Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen Opens in Dover
Enter the lab and expand your mind and palate at the new Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen in Dover.
Hampton-based Smuttynose Brewing Company is known for its familiar favorites like Finest Kind IPA and Old Brown Dog – the related Smuttlabs is where the experimentation happens, and now it has a home all of its own at Smuttlabs Brewery & Kitchen, an innovative test kitchen and craft brewery located in Dover. Here, they say, “no style is off the table, no ingredient is deemed too outrageous.”
Though you can find some of the classics on tap in Dover, the real treat is the series of rotating Smuttlabs beers you definitely won’t find anywhere else.
Like many of the buildings in Dover, this one was once a mill, and hints of its history remain in the elements of rustic décor. The 42-foot-long bar catches the eye initially, but the 5,000-square-foot space is all eye candy. The open area is beautifully decorated with exposed brick, honey colored hardwood and metal tabletops that tie it all together. The hints of mustard yellow and black painted on the walls and exposed piping are pleasing. The attention to detail is exceptional — my beer was even served in a test tube pint glass.
The location in Dover is all about experimenting, so I decided to do the same. Despite my waitress warning me about the amount of caffeine, and the fact that it was past my bedtime (8:30 p.m.), I went with my first instinct, the Coffee Brown brew. The American brown ale was a rich color, and had the sweet scent of coffee that instantly put a smile on my face. As for the actual beer itself, I wish I could be more descriptive beyond “delicious” for our beer lovers, but I’m not yet up-to-speed on all the beer terms, so you’ll have to go down to Washington Street and try it yourself.
Head brewer Charlie Ireland and assistant brewer Tyson Demers left no stone unturned at Smuttlabs. “We’ve been hard at work perfecting the opening lineup of beers and couldn’t be happier with the result,” says Ireland. “Quality, flavor and obsessive innovation are at the heart of everything we’re doing here, so definitely expect a few things you’ve never seen or tasted before.”
For bites between brews, local chef Anthony Ricco has crafted an elevated pub food menu. Many of the beers are also incorporated into the dishes, like the hand-cut pub fries smothered in duck confit poutine, cheese curds, caramelized onions and a Robust Porter gravy.
It was tough to choose, but ultimately I went with chicken tenders tossed in a “truffalo” sauce. It called to me because combining buffalo sauce and truffle oil seemed ingenious. It did not disappoint. A fair warning though — make sure to have a glass of water next to you because the after-kick of the sauce left my taste buds on fire.
Overall, my experience at Smuttlabs exceeded my expectations. As someone who is newer to the beer scene, I thoroughly enjoyed my choice and want to go back to try more of their rotating list. Smuttlabs is a great new brewery for those looking to spend a relaxing night out in Dover and experimenting with new flavors.