewery

After 20 years in Portsmouth, Smuttynose Brewing moves and begins operation at its new facility at Towle Farm.

Dig in, Drink up!

Feb 2015

Dig in, Drink up!

Smuttynose’s Hayseed Farmstyle Restaurant at Towle Farm opened in early 2015.