As we drive down the coast, these spectacular ocean views constantly remind me of the place where me and Chris first met. But down in North Hampton, NH, Throwback Brewery is really reminiscent of where me & Chris first called home together, the good ’ole Berkshires of Massachusetts. A gorgeous green landscape stretching as far as the eye can see. So much like the green landscape that we rolled away from (I may be a little homesick.. I really miss my cats...). Rows upon rows of vegetables, ripe and ready for harvest, and the gentle sounds of crickets & goats filled the late summer air. One step out of your bus (or car) and you can tell this ain’t no ordinary brewery. Throwback Brewery has a clear vision in mind with their business, to source all their ingredients, both for food and beer, all within a 200 mi radius. Coming from the Berkshires, we can definitely get behind this! There is seriously nothing better than enjoying great beer & food with the knowledge that you‘re supporting local farmers and their community.
Walking up to the entrance you just knew good things were waiting for you inside. Charming little signs dot the walkway beckoning you in, before you come up to a large beer garden that is as inviting as the people that worked there.
Although the brewery moved to this location just four years ago, to me, it seems like the farm came first. Their 12 acre working farm, Hobbs Farm is the star of the show. They have their own hop field which supplies roughly 90% of their beer. They rotate their crops throughout the year, with a food menu that changes with it, available Wednesday-Sunday. They‘re open Monday & Tuesday as well, but with a smaller snacking menu, rather than the full menu. Don't worry, their full beer menu is available seven days a week, and that was all we needed to stop on by. So lets talk about their beer (that's all primarily made with ingredients grown on the property). They had quite a wide selection, and even categorized them based on the flavors to make the consumers job a lot easier to pick out their own delight. The menu was arranged by descriptions like clean & crisp, malty & sweet, dark & roasty, hoppy & bitter, fruity & spicy, and even sour, tart & funky. I was feeling a little clean & crisp that day, looking for the lighter side of brews on this particular afternoon, but Chris was feeling the hoppy & bitter vibes. For our first round we went for their Love Me Long Time & Hanks Pale Ale, respectably. One sip was all it took, all those flavors, I was feeling the love. Love me Long Time was perfectly crisp, kissing my taste buds ever so gently, never overpowering. And coming in at a lower ABV, I could seriously love this for a long, long time. I look up after my sip, and see that Chris had drunk the Hanks Pale Ale before I even got a taste (and that’s saying something, he‘s a real slow drinker). It was incredibly smooth, with nice earthy notes, and just a touch of fruit. He assured me it was absolutely delectable. Next, we got She Shells Sh....She Sells Seashells- which was beyond delicious, all those tantalizing fruit flavors nestled in my tummy and I just couldn't help it but sit there and smile. But the main event for us was their True Grits- It's a cream ale, that was brewed with grits, hence the name. As soon as I took my first sip—I was in paradise. Delectable notes of honey & citrus. It was hazy in color, and quite full-bodied, unlike what you’d expect from a cream ale. The fullness finished with a nice crisp bite, and left your palette quick & clean, just as promised. Honestly it is one of the more refreshing beers I’ve had in a long while, and quite light overall (not the 'I'm too full to drink another beer' kind've thing). It was so unbelievable, there was no question we needed to get a growler of this to go. Me and Chris sat there for some time sipping our beers & taking in the picturesque farm. Maybe we should check out some food now too...
On Mondays & Tuesdays (we were there on a Tuesday) they had 'light bites', easily shareable small plates and apps. We ordered the Three Onion Dip, Fish Tacos & The Cheese Slate. You could tell each of these dishes were all made in house using farm-fresh ingredients, as their weapon of choice to impress every consumer. The fish tacos were fresh, light and charismatic. For me, fish tacos are always a gamble, you're never sure if the fish is going to be frozen or heavily battered, and I’ve been disappointed more times than I’d like to admit. Luckily for me, all Throwback knows is how to impress. The fish was ever so lightly battered with moist, slightly sweet, flaky white fish inside. But the star of these tacos was the little drizzle of housemade hot sauce that really complimented every ingredient. The slate came with 2 local hard cheeses and a cream cheese, as well as homemade jam and mustard, that really complimented well with the cheese. It didn’t stand a chance. I absolutely inhaled it since it paired so nicely with my cream ale (Did I mention how good that beer is?). The good times kept on rolling with the three onion dip. I could definitely see myself and others driving out here just to get another bite. Now, I have a love-hate relationship with onions (while Chris can eat a raw onion like an apple no problem...) I really can’t stand raw onions, but the three onion dip? Well we got it more for Chris than myself, but HOLY MOLY did I misjudge. The dip was surprisingly not too 'oniony', more of a caramelized sweetness & slightly salty, and oh so creamy. The dip was served with potato chips that were (you guessed it) made in-house. A perfectly fitting vessel to shovel this appetizer in my mouth. I may have overdone it (some of the dip got all over my face) but the red handkerchief napkins provided, allowed me to be discreet.
The chef & owners at Throwback Brewery all know how to impress and if you're in the Hampton, NH area, you should probably stop whatever you’re doing and check them out. They even have tons of events to entertain you in the middle of the week (even cribbage tournaments! Me & Chris' favorite!) They have a ton of community events like yoga, live music, (cribbage) and a book club, They even do special events if you're looking to host anything that strikes your fancy.
Rain or shine, you should check out this farmstead hero. The people that work here at Throwback know what their doing and are waiting to take your palette on a local culinary tour. If we weren't tracing our way down the east coast, I would be posted up in that beer garden of theirs until winter hits! With great food & beer, and with a dedicated passion for sustainability, this hardworking farm & brewery is sure to wow your senses.
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