By: Michelle Gittleson, NHGSA Intern Student
Formerly known as Milly’s tavern, Stark Brewing Company is turning heads with it’s innovative craft brewery and distillery. The only combined brewery and distillery in New Hampshire! Owner Peter Telge, and his staff hosted the New Hampshire Granite State Ambassadors for a tour and their hospitality was wonderful.
With a beautiful revamped Manchester mill, the Stark Brewing Co. has constructed its location to meet the needs of all – with a pub, dining area, brewing area, distillery, and banquet room. It is interesting to note that the pub, dining area, banquet room, and beers are named after German Shepherd Dogs that Peter has owned through the years!
Peter started off by educating the volunteers about the rich history of the company, the uniqueness of the building, and the licensing that Stark had to obtain in order to become the first dual brewery and distillery. During the tour, we got to see first hand some of the ins and outs of the brewing and distilling processes, along with how they package their beers.
The 6 pack holders are made from 96% recycled materials and they can about 10-12 per minute, shipping cases of 100 to stores around NH.
Stark believes that cans are growing in popularity in the industry due to low shipping costs and the proven statistic that they are 5x more likely to be recycled than bottles. They also embrace recycling during their Grumpy Pumpkin brewing process by trading their used grain and barley with fresh organic pumpkins from a local farmer. Everyone agreed it was one of the best pumpkin brews they’d ever tasted!
In between exploring each section of Stark, the volunteers were able to try a couple of signature apps on the pub’s menu and sample beer and vodka as well. The chicken tenders were amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the beverages too! Stark also uses their beer in multiple dishes on the menu and have a variety of brews fit for anyone’s pallet.
They are a busy place – Hosting poetry nights, salsa lessons, sports teams, board game competitions, birthdays, and more! There is definitely something for everyone! They have earned over 20 medals during tasting competitions around the world. Our volunteers were delighted with the visit and have already been telling many locals and visitors of NH to go check out Stark Brewing Co.
Stark Brewing Co.’s signature beer and vodka can be found at local grocery and liquor stores. They hope to expand their shipping to nationwide very soon. Check them out at 500 N Commercial St, Manchester, NH and combine your visit with other breweries on the Visit NH Brewery Map.
Below you can read some of the thoughts and comments from our GSAs who attended:
“There was a lot of information shared on both your history and brewing. The IPA beer (my beer of choice) was excellent! I did not realize how accessible your brewery was for those in vehicles and that you have a wonderful room for events or group gatherings. This is a huge bonus. I have already started sharing my new found knowledge with friends and guests. By the way the chicken tenders are very tasty. Thank you for providing us with this excellent learning opportunity. “ – Kathryn S.
“The tour of the Stark Brewery was wonderful, very enlightening and tasty. It was interesting to learn about all the various beers they brew and distribute. Their canning process was fascinating. It was fairly simple and quite a bit of it was manual. The description of the process where a number of people handle the various steps was great. It’s amazing how many cases of beer they can process in a day. I enjoyed hearing about their arrangement with a farm. They give them the output of their brewing process, which is used for feed, and in turn the farm gives them pumpkins for their seasonal ale. What a great setup! And the pumpkin ale was great! The food we sampled was delicious. They have a great setup for handling events with a few different rooms and an accommodating attitude. Thanks to Peter for an excellent tour!” – Sue G
“I really enjoyed the tour and thought Peter was warm and anxious to show how proud he is of the brewery and restaurant. The food he had them put out was great and that encourages me to recommend this to people I meet. The beer and of course the vodka I tasted I also thought was very good. The stories he told were entertaining and I did learn some things about making vodka! Thank you for arranging this tour.” – Nancy S.
“Hi Peter: I enjoyed your informative tour of Stark Brewery Co. That knowledge will come in handy when I volunteer at MHT to visitors coming to NH. Your samples of vodka and beer were great….loved the appetizers especially the award winning chicken tenders.” Thanks so much. Lorry Y. GSA 2006
“I had a great time at the brewery. They are very knowledgeable about their craft. I live very close but was unaware of their existence and that their was a restaurant as well. The chicken tenders were awesome. Everyone was so nice and very accommodating. I have been recommending this place to many people already.” – Rose Marie C
“The Vodka was smooth as silk. It would be a shame to add orange juice to it.” – Tony E