Throwback Brewery's New Barn Location and Brewpub
Have you ever tried a beer with jalapeños in it? It's actually quite a bit better than you might think. You can certainly taste the peppers but the drink goes down smooth and the spicy-ness isn’t overpowering. It might even clear up your sinuses a little!
Beers like this are exactly the type of thing the team at Throwback Brewery are into: beers that sound too funky to taste good but blow you away once you try them. The jalapeño pilsner, called The Spicy Bohemian, is one of their most popular beers and went from being a "one-off" to becoming a well stocked seasonal brew in local stores.
Not all of their beers are brewed repeatedly. Though they do have a fleet of year-rounders and seasonals, there are several beers that are brewed once and then are gone forever – or at least until those ingredients are made available again. One such beer is called Just Beet-Wit and yes, it was brewed with beets. You would be hard pressed to find something that sounds less appealing. “Our customers loved it,” says co-owner Nicole Carrier, who is on the business end of the operation. “It's a wit so its nice and light and a little bit citrusy. Then you get the earthiness from the beats and it has a fuchsia color so its just beautiful.”
You might be wondering: why do they like to brew such weird beers? The reason is that one of the brewery’s main goals is to be 100 percent locally sourced and that can put a limit on the types of available ingredients. But where others might see challenges with this business model the optimistic team at Throwback sees opportunities to create truly unique beers.
Another specialty of Throwback’s is dark beer. Their "Unafraid of the Dark" series exclusively features dark beers and is meant to introduce light beer drinkers to a more full-body flavor experience. “We do all kinds of beer but Annette [the science side of the partnership] and I are particularly partial to dark beer,” says Carrier. “We wanted to do something that would get people who maybe don’t like dark beer interested and the people that love dark beer to celebrate them with us.” The series runs from January through March with a new release coming out every two weeks. The beers are inspired by a local ingredient or business. Last year they made a blueberry stout with local berries, which Carrier said tasted like chocolate covered blueberries.
For years these delicious concoctions were only available in a tiny little warehouse space that wasn’t fulfilling the brewery’s full potential. This summer they finally made the transition across the street to an old barn on abandoned farmland. The location is picturesque and perfect for the recently opened brewpub. “It's been bringing all sorts of people in that wouldn’t go to our little warehouse,” says a smiling Carrier. “We have so many families – I lost count of the number of babies that were here this weekend.” The location truly is scenic and Carrier said the town of North Hampton has been nothing but supportive. “I mean look at this place, it's an icon for the town,” Carrier says as she waved at the wide open view. “Everyone’s so excited that this is what's happening here as opposed to a McDonalds or 20 different houses.”
The brewpub features an outdoor seating area as well as tables inside, a bar and a fully operational kitchen. The ingredients used in the food are also locally sourced and even sometimes use leftover ingredients from brewing. For example, the spent grain is used to make rolls for sandwiches and other breads and the leftover flavoring ingredients (like the jalapeños from Spicy Bohemian) will pop up in recipes as well. Even the furniture is locally sourced using wood found in the barn and surrounding farmland. Soon Throwback’s hop yard will be operational allowing them to grow and use their own hops. But aside from the locally sourced philosophy, Carrier has other ambitions for the brewpub. “I think for us as a business we want to be a destination,” she explains. “We want people to come from across the state or from other states to come here and just enjoy what great beer can be in a great setting… I want families to come and relax and be a place where communities to gather.” A true throwback to the taverns of old New England.