By Audrey Stratton | Local Happenings
In front of the murals, in the midst of the Boneyfiddle area sits a restaurant that needs no introduction. The Portsmouth Brewing Company has been a staple in our home town for years.
The restaurant was originally opened in 1843 by the Esselborn family. The Esselborn were German immigrants who came here in search of a better life.
In 1920, during prohibition, the brewery went under. Afterwards, it was a hudepohl distributorship for a number of years, and then became an arcade mall. The restaurant has an underground tunnel which is located in the basement.
The business would carry material and products through the tunnel to the river to load boats. This was during the time when the river was a primary channel for commerce.
Then in 1996, Steve Mault purchased the building and reopened it as a brewery. He had this dream after being stationed in Germany for a number of years in the 70s.
He became fascinated by German style beer, and was determined to save up enough money to get started on his newly found dream. Steve enlisted the help of his brother Ira, and together they became dedicated to the restaurant.
I talked to Steve’s grandson, Tyler, and he told me that he can still remember riding with his grandma to the brewery for the very first time. Tyler asked her where they were going and she told him that his grandpa had bought a brewery. He told me he didn't think she was too thrilled at the time, but looking back now at her reaction, he chuckles.
Today, the Portsmouth Brewing Company is your typical local craft brewery. They aim to provide the public with great beer, great food, and an excellent atmosphere. They want their patrons to make happy memories within their walls.
COVID is still ongoing and is taking a great toll on the restaurant industry. I talked with Tyler about what the local support meant to him and his family during this time, and he said, “The support means a great deal to my family. There are so many aspects to business—aside from a financial perspective—and the public has been very generous from the beginning of the pandemic—up to this point. We’ve done our best to provide the public with whatever services we could, and the public has certainly responded with gratitude. We will continue to do our best. To the Public: Thank you for your support.”
The next time you are in the mood for delicious wings and a cold brew, check out The Portsmouth Brewing Company. You can view their menu, and get directions to their restaurant here.