DERRY — The owners of Cask & Vine and Doire Distilling are starting a third venture this spring: brewing their own beer.
Daydreaming Brewing Company will be located in the same building as the existing businesses and use a lot of the same equipment. It will focus on low-alcohol English-style ales, both on draft and on cask, according to owners Andy Day and Alana Wentworth.
Day said they hope to be up and running by April, with new taps installed in the front of the distillery space and an interior doorway connecting the tasting room to the adjacent restaurant.
The floor plan for the distillery includes a small area carved out for fermentation and storage, divided by a new half wall, per the regulatory requirements.
Over time, Day said he will be investing in one-barrel stainless steel, temperature-controlled fermenters until he collects a total of eight. He estimates each will cost about $1,600.
“That’s basically the biggest investment we have is the fermenters,” Day said.
Day said he hasn’t heard of any other distillery and brewery combinations like this in the area.
So far, Day has been successful at finding unique niches in the distilling market, by offering beer schnapps distilled from local beers, and recently launching a first-ever Distiller for a Day program where customers can pay to participate in the distilling process.
Day said he plans on making ales that range in alcohol by volume from 2.5% to 4.5%.
“That’s kind of our focus,” Day said.
He envisions having a flagship golden ale (around 3.5%), a bitter, an extra special bitter (ESB), a porter and an IPA. Each rotating variety will be available in traditional taps and a cask will be made of each.
There may be a couple higher-ABV beers such as a New England IPA and an imperial stout added to the mix as well. And other breweries have expressed an interest in collaborating with Daydreaming to create cask versions of their beers.
“I can’t overstate how excited other brewers are about this, even in town,” Day said.
He said Rockingham Brewing, Martha’s Exchange in Nashua and Henniker Brewing Co. in Henniker have expressed interest in collaborating so far.
There are also opportunities to create special beers using some of the liquors and barrels Doire produces from its distilling operation. For example, Day has an idea of creating a porter cask using rum-soaked oak chips from Doire’s Parlay Rum barrels.
Ultimately, Day said he hopes to create a culture around drinking the English-style ales that emphasizes the unpretentious joy of social gatherings he says are part of daily life in Britain.
“It’s inexpensive beer to make and inexpensive beer to pour,” Day said.
To that end, he hopes to start a regular pub night, where the bar stools are removed and 20-ounce “imperial” pints are served to try to recreate the feel of a London pub. He said he plans to start those events once a month and gauge people’s reaction.
“People would be hanging at the bar or standing at the bar,” Day said.
While they just obtained their federal permit two weeks ago, they applied for it in September. Friend and fellow brewer Ali Leleszi of Rockingham Brewing Co. in Derry contacted Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office to help push Day’s application through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Day said.
Pam Slack, the senior special assistant for constituent services in Shaheen’s office, worked with Day and the TTB to finalize the paperwork.
Day said he was extremely grateful for the help he got to move forward with the business plan, but said the delays highlight just how thinly spread the TTB has become in the wake of a rapidly booming brewing industry nationwide.
He hopes to finalize the town and liquor commission permits in the next couple of weeks.