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Monday, August 7, 2017

Schilling Beer Co. Littleton, NH

Filled Crowler from Schilling Beer Co.

I've been a little...burnt out from local breweries lately.  Within the last few months, I have tried my hand at various local breweries around New England.  Most recently, a trip to Norwich brought me to two small(ish) breweries practically next door to each other and this stop, like several others, left me leaving with my growler empty.  I just couldn't find a beer memorable enough to even fill a growler.  It's not that the beers were terrible, they just weren't memorable.  It was just another mediocre or another double IPA trying a little too hard.  But I digress, this post is not about the bad breweries I have been to, but the one really good one I went to while hiking in New Hampshire.  

Outdoor space at Schilling 

One of my favorite things to do after a long hike in the mountains is find me some local beer and a pile of nachos.  After a fantastic hike on the Franconia Notch Loop, I went to google maps to see what my options were for local breweries.  The highest reviews came from Schilling Beer Co, a brewery located just north of my hiking spot in Littleton, New Hampshire "Main Street of the Mountains". 

Littleton, New Hampshire
About the Town 
First thing I noticed about this brewery was its location.  Proximity to the Whites/amazing hiking?  Check.  Cute little mill town on the river with that Old New England vibe?  Check Check.  The town of Littleton calls itself "Main Street of the Mountains" and it really scored a lot of points on the Cute Good Ole New England Town ranking list for me.

"Nestled in the shadow of New Hampshire’s majestic White Mountains, Littleton is the cultural, economic and recreational hub of the North Country. Rated by many travel publications as one of the top ten best small towns in America, this picturesque New England gem offers something for everyone: fine dining and art galleries, unique shops, historic buildings, a covered bridge in the middle of town spanning a trout stream (right next to Schilling), and a vast array of outdoor activities for all seasons and skill levels".

River next to the brewery

"Incorporated in 1784, Littleton soon became a commercial and cultural center for New Hampshire’s North Country. Perched on the banks of the Ammonoosuc and Connecticut rivers, Littleton developed first as a mill town, manufacturing a vast array of goods. Today, with a population around 6,000, it continues to serve as the North Country’s cultural and economic core, offering a bustling, award-winning Main Street, and the progressive feel of a “Mountain Town”.  Fly-fishing, skiing nearby peaks, and trekking through some of the most serious backcountry on the East Coast merges seamlessly with Littleton’s burgeoning arts and culture scene.

The town’s location in the scenic White Mountains and its mix of small-town charm and modern convenience has earned Littleton numerous accolades, including the first New Hampshire Profile Community Award for conveying the state’s spirit of independence and being named a “Top Ten Dream Town” by Outside magazine.  In 2014 Fodor’s Travel named Littleton as one of America’s “Best Main Streets”. Schilling Beer Co. is proud to call Littleton home".

Schilling Beer

About the Beer
While location is important, let's be honest, the beer has to be gooood.  And I am happy to say it was.  I was delighted to see a lot of options on the menu, specifically, options that WEREN'T all IPAs (anyone else a little over the New England IPA craze?).  Schilling brews European-inspired beers and has a fun variety on their menu from Gose's (my new summer favorite style of beer) to more classic Ales and Lagers.  

I tried several of their beers on tap, with  my favorites being the Schlaumer (a bavarian style hefeweizen), the Belgo Galaxy (Belgo Pale Ale), and Poppy’s Moonship (Leipziger-style Gose).  Unique, drinkable, and a great variety of beer, I am happy to report that I enjoyed everything I had at Schilling Beer Co (and yes, these were all memorable beers and I left with a crowler).  See their beer list here.

"We brew progressive continental European-inspired beers that we are personally passionate about. These beers tell a story about us—where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what we value. We brew in small (7-barrel) batches, and many of these beers will never be distributed beyond our brewery’s taproom by choice.  We believe that enjoying fresh Schilling beer in our converted 18th-century grist mill on the Ammonoosuc River offers an unparalleled drinking experience–one that allows us to showcase both our passion for beer and love of the North Country.

Many of our beers are available only at our brewery’s taproom in Littleton, NH. We distribute in limited quantities (i.e. when we have enough beer) to select craft beer retailers in Vermont through Vermont Beer Shepherd and in Massachusetts via Craft Collective". 

Food Menu 

Why I loved it
As I have mentioned above, breweries lately have been really hit or mess.  From not-so-memorable beers, to a tasting-only-get-out-and-go vibe, local breweries of lately had left me feeling a little well, bleh.  Schilling totally changed the mood for me with their awesome location, amazing outdoor space, flights, full pint (not always the case!) and food service.  I even loved their logo and branding work.  

The indoor space had the old mill vibe and offered plenty of seating at long wooden tables or at the awesome bar.  The outdoor space was my favorite, with several picnic table, bar stools, an other seating arrangements overlooking the river.  Dogs were not allowed in the dining area, but I was allowed to tie Olive just outside the seating area, pretty close to my table.  The menu had a variety of fantastic options (with a lot of locally sourced ingredients!), and the greek wood fired pizza I had was the perfect accompaniment to a long day of hiking and deliciously cold local beer.  Good (locally sourced) food, semi-dog friendly, a great local beer selection (including a hefeweizen which I am always a sucker for) enjoyed in a great atmosphere/outdoor space on the river - Katie Wanders Approved. 

Enjoying some cold flights on a hot New England summer day

From what I saw on their facebook page, Schilling is also really involved with the community, offers live music and takes part in various local events.  A fantastic brewery making awesome beer in a great spot right in the backyard of some of New Hampshires best hiking spots. 

Greek style wood fired pizza

Indoor space at Schilling

8 Mill St
Littleton, New Hampshire
Hours:  Everyday, 12pm to 11pm 

Call (603) 444-4800

1 comment :

  1. I hear you about the "IPA Craze." Lately, I have been more interested in trying Sour Ales, Fruit Beers and Milk Stouts. Particularly, I will be more inclined to visit a craft brewery that tries to experiment with different types of Fruit Beers as they often have more character or memorable flavours to them. And just like you, I also prefer craft breweries that have a memorable setting. Schilling Beer Company is a place I will have to check out if I ever make it to New Hampshire!


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