Cold snap, crackle & hops: Winter Festival returns at Smuttynose




With eight beers to choose from and the Seacoast’s biggest bonfire of the season, Smuttynose Brewery’s second annual Crackle & Hops Winter Festival on Saturday, Jan. 25, is back and, according to the brewery, bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event.

“We have hundreds of Christmas trees in our field waiting to be ignited. We have eight beers available for your enjoyment [and] two will be new releases,” said Andy Hart, director of hospitality for Smuttynose. “The Town of Hampton drops off every Christmas tree to the brewery and we have the largest bonfire the New Hampshire Seacoast has ever seen.”

The event will also feature a food truck serving grilled cheese and soups, Winterfest competitions — including a snowman-making competition and cornhole — a DJ and sledding for all ages. There will be sleds available or you can bring your own.

A portion of the proceeds go directly to Hampton Fire Fighters Charitable Organization.

“We had the first annual last year in 2019,” Hart said. “We wanted to gather the community during the winter for a charitable cause. Bringing our community together is something we thoroughly enjoy doing here at Smuttynose Brewing Co.”

And after the success of last year’s event with over 700 attendees, over $1,000 raised for Hampton Fire Fighters and its being the No. 1 requested event to bring back for 2020, Smuttynose had little choice but to do it again and do it bigger.

The brewery has doubled the number of fire pits from 10 to 20, where attendees can hang out and stay warm between sledding runs (weather permitting) to make s’mores and enjoy all the beer, hot chocolate (spiked and virgin) and food there is to offer.

There will also be a tent set up where HFFCO members will answer any questions and take donations.

“[This event] means a lot. We feel we have an obligation to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us over the past 25 years. We feel a large part of the craft beer industry is to stay connected with your community and give back when you can,” Hart said.

The tickets are on pre-sale now at $10 a person; there’s free admission for those under 21. Tickets the day of the event are $15 a person.

The brewery and the Smuttynose Restaurant will be open as well during the event.

“Let’s get outside and have some fun,” Hart said

— Chad Ripley


Crackle & Hops Winter Festival
Where: Smuttynose Brewery, 105 Towle Farm Road, Hampton
When: Saturday, Jan. 25, 3 to 8 p.m.f Saturday, Feb. 8, 3 to 8 p.m.
Cost: $10 pre-sale, $15 at door; under 21 free admission
More info:, 436-4026,

“Due to impending rain and wind, we have postponed Winterfest to Feb. 8th. We hope everyone is able to attend on Feb. 8th.
Here are your options:
1. We will honor all tickets purchased! Come party with us!!
2. Email for a refund.
3. Donate your $10 ticket to the Hampton Fire Fighters Charitable Organization.
Sorry for any inconvenience and fingers crossed Feb. 8th is bluebird sky’s”