Patrick Sawyer hoists another stack of brown bottles on to the assembly line and watches as they’re filled with freshly brewed beer. Patrick is a bottler at the Woodstock Inn Brewery, a job created as part of a business loan made through the CDFA’s Community Development Block Grant program.
“This is the first job I’ve ever had with benefits,” Patrick says as another 72 ounces of 4000 Footer IPA is poured, capped, and labeled.
Scott Rice’s Woodstock Inn Station has been brewing its own beer since 1995, which was served exclusively in its restaurant. The handcrafted libations were so popular, Rice decided to bottle the drinks and sell them at local and regional retailers. The Woodstock Inn Brewery line includes Red Rack, Pemi Pale Ale, Loon Golden Ale, and the signature Pig's Ear Brown Ale.
But with limited space on site at the Inn, their craft beers had to be brewed onsite, then shipped to Maine for bottling.
Scott embarked on an ambitious expansion to increase their restaurant’s square footage and create a bottling operation to bring that work back to New Hampshire.
Through a grant to the Town of Woodstock, the Grafton County Economic Development Council was able to loan the business $140,000. Matched with other sources of conventional financing, the expansion was able to move forward and finish in 18 months. As part of the deal with CDFA, Scott pledged to create ten quality jobs, nine of which would be filled by persons of low-to-moderate income.
Patrick says he’s grateful for the opportunity to work full-time in his hometown. And why not enjoy working in local brewery? There are 99 reasons to love his job - 99 reasons for beer.
To see a photo gallery of pictures from the Woodstock Inn Brewery on Flickr, go to this link.