LONDONDERRY — Lovers of handcrafted brews throughout the area code can now enjoy the products made at 603 Brewery.
The Granite State microbrewery, which recently relocated to Londonderry, continues to grow, with plans to expand distribution around New England in the near future, starting with the furthest stretches of their home state, says marketing and retail coordinator Tamsin Hewes.
Hewes, who founded the company with her husband, Geoff, and their friend, Dan Leonard, in fall 2012, said the 603 had humble beginnings.
The company's founders met while attending engineering classes at University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth campus.
Though they initially set out to brew the occasional batch of beer as a hobby, the three friends soon realized they'd stumbled on a highly marketable product. By early 2013, word of the company's offerings had spread, and the Case N' Keg in Meredith began selling their brews.
Three months ago, it became more than apparent that the brewery had outgrown its 400-square-foot home base in Campton.
"We were literally busting at the seams," Hewes said. "It came to the point where we couldn't, in good conscience, tax the building's well any further."
Realizing that a public water source was needed for the company's continued growth, the partners began searching the southern section of the state for a place to call home.
A 4,000-square-foot space in Londonderry industrial park, just minutes from Interstate 93, turned out to be the answer to their prayers. With the trio's day jobs now a fond memory, the company recently filled a handful of part-time positions to help with production and bottling.
The brewery, at 12 Liberty Drive, opened Nov. 23. A grand opening event that day drew hundreds of guests and left the building's shelves temporarily barren of Winni Ale, White Peaks IPA and 9th State Red IPA.
Londonderry town officials and legislators were among the visitors to attend the recent open house.
Londonderry Commerce and Visitors spokeswoman Sherry Farrell said she, for one, is eager to attend an upcoming tour, noting that a working brewery fits in perfectly with the town's "live, work, play locally" philosophy.
"We're just so excited and honored that they picked Londonderry for their new facility," Farrell said. "This is just another great place for our visitors from near and far to visit."
The buzz on 603 Brewery continues to spread beyond town borders. Its 18 Mile Pale Ale was recently named Beer of the Month on the WHEB "Morning Buzz Show." Hewes described the beverage as "a rye beer that's very, very drinkable."
It takes about a day to brew a batch of beer. The finished product is then left to ferment for about 10 days before bottling. Once bottled, the beers are bottle-conditioned for three to five days.
A Toasted Pumpkin Ale made in limited batches for the autumn season has sold out, so now plans are in the works to host a "Stout Challenge" sometime in January, with customers getting the chance to vote on their favorite dark brew.
The brewery is open to the public, with tastings offered on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. 603 Beer Gear hoodies, T-shirts, pint glasses and magnets are available for sale, as are bottled beers to take home.For more information, including a list of where 603 Brewery beers are sold, visit www.603brewery.com.