Jul 26, 2014

Local Brewers Tap Into Brew NH, A New Statewide Movement

Tuesday marked the official birth of a large-scale beer movement in New Hampshire, the idea for which was — somewhat fittingly — conceived on the back of bar napkins and drink coasters.

That how's Scott Schaier, the executive director of the Beer Distributors of New Hampshire, and JT Thompson, the minister of propaganda for Smuttynose Brewing Company, laid out their plan to unite dozens of breweries and beer distributors across the state into one entity that supported and enhanced the budding beer tourism industry in the Granite State.

The spirit and unity behind " Brew New Hampshire" quickly came to a head thanks to involvement from 24 breweries and seven distributors, and many of those individuals joined Schaier, Thompson, Thompson's boss Peter Egelston, and Gov. Maggie Hassan at Smuttynose's new Hampton home Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the start of the movement.

"It seemed like the logical thing to do," said Schaier, discussing the creation of Brew New Hampshire. "These days you have to have some sort of critical mass [and large-scale cooperation] to get things done.

"It seemed like a great opportunity for a great industry without a mouthpiece or vehicle to bring people together [to improve the state's economy]."

Brew NH, in partnership with New Hampshire’s Travel and Tourism and Revenue and Economic Development departments and other industry stakeholders, "aims to raise awareness of and interest in the state’s vibrant and growing beer scene," according to its website.

The social media-heavy movement gives residents and tourists a beer map, interactive tools that introduce individuals to the qualities of local brews and the history of brewing in the state, a beer event calendar and more.

Egelston said he can't describe "how excited" he is "about this project," which Hassan said will connect New Hampshire's brewers, microbreweries, nanobreweries and distributors in a way that will make the entire industry better in the long run.

"As one company gets stronger, the whole industry gets stronger [because it will help bring more people to New Hampshire]," she said.

The video above showcases additional comments from individuals at Tuesday's event as well as remarks from New Hampshire Department of Revenue and Economic Development Commissioner Jeff Rose.

Nancy Stiles, a Republican state senator from Hampton, said the state has "so much to offer" and she hopes the movement will lead to organized beer tours throughout the state and other new efforts that will help restaurants, hotels and other local industries.

"There's so much to do in the state," said Stiles.

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