If you live on the seacoast, you may have seen Greta the Growler Getta making her rounds on the weekends. The Granite State Growler Tours, started by childhood friends David and Mark, operate Friday through Sunday and have no shortage of places to stop in the greater seacoast area (including southern Maine). We hopped on board this past Saturday morning with our friend Andrew, empty growlers in hand.
The itinerary for the day was A&G Homebrew Supply, Earth Eagle Brewings, Throwback Brewery, Blue Lobster Brewing Company and Sea Hagg Distillery. In between stops, Greta’s resident historian Mark regaled her passengers with stories of beer in old New Hampshire. Whether it be the ratification of the U.S. Constitution or the choice of Concord as the state’s capital, Mark will tell you that beer was involved.
We had a great time catching up with Butch at Earth Eagle, and seeing Chris and Cheryl at Throwback. Both breweries are on the verge of major expansions, which is great to see. We brought home Earth Eagle’s New England Gangsta IPA (which we opened tonight and loved) and their Pervdunk. From Throwback we got Oma’s Tribute black lager and the Fennel Flower Stout, which we’d heard about more than a year ago but had never tried (surprise— it’s great!).
After the tour, we interviewed David and Mark at WHYM Craft Beer Cafe. It was a trip to Throwback Brewery, not far from David’s house, that gave him and his wife the idea to start a beer bus. David wanted to bring attention to the local breweries and distilleries (and other beer businesses) in the area, and now gets calls from new breweries asking to be included in Greta’s circuit. Breweries too far away to be visited on the bus are featured instead in the pretzels David’s wife makes for the passengers.
Once our interviews were finished, we sat down to dinner at WHYM in their awesome grotto. Bryant enjoyed their veggie burger, which contained spent grain from Smuttynose and Andrew’s non-veggie burger had a BBQ sauce made with Smuttynose’s Old Brown Dog. David and his wife joined us for a beer in the grotto, and when we told him we hadn’t tried Throwback’s Tangled Up in Blueberries Stout when we were at the brewery, he ran for his growler and poured us tasters.
A big thank you to Alex and Gretchin at WHYM for letting us take over half of their gorgeous restaurant to shoot our interviews, and to Andrew for helping us out all day.