Yankee Brew News February/March 2013 : Page 1

By Scott Kaplan During the summer months in the early 1980s, Scott Rice managed the Jack O’Lantern resort in North Woodstock, N.H., and taught skiing in Colorado in the winter while the resort was closed. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was more expensive to live in Colorado than it was in N.H., he could have stayed in Colorado year-round. At the end of 1982 when Rice was almost 30, he realized it was about time to settle down into a more perma-nent home and business. Having only a dream and couple thousand dollars to his name, he managed to purchase an old house at 135 Main St. in North Woodstock for $35,000 on Christmas Day in 1982. That house would become the first building of what is now the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery. It was a small start that would in short time expand and take on a life of its own. The original building was aban-doned for nearly 20 years before Rice bought it, and it needed a lot of work. It was already about 100 years old and still had the original knob-and-tube See Woodstock Inn p. 6 R By Mark Bowers ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM DREAMSTIME eal Ale , the term coined by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), has historically referred to ales brewed with traditional ingredients that were cask-conditioned. However, craft beer is now brewed with a myriad of different ingredients and yeast types (beyond traditional ale and even lager strains) as well as brewing processes. These new beers can all be cask-conditioned. What then defines cask-conditioned beer? The simplest definition is a malt-based fermented alcoholic beverage that is unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned via fermentation. Cask beer is served from the container in which it was naturally conditioned without adding any carbon dioxide or nitrogen. One area of cask-conditioned beer that has seen much growth over the last couple of years is cask lagers. A number of new craft breweries concentrating in producing lagers also are trying their hand with cask-conditioning, producing beers that enhance the smoothness of the lagering process with the softness and complexity that only cask-See Real Ale p. 3 Heather Donahue will be taking over the original seven-barrel brewing system at the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery. PHOTOS BY BETTY KAPLAN INSIDE Events Calendar .............. 2 Tasting Panel................... 8 Ale House .......................10 Homebrew ......................12 Beer Cooks .....................13 Maps/Directory ..........18-23 State by State News E. Massachusetts ....................14 Boston ......................................16 W. Massachusetts ...................24 Maine ........................................26 New Hampshire .......................28 Connecticut ..............................30 Vermont ....................................32 Rhode Island ............................34 NYC/Long Island ......................36 Upstate NY ...............................38

Real Ale

Hans Granheim

Real Ale, the term coined by CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), has historically referred to ales brewed with traditional ingredients that were caskconditioned. However, craft beer is now brewed with a myriad of different ingredients and yeast types (beyond traditional ale and even lager strains) as well as brewing processes. These new beers can all be cask-conditioned.

What then defines cask-conditioned beer? The simplest definition is a maltbased fermented alcoholic beverage that is unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally conditioned via fermentation. Cask beer is served from the container in which it was naturally conditioned without adding any carbon dioxide or nitrogen.

One area of cask-conditioned beer that has seen much growth over the last couple of years is cask lagers. A number of new craft breweries concentrating in producing lagers also are trying their hand with caskconditioning, producing beers that enhance the smoothness of the lagering process with the softness and complexity that only caskconditioning can offer. Last year saw the first only cask-conditioned lager festival in the U.S. (See the cask festival sidebar.)

Brewers are experimenting by providing many other beer types in cask-conditioned form. Nearly every Belgian beer style has now been offered in cask including lambics, saisons, dubbels, tripels, farmhouse beers, Flemish reds, wheat beers, etc. Also available in cask arew newly created styles such as black IPAs, imperial India pale lagers, gluten-free beers, rye beers, etc.

And what about beers that spend time in a wooden barrel? Are these cask-conditioned beers? Not necessarily. Wooden barrel- aged beers can only be cask beers if they undergo a secondary fermentation in a cask to carbonate the beer after the barrel aging. Aging beer in wooden vessels — usually a spent barrel used to make something different such as whiskey or wine — allows the beer to pick up flavors and essences from the wood as well as the liquid it once held. Cask-conditioned versions of barrel-aged beers can present not only the complexities gained from barrel aging but also from the required secondary fermentation needed to make it a cask beer.

Read the full article at http://ybnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Real+Ale/1325318/148016/article.html.

Riding The Rails

Scott Kaplan

at the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery

During the summer months in the early 1980s, Scott Rice managed the Jack O’Lantern resort in North Woodstock, N.H., and taught skiing in Colorado in the winter while the resort was closed. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was more expensive to live in Colorado than it was in N.H., he could have stayed in Colorado year-round. At the end of 1982 when Rice was almost 30, he realized it was about time to settle down into a more permanent home and business. Having only a dream and couple thousand dollars to his name, he managed to purchase an old house at 135 Main St. in North Woodstock for $35,000 on Christmas Day in 1982. That house would become the first building of what is now the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery. It was a small start that would in short time expand and take on a life of its own.

The original building was abandoned for nearly 20 years before Rice bought it, and it needed a lot of work. It was already about 100 years old and still had the original knob-and-tube electric wiring. Rice and some friends did much of the building rehabilitation themselves but were able to leave the old pushbutton light switches intact. Soon the building became home to the Woodstock Inn, with four guest rooms, a 25-seat restaurant and a tiny room in the attic for the owners.

Add the Railroad

In the summer of 1984, the neighboring town of Lincoln was about to tear down its railroad station. Rice saw it as an opportunity to preserve some local history and expand the Inn, so he bought it, cut it in half, moved it the few miles up Route 3 to the Inn and attached it to the original house where it is now known as the Woodstock Station. The Station allowed Rice to expand the Inn’s kitchen and dining room plus enlarge his own living quarters. That year also saw the purchase of the Riverside building across the street from the main building, which provided 11 more guest rooms. In 1986 the Stockroom was added to the Station, which added 60 seats to the restaurant. In 1988, purchase of the Deachman house behind the original building provided four more guest rooms. The Porter room was added in 1993 for another 60 seats in the restaurant. In 1995, the year the brewery and brewpub were added, another 50 seats became part of what is now the Woodstock Inn, Station and Brewery. The original brewery is in what used to be a doctor’s office. Rounding out the final additions were the Sawyer House in 2002 and the Cascade Lodge in 2006, which together provided another 12 guest rooms for a total of 33 rooms in five buildings. Between the Station, the Patio and the Clement Room Grille, 335 people could be seated.

Each of the buildings is decorated in different styles including Victorian, arts-and-crafts plus an Adirondack lodge. The lodge has a large common area on the first floor with a big fireplace and sofa to relax on after a winter’s day ski outing or summer’s day hike through the White Mountains. Each room is different, and all are named after former occupants or local landmarks. Most have a spa or jet tub and gas fireplaces. Several of the rooms and suites are geared towards family rentals and have bunk beds for the children — or adventuresome adults.

The Inn has always been a family operation and owners Scott and Peggy Rice now employ their own children in various capacities. The Rice’s son, Keegan, is now the General Manager. Many of the staff, including brewer Butch Chase, have been there for more than 15 years. Chase started out as a bartender before moving up to the brewery. Head Chef Nate Bradley began his career at the Inn as a dishwasher. Garrett Smith, head of beer sales, has been on staff for ten years.

A Bigger Brewery

As 2012 closed and Rice celebrated the 30th anniversary of the business, he was nearing completion of a $3 million expansion project. It started by moving the Deachman house across the street to make room for a 150-seat function hall with full bar and a 30-barrel full production brewery where the Deachman house used to sit. The new brewery will allow Chase to “bring home” the retail brewing and packaging operation formerly accomplished at Shipyard Brewing in Portland, Maine. A larger brewery means bringing on more brewing staff including Mark Babson, formerly of Magic Hat Brewing in South Burlington, Vt. Babson started out as most brewers do by homebrewing, and he’s also been through the Siebel Institute’s brewing program. Chase and Babson expect to brew between 5,000 and 6,000 barrels the first year on the new system, although it has a 10,000-barrel annual capacity. The first batches are expected to be brewed in late January. Chase said he’d like to get the new brewery up and running with his standard recipes for a while before branching out into new styles. In keeping with the family atmosphere, the entire brewery staff will learn all of the brewing, bottling and packaging tasks involved in getting Woodstock beers out the door.

Part of the expansion includes green energy sources. Fifty-four solar panels were installed on the roof to generate electricity, and solar hot water is planned for the spring.

Initial expansion plans called for disassembly of the original seven-barrel brewpub brewery to open it up for more dining space, but that plan changed and Heather Donahue will be taking over the smaller facility. Donahue is new to brewing and was working at the Inn’s front desk before looking for a change. The seven-barrel system will still be used to brew beer for the pub and restaurant and for test batches on a smaller scale before stepping them up for full production in the new facility. It will also allow the Inn to continue its popular Brewers’ Weekends where patrons get to participate in brewing a batch of beer.

At the Inn

During the warmer months when the patio and outdoor Dam Bar are open, the restaurant, including the new function hall, can seat 700 patrons. The Dam Bar is a new addition and is decorated and built with genuine beaver-chewed tree trunks from Chase’s property. The trunks used for construction were reinforced with steel rods drilled into the centers for structural strength.

Room rates at the Inn vary by room type and season, but all include a full breakfast. The breakfast menu spans several pages of egg choices, Benedicts, waffles, crepes, pancakes, omelettes and an Inn-unique item, the “womelette” — a puffy omelette baked on top of a malted waffle.

The Beers

The brewery cranks out eight year-round beers, a root beer and five rotating seasonal beers. The several bars always have eight house-brewed beers on tap plus one guest beer, root beer, and the main bar has a beer engine for serving cask conditioned ales. The brewery won the 2012 New England Cable News’ “Baby You’re The Best” award for Best Brewery in the cable station’s viewing area with 49 percent of the vote, beating the second place brewery by a full 25 percentage points. Pigs Ear Brown Ale is the best selling beer at the brewery and has won many awards from the Great International Beer Festival and the United States Beer Tasting Championship.

The Woodstock Station has a casual dining area, and its railroad-themed menu includes something to please everyone. Many of the tables are constructed of old sewing machine bases. The Clement Room Grille recently scaled down its fine dining atmosphere to more of a bistrostyle environment and serves dishes such as escargot, crispy roast half duckling, prosciutto wrapped tuna and Steak Diane prepared at the table. The restaurant won New Hampshire Magazine’s “Best of N.H.” award for Favorite Regional Restaurant six times since 2005.

Read the full article at http://ybnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Riding+The+Rails+/1325334/148016/article.html.

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