“Farm to table” has been a buzz phrase in food circles for a while now, but in the case of Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter, the slogan “farm to pint” is more fitting. It embodies the goal of owners Kara and Matt Richardson, the couple who built the brewery from the ground up over the past eight years.
Last month’s Raise the Barn Fest celebrated the state-of-the-art farm brewery’s new barn, which opened in 2020 and has quickly become a local favorite. Inside the spacious grange is plenty of seating on the floor level and in the cozy loft overlooking 30 or so brewing tanks. A wide range of beer is available, including traditional lagers, IPAs, and sours.
“We opened our new spot here at the peak of COVID so we never really got to celebrate at all,” says Matt. “We decided to have a grand opening/anniversary celebration and invited some of our friends from around New England to come pour
their beer, too.”
It took some time to reach this milestone. The brewery first opened in 2014 with a limited offering. “We started out as a hop farm, initially growing hops and selling them to some local breweries and home brewers. Farming and beer making is where our passion really lies,” Matt explains. “We opened a small brewery in our old barn on the farm and it caught on really quickly and gained a lot of traction – it sort of grew organically. We had no investors; it was just me and my wife. We’d make some money, and we’d sink it back into the business, buy some bigger tanks and make some more money and buy some more tanks. It kind of kept growing that way.”
Through their growth, the brewery has stayed true to the farm-to-pint experience. Matt shares that the goal has always been to use the farm’s resources in all aspects of production.
“We’re growing hops, which we use for specialty and seasonal beers. We started growing a lot of other things we use in the beer, too,” he says, listing spruce tips for
holiday brews; the fruit trees they’re planting now will eventually feed their sours. “We do a Marzen-style lager, which is a traditional Oktoberfest beer, called Farm to Fest. We have a couple of different
pumpkin beers that we do, from pumpkins grown on the farm – no sugar, no spices, just a nice malty beer.”
The brewery also hosts special events, including a Wednesday farmers market that launched this year, hosting 20-30 vendors spread out on the farm all summer. “We have live music, food trucks, and kids everywhere,” says Matt. More than a brewery, it’s a bustling community hub.
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