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“Unfriendly Poor Service !”
Review of Portsmouth Brewery

Portsmouth Brewery
Ranked #11 of 202 Restaurants in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $25
Cuisines: Bar, Pub, Gastropub, Brew Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Welcome to New Hampshire's original brewpub, a landmark in downtown Portsmouth's thriving restaurant scene since 1991. Our wide-ranging menu is complemented by a selection of our own unique, hand-crafted beers, as well as selected guest beers, including hard-to-find selections from our sister company, Smuttynose Brewing Co. Come for the beer. Stay for the food. We serve all types!
1 review
“Unfriendly Poor Service !”
Reviewed August 12, 2009

Poor Service !! Bad Staff ! Waited for twenty five minutes for a drink !

Thank springsteen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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985 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Boston, MA
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Unfriendly staff environment leaves bad taste”
Reviewed June 14, 2009

Hi, this is my first time reviewing a restaurant on TA and it's because I was so disappointed with the service & atmosphere of the Portsmouth Brewery. My friends and I were looking to have a nice celebratory evening out but the night started on a totally different foot.

My friends and I chose Portsmouth Brewery because of local word of mouth. Being my first time out in this "city," we quickly learned about the local curtailing of public drunkenness, lack of public transit, insufficient taxi's & the early closing times (12:30am last call) of Portsmouth bars. I fully support public safety. I more than most laypeople can recognize the signs, symptoms and repercussions of excess, including a bouncer/bartender, (being a Boston EMT & critical care RN) but to the extent that staff are harassing patrons who are SOBER is inexcusable and thus this review.

The man who appeared to be a head bouncer/manager at the door was curt and had an unwelcoming guilty-before-being-proven-innocent mantra. This was our first sign that we should turn around and head to another establishment. Next, when ordering our first round of drinks the bartender - an equally stone-faced, unfriendly, aggressive, non-engaging individual, (not qualities you look for in a publican) would not serve a member of our party because from across the crowded barroom he looked intoxicated to him . We attempted to tell the bartender that he was wrong about his assumption & his response was "no drinks for him and if that's a problem I'll have you removed." We ordered my now cut-off friend a Sprite (which we were charged for) and attempted to enjoy our round.

At that point the bartender notified the head bouncer/manager and we were closely "watched" (literally and figuratively) the rest of our brief stay - something that makes you real welcome & comfortable in a social environment (much sarcasm).

Bottom line I have no plans to return to the Portsmouth Brewery, and Portsmouth downtown for that matter. Hopefully the staff/owners will read this (which I have also forwarded this review/criticism to their corporate email), and make changes in their operation & hospitality because they did not earn my repeat business.


    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank Skibum2325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
294 reviews
187 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Not as good as it used to be”
Reviewed June 9, 2009

Have always enjoyed stopping in at the Brewery for a burger, soup, or salad (nice vegetarian choices, too), but the last visit was disappointing. I will preface by saying it was Memorial Day weekend, BUT there are few times during nice weather that Portsmouth is not busy so it's fair to judge this restaurant on a busy day!! We did chose an off hour for dining knowing that there are often crowds and a wait. We were seated in the back room, and we were only the third party (two of us) in the room. We waited nearly ten minutes before a waiter came to our table; fortunately, he was very nice. We were not in a hurry so didn't make a fuss about the lack of attentiveness. We also had to wait for our meal which was served by someone other than our waiter. While the food was good enough, the service continued to be inattentive. When I took my first bite of what was supposed to be a hot sandwich, the food was only slightly warm. No one appeared to inquire how our meals were, and, by the time a waitperson walked by for us to speak to, my meal was totally cold. My husband was done with his meal by the time my meal was heated up and reserved by the original waiter who didn't seem particulary concerned about any of it. We chose not to stay for dessert, and the service was disappointing enough that we probably will not return to the Brewery which used to be one of our standbys.

1 Thank gr8passage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Portsmouth local vows NEVER to go back to Portsmouth Brewery”
Reviewed March 2, 2009

I'm a Portsmouth local and I enjoyed the Portsmouth Brewery for years. I still like the beer but I'll be getting it to go from now on! For the last year or so my husband and I have had increasingly bad experiences there. The food used to be better. The bean dip was once the best deal in town but recently the kitchen staff has been ruining a good thing by smothering it with half melted rubbery cheese, yuck! The bartenders and waitstaff are inattentive, and obviously don't care about the quality of the service or food.
Here are a few examples: stone cold Seafood Chowder taken back to the kitchen and Nuked in the microwave until rancid, soggy oyster crackers and all! Disgusting!
Chipped pint glasses.
Rude servers gabbing about customers in front of other customers.
Fish and chips that stunk up the whole bar, obviously made with fish that was well past it's prime!
If you like to go to places that are tourist traps by all means this is the place for you! If you like being packed in like a sardine, served substandard food with bad service the Portsmouth Brewery will be right up your ally!

Thank CCAR_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Wow, we loved it!”
Reviewed January 3, 2009

Was just reading the other somewhat lackluster reviews, and I had to make sure it was the same place we visited for lunch yesterday. Maybe Portsmouth has so many excellent restaurants that locals or frequent visitors are spoiled -- lucky them! Mental note: Visit Portsmouth more frequently! Or maybe it's the difference between eating here for lunch versus dinner, which sounds a bit more raucous than what we experienced. Or maybe it's the off season?

Who knows? Our visit to the restaurant was flawless. Friendly service, great food and beer, fun atmostphere, management checking on our happiness -- what more can you ask for? It was a treat for our kids not to have the usual bland kids-menu options, and for us to have more than just fries as side-order possibilities. (I swear we don't only eat at McD's, honest.) I had roasted baby carrots, still with a hint of their original stems, that were better than any dessert -- or, actually, any other dish -- I ate over the holidays. Exquisitely carmelized, slightly crisp and slightly soft ... good grief! Who ever thought a carrot could give so much pleasure? And to think I thought they'd be a calorie-virtuous option -- that degree of heaven could only be accomplished through generous usage of my favorite food group, butter.

The tab was reasonable, too -- we came in at $60 for a family of five, which is hard for us to do at our local bucket of blood. Go. It's a great place.

Thank StellaZ_et_al
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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