Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I had a really fun one, all of my various flus and colds seem to have moved on, and we are leaving for Ireland in eight days. I am in a pretty good Monday mood! Before I get to my post, I did want to remind anyone in Boston that The Shops at Prudential Center are hosting their GIFT Holiday Shopping Event for Charity on Thursday and Friday from 4-9. There will be lots of great discounts and deals, and the proceeds from the $5 registration fee goes to eight great charities. It’s a perfect time to get some of that holiday shopping out of the way. I’ll be there on Thursday, so if you decide to get your shopping in then, send me a tweet!
The weekend was a ton of fun. It started off with a surprise party at Savin Bar & Kitchen, our favorite local bar and restaurant. The fun continued on Saturday with a road trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I have lived in Boston for almost 10 years and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post had never been to Portsmouth. Luckily, a great group of Boston blogger friends planned a trip and invited me along.
I rode up to Portsmouth with Michelle and Daisy, and once at the Red Hook Brewery, we met up with Emily, Megan, Bridget, Jen, Bianca, Elizabeth, and Elina. Needless to say, a large group of bloggers meant lots of food, photography, and fun, and of course beer. Many of us ordered the sampler which included six large tastes of Red Hook beers. The sampler included Red Hook ESB, Pilsner, Longhammer IPA, Copperhook, Blackhook, and Winterhook. Always a fan or darker beers, I enjoyed the Copperhook, Blackhook, and Winterhook the most and the Pilsner the absolute least. That was actually the only one I did not finish; it was not my style of beer at all!
The restaurant at Red Hook features a large menu with all sorts of items from appetizers to burgers to entrees. We immediately honed in on the appetizer portion of the menu and proceeded to order just about everything on it. From potato skins to hummus, a jumbo pretzel, spinach and artichoke dip, buffalo chicken tenders, fried artichokes, and more, we demolished lots of tasty pub grub. The potato skins, adorable little cups flavored nicely with bacon and sour cream, were one of my favorites, along with the fried artichokes and lemony aioli. Clearly, we were not here for a healthy meal, but it did the trick in fueling us up for our tour of the brewery.
One of the highlights of the day for me was as we were getting up from our lunch. A group of men were approaching our seating area to sit down after us, and one of them, after seeing the remnants of our feast, just said “Oh wow.” It was pretty hilarious. Hey, we know how to eat and drink!
The tour was a little too long for my taste and something I would skip on my next visit. I’ve been on lots of beer, wine, and spirits tours of the years, and I feel like they are often similar. The fun part, is of course, the tasting at the end, but even by then I was not feeling great, due to the crowd and standing for a long time in a really hot room. My advice? Eat lunch at Red Hook, taste a sampler, then head straight to the store to pick up some of your favorite beers to go. I grabbed Winterhook and brought it home to a very happy husband. Fun fact, when my husband first moved to the US, he worked for IBM and the Navy in Portsmouth, so he loves all of the beer from that area. Somehow we never went out in downtown Portsmouth though. I’ll have more pics from our trip later in the week, and I am definitely looking forward to a repeat visit to this adorable New England town.