by Eric Martinson

This Halloween, we brought the autumnal thunder to the Seacoast and beyond.  What better way to end Oktober than by guzzling gourds and whipping out a good ol’ fashioned sausage fest?

pumkin-fest-2015-copy-730x657Saturday was all about the squash.  We trick-or-treated across state lines to the 8th Annual Great Pumpkin Festival hosted by Cambridge Brewing Co.  An aggressive celebration of pumpkins, pints, and pumpkin-y pints from across the country, this was the perfect venue to serve up fall EEB faves Gallow’s Harvest and Puca.

Gallow’s Harvest is a colonial-era gruit that debuted at last year’s Great Pumpkin Festival. First brewed with Professor Emerson Baker to celebrate his book A Storm of Witchcraft, it’s essentially a mish mash of old brew recipes dug up by the good Professor featuring sage, blessed thistle, spikenard, wood betony, and gentian root.  Instead of pumpkin, this gourdish gruit contains ambercup and red kuri squash which are both pumpkin-like in appearance and guaranteed to sate any and all autumn fruit enthusiasts.CBCGPF15

Puca is a robust pumpkin curry porter named after the mischievous shape-shifter of Irish folklore. It’s brewed with Dickinson pumpkins from Blueberry Bay Farm in Stratham grown specifically for use in devilishly delicious beer. Don’t forget the curry, coconut sugar, and Thai peppers!  Those hoping for a glass of pumpkin pie will surely feel hoodwinked–Puca derives most of its character from the rum-soaked, shredded coconut that is used to dry “hop” the beer.   Unfortunately, much like it’s mischievous namesake, Puca pulled a last minute disappearing act and had to be replaced with Witching Hour, our black saison.  No pumpkin here, but still, as one patron described, “Dark, roasty, and diggable.”

SF15On Sunday, smoky goodness filled the air on Portsmouth’s own High Street as we celebrated our 2nd Annual Sausage Fest.   Polka music and grilled meat proved once again to be just what the witch doctor ordered for clearing up the post-Halloween heebie-jeebies.   Maine Meat provided the fantastic flesh, Thistle Pig the gourmet salad de’tater, Gary Sredzienski slayed with his accordion, and we of course supplied the hairs o’ the dog.  Gallow’s Harvest was once again on tap, and Puca magically reappeared just in time to get his sausage fest on. All in all ’twas a great weekend for all people of the Big Bird.  Thanks so much to all who attended the Pumpkin Fest as well as those who braved the Sausage Fest–we sure do appreciate it!