MERRIMACK — A group of former U.S. Army officers is following a passion for brewing craft beer and turning a lifelong pipe dream into a reality.
“This was just a hobby, really, which started in my garage,” said Carl Soderberg, one of the four founders of Able Ebenezer Brewing Company.
The new, startup nanobrewery is opening its doors this weekend at 31 Columbia Circle, home of the former Interstate Battery shop.
The founders have spent a significant amount of time and money converting the empty, 5,200 square feet warehouse into a brewery and tasting room. The 10-barrel facility has six fermentors that run simultaneously, creating craft beers that will be distributed to establishments throughout New Hampshire.
To date, Able Ebenezer Brewing Company has signed contracts to provide its beer to the High Street Farmhouse in Goffstown, Bertucci’s in Nashua and the Country Tavern in Nashua.
Within the first few weeks, Soderberg anticipates the business will have its beer offered at about 20 bars and restaurants throughout the region.
“We are committed to growing slowly,” said Soderberg, noting it is hard to believe he was operating a research and development facility out of his home in Auburn not that long ago.
Soderberg’s friend and former Army buddy, Mike Frizzelle, is the head brewer at the new company. While Frizzelle has finalized three beer recipes for the grand opening this weekend, three other recipes are nearly ready for the making.
Frizzelle, who has been brewing beer for several years in San Diego, Calif., dropped his job and moved to New Hampshire to pursue the new business with Soderberg.
The beer process may have been the most simple part of the business venture, as the co-owners worked diligently to find the ideal location and facility for their brewing company.
Not only was a large space necessary, but Frizzelle said he was committed to building a unique tasting room that will invite guests to sit, have a few drinks and socialize without feeling rushed to leave.
“We wanted to turn the whole brewery into an experience,” Soderberg said.
Together, they created a 27 feet long white pine tree slab into an impressive bar counter worthy of any beer glass.
The self distributors are anxious to open their facility, and are even more excited to hear feedback from patrons about their products.
Some of the beers being distributed include: Auburn, a red style ale inspired by Irish tradition; Burn the Ships, an IPA with smoke specialty malt and a strong aroma; Emma Wood, a blend of orange and lemon zest for a light beer rich in flavor; and Tabula Rasa, an amber style ale complete with caramel, honey and fruit flavors.
Other co-founders include Zach Rand of Auburn, who serves as the managing director, and Jim Wilson, the company’s marketing manager who resides in Texas.
Aside from being offered at area bars and restaurants, the craft beer will also be available to take home from the brewery, and available in four-ounce tasters within the brewery’s tasting room.
The Able Ebenezer Brewing Company will host its grand opening from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at 31 Columbia Circle in Merrimack.
For more details, visit www.ableebenezer.com.