His passion is beer; his plan is growth for Lone Wolfe Brewing in Wolfeboro
Graham Combes is the brains, the brawn and the brewmaster behind the Lone Wolfe Brewing Co. in Wolfeboro. (LARISSA MULKERN)
The "Lone Wolfe" in question is founder and owner Graham Combes, 28, who turned his passion for home brewing into a business and profession after ditching a job as a car salesman in New Jersey. Graham and his wife, Jen, relocated to the Lakes Region, where Jen's family vacationed on Tuftonboro Neck, several years ago.
The couple has two young children, a boy, Cameron, 4, and a girl, Harper, 18 months.
The couple met while studying at the Brooks Institute, a photography and film college in Santa Barbara, Calif. They married after graduation then relocated to New Jersey, where Jen's family resided, before falling in love with the Lakes Region while here on vacation. Not one to shy away from hard work, Combes worked days for a landscaping company and nights as a bartender before opening the brewery, a dream come true for the couple.
In 2012, Combes entered his Single Hopped Citra IPA in the New England Homebrewer's Jamboree held in Tamworth. The beer earned a Gold Medal in the Light Beer (light in color) Division. Positive reinforcement like that boosted Combes' dream of opening his own craft brewery. So after nearly a decade of home brewing, reading and research that included working at the Portsmouth Brewery, he wrote a business plan, found an investor, leased the 800-square foot space, and opened the brewery and tasting room for under $100,000. In the near future, Jen will take over the tasting room sales and presentation leaving Combes with more time to brew in the adjacent brewing and fermentation rooms.
Combes, a jack of all trades, built and designed the décor in the tasting room using wooden planks from leftover pallets he accumulated over several months of deliveries.
"I wanted a sustainable design for the tasting room," he said. The wood from the pallets was used for the flooring, the tables, the wall coverings and the frames for the photography.
The tasting room is open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 1 to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
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