Friday, July 8, 2011

Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing (North Conway, NH)


Finding a hotel in a brewpub is too good to resist, so we didn't. Took a while (a lot of phone call tag), but eventually reserved a room in the upstairs above the bar. When the reservation was made, we were told to talk to the bartender when we arrived. Paid the bartender like a tab and we had a room, which was cozy, clean and was a great location.

After settling in, we headed to the bar for the night, which started really strong. Hoffman Weiss was good and my wife liked it right away, and the appetizers were fantastic. Vegetarian chili with Thai peanut sauce--unusual, but really fun. And the NE Hushpuppies with maple syrup were the best food of the entire trip. Very cool. Nachos looked really good from a far, but were only mediocre up close and personal.

From a sampler, the remaining beers were all good but nothing really stood out, even the barleywine. Not many places will have a barleywine this time of year, so we were excited at first. It seemed under attenuated or something similar. Just a bit off.  Decided to try a local brewery Tuckerman's Headwall Alt and couldn't finish the beer because it was so bad--so switched to Smuttynose IPA to finish the night. Not sure if the Tuckerman's was the beer itself, or if the line had gone bad--the beer has slightly better reviews online, so maybe it was my experience.

So, overall, a good stop but very mixed. In part, the start was very strong, and above expectations, and then it went downhill quickly. Not a place I would go out of my way to repeat, but if your heading up to the White Mountains, it's a reasonable room in a good place. Also, since we're vegetarians, we might not have taken advantage of the "smoke house" enough to rate the food properly. The staff was friendly and gave a great recom for breakfast at a restaurant named Peaches down the street on our way out of town.

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