New In Town: Ledge Brewing Company
The Mt. Washington Valley’s beer scene got a bit bigger with the introduction of the new Ledge Brewing Company in Intervale. Located in the former Hartmann Model Railroad Museum building, this new three-barrel brewing company is producing some great beers!
Worthy of New England’s take on the IPA style of beer, this introduction brew was hazy, hoppy, juicy, and damn good. I had two of them.
On Saturday, October 24, Silas Miller, Ian Ferguson, and their head brewer Cody Floyd pulled off the opening of a brewery which was the culmination of over two years of hard work. The much-anticipated opening offered a single NEIPA (New England India pale ale) called “As You Wish.” Yup, just one beer was available for purchase. Worthy of New England’s take on the IPA style of beer, this introduction brew was hazy, hoppy, juicy, and damn good. I had two of them.
As with all businesses, it’s all about location, location, location, and the new brewery is located right off Route 16 at 15 Town Hall Road in Intervale. There is plenty of parking and an amazing outside area to enjoy fresh air, music, and food trucks. The taproom is large and inviting with plenty of tables, high-tops, and one super long concrete bar. As the name “Ledge,” might imply, there are large chunks of granite that adorn the bar, and pictures of the local scenery, including rock/ice climbing, extreme backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and one hell of a logo mural along the side wall. They are open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 12 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This place is a must for your Valley to-do list!
This begs the question, “Why would you ever want to open a brewery during these tough times we call the year 2020?” I, personally, am glad they pursued their dream, but what I really want to know is, “How did you do it?”
It is a great name, as it speaks to the local area’s hiking and climbing ledges, as well as those an extreme skier might jump over while enjoying the backcountry trails—and, of course, the legendary Tuckerman Ravine.
Seriously, who in their right mind would open any new business during these infamous times, let alone a brewery? Well, I sat down with Silas, Ian, and Cody to understand what went into pulling off the impossible. When I asked the question, “Do you remember the moment when you thought, ‘This dream is really going to happen?’” Silas responded, “It was putting down the 20 percent deposit on the brewhouse equipment.” He also added that he and Ian would drive around looking for possible locations when they discovered their current location. He described it as “being in the right place at the right time.” For Cody Floyd, he recalls a “walk-through of the space where he could visualize the actual brewhouse.” Cody’s moment of truth was further cemented while “breaking ground where they pulled out the wet saws and started to cut in the future brewhouse drainage system; and when eight pallets of their brewing equipment were delivered to the site.
William Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” So, where does the name “Ledge” come from?” I was told this was a name Cody dreamed about for a long time. It is a great name, as it speaks to the local area’s hiking and climbing ledges, as well as those an extreme skier might jump over while enjoying the backcountry trails—and, of course, the legendary Tuckerman Ravine.
Let’s talk brewery financing!
I asked, and it was explained to me that a group of local friends and business owners invested the initial seed money to get the ball rolling. Like any other startup venture, business loans were acquired, and they put in their own money to make the dream a reality. As Silas put it, “Any extra money you made went directly into the brewery.”
While the buildout of the taproom and brewhouse were in full swing, the three guys, and their families, were working full-time jobs, and staying safe. This isn’t just Silas, Ian, and Cody, but an entire family affair.
What were some of the first hurdles and roadblocks?
When producing and serving an alcoholic beverage, there are many legal and government regulations that must be adhered to in order to open a brewery. I inquired about the permitting and licensing process, and Silas responded, “Everyone was excited about a new brewery coming to town. But then the permit costs, code enforcement costs, and the buildout of the space started to rise, and eventually exceeded the projected budgets, as well as the timeline. The Federal Government’s TTB licensing was four to five months of processing—with little communications. As for the State of New Hampshire licenses, “they referred to the local government’s approval and followed suit. That was the simplest part.”
How much time did the project consume?
While the buildout of the taproom and brewhouse were in full swing, the three guys, and their families, were working full-time jobs, and staying safe. This isn’t just Silas, Ian, and Cody, but an entire family affair. As the task list grew larger, they pulled in local Valley craftsman Paul Doucette to be, as Cody put it, “the man behind the curtains,” and relied on him to continue the construction process when the others were working their other jobs and unavailable. It is evident while talking to the whole crew that this really is a labor of love. There were a million punch-list items that needed to be completed, and the team came together and knocked them off one at a time. The last item was to unlock the front door and let in the first brewery customers.
Silas and Ian are all about mountain adventures and they wanted the brewery to be a place where they would go after a long day in the Whites and grab a pint or two.
The vibe is strong with this brewery.
When I asked Silas what the Ledge brewery’s vibe would ideally be, his face lit up and he explained: they want it to be a place where people can après after recreating and celebrating the outdoors in the Mt. Washington Valley. Silas and Ian are all about mountain adventures and they wanted the brewery to be a place where they would go after a long day in the Whites and grab a pint or two. Their circle of family and friends are all about the outdoor sports scene, as are groups such as the Ski The Whites, Granite Backcountry Alliance (GBA), rock and ice climbers, hikers, cyclists, and, of course, beer enthusiasts.
They are open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and 12 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This place is a must for your Valley to-do list!
What about brewing beer?
The head brewer Cody’s passions are coffee, motorcycles, and most importantly … beer. He said, “I was a barista for a while, but beer was way better.” Cody, who brewed for the likes of The Moat, Smuttynose, and Foundation Brewing company, wants to brew everything. Over time they [Ledge] will settle in on flagship brews, but he’d love to get into some sour beers, Berliner Weisse, lagers, pilsners, and so on. He can definitely see the Ledge Brewing Company getting into barrel-aged brews, mixed/wild fermentation, and a koelschip [pronounced cool ship] to take it to the next level.
There were a few more styles bubbling away in the fermenters, and as I interviewed him, Cody was brewing a Mosaic pale ale. I can attest that the malt aroma in their brewhouse smelled amazing.
Cody wants to offer a variety of different beers on tap so their patrons can experience something different at each visit. As of this writing, the Ledge currently has five beers to choose from, which include a Mexican lager, a coffee stout, an IPL, their NEIPA and a grisette/saison. There were a few more styles bubbling away in the fermenters, and as I interviewed him, Cody was brewing a Mosaic pale ale. I can attest that the malt aroma in their brewhouse smelled amazing. I cannot wait to try it. When asked about the equipment needed to make all the magic happen, Cody said, “It is important to have the proper size brewhouse that is manageable, efficient, and simple to use.” He told me they looked at a lot of different sized setups and equipment before settling on the three-barrel “stout” system they brew on today. He is beyond certain that they have the right system in place to achieve all their brewing needs for today and beyond.
As both a cellarman and a brewer in the industry, I want to welcome Ledge Brewing Company to the Valley. Best of luck to you. Congratulations.
Visit Ledge Brewing Company at 15 Town Hall Rd, Intervale, NH or online at www.ledgebrewing.com.
Other Great Breweries to Discover in MWV
Moat Mountain Brewing Co. Intervale, NH – www.moatmountain.com (603) 356-6381
Saco River Brewing Fryeburg, ME – www.sacoriverbrewing.com (207) 256-3028
Tuckerman Brewing Co. Conway, NH – www.tuckermanbrewing.com (603) 447-5400
Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co. West Ossipee, NH – www.hobbstavern.com (603) 539-2000
Sea Dog Brewing Co. No. Conway, NH – www.nconway.seadogbrewing.com (603) 356-0590
Rek’•Lis Brewing Co. Bethlehem, NH – www.reklisbrewing.com (603) 991-2357
Ledge Brewing Co. Intervale, NH – www.ledgebrewing.com
Woodstock Inn Brewery No. Woodstock, NH – www.woodstockinnbrewery.com (603) 745-3951
Iron Furnace Brewing Franconia, NH – www.ironfurnacebrewing.com (603) 823-2119
Schilling Beer Co. Littleton, NH – www.schillingbeer.com (603) 444-4800
Copper Pig Brewery Lancaster, NH – www.copperpigbrewery.com (603) 631-2273
One Love Brewery Lincoln, NH – www.onelovebrewery.com (603) 745-7290