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Dover's 7th Settlement brew pub shifts gears to focus on making beer

Union Leader Correspondent

May 20. 2018 10:39PM
David Boynton and Josh Henry hang out behind the bar at 7th Settlement in Dover in 2017. The brew pub, which established a no-tipping policy in September, now plans to focus on brewing and is looking for a partner for the food side of the business. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/UNION LEADER FILE)

7th Settlement in Dover is closed for renovations as the company’s owners reconfigure their license with the state. Financial issues have forced a change in the popular brewery’s business model. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

DOVER — A Dover brewery and restaurant that gained attention for eliminating gratuities last year is shifting its business from serving food to focus on making beer.

The owners of 7th Settlement Brewery have closed the business until Wednesday as they reconfigure their license with the state. Last week, the owners announced plans to expand their brewing and distribution capacities and to partner with someone to take over the restaurant side of the business.

The owners made headlines last year when they instituted a no-tipping policy. At the time, co-founder David Boynton said making the move would allow 7th Settlement to offer full-time employees fair wages and the same benefits companies outside the restaurant industry offer. Boynton said in September they had 45 employees.

Multiple attempts to reach Boynton via phone and email last week were unsuccessful.

Restaurant patrons said they are hopeful 7th Settlement will continue.

Chris Karampatsos and his wife, Lori, are mug club members and said they visit 7th Settlement at least twice a week. They live about a mile away and walk to the brewery.

“I like the Gerrish IPA the best, but I like to try something new when it comes out,” Karampatsos said Thursday.

Karampatsos is concerned about the staff members who may lose their jobs.

“I think with the changes a lot of those people are going to be gone. It’s sad,” Karampatsos said. He said he and his wife choose to go to 7th Settlement because staff members know and care about them.

Customer Bruce Casassa, who said he is a big fan of 7th Settlement’s brews, is optimistic about the changes.

“If they stay true to their philosophy (quality, local ingredients and sense of community), they can’t really go wrong,” Casassa said.

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