With partners: Town of Peterborough; Monadnock Economic Development Corporation;
Native Construction, LLC; and Digz Excavating.
Peterborough’s G.A.R. Hall began its life in 1837 as The Peterborough Academy, the first organization for higher education in Town. After six decades of fluctuating student enrollment, it was deeded to the Town of Peterborough for a meeting hall for Civil War veterans, then a post of the American Legion, and eventually a Teen Center.
After several subsequent owners and then vacancy, Peterborough’s voters gave consent at Town Meeting in 2013 to sell the property with a preservation easement. The building had been well-used in its 175-year life, and citizens – spearheaded by the late Duffy and Rick Monahan – wished for the building to continue its importance to Peterborough’s vibrant downtown.
Enter Erika Rosenfeld and Jeffrey Odland, who purchased the G.A.R. Hall in May of 2017 with plans to repurpose the historic space as a microbrewery. The building’s preservation easement prevented any exterior alteration that would affect its architectural significance and prevented demolition, but Erika knew the moment she walked inside the building that she could transform it into a valuable asset for both their brand and for the community.
The building got much-needed structural repairs, improved ADA access, and a geothermal heating system. Erika did much of the interior renovation work herself, which involved a lot of demolition of layers. With assistance from the Heritage Commission, which holds the easement, Erika adapted some plans and negotiated other interior choices to find balances that met the brewery’s needs and still met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.
The project represented a true community effort with overwhelming support from the Town’s administration and Select Board—including approval of RSA 79-E tax relief—Heritage Commission and townspeople, and countless crowdfunding supporters. And here’s what beer enthusiasts have to say about Post and Beam Brewing: “Ridiculously tasty beers and amazing atmosphere" ; “I love the atmosphere of the remodeled historic building”; and “Great place to pop in and chill while you sample some excellent beer.”
We’ll drink to that. Cheers, Post and Beam Brewing!