If you leave New York City at about nine o’clock in the morning you should be able to reach Portsmouth, NH in the early afternoon, a perfect lunch stop. If you ask me, the ideal lunch stop in Portsmouth NH is the Portsmouth Brewery.

In the past you have heard from the brewer Todd Mott. Today we skip the work and stop in for lunch.

Recently we had the opportunity to stop in at lunchtime, just-in-time to sample their cask version of a black IPA side-by-side their keg version of the same beer. Picture below is the cask at the bar.

 Pictured below is one of the bar staff drawing a pint from the keg system.

First let’s take a look at what comes out of the cask. The first difference is the lack of obvious carbonation and a well-knit head. The lack of vigorous carbonation gave the brew of very mellow roasted grain full mouth feel. As these were lunch notes not tasting notes I’m afraid that is about as specific as I can get.

 Here we have the keg version… As you can see it has a well-knit head and has graduated to a pint glass. The carbonation gave the spike of hop flavor a bit more emphasis. Nevertheless, the beer remained quite balanced. The mouth feel to this brew was not as lush as from the cask.

Pictured below is an example of probably the best bar snack I have ever tasted… Black and blue chips. If I can trust my notes, these are toasted taco chips dressed with a reduction of balsamic vinegar and Stout beer (or perhaps it was the black IPA) and crumbled blue cheese. The combination of flavors was perfectly balanced to go with either a lush dark beer or a crisp bright style of beer.

And then comes the plowman’s lunch… For those of you who “Eat Local and Think Global” this is an ideal presentation. Was also damn tasty…

Now you can see why I suggest stopping into the Portsmouth Brewery for lunch. Dinner? Yes, I’ve been there… and that’s another story…