A Brand New Brewery Is Steeped In New Hampshire History
Nashua's Millyard Brewery plans top open by early September. Here's what you can expect of this newcomer that's rich in NH history.
Nashua is one of those great New England cities that has its foundations in the textile mill industry of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Owing much to their heritage, cities like Manchester and Nashua are proud of their history as partly evidenced by how many old-timey mills were converted into office spaces, condos and even college campuses. And it’s the history of the mills that the co-owners of the Millyard Brewery, Dean Baxter and Ken Unsworth, are celebrating with their beer.
Brewmaster Ken Unsworth, a New Hampshire local, learned his trade in Colorado and has been brewing at home for over five years. Dean Baxter, the business side of the operation, is a native of New Zealand who lived in Australia for a time. Work led him to the states and through a mutual introduction he met Ken, “and then from there we got some money and got organized.”
Although the goal is to eventually be housed in the Nashua millyards, the brewery has a location right next door to vertical dreams where people can go to relax and unwind after a strenuous wall climbing session. “We really wanted to be in the millyard,” says Baxter, “but the cost and the nature of the area in terms of a lot of the environmental problems they’ve got there and the age of the buildings [was too much].”
There is certainly potential to expand into a larger space. The craft beer industry has been going through a rapid increase in activity as of lately; many call it the Craft Beer Revolution. Millyard Brewery is well aware of this. “Just as water, community and innovation powered the industrial revolution over 150 years ago, again these same credentials are the source behind a growing beer industry in the North East.”
As for the people behind the revolution, Baxter sees a strong enthusiasm for local, craft beer in the Millenials. “When it comes to learning and doing new things, new ways of doing things and picking up on ideas, they really jump to that,” says Baxter adding, “if we look just at the number of hits on our Facebook page and our website, over 40 percent of the people are Millenials so I think there's an immense interest in this industry and they really drive it.”
Millyard Brewery will feature four year round beers each named in honor of local history. The Jackson IPA was named for the Jackson Manufacturing Company, one of the many mills in the area back in the mid-1800s. The Amoskeag Pilsener was named for Manchester’s Amoskeag Mills, which were some of the largest of the time. Boot Porter comes from Kirk Boot, a founding leader of the Merrimack Mills in Lowell. Then, of course, there is the Nashua Pale Ale, Millyard Brewery’s session ale.
In addition to the four staple beers the brewery will produce seasonals as well as specialties offered to people enrolled in their beer club. “We’d like to do a members beer each month” says Baxter, “We’ve already got a number of requests from people who are seriously interested in different styles of beer that they maybe don’t see so much. And we’ve also seen some really interesting style beers on the market recently that I think are gonna just pop, people are really going to love them.”
Expect Millyard Brewery to be open for business by the end of August into early September.