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New brewery for Woodstock inn

Special to the Union Leader

March 27. 2012 11:22PM

NORTH WOODSTOCK - Folks who like to quench their thirst with Pig's Ear Brown Ale and tame their appetite with a hearty Death by Sandwich can still do so during the $3 million expansion this spring and summer of the Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery on Main Street.

Ground was broken Monday for the project, which will include a new 30-barrel brewing facility, entertainment venue, and 150-seat function room. In November, one of the inn's five lodging properties was moved across a side street from its place at the rear of the inn to make way for the new quarters for the businesses' award-winning brewery.

'We'll be open throughout the project and, in fact, we've shuffled things around so that there is even more seating now than before the construction started,' owner Scott Rice said. 'We will not be closed at all. Our customers will find a few temporary changes.'

At the groundbreaking were representatives from the agencies and companies making the expansion possible. Representatives from the Lawton Company, Alba Architects, Union Bank and the Grafton County Economic Development Council, along with the Rice family, were on hand with shovels and smiles. On Sunday, patrons celebrated the beginning of the construction phase of the project, with a Tearing Down the House Party at the Woodstock Station's main bar.

The dining and lodging property has grown over its 30 years in operation, and has become the largest employer in town. It has seating for nearly 300 guests in its several dining rooms.

The existing dining areas in the Inn and Station will get a make-over, too, with the reconfiguration of the restaurant spaces making way for the function hall.

'In three decades, we've become a part of so many lives, and yet, we've never been able to accommodate the demand for us to be the backdrop for occasions like weddings,' Rice said.

The additions include one of the largest solar arrays north of Concord, and green building practices will be used in the construction, and for the pleasure of dining and entertainment guests, a new Tiki bar on the patio.

The inn's 33 guest rooms are located in five properties. The business provides employment for 45 year-round positions, with the number of employees increasing to more than 100 during the busy summer and winter seasons. The expansion will allow the business to add up to seven full-time employees and numerous part-time employees.

The first frothy beverages from the new brewery are expected to be poured by the early winter holidays. The new function room will be ready in time for the holidays, too.


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