Tasting Notes with Jim Beauregard: Owner has big plans brewing for Barley & Hops in Milford

November 29. 2017 12:43AM

Last week, we began our tour of Chris Perry’s Barley & Hops shop on 101A in Milford. We’ve taken a look at some wine, and this week, we’ll look at some of the craft beers he has to offer. First, Let’s hear from Chris himself, with some further questions I posed:

What type of background do you have in beer or wine? Ever made your own?

“I have been home brewing off and on since the Christmas I turned 21 and my father gave me a home brew kit. Soon after that, I figured out that if I could make beer I could make cider. I mainly brew cider now as we have access to some of the best juice in the country. With home brewing comes some knowledge, but much of my knowledge was learned on the job and through reading books and tasting beer.”

How do you choose what you stock in the shop?

“Stocking the shop is both simple and complex at the same time. Here in New Hampshire we are limited to sell only what the state has approved for sale in my town through each distributor and the New Hampshire self-distributed breweries.

“Given the limited selection, I pretty much bring in anything that is in the craft category plus some of the domestic usual suspects. I will always give the small New Hampshire self-distributed brewery or winery a shot because this store is focused on local.”

What do you like to drink yourself?

“My first choice would be a hazy, juicy New England-style IPA or double IPA; for instance, something like Hobbs Tavern Brewery’s ‘Hi, Jack.’ I enjoy a good Oktoberfest along with crisp Pilsner such as Moat’s Czech Pils or Jack’s Abby Post Shift Pils. On the wine side, the Vouvray we carry, the Love Oregon White Sky, and Pinot Noir by Rob Stewart and a red blend by Pali called Tower 15.”

What are your future plans for the shop?

“This month we are bringing in a Home Brew ‘Convenience Store.’ This is not a full-fledged home brew store, but a place you can pick up kits, hops, yeast and basic equipment. We will attempt to be price competitive as possible. We are bringing in these supplies in response to the overwhelming number of requests from our customers.

“Toward the end of the year we are looking to bring in specialty cheeses and cured meats along with the items that accompany them.”

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To wrap up, let’s take a look at one of the beers Chris has in the shop:

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Stout: Brewed with Coffee and Aged in Oak Barrels. 8% alcohol by volume, $4.25/12-ounce bottle. This is a stout, brown to black in color with a fairly small head, creamy at the edge, frothy in the middle. The nose brings cookies, coffee, chocolate and caramel. This is all mirrored on the palate, which is of medium-plus weight, and the beer has a long finish. Delicious.

Spencer India Pale Ale. 7.5% ABV. From the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass., this is an IPA with an average size creamy head, light nose, dry on the palate, with medium bitterness (68 IBUs), medium acidity, well-integrated alcohol and flavors of malt for a medium length finish.

Contact wine and beer writer Jim Beauregard at tastingnotesnh@aol.com.


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