Brewery Name: Great Rhythm Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: 105 Bartlett St, Portsmouth, NH. Just off Lafayette Road, less than a mile from downtown Portsmouth. It’s a little hidden, but you can see it from the turnoff. Just head down past the Ace Hardware store and it’ll be right there.
Facebook: Great Rhythm Brewing Company
Background: Great Rhythm has been around for a little while now, and their Resonation Pale Ale is a local staple, distributed in beer stores throughout the region. Unfortunately, they didn’t really have a place for people to hang out and enjoy their beer. That changed this past Saturday, August 13, when Great Rhythm opened their doors for the long-awaited grand opening of their brand new brewery and tasting room. Since I live about a five minute walk from Great Rhythm’s new location, I was only too eager to stop by.
Growlers: It doesn’t appear that Great Rhythm is offering growlers--at least not yet. But they have dramatically increased the number of beers they are canning. Resonation continues to be available in its classic 12 oz can format, but three new beers are now also available in 16 oz cans. It isn’t clear yet whether Great Rhythm will be distributing these news beers the way they distribute Resonation, but it looks like you should be able to pick them up from the brewery for the foreseeable future.
The Beers: As I mentioned, Resonation is Great Rhythm’s flagship beer, and the one that has earned them acclaim in the region. Starting on opening day, Great Rhythm began making a few new beers available. Naturally, I made sure to try all of them while I was there.
Vibe: Really cool vibe. The staff could not possibly be friendlier, and that’s impressive on its own--I walked in around 3:00, after they had already been managing the opening day rush for three hours, and they were still all smiles. They also handled the line extremely efficiently. It only took me a couple of minute to reach the front and get my flight, and when I arrived the line was almost out the door. They deserve huge props for figuring out the best, most efficient way to get people their beer.
I’ve already spent enough time telling you about how awesome the beer was, so I won’t waste too much time diving back into it here. That said, the fact that they had three brand new beer releases ready to go for their very first day and were able to keep both the taps flowing and the fridge fully stocked speaks volumes about their preparedness and dedication to their craft. They could easily have sat back on the already much-beloved Resonation Pale Ale and let the new location draw people to them. Instead, they made great use of their expanded brewing capacity and gave people something new--and a whole lot of it!
I’m interested to see how the new location develops. It looks like their goal is to eventually offer some outside seating, but right now they aren’t able to do so. The tasting area did feel a little small, but that might just be because the expansive brewing area is right next to it. That said, on a normal, non-grand-opening day, I think there is probably plenty of seating. A few high top tables sit alongside some lower ones, with some overflow space for people to stand around if they can’t find a seat. I had to stand off to the side, but there was enough space that it didn’t feel awkward at all.
Dogs: Use your judgment, I think. I didn’t see any dogs during my time there, but it was also opening day, so it was a little bit packed to be bringing dogs inside. Still, Great Rhythm doesn’t serve food, so my guess would be that dogs would be okay on a normal day. That’s just a guess, though.
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$ / $$$. Pours are just $2 each, and you can get a flight for $8. Cans will run you a little more, though. You can pick up a six-pack of Resonation for less than $10, but four-packs of Cutaway, Squeeze, and Hi-Fi will run you between $11 and $15 a pop. That’s still a good price for really good beer, just understand that you’re paying that premium.
Food: Not yet. I’m not sure if Great Rhythm has plans to add a kitchen, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they added some sort of food element at some point, if for no other reason than to be able to offer full pours of their beer.
Final Thoughts: Between the amazing beer, the friendly staff, and the really cool, modern tasting area with a fair amount of room to grow, there isn’t much that Great Rhythm could do better. I’m not sure if they have any plans to expand the tasting room or add food options, but if they do this will easily be a 10/10 experience. I came into the day expecting great things from Great Rhythm’s new location, and boy was I not disappointed. They lived up to or exceeded every expectation I had going into opening day, and I can’t wait to spend a whole lot of time here in the coming months. Great job!
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