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Slice of Nantucket life coming to Portsmouth

Union Leader Correspondent

June 17. 2018 9:35PM
Nantucket-based Cisco Brewers plans to bring a little of the island life to Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth. (COURTESY)

Cisco Brewers are taking over the space run by Redhook at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth. ((Courtesy Photo))

PORTSMOUTH — The chief executive officer of Nantucket-based Cisco Brewers said he intends to “funkify” the pub and event venue they are moving into at Pease Tradeport.

Jay Harman, who started the company in 1995, said they are taking over space that has operated under the Redhook brand since the 1990s.

Harman plans to have more live music at the venue, which includes a 5,000-square-foot pub, a 2,500-square-foot private event space, a wedding venue for up to 250 people, an outdoor beer garden and 5 acres of land that is dog-friendly.

All of the beer that isn’t brewed in Nantucket has been created at the building owned by Craft Brew Alliance since 2016, Harman said.

“At this stage of the game, the beer is the best it’s ever been,” he said.

Their 20th anniversary beer that became publicly available March 1 has been a home run, he said. Gripah is a citrusy IPA with ruby red grapefruit and 5.5 percent alcohol.

Harman said all of the 40 employees affected will keep their jobs. Cisco is sending a large portion of their pub team from Nantucket to Portsmouth next week for brand boot camp. Over the next year, Cisco plans to transform the pub into a family-friendly spot in the Nantucket mold, according to a press release from the company.

“We’re really excited about the transition of our Portsmouth pub to an ‘off-island’ destination for Cisco lovers,” Scott Mennen, chief operating officer of CBA, said in a statement. “The CBA Portsmouth brewery plays an important role as our East Coast brewing hub and in the local community here, and we look forward to continuing to support the growth of this popular New England brand.”

Harman said the CBA has built a pub and innovation brewery for Redhook in Seattle, which opened in 2017. Redhook products will still be available in New Hampshire.

The pub, located at 1 Redhook Way in Portsmouth, will be closed until 11 a.m. Friday for initial renovations. The outdoor beer garden will remain open.

A summer kick-off party starts at 6 p.m. Friday, with live music, food trucks and lawn games, as well as wine and spirits from Cisco Brewers’ Nantucket Vineyard and Triple Eight Distillery.

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