Brewery Name: Beara Irish Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Brewpub
Location: 2800 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, NH. They’re just off Route 1, so if you follow that road you can’t miss them.
Facebook: Beara Irish Brewing Co.
Background: Beara Irish Brewing was founded on the premise of brewing beer with a pure Irish barley base. They import many of their ingredients directly from Ireland, while just about everything else comes from local sources.
Growlers: Yep. You can also buy 22 oz bottles of whatever they have on hand, which gives you an even greater selection of beer to choose from.
The Beers: You can pretty much always count on Beara to have six beers on tap, and I sampled all of them. I grabbed a 22 oz bottle on my way out the door as well, so I was able to get the full spectrum of Beara’s current offerings.
Vibe: This is tough for me because, unfortunately, I visited Beara at an off-peak time, resulting in a fairly empty brewery. That was a little disappointing, because I know Beara is known for being a lively place, with live music often playing and sports on the televisions all around the tasting room. Sadly, I came by in the middle of rainstorm, which no doubt kept many potential patrons from venturing out of their homes.
That said, I couldn’t have felt more welcome. I enjoyed talking to the patrons there (clearly regulars), and the fellow behind the bar was only too happy to talk about the brewing process and the history of the brewery. It’s a small location, but they do a great job making the most of the space they have, with tables and chairs scattered across the space and a bar that seats five or six more. From the bar, you can see a bit into the brewing area, which looks to be fairly spacious.
Dogs: I’m not sure, but I doubt it. Beara does offer some food options, so my guess would be that dogs should stay outside.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$ / $$$. Beara’s tastings are pretty affordable, but the bottles will run you in the $7 or $8 range. That’s not a bad price by any means, but you should know what you’re getting.
Food: You won’t mistake Beara for a fine dining restaurant, but they have more than enough food options to keep you happy while you drink. Grab some pretzels at the bar or order some chicken tenders! It’s classic bar food for the most part, which should keep just about anyone happy.
Brewery Rating: 7/10. I’d love a little bit more space to stretch out, but it’s hard to complain about an Irish brewery that features Irish music, Irish beer, and a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Beara's beers are solid across the board (even though the Buffalo beer might not be my thing, I could EASILY see others with a more favorable view of that style loving it), and the staff is friendly and welcoming--as are the brewery’s regulars. They seem happy to talk to new patrons and tell you all about their beers. If you’re in Portsmouth, I recommend stopping in for a flight!
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