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December 18, 2013

Breweries growing in New Hampshire

The Granite State boasts more breweries than ever

LONDONDERRY – When Geoff Hewes wanted to open a brewery, he knew exactly what he wanted to promote in his beer — New Hampshire.

“We felt our neighboring states seemed to be well ahead of us in terms of breweries,” Hewes said. “In Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine, people recognize beers from being from those individual states. We want the same thing for New Hampshire.”

Hewes’ 603 Brewery in Londonderry is one of 19 licensed breweries in the state. Readers listed breweries as one of the 603 Reasons New Hampshire is special.

There are three types of breweries in New Hampshire. Large breweries have to produce more than 15,000 barrels per year. There is a mid-sized brewing license which must brew under 15,000 barrels per year, and nano breweries, which brew under 2,000 barrels per year.

Mid-sized brewing licenses allow breweries the option to self distribute or use a wholesaler. Nano breweries must self distribute.

The 603 Brewery, which moved to Londonderry from Campton last month, started as a nano brewery. But they switched to the mid-sized license when they made the move.

“We wanted the ability to be able to use a wholesaler and not be restricted,” Hewes said.

Mid-sized licenses cost $1,200 each year; nanobrewery licenses cost $240 per year. Large brewery licenses cost $1,692 each year. Only Anheuser-Busch and Red Hook qualify as large breweries in the Granite State.

In Salem, Border Brew Supply opened its brewery in June. They produce around 360 barrels per year.

“Nano breweries allow the consumer to have a more one-on-one relationship with the brewer,” said Joe Ruotolo, owner of Border Brew Supply. “They can see where it’s made, how it’s made and look at all the ingredients that go in it.”

Border Brew Supply is one of seven breweries with nano brewery licenses in the state. In 2011, New Hampshire became the first state to offer such a license.

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