MEREDITH — The Lakes Region could welcome the summer of 2019 with a new brewery, if plans for Twin Barns Brewing come to fruition.
Twin Barns Brewing is the project of co-founders Dave Picarillo and Bruce Walton, friends for more than 20 years who met while they were both working for the same consulting firm.
“Whenever we were in an area, we would go and visit the local breweries,” Picarillo said.
The two followed their own professional paths but stayed in touch. This April, after Picarillo ended his career as an executive for a large food-and-beverage company, the two decided to go into business to fill a hole in the Lakes Region’s map of breweries.
Picarillo lives in Winchester, Massachusetts, but has a lake home in Moultonborough. There are many nanobreweries, defined as businesses that produce less than 2,000 barrels per year, hidden around the Lakes Region. But, as Picarillo noted, there aren’t any microbreweries, which can brew up to 15,000 barrels, between Tilton and Plymouth. So they began looking at properties around Winnipesaukee, finally coming to the barn — it’s actually two barns joined together — on Route 3 that most recently housed the American Police Motorcycle Museum and previously housed Burlwood Antiques Center.
Why did they land in Meredith?
“The town of Meredith is fantastic. In the summer, naturally, and they’ve done a great job developing as a winter destination,” Picarillo said. And, “We fell in love with the barn.”
The barn was built in 1850, he was told, and was originally built for a chicken farm somewhere else. It was moved to its current location, at 194 Daniel Webster Highway in Meredith, in the 1960s.
Twin Barns Brewing, which plans to open by June, will put its 10-barrel brewery on the first floor, and its pub and dining area on the second floor. The third floor will be removed to provide an airy, high-ceiling atmosphere for the 100 seats in the dining area. More seating will be available on a deck.
The food menu will feature snacks and pizza, “Things that go well with beer,” said Picarillo. “This will be a brewery with food, rather than a restaurant with a brewery. We really want to feature the beer,” he said.
The plan for the beer is to develop four products, such as a pale ale, stout and porter, that will always be on tap, and then four other taps that will rotate with the changing seasons and as the brewer tries out new recipes.
“We’ll let the brewer experiment and listen to the customers,” he said.
Picarillo will be the day-to-day face of the operation. Though he has more than two decades of homebrewing experience, he and Walton decided to hire a seasoned brewer. He can’t reveal who it is yet, but said that the brewer comes from a well-known New England brewery.
Twin Barns will sell beer in cans for customers to take away, and Picarillo plans to distribute as well. He encouraged interested people to connect to the company’s social media channels, and said they will hold a contest this spring to help name their beers. Contestants would be wise to suggest names that give the beer a sense of place.
“Part of what we want to create is a connection to Meredith, a connection to the Lakes Region,” he said.
And, though he and Walton are happy to fill a gap in microbreweries, they would welcome neighbors. “I think the Lakes Region could support a couple more,” he said.