MANCHESTER, NH – It didn’t take Michael Fusco long to know he was on the right track after opening the Woodstacker Beer Company Tap Room on Elm Street in Manchester.
Three months after opening the door, The Woodstacker Beer Company Tap Room is out of beer. It’s a good problem and presents the opportunity to press pause in order to make upgrades to guest experience and expand the brewery infrastructure.
Over the next few weeks Fusco will be working on upgrades and improvements with a grand reopening on Nov. 2.
“So far it’s been going really well,” says Fusco, who took a moment to chat as he was getting ready to open the doors at 850 Elm one more time in October in support of the Manchester Arts Commission Art Walk and Pigeon Hunt.
“The theme in our house is that we went from a question mark to an exclamation point,” Fusco explains. He did not expect so many people to be so supportive so quickly.
“It was something we were not prepared for, so as we started running low on beer we saw the opportunity to shut down and retool for the way we’re going to be as a business,” Fusco says.
To get to the next level Fusco has taken on an investor “who’s a close friend” and instead of pouring his specialty brews from a can, will be adding kegs and doubling the taps at the Woodstacker Beer Company Tap Room at 850 Elm Street.
“When we reopen Nov. 2 the beer will be on tap and we’ll have new beer varieties. As fast as we can we’ll rebrew all the beer varieties people have been enjoying all along. Hopefully this ensures we have eight beers available with regularity and provides some cover to start some more experimental brewing,” says Fusco.
He is also installing a walk-in cooler for all the kegs at his Derry brewery for optimum temperature control while transporting kegs between the brewery and taproom.
As part of the refresh, Fusco looks forward to expanding his own love of soccer to the brewery faithful by positioning Woodstacker as a hub for English Premier League and International soccer.
“When we come back we’ll be featuring English Premier League games on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. We want to offer a place for people to congregate, especially when the U.S. National team plays,” says Fusco, who became a fan of “the other football” as a kid growing up in the ‘90s.
“We’re going to have a TV screen but only for those events – we’re not going to show football or baseball or hockey,” Fusco says. “There are enough places with screens on Elm Street if you want a sports bar.” He adds, “I have not found a place that’s close enough to Manchester where you can get together for a United States game. It will be nice to see that community emerge.”
What Fusco appreciates most about the past three months has been seeing a community grow around common interests. He knows the group of people that frequent his tap room have diverse views, but all choose to focus on what they have in common when they’re together. “We’re cultivating the right environment, I think. Sometimes you can’t tell where one group of friends stops and another begins. The place can get loud in a good way. This place is about all things local so I think a lot of the negativity that’s out there fades away. Inside it’s a creative space that’s social.”
Speaking of the right people, Fusco also wanted to make sure his gratitude comes through.
“The best word I have for it is ‘overwhelmed’ in a positive way. I can’t thank our guests enough for the support they’ve shown. People went out of their way to visit us because they knew we were new and need support to thrive. I’m grateful but also overwhelmed,” Fusco says.
So taking a short break to upgrade the taproom and come back with even more things to love is the most obvious way to say “thank you” to his customers.
“I want to do it the right way. Now that we know it’s something the public responds to we want to take our time to get it right and we’ll be back stronger, and we’ll go from there,” Fusco says.