It’s that time of year again, it’s Pumpkin flavored everything time! I know some beer snobs turn their noses up at the thought of it, but screw them! There are a ton of really good beers out there that deserve their due. That’s why I’m sending out the Bat Signal: Tell me which New England based pumpkin beer is your favorite! I’d like to have a taste test and crown a NE Pumpkin Beer Champ!
With that call to action out of the way, let’s roll back the clock a bit to while I was on vacation. Join me for lunch at Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co.!
When Hobbs opened a few years ago (5ish I believe), they had to be facing an uphill battle. If you’ve ever taken a drive down RT-16 in Ossipee, you know there’s a wonderful smell consistently swirling through the air. That smell is the mouth watering aroma of smoked swine flesh that can sourced at Yankee Smokehouse just a couple of buildings away from Hobbs. It’s a hard deficit to overcome, especially if you’ve every tried them, but Hobbs is a different breed though. Along with making very good food, the beer they brew immediately puts them over the top when it comes to choosing which place to stop.
Walking into Hobbs, the term “rustic” jumps straight to mind; wood ceiling to floor, big stone fireplace and dark earth tones are the name of the game. It’s really a full embodiment of the good parts of NH, definitely not the “tireless, rusted 70’s era pickup on an overgrown lawn with multiple ‘No Trespassing’ signs” parts, super charming! There’s also tons of tables (on two floors!), meaning even when it’s busy and there’s a wait, turnaround times are most likely a breeze. Perfect for those hungry travelers passing through going further north. The tavern itself gets an A, even before you taste the beer. Luckily, the beer is able to keep up with that standard.
The most memorable, and very much my favorite, was the Salinity Now! gose. Ripe with locally grown blueberries and rhubarb, its fruity, tart and incredibly refreshing. Tart is something Hobbs apparently does really well, as I also dug the Conflict of Interest dry-hopped saison. While not terribly earthy like the usual saisons, you get a tasty oat backbone that is accented with bit of salt and pepperiness and finishes crisp. Their golden hued, Silk Road, takes the final spot. They nail the balance of clove and yeast induced banana flavors with a solid pairing of ginger to make for one fantastic Hefeweizen. There was also a stout that I asked for a taste of that they had just tapped that was amazing and worth noting; but because I’m terrible at this job, I can’t think of the damn name of it. Just go and try any stout they make. I know at least one of them is tremendous.
Regrettably, I’m ashamed to say I had passed this place many times over the past 5 years, but thanks to this last trip that won’t be a common occurrence anymore. Make sure you don’t miss it either!
Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co. can be found @ 2415 White Mountain Hwy, West Ossipee, NH 03890 and at http://www.hobbstavern.com/