Today, Nantucket-based Cisco Brewers and the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) announced a change at its Portsmouth, N.H., pub. Starting next week the pub and event space will be managed by Cisco under its brand. The pub is still owned by CBA, as is the brewery on site, which will continue to brew and package a variety of CBA and partner brands for East Coast distribution. CBA and Cisco entered into a brewing and distribution partnership in 2015, and this move made sense for a number of reasons, which are outlined in more detail below.
Nantucket-based Cisco Brewers will be bringing a slice of its laid-back island lifestyle to Portsmouth this summer with a new pub and event venue. The location, which has operated under the Redhook Brewery brand since the 1990s, is owned by CBA, which also owns and operates the Portsmouth brewery where it brews and packages a variety of CBA and partner brands.
Cisco beers, including core favorites Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and Grey Lady, have been brewed at CBA’s Portsmouth brewery since the partnership began, and the Cisco portfolio has continued to grow with the addition of Madaquet IPA and the new grapefruit Gripah IPA.
Commenting on the new pub, Cisco Brewers CEO Jay Harman said, “Portsmouth is the perfect New England coastal town for us. Over the years, we’ve grown closer to the local community as our core portfolio has been brewed, packaged, and served here through our partnership with CBA. The Redhook Portsmouth pub and grounds have been a great destination for craft beer fans and music lovers for over two decades, and our long-term plan is to gradually upgrade the indoor and outdoor space to recreate a little slice of Nantucket Island right here in Portsmouth.”
The current Portsmouth pub staff will remain in their current roles with the rebranding, and Cisco is sending a large portion of its pub team from Nantucket to Portsmouth next week for a Cisco-brand “boot camp.” Over the next year, Cisco plans to organically transform the pub into a family-friendly hang out spot in the Nantucket mold.
“We’re really excited about the transition of our Portsmouth pub to an off-island destination for Cisco lovers,” said Scott Mennen, COO of CBA. “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.”
Redhook continues to thrive in its local Seattle market, most recently opening a pub and innovation brewery called Redhook Brewlab in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle in 2017. Meanwhile, packaged Redhook beers will still be available at retail locations in New Hampshire.
Cisco Brewers Portsmouth summer kickoff party
The Portsmouth pub will be temporarily closed from June 19 through June 21 for initial renovations and reopen with a new menu and wide variety of Cisco beers on tap at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 22. The outdoor beer garden will remain open during the temporary pub closure.
Cisco’s Summer Kick Off Party will kick off at 6:00 p.m. on the 22, featuring fresh Cisco beers on tap, live music, food trucks, lawn games, as well as wine and spirits, courtesy of Cisco Brewers’ Nantucket Vineyard and Triple Eight Distillery. Admission is free and open to all ages, even dogs are welcomed on the patio if they’re leashed! More details about the opening party can be found on Cisco’s Facebook page here.