If you are from New England, I am sure that most would agree there is one thing that sets us apart from most; Pride. This may sound similar to a previous post, but we New Englanders love it here. From the Berkshires to the Kangamangus, from Moosehead Lake to Lake Champlain. The hiking trails, the history the Maple syrup and the seasons, the adventure and beauty, yes this is the place to be.
There is one more thing that adds to its draw (the head on the glass so to speak), of course it’s the beer! All over New England you can find great beers, some even located on biking trails. Whether it’s the beer Mecca of South Burlington, VT., or the beer sanctuary of Portland, ME., or the ever increasing explosion of breweries in CT, it can be an overwhelming yet enjoyable adventure for your palate.
New Hampshire is no exception, while they might not have as many brew venues as some of their neighboring states, the breweries they do have are quite spectacular and are like hidden gems in a land of adventure and discovery. Today I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite spots, located in the heart of the white mountains, in Conway, NH, Woodstock Inn Brewery. This just happens to be their 20th year brewing, and they continue to brew strong!
I first found out about Woodstock in approximately seven years ago, we were on a large family vacation (we should have changed our name to Griswold that week), and we were driving along route 112 looking for local attractions and a place to eat. This was before marvelous apps like Untappd, when all one needs to do is tap a button and find all the breweries nearby, yes a time where if one needed to find a place it was to either search the GPS, or check the internet before driving out into the unknown. So, while on our way to Loon Mountain, we discovered this restaurant-No! wait, a Brewery, or was it an Inn? It was all three!
Of course, I didn’t need convincing, and since the crowd was hungry it really didn’t take much coercing to convince them to stop at a brewery (let’s just say, in my family, I am the beer enthusiast). The first thing that caught my eye was the hops growing on the outside of the restaurant contrasting nicely with the red building with black trim. Upon entering we were warmly welcomed by our host. There’s ample seating and the atmosphere is inviting and bright. The main restaurant and the bar are slightly divided, and even though it can be busy, the wait staff are attentive. Woodstock Inn Brewery became our new “go-to” while we were in the White Mountains.
Unfortunately this was a bit before I started to log and document my beers, so all I can say is, I know I had a stout and more than likely an IPA. Guess I need to make a trip again. I did leave with a growler and a complimentary glass, as well as fond memories. To see their list of brews click here.
For a full detailed history of Woodstock Inn Brewery, please click the preceding hyperlink. What makes Woodstock Inn so unique? Aren’t there brewpubs all over? Yes, however, this is not just a brewpub. It’s an experience! Planning on getting married? Like entertainment or entertaining? Maybe you want a nice quiet getaway. Whatever it is, Woodstock Inn Brewery can help make your time enjoyable. A spa, a restaurant, a hotel, a brewery… really you can’t go wrong. Take a look at their menu too.
I’ve always talked about our visit to many people, and it just so happened that a co-worker of mine (@sparkie_p) was drinking out of her shaker-pint glass with the Woodstock Inn logo. She told me about her stay there, and I shared I too have a matching glass. The shaker-pints, though not my go-to glass, are slightly tapered at the bottom for easy stacking and no sticking.
She described her experience with Woodstock Inn as a “rustic inn” and “a bit quirky located in the foothills of the White Mountains.” Regarding the staff, we are in agreement, she mentioned they are “so warm and friendly.” As for the beers, she described them as “great, full of flavor and will leave you wanting more.”
Of course, whats a restaurant without food? My co-worker said. “The food is amazing, and mouth watering.” She commented further “As a home-brewer, we loved the brewery tour, as it was more like a lecture that tour. [There is] lot’s of history and is definitely a place to seek out and stay.”
Speaking of seeking out and staying, recently my parents told me they were taking a trip to Maine, you’ll never guess where they planned to stay. Nah, you probably can, yes they were heading to the Woodstock Inn, wouldn’t you know I gave them my Growler to refill (gotta love their Lemon Blueberry Pale Ale).
My mom and dad LOVED it there, as you can see form the pictures. You may have read a previous post “A Barley Mom Visit’s America’s Oldest Brewery,” and when I asked her for some notes about her experience at the Woodstock Inn, she insisted on write a full detailed report of her stay so be prepared for a new article to follow this one.
I was able to reach out to Erin, a promotions representative at Woodstock Inn, and she was able to get The Barley Men in touch with Butch the brewer, Frankie the assistant brewer, Garrett, head of sales and Scott, the owner. Two great things came from this. First, it shows to make a great product and have an efficient establishment, it can take many hands to make the load light. It also means that we got to interview them and share with you a more personal down to earth article. So please enjoy the following Q&A.
TBM – Tell us, please, what is your philosophy on brewing/beer? And where do you draw your inspiration?
WIB – We try to make approachable but fun and interesting beers. We draw a lot of inspiration from our customers for instance our 4000 Footer IPA was created in honor of all the hikers that come through our area – many of whom had been stopping in for a beer at the end of the hike since we opened. We also draw a lot from our community and our New Hampshire roots.
TBM- I always found it great mixing nature and outdoors with a good brew. Whether its yard work, hiking local trails or taking bike paths. It’s just great to get down to the roots and enjoy the simpler things in life. Love you Lemon Blueberry Pale ale, not only is it a great creation, but it’s just whats needed on a hot summer day (or any day for that matter. Is that what got you into brewing? or what really made you want to start brewing?
WIB – We felt our customers were calling for it at the restaurant. At one time we were the #1 Sam Adams account in NH. The timing seemed right and we went for it!
TBM – That, I did not know. Nothing against Sam’s, but it’s really nice to see actual local craft breweries being so successful and have such high quality. I’d definitely choose Woodstock Inn brews first. Speaking of local craft breweries, and the massive rush of brewers to the scene, do you have any words of advice for aspiring brewers?
WIB – Don’t under-size. Build with a plan for the future. Space! Space! Space!
TBM – Aha! That seems to be key. I just spoke to a local brewery in Connecticut and they highlighted that was was a must in preparation for brewing. Always be ready for expansion. Well said. If you had to choose a style of beer what would be your favorite?
WIB – It sounds so typical but… IPA’s.
TBM – Simply put. There’s no problem with that. As long as it isn’t a mass-produced euro-american lager it’s all good. Again going back to the craft brewing scene, what do you think makes your brewery unique to New England, let alone NH, especially with all the local crafts?
WIB – The eat, drink and stay experience really sets us apart. The fact that you can visit the brewery but also have breakfast, lunch or dinner AND stay over if you want. And, we’re lucky to be located in such a beautiful area like the White Mountains of NH. The destination experience carries down in MA and RI and we’re beyond grateful that it does!!
TBM – Yeah, I can honestly say, aside from the craft beer movie cinemas, your establishment is the most unique I have been able to experience. I see from your website, as well as the back of my shaker pint, there are a great variety of your brews, which one of your beers would you recommend as an introduction for someone who has not had the experience?
WIB – Our Pig’s Ear Brown Ale. It pairs well with an endless amount of foods. Many people that don’t think they like “dark beers” or even “craft beers” like it. It’s smooth with nutty undertones. Delish.
TBM – There’s nothing like a well made brown. I am so glad I can get that locally. Lastly, any funny stories? Every beer tells a tale.
WIB – Not any that we would tell online. Meet us at the bar after a few Woodstock IPA’s.
TBM – You don’t have to twist my arm! Hear that craft beer world? If you want some great beer, awesome food, and a place to stay, you now have a place to go; Woodstock Inn brewery! Can’t wait to hear some stories.
Well, this concludes another article on a great local business. While we here at The Barley Men encourage responsible drinking, if you happened to have one too many, don’t worry about driving because you can just stay at the Inn. As an added bonus, the brewery is on the NH beer trail.
BUT WAIT! There’s more. It would prove to be most beneficial to head to Woodstock Inn Brewery because they have just launched their new Woodstock IPA, and they have a Sweepstakes going on! Enter by August 31at for a chance to win a free stay at the Inn. Click the link for more details www.woodstockinnnh.com/feelfreetobe
So if you like moose, Adam Sandler, nature, relaxation and beer, head up to New Hampshire! Nestle yourself into the comfort of the Woodstock Inn to enhance your stay and just take it all in.
Thanks again Erin for your support and help with the article!
Woodstock Inn Brewery
135 Main Street
North Woodstock, NH 03262
I love the history of beer and how its made, the whole beer experience. My philosophy is, finding your beer is like finding your soul-mate, you may have a long search, and learn some lessons, but there is a beer that’s just right for you.