Dover's first brewery opens its taps
DOVER — It's been years in the making, but for three local brewers and their supporters, it takes time to create a product worth savoring.
After spending the summer renovating and reinventing the space in a historic downtown mill building at 47 Washington St., Dave Boynton, 33, Josh Henry, 34, and Nate Nephton, 28, were excited to finally open the doors to 7th Settlement Brewery for a "soft opening" Wednesday.
"We've done other soft openings, but this is our big event," Nephton said, adding this is when the public can see what everyone has been waiting for.
It will be the first brewery to operate in Dover, which was settled in 1623 — making it the seventh community in the state, according to Nephton.
Henry said a lot of people, especially those who participated in crowd-sourcing efforts that raised more than $14,000, have shared the excitement about the community supported brewery
"It's been great. We've had a lot of people come in to fill up their growlers," Henry said, adding people are eager to enjoy their investment by sharing 64 ounces — or six pints — of the brewery's first batch of 1623 Settlement Imperial Brown Ale.
Henry said it was inspired by the first batch of brown ale he created in 2004.
"It's well-rounded," Henry said, adding Michael Synder, a "tenant" brewer from One Love, is working on a kölsch, which is a light, crisp German ale, while they have an American winter wheat beer in the works.
"We're going to get into the seasonal styles," Henry said, adding he enjoys harvest-time brews and lighter beers while watching baseball.
Henry said there will plenty of time to ponder the possibilities, especially since local artist Jess Hunt created a "family tree of beer" between the fermentation tanks on one side of the brewery and the taps behind the 31-foot bar overlooking the Cocheco River.
"It's kind of a neat discussion board," Henry said.
Nephton said they are also brewing an oatmeal stout and have plans to expand their selection.
"Tomorrow, we're brewing our pale ale," Nephton said, adding it will probably take about three weeks before it's ready to pour.
"At some point, we're doing out big brown ale," Nephton said, adding that will take at least three weeks to complete.
Like the rest of the project, Nephton said, "you can't rush it."
While Boynton, who serves as general manager, previously said a bank loan paid for the bulk of the $496,000 project, the crowd sourcing from the community created a customer base who received growlers, mugs and T-shirts for their support.
For more information, visit http://7thsettlement.com/.