Hitchcock Brewing Company moving to Bernardston

  • Hitchcock Brewery brewer Chad Champoux and owner Rich Pedersen at the Whately brewery. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Hitchcock Brewery owner Rich Pedersen in his Whately brewery. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Hitchcock Brewery in Whately. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Hitchcock Brewery owner Rich Pedersen works at the Whately brewery. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • This green building across from Kringle Candle Company in Bernardston will be the new home for Hitchcock Brewing Company. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2019 4:57:32 PM

BERNARDSTON — Hitchcock Brewing Company is moving from Whately to Bernardston this summer. The new location will have a taproom, a first for the company.

Hitchcock will be moving into 203 South St., the big green building next to the Kringle Candle compound. Owner Rich Pedersen expects to open for business in mid-August.

Since opening in May 2016, Hitchcock Brewing Company has grown to sell its beer in about 150 to 200 locations around western Massachusetts, primarily in the Connecticut River Valley and the Berkshires, owner Rich Pedersen said.

“The next real growth opportunity is the taproom,” Pedersen said. “Right now we carry eight beers because we have eight taps. For our size, that’s plenty because we don’t have a taproom. So any beer we make, we have to find a market for. Up there (in Bernardston) we’ll probably increase to 16 taps, and we’ll do a lot more variety because we can sell it to customers. I don’t necessarily have to find a pub.”

At the current Whately location, customers can taste samples and buy beer to go, Pedersen said. Bernardston will have that too, but it will also be geared for customers to hang out and drink. The taproom’s decor will reflect the local history of Bernardston and the building’s past life as a motorcycle dealership, Pedersen said. There will also be an emphasis on hosting live music.

Pedersen also expects that the new location, just off the crossing of Routes 2 and 91, will be more attractive and more accessible to tourists. In Whately, about half of Hitchcock’s customers are locals, half traveling on beer-tasting trips.

“The beautiful thing that’s happening with craft beer is — craft beer on the weekends has become a sport,” Pedersen said. “People get on the beer trail. They travel the beer trail across the state. They find hotels, they go to restaurants. … They come here (to Whately). It’s just that we don’t have a pouring license. Up there (in Bernardston) they’ll come and watch some music, have a pint, and then move on to the next one.”


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