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In N.H., the new Spyglass taproom opens

The new Spyglass taproom in Nashua, N.H.John Wagner

Anyone who’s driven a long distance to a brewery for a beer run will feel some kinship with Spyglass Brewing Company cofounder John Wagner.

Before he was making and selling his own juicy IPAs and thick, fruited sours, Wagner was just like you, crisscrossing New England looking for the best versions of his favorite brews.

“We were all software guys,” Wagner says, referring to himself and brewery partners Joe Kidder, A.V. Subramaniam, and Jonas Johansson. “I was a homebrewer. We spent a lot of time driving to Tree House and Trillium and up to Portland. The hazy IPA scene was what we were really into, and there was nothing like that around where we lived.”


Where they live is Nashua, N.H., and in 2019 the group opened a small, 45-seat brewery and tap room there called Spyglass. Despite expanding the cellar three times and adding tanks to brew more beer, the space proved too small. Spyglass beers, saturated with hops for maximum aroma and mouthfeel, were selling quickly.

“It turns out when you open a little brewery and make that kind of beer, you get drunk dry pretty quick,” says Wagner, laughing.

Plans for a larger brewery were hatched before COVID hit, and as was the case with some breweries but definitely not others, the pandemic actually grew the business through online sales and can pickups. In an increasingly crowded New England brewing landscape, Spyglass stood out for the quality of its beers. Isaac Boucher, previously of Mystic and Night Shift, took over as production director and head brewer. A friend of mine couldn’t wait to share some cans of Spyglass with me, and I have a feeling I wasn’t the only one hearing of them through that kind of word of mouth.

Wagner says he took the inspiration for Spyglass from Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing and LA’s Monkish.


“The way they just take banger hop varieties and blend them together, mixing and rearranging the hops, and using a lot of them,” says Wagner. “Juicy is overused, but that’s what it is. It’s not super dry but it’s not super sweet, either. We try to hit a sweet spot in the middle.”

To date, Spyglass has brewed nearly 200 different beers, an astonishing number in just four years. Many of them are IPAs and double IPAs, with the most popular repeats — Object Oriented, Aspect Oriented, and Double Helix — named after physics or software terms. While Wagner says Spyglass is “known for our IPA game,” the brewery does make many other varieties, including stouts, sours, and traditional European lagers. Fans of Chelsea’s now defunct Mystic Brewery will be happy to know there’s currently a saison in the works.

The new taproom (306 Innovative Way, Nashua, N.H.) opened to the public last week, and features a combined 300 seats indoors and out, as well as a full-service restaurant. The taproom is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Gary Dzen can be reached at gary.dzen@globe.com.Follow him on Twitter @garydzen.