Smuttynose Breaks Ground on New Brewery Site

By Aaron Sanborn

Hampton Union, Friday, August 17, 2012

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Smuttynose Brewery held a groundbreaking ceremony at their new site on Towle Farm Road in Hampton on Thursday. From left are David Yarrington, chief of brewing operations, Brandon Holben, project architect, Steve McHenry, architect, Joanne Francis, art director of Smuttynose Brewing Company, Peter Egelston, president of Smuttynose Brewing Company, State Sen. Nancy Stiles, Nina Cutts of Provident Bank, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Terrence Parker of Terra Firma Landscape Architecture, and Bill Stevens, President of Harvey Construction. [Ioanna Raptis, Photo]

HAMPTON -- It was a long time coming, but Smuttynose Brewing Co. will soon have a new home.

The company took the first step in the construction of its new facility on Thursday night, with the formal groundbreaking on the future home of its state-of-the-art brewery at Towle Farm.

"This is thrilling; it really is," said Smuttynose President Peter Egelston.

Employees, local officials and friends celebrated the occasion with free beer.

Discussions about a new brewery began seven years ago and sites in Portsmouth, Newmarket and Kittery, Maine, were up for consideration. Once the best site for the project was discovered on the historic Towle Farm, it took several more years to secure financing for construction.

Multiple loans, including one from the Small Business Administration and a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, finally made the goal of relocating the brewery from Portsmouth to Hampton a reality.

"We are really, really in debt now," Egelston joked. "The long journey we took here makes it more rewarding to be standing here in this location."

Steven McHenry of McHenry Architecture PLLC out of Portsmouth designed the 35,000-square-foot production facility for on-site brewing and bottling, as well as a 95-seat restaurant.

The project includes many conservation measures, including the preservation and repurposing of two historic buildings on the property, a high-efficiency waste treatment system and other energy-efficiency measures. The new building is in line for gold certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Egelston said the company rents its current location in Portsmouth and the site has several limitations.

"This new site is being designed as a brewery from the ground up, so it's logistically more efficient," he said.

Head brewer David Yarrington said he looks forward to doing business in a properly working brewery.

"This location gives us a lot of flexibility, not only for expansion but for holding events on the site," he said.

When asked if he was going to make a special brew to commemorate the company's move, Yarrington said he's been so busy that he hadn't even thought of that. But, he added, he wouldn't rule it out.

Several local politicians were on hand to help celebrate. State Sen. Nancy Stiles read a special Senate resolution to commemorate the groundbreaking, while U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who helped the company with the federal grant process, shared a few congratulatory remarks.

Shaheen said she was really excited about the project and it is a good example of a private, local and federal partnership.

"To see the drawings of this project and to envision what it's going to look like when it's complete is amazing," Shaheen said.

Shaheen said the two major benefits of the project are the jobs it will create and the fact it will allow more people a chance to drink Smuttynose beer.

"This is a great example of some of what we do right in New Hampshire," she said.

Smuttynose currently employs 41 people and is growing, according to Egelston. He said its beer is sold as far south as Florida and as far west as Wisconsin.

Construction on the new facility is expected to be complete in the fall of 2013.

Dean Warden and Gayle Sandusky serve beer to John Strickland and Jodie Gray Strickland of Hampton on Thursday during the Smuttynose groundbreaking event at the company's future location on Towle Farm Road in Hampton.
[Ioanna Raptis, Photo]

Steven McHenry of McHenry Architecture PLLC out of Portsmouth designed the 35,000-square-foot production facility being built on Towle Farm Road in Hampton.
[Rendering courtesy of McHenry Architecture PLLC]