Great North Aleworks: NH’s Own Hits It Big

Less than two years. Great North Aleworks opened in Manchester in August 2015, and in less than a year and a half, they’ve taken the southern New Hampshire brewing community by storm.

Known best for their award-winning IPA (it’s their top seller), the 20-barrel brewery has also hit the mark with New England beer lovers for their Tie Dyed American Pale Ale. Tie Dyed is brewed with Citra, Amarillo, and Cascade hops, but it didn’t start out that way. Originally known as “Thai Dyed” (no fooling), it relied upon Sorachi hops from Japan.

There were two small problems: first, the beer wasn’t really blowing anyone’s doors off; and second, there was a little bit of brand confusion as consumers thought it contained Sriracha, the tasty Southern California chili sauce. Great North took the chance to pivot, rebranded the beer with a colorful can, and turned out a winner. This sessionable summer ale started as a seasonal beer and quickly was in full rotation.

The challenge with “Thai Dyed” wasn’t a common one for the meticulous team at Great North, though. “Employee number one was John Cataldo, our quality assurance manager,” according to Brian Parda, Sales & Marketing Lead for the brewery. “John’s background in brewing made it clear that the (Rob and Lisa) Norths’ commitment was to the quality of their product.”

Currently, Great North can only be found in New Hampshire. Thanks to a strong partnership with a distributor, it can be found across the state, but the Great North team has a special place in its heart for local craft brew stores and the relationships they cultivate with their customers.

Great North brews at their facility on the east side of Manchester that also doubles as a tasting room four days a week. For those of us who love beer and can’t always make a kid-free pilgrimage, the facility is kid-friendly and has wi-fi so you can enjoy a flight or pint while the little ones get sucked into a screen. They also feature a light snack menu and board games. More info is here.

The Great North team will be at Barley & Hops on Thursday, February 2, from 6-8pm. They’ll be sampling the well-regarded scarce DIPA Tragically Hopped, which sold out in short order… but Parda was able to secure a few for Barley & Hops for tasting. The scarcity model isn’t something that Great North aspires to, though. “We bring you a quality beer experience without having you stand in line,” says Parda.

Join us Thursday night for our tasting. Want to be the first to know about events like this? Join our Regulars and we’ll send occasional emails with great beer and event info.