Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pints For Portsmouth Brewery Tour

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go on a brewery tour with Pints of Portsmouth, a new company in Boston. Allo, the owner, does all the work so that the guests can have all the fun. What is better than not only having someone else organize the day for you but also make arrangements for transportation?! We got the VIP treatment at all four breweries we visited and had drinks poured for us as we walked through the doors!

We met at Assembly Square at 9:30 AM and were welcomed on the bus with goody bags (water, a snack, name tag and itinerary). The other bloggers/beer lovers were very friendly and we had plenty of time to get acquainted on the ride up to NH. It also gave Emily and I time to catch up!

Our first stop was at Smuttynose Brewing Company which was the biggest brewery and the most formal tour. Oh and did I mention that as soon as we walked through the door they poured us a beer!? Not just any beer but the Smoked Cherry Short Weisse from the "Smuttlab" that was released that day! I didn't think I would like it by the description but I actually loved it! It had just the right amount of sour for me! We went onto a tour and then four more samples of our choice at the bar. My second favorite was the Rocky Road beer which had actual "fluff" in it and tasted like dessert!

Could we be any cuter?! Check out the hole for our hands to poke through with a beer! Love it! I highly recommend a tour here. They also have a restaurant and disc golf course. I think it would be fun to go back and visit in the spring.

Our second stop of the day was at Earth Eagle Brewing in downtown Portsmouth. It was more of a speakeasy styled spot and included lunch! Yes lunch was included on our tour. We had nachos, sandwiches and of course beer! Don't ask me the names of any of them b/c by this point I had stopped keeping track!

Our third stop was an Irish Brewery in a non-descript shopping plaza called Beara Irish Brewing Co. The beers were waiting for us at a reserved table when we walked through the door. Unfortunately this place lacked the Irish charm I was hoping for. . . I think I would have liked it better if there had been an Irish session going on while we were there but there wasn't. I guess there usually is so I hope to go back sometime for that! (Don't worry I'm sure I'll get my fix of Irish music next week while I'm in Ireland!!!!!!!)

Our fourth and final stop was at Throwback Brewery and it might have been my favorite! It is on a farm and owned by two women. It just had such a cool vibe! Not only was the beer great but the food was delicious too! We got to hang out here for a while and we had a private room! It was a lot of fun! One of the owners gave us the history of the brewery and told us about their beers. I would love to go back here especially in the warm weather when the beer garden is open! Oh and we tried the cranberry ginger beer. . . so good!

And here we are. . . the whole gang! I must admit I was a little nervous about going on a tour with a bunch of beer geeks strangers but they were the coolest group of strangers I've met in a while.

Allo did a great job keeping the group moving from brewery to brewery (pretty impressive if you ask me) and though of everything (water on the bus and maybe some beers too). We got back to Assembly Square around 6 PM.

The tour costs $110 which may sound like a lot at first but when you think about everything you get it really is a good deal (4 breweries, a DD, lunch, snacks and FUN)! I got my tour for free but I would honestly pay to go on another one. You can even get a custom tour if there is a specific brewery you are interested in visiting. For more info or to book go here.

Oh and we had a professional photographer in our group so check out Mike's photos here!

Thanks Emily for inviting me! I had so much fun!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicago - Part 2 (June 2015)

If you missed Chicago - Part 1 check it out here

I wouldn't be a "good" blogger unless I took photos of my food right?! Vacation food is the best food especially when your buffet includes nutella! We ate a big breakfast prior to heading out for a full day of sightseeing in Chicago and we were lucky to get another gorgeous day of weather!

The plan for the day was an architecture tour because you can't go to Chicago and not do one. Plus the last time I was there it was FREEZING and we had to stay inside the boat most of the time. This time the weather was perfect!

I hadn't been to Navy Pier before so I wanted to check it out! It was a bit of a hike but worth it for all the pretty colors! We just walked around and grabbed a snack!

My good friend from college, Mark, lives in Chicago (and was the person I went to see the first time I was in Chicago). It was great to catch up with him for a quick visit (he came back from a weekend away at the lake just to see me)!!

We had a fabulous time sightseeing in Chicago! I love that city. Next up a little about the reason we went - the MS Blogger conference!

Chicago - Part 1 (June 2015)

When Novartis invites you to a MS Blogger conference in Chicago you go! When they let you bring a guest you invite your mom! What could be more fun?! We had such a blast at the conference and also squeezed in plenty of time for sightseeing around this beautiful city. We had the most GORGEOUS weather! I had been to Chicago once before but my mom hadn't been. So we did all the popular tourist attractions and got in plenty of walking!

We walked around forever trying to find a restaurant on our "free night" and when we finally found a good one it did not disappoint! The food and drinks were delicious!

After dinner we went on a night boat cruise along the river and into the lake. They do fireworks in the summer and they were some of the best I've ever seen them. We were right under them!