Seacoast's Stoneface Brewing Company is growing
The Stoneface Brewing Company logo features the flower of the hop plant — a famous ingredient in the brewing process — and if you look closely you'll see it bears another famous image: the silhouette of the Old Man of the Mountain. The company's business manager Erol Moe says that it was an intentional nod. The company's name was derived from an old Nathaniel Hawthorne story that referred to the Old Man as "stoneface." Both Moe and brewing business partner, Peter Beauregard, wanted to pay homage to their roots since both of them are from New Hampshire.
The company was started by three friends, though the third friend is less operationally involved. Neither Beauregard nor Moe had any background in beverages or manufacturing, but they worked at a high tech company together 15 years ago. Beauregard was home-brewing and got Moe into the hobby. It wasn't long before Beauregard was winning awards, like a gold medal in Boston for an IPA, and friends were nudging: Why aren't you doing anything with this?
Stoneface started brewing on Jan. 5, 2014. They sold their first beers on the market at the seacoast winter brew fest in February. The following week, Stoneface beer was on draft in different places. Since then, the company has built out the tasting room and started bottling their beer.
The company started as a 15 barrel brewery, which, Moe explains, is big for a startup microbrewery. Recently, the company installed 30 additional barrel fermentation tanks, now totaling 45. They tripled their beer production and can now produce 90 kegs a week. That's about 2,000 barrels a year. When the company hits about 4,500-5,000 barrels a year, Moe says they will expand.
Among those barrels being filled now, there are Beauregard's IPA that has garnered national attention, a pale ale, and an Indian Red Rye. Beauregard has also been busy brewing a Russian Imperial Style beer that will be released this Thanksgiving. "We're really excited about this Russian Imperial," Moe says. "We really want to make beer that we like to drink. We hope [customers] like them, too."