Take the WINTER HOLBEN brewery tour
It’s August on the Seacoast, which means the garage doors are open, the umbrellas are out, and it’s the perfect time for a brewery tour.
Whether you’re a novice or consider yourself a connoisseur, if you enjoy craft beer, there are several regional breweries to pick from, perhaps right in your neighborhood. According to the Brewers Association, there are over 150 breweries housed in the State of Maine, a number that has nearly tripled over the last five years, with New Hampshire not far behind. With an increase in consumer demand for varieties of beer not found in the larger, consolidated beer market along with more intense support for local businesses, there doesn’t appear to be a slowdown on the horizon. If you are interested in great beer AND brewery design - we thought we’d highlight 5 great breweries we are honored to have worked on in the Seacoast area.
Stoneface Brewing Co., 436 Shattuck Way, Newington, NH
Our tap favorite: Blip IPA – American IPA highlights citrusy, lemon characteristics of Mosaic without overpowering the palate.
Design fun fact: Beyond the tasting room, seasonal outdoor seating, full service kitchen and function room – Stoneface needed more space to brew beer to keep up with increased demand. In order to accommodate an expedited construction effort – Stoneface wanted to take over an adjacent tenant space to increase their 4,000 barrel brewery to 8,000 barrels, but the space immediately next door wasn’t available. A part of the design required running the beer line from the existing brewery over the adjacent tenant space, to the new production area of Stoneface – which means the beer is brewed at one end of the building, and then ferments in the barrels viewed from the bar.
Loaded Question Brewing, 909 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH
Our tap favorite: Sound Decisions – a classic IPA.
Design fun fact: The bones of this outdated factory space were perfect for this start up brewery. We worked closely with the owner to create an open and spacious layout that is inviting and warm with natural light from the new industrial windows. Additionally, the ability to expand food service to accommodate a variety of menu options allowed for an economical approach to the initial fit-up.
Great Rhythm Brewing Company, 105 Bartlett Street, Portsmouth, NH.
Our tap favorite: Tropical Haze – a hoppy, hazy IPA that will lead you to paradise.
Design fun fact: The opening of Great Rhythm’s doors was well-timed with an increase in momentum of the development of the West End of Portsmouth. Working in a close partnership with the owners, we used every requirement of updating the underutilized space to the advantage of the design and vision. One of our favorite design features resulted from combining the need for an accessible entryway with the desire for a striking exterior, with a natural wood entrance ramp complimenting the dark grey painted facade and oversized mural-style signage – making it hard to miss this beautiful space, even with the closest street 1,200 feet away. Beyond the great partnership and fun design features, Great Rhythm had two added bonuses for the WINTER HOLBEN team – it was our first completed project as a firm, and was later recognized with an AIA NH Excellence in Architecture Award.
Woodland Farms Brewery, 306 US Route 1, Kittery, ME
Our tap favorite: Blinky New England IPA, described as a hazy juice bomb with Galaxy, Ella, Citra, and Amarillo hops.
Design fun fact: Woodland Farms was fun for us because it sits in our local Kittery community. With a small footprint, the challenge of this design was to accommodate a complicated, intricate program for a start up brewer to allow for expansion as the popular beers came to the market. The brewery has become a well known haven among the stream of retail shopping at the Kittery Outlets with a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere.
York Beach Beer Co., 33 Railroad Ave, York Beach, ME
Our tap favorite: Flannel Sombrero Mexican Style Lager
Design fun fact: We loved renovating this mid-century post office and turning it into a modern facility, adding a fun gathering space to the neighborhood, revitalizing an outdated building, and adding a brewery to a well-loved local beach destination. The added complexity of the tenant joining the project once it was underway added a fun challenge to this final stop. With weekly lobster bakes and a dog-friendly patio, York Beach Beer Co. is a great wrap-up to both your beach day and your WINTER HOLBEN brewery tour!
We would love to see the Seacoast community partake in the WINTER HOLBEN brewery tour. If you visit each of the 5 breweries over the month of August, take a picture at each and add it to your social media account with the hashtag #winterholbenbrewerytour. At the end of the month, we'll award you with a WINTER HOLBEN pint glass!