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What’s in a name?: Smuttynose

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Smuttynose Brewing is actually named for Smuttynose Island, which is located 7 miles off the shore where the Portsmouth, N.H.-based brewery sits. Historically, the isle has been a place of strange and eerie happenings that have inspired local lore for centuries. In 1720 Edward Teach, more commonly known as the pirate Blackbeard, brought his 15th bride to Smuttynose for a romantic honeymoon and marooned her there when he spotted British ships. Her ghost is rumored to roam the island’s shores. More than a century later, when the island boasted a small immigrant population, two Norwegian women were brutally murdered with an axe, and a local man was convicted in what was dubbed the trial of the century. However, it seems the locals’ exuberance got the best of them, and they hung the wrong person. “Of course, they’re not really sure,” says head brewer David Yarrington. Today, the island lies barren but for the Samuel Haley house (pictured on Smuttynose Brewing’s pale ale label) and a rookery of harbor seals, which also happen to be the brewery’s mascot.


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