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New brew
Able Ebenezer opens in Merrimack

06/26/14
By Stefanie Phillips food@hippopress.com



 Hard work pays off, and no one is a better example of that then the four founders of Able Ebenezer Brewing Company. After months of preparation, construction, research, development, hard work and, of course, some beer brewing, they can finally share their vision with the public.

Zach Rand, Carl Soderberg, Jim Wilson and Mike Frizzelle held their grand opening on June 14, officially opening their brewery in Merrimack. 
What is no doubt somewhat surreal for these guys is so inspiring to see. I attended their first official tasting back in the fall where they solicited feedback from friends on their proposed brand and brews. Then, the tasting room and a larger location were but a distant goal. 
The brewery is named after Ebenezer Mudgett, a New Hampshire colonist who was involved in the Pine Tree Riot back in 1772. After the British claimed large white pine trees for shipbuilding purposes, several sawmill owners in Goffstown and Weare rebelled, later flying a pine tree flag.
“We liked the local history and the spirit that embodies us,” Soderberg said. “We are able, we want to accomplish things and stand on our own.”
Rand, nicknamed “the glue that holds the group together,” and Wilson met at Plymouth State University. Rand and head brew master Frizzelle met while they were in the same platoon in the Army. Later, Rand and Soderberg met in the Army in a different platoon. Some years later, Rand and Soderberg connected while working at the same company.
After discussing the possibility of the brewery, they reconnected with Frizzelle, who moved to New Hampshire from the West Coast in the fall. Rand, Soderberg and Frizzelle all now live in New England, while Wilson, the brewery’s social media and marketing manager, lives in Texas. But Wilson  was able to attend the grand opening, along with Gov. Maggie Hassan, where a bottle-breaking ceremony made it official. 
Currently, Auburn Ale, Broad Arrow and Burn the Ships are available for tasting. Auburn is an Irish red ale named after the town where Able Ebenezer brewing began in Soderberg’s garage. Frizzelle fashioned this beer after Red Trolley, a beer from California. This beer is smooth and crisp with some subtle sweetness and notes of caramel and honey. It is recommended for brunch but is also a beer for any occasion. This is probably my favorite offering right now. It’s smooth and easy to drink, even for a light beer fan like myself.
The second beer is Broad Arrow, a hoppy IPA with 6.5 percent alcohol. This beer was a bit intense for me, but IPA fans will love it and find it easily drinkable. 
The final current offering is Burn the Ships, a unique smoked IPA brewed with smoked specialty malt. It is dry hopped to give it its smoke-filled quality. This beer is “surprising as it is revolutionary,” named for the founders’ experience of opening up the brewery and taking on this endeavor.
All three beers are available for tasting or for later enjoyment in 1- or 2-liter growlers and kegs. The guys plan to release more beers in the future. I am looking forward to that, because I tried a Belgian style and wheat beer cross at their private tasting that I wouldn’t mind having again.
Locally, Able Ebenezer beers are on draft at several locations, including the Country Tavern Restaurant in Nashua, High Street Farmhouse in Goffstown and New England’s Tap House Grille in Hooksett. Additional locations are planned in the future. 
While at a soft opening a few weeks ago, I got a tour of the new brewing area with much, much more space and more equipment. Frizzelle showed us the brewery’s fermenter, kettle, grain miller and collection of hops, all essential to the beer making process. 
The décor and feel of the tasting room, with its comfortable couches and high-top tables, makes it a nice place to relax and chat with family and friends while enjoying a nice, cold beer. 
Able Ebenezer Brewery, located at 31 Columbia Circle in Merrimack, is open Wednesday through Friday, 4-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon-8 p.m. Stay up to date at ableebenezer.com, where you can also sign up for a newsletter.  
 
As seen in the June 26, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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