Smuttynose Brewery breaks ground tonight on its new facility in Hampton about 10 miles down the coast from its current location in Portsmouth.
Smuttynose says it’s moving to Hampton to support its growth.
The brewery has been creating craft beers in New Hampshire since 1994. After the company produced 15,000 barrels in 2006, its status changed from a ‘micro-brewery’ to a ‘regional independent brewery.’
But Smuttynose president, Peter Egelston, says there’s more to the move than acquiring more space.
We wanted to have a place where we could really entertain a lot more visitors…so in the new facility we’ll have a nice visitors’ center we’ll have a place where we can receive people coming for tours, we’ll also have a restaurant on site.
Beyond hospitality, Egelston says the new facility will be better equipped to support a modern brewery in terms of logistics and energy efficiency.
According to the Brewer’s Association, while overall beer sales dipped by 1 percent in 2010, craft brew sales rose by 12 percent with its industry growing by 11 percent.
In New Hampshire, specialty beer stores such as ‘Brewtopia’ in Keene and The Beer Store in Nashua have been cropping up around the state. These businesses support the smaller-scale distribution of local brewers.
Smuttynose has planned to expand for about 8 years. The new facility should be ready next fall.