For someone who doesn’t ski or snowboard, spending some time in the White Mountains during the winter might not seem worth the trouble. Not going to lie, the wall of white out conditions I hit driving through Franconia Notch Parkway had me wondering that myself. But, there were breweries to visit (and an ice castle to explore), so weather be damned, we got to our hotel and had ourselves a ski town weekend.
Onto the brew review!
Located in an old train station on Main St., the building that houses the main facility is huge. Aside from the brewery sections (one on the main floor, one downstairs) there is a large bar room, an upstairs tap room and function hall, two dining rooms in the front and side, a side bar room and summer seating outside at the “Beaver Dam” bar. As busy as it was, it was large enough that it was easy to find a place to have a drink and grab some food.
Most known for their Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, they currently have a rotation of 19(ish) beers. During the tour, they stated that the British style of brewing that they do doesn’t allow them to brew lagers and other bottom fermenting – cold conditioned styles. They have essentially accepted their limitations and put their focus into putting out the quality brews their system allows.There were 11(ish) beers on tap, and I tried a good amount of them: Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, Red Rack Ale, Woodstock IPA, Uncle Lumpy’s Vanilla Porter, Old Man Oatmeal Stout, Wassail Winter Ale, Live Free or Die Black IPA.
Of those that I tried, the only one I wouldn’t drink regularly is the Live Free or Die. I found that IPA too bitter for my taste, but I know there are many (judging by those on the tour) who would find this enjoyable. The others were mainly even and smooth, and infinitely drinkable. My Pick overall is Old Man’s Oatmeal Stout. Lighter stout than usual, but didn’t lack the creaminess you’d expect.
Woodstock offers a $9 brewery tour which gives you the tour of the 2 brewing rooms, 4 different beer tastings, and a pint glass. For anyone interested in learning the process, there was plenty of opportunity for questions. I found it to be worth the money. It’s a fully functional restaurant, so there is plenty of food options and lunch was very good. There is a small store outside the brewery floor were you can purchase growlers, cans and other branded swag. There are 5 beer flights available in the main bar room.
Only really one tiny issue I had was sitting in the taproom upstairs, I was unable to get a flight. Had I known I would have tried to find a seat in the main room. Not a big deal, just not sure as to why the difference.
Woodstock Inn is the perfect spot to stop in for a tour, grab lunch and a flight. I can’t wait to go back later this year to get a test of the summer brews.
From the lady:
“Warm and inviting fireplaced atmosphere with delicious food. Beer tour was informative and provided plentiful samples for you to enjoy throughout. Even though we didn’t ski, this would have been the perfect place to go after to warm up.”
The Woodstock Inn Brewery is located at 135 Main Street North Woodstock, NH 03262 and at http://www.woodstockinnnh.com/brewery/