The Hippo


Mar 17, 2018








America On Tap comes to the Granite State with local, regional and international craft brews. Courtesy photo.

Granite State On Tap

When: Saturday, Nov. 15, 3 to 6 p.m.
Where: Radisson Hotel Downtown Manchester Expo Center, 700 Elm St., Manchester
Cost: $35 in advance, $45 at the door (on a space available basis); $10 for designated drivers, only available at the door (all festival-goer’s, included designated drivers, must be age 21 or older)

Craft on tap
Brew festival features craft beers from near and far


 Granite State craft beer fans have one more reason to celebrate the brewery scene in New Hampshire. America On Tap has recognized New Hampshire, and its largest city, for its growing craft beer industry and will be hosting the first Granite State On Tap brew fest Saturday, Nov. 15.

“We identified great potential in Manchester for an event,” said A.J. Bodden of America On Tap, which hosts craft beer festivals throughout the country. “Obviously I follow the trends of craft beer growing by double digits year-after-year … the Northeast is a hot spot. New Hampshire is a hot spot.”
The Granite State On Tap festival will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Downtown Manchester with local, regional and international craft beers, brewers and ambassadors. 
America On Tap selects states and cities where it will hold craft beer festivals based on the craft beer marketplace, local breweries, and locals’ interest in the craft beer industry. Next year, Bodden said, the festivals will be in about 27 states, including two potential festivals in New Hampshire in 2015.
Granite State On Tap festival-goers will receive a 5-ounce souvenir glass for unlimited sampling of over 100 craft beers. Breweries in attendance will include many local breweries, as well as producers of regional and international craft beers and ciders. Moat Mountain, Smuttynose, Henniker Brewing, Great Rhythm Brewing, Stark Brewing Company, Redhook Brewery, Woodstock Inn Brewery, Kelsen Brewing Company, 7th Settlement, 603 Brewery, Stoneface Brewing Company and Pup’s Cider will all be representing the Granite State. Neighboring New England breweries like Rising Tide of Portland, Maine, Sebago Brewing of Gorham, Maine, Magic Hat from South Burlington, Vermont, Long Trail from Bridgewater Corners, Vermont, Narragansett from Providence, Rhode Island, and others will complement the New Hampshire brewers. Other domestic craft beer breweries include brewers as close as Sixpoint Brewing and Brooklyn Brewery (both from New York) and as far as Kona Brewing from Hawaii.
“While our focus is on craft beer, we are trying to provide the consumer with a wide variety of beers and also ciders,” Bodden said. “You’ll see a bunch of New York state breweries that are well-respected. … Our goal is to provide the best variety of beer as possible under one roof.”
Don’t be surprised to see Sam Adams and Heineken at the festival either. Bodden said that those breweries will be offering craft brew varieties for sampling, not just the average Boston Lager or Heineken Lager. 
The main part of the festival will include the beer tastings, food vendors and live music, Bodden said, but there will be a silent disco, too, where attendees wear headsets and can switch between two DJ radio stations (imagine a room full of people dancing to music you can’t hear and singing along to different tunes).
“That’s something that we’ve found to be a lot of fun for people,” Bodden said. “This is what we call an ‘authentic beer experience.’ It’s more than just going into a room and drinking beer.”
Although it’s only its first year coming to New Hampshire, as of the end of October, Bodden said that the event had already sold 50 percent of tickets reserved for the event — “I expect this to sell out, no question,” he said.
“The thing about our events that I’m very proud of is, one, we’ll have a great selection of beer. There will be something there for everybody, whether you’re new to craft beer or you’re a beer connoisseur,” Bodden said.
If you can’t make it to Granite State On Tap this weekend, there are other America On Tap festivals happening in 2015, like Bangor On Tap (scheduled for Friday, Feb. 27) in Bangor, Maine, another in Portland, Maine (expected in January) and a Portsmouth festival in April.
“We could potentially be back [in Manchester] in the fall with our Oktoberfest model,” Bodden said. 
As seen in the November 13, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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