After the Stark Mill brewery closed, many feared Manchester would fall victim to the unchecked infiltration of commercial and contract beers. Determined to save New Hampshire's Queen City from such a foamy fate, master brewer Peter Telge gathered his wits, a group of supporters, and 20 years of brewing experience to reopen the historic Millyard District brewery under the name Milly's Tavern. Now operating as a brewpub, Milly's is home to a passionate staff that serves up juicy burgers, baby-back ribs, and beer-battered fish 'n' chips alongside microbrews crafted in the onsite brewery.
Milly's microbrews are pure works of art, even earning the 2009 Readers' Poll award for Best Local Microbrew from New Hampshire Magazine (not to be outdone, their chili won as well). The all-natural brewing process begins with imported malted barley, sometimes up to 1,300 pounds of it, depending on the beer. After stirring the barley by hand and singing it to sleep with a lullaby, brewers blend it with hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley and Europe’s agricultural hotspots. An Old World–style fire heats the brewing system, caramelizing the sugar to imbue batches with unique and subtle flavors. Milly's always keeps at least 12 beers on tap, ranging from cream ales and IPAs to stouts, porters, and seasonal brews.
Milly's is not just a place to relax and enjoy a leisurely pint. At night, the eatery transforms into a nightclub and lounge, treating guests to DJ tunes, live entertainment, and local musical acts. When not setting the scene for evening revelry, the space can be used to host affairs for up to 100 people, with special catering options available.:
Attrezzi's wooden doors open to reveal a panorama of wines, gourmet foods, and kitchen accessories. The two-story shop houses Riedel stemware, gourmet groceries, and Attrezzi's signature blends of pesto, and bottles of Attrezzi's red and white wines sit waiting inside its wine cellar.
The restaurant also hosts regularly scheduled wine tastings and wine-tasting classes at its wine bar, and chefs recite recipes and teach students how to skillfully juggle mixing bowls in cooking classes held in a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen.
Like a zoo for alcoholic beverages, Tully's Beer & Wine gathers thousands of exotic specimens from around the world in one convenient spot. Specialty beers crowd shelves, and a 40-foot 16-door cooler chills imports and craft beers alike. The rainbow of suds ranges from the chaff-brown of Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Porter with smoked malt and applewood bacon to the sunny hue of Ommegang’s witte, a Belgian-style ale in which citric notes and coriander gleam.
In addition to the selection of more than 700 beers, 1,000 wines from around the world are arranged by region or varietal for quick perusal. The ranks of colorful labels hint at grapes from Italy, California, and France. The Argyle Nuthouse pinot noir, for example, seems to spill fistfuls of fruit that have consistently earned it rankings in the 90s from _Wine Spectator. The shop also stocks beer glasses, bottle openers, and T-shirts, and inside five cigar humidors, guests experience what it was like to sniff Winston Churchill's hair.
Winemaking began as a hobby for Sweet Baby Vineyard founder Lewis Eaton. In the summer, he and his family found themselves travelling to local farms to pick fresh strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and apples, which later made it into Lewis’ wines. Those creations later became the foundation for Sweet Baby Vineyard's now-expansive wine varieties. Today, the winery grows four grape varietals and the tasting room welcomes visitors for complimentary tastings of many of Sweet Baby’s creations, such as bartlett pear wine, the eternally embarrassed blush, and dry red.
The inspiration for Zorvino Vineyards came to Jim and Cheryl Zanello in the same way it does for many American vintners—from a trip to Italy. Taken by the contrast in the quality of the wines and the pace of life between the two countries, the Zanellos brought over their own taste of the old country to an 80-acre New England estate. With grapes sourced both from their own vineyard and such regions as Tuscany, Chile, and California, the pair crafts a suite of red, white, and fruit wines that they sell on site and proffer to local restaurants and merchants. However, the winery itself is worth a trip, with its wrought-iron gate, lantern posts that seem to grow out of empty casks, and swarms of fireflies that send Morse code recommendations for the best wine to pair with salmon. Inside the tasting room, guests lean on hardwood banisters as they sip samples of the winery’s creations.
With three basic ingredients—honey, water, and yeast—the making of mead is misleadingly simple. Michael Fairbrother has spent the last 17 years perfecting his recipes for the ancient drink, first tinkering in his own garage as an amateur mead maker for many years before opening Moonlight Meadery. Here, Michael fine-tunes the fermentation process to craft batches of mead from ethically sourced, unpasteurized honey, which imparts each sip with rich color, volatile aromatics, and a faint buzzing sound. Michael’s traditional mead rests side by side with fruit-tinged cups and spiced varieties that rejoin flavors such as tart rhubarb and Madagascar-bourbon vanilla beans with New Hampshire wildflower honey.