(NECN: Lauren Collins, North Woodstock, N.H.) - You can't be the best brewery in New England without some pretty good beer, and the brew master at the Woodstock Inn Brewery says good beer starts with good ingredients.
"Just like a cook goes about preparing his meal, he wants the freshest and best he can get, we do the same with our beer," says Butch Chase.
Scott and Peggy Rice opened the inn and restaurant 30 years ago, and fired up the fermenters in 1996. The brew business has been great for nearly a decade, says Scott, "and really the last four or five years it's just grown 20, 30 percent every year"
The most popular brew is the Pig's Ear Brown ale.
"It's 4.3-percent alcohol, 25 IBUs. It's delicious beer, it's not bitter, it's wonderful to drink," says the Brewery's Garrett Smith.
"I had the Pig's Ear Brown," says visitor Melissa Troisi, and it was "Excellent. And I can't wait to have another one."
The philosophy is simple: craft a brew that appeals to the masses.
"We really ran into that a lot," says General Manager Keegan Rice of the goal to turn Bud Light drinkers into Woodstock drinkers.
"They'd try it and be like, 'Wow! There's a whole world of beer out there that I never even realized before!'"
Al Simensen doesn't usually drink beer, "but they've got a couple of specials that I really, really enjoy."
Woodstock's new brew house opens in November and will allow this family run business to increase its New England wide retail operation, though nothing compares to the experience of sipping a pint just feet away from where its made.
Rosanna Ely appreciates that about craft brews.
"I just like the uniqueness, I like the flavor. I like that you go somewhere different and it's a little bit different everywhere that you go."
"When (people) go to buy a six pack in the store," says Keegan Rice, "they can say, 'Hey, that beer's not only good but that place is awesome and it's an awful lot of fun.'"
"And that's what the craft beer movement is all about," says Smith, "is learning the stories of the breweries, learning the stories of the people behind the beer."
The Woodstock Inn Brewery is on route 3 in North Woodstock, New Hampshire and offers tours daily.
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