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Defiant Records & Craft Beer: A Belknap EDC Success Story

At just seven months old, Defiant Records & Craft Beer on Main Street in Laconia is already proving to be one of the hottest places in town. Situated next door to the newly renovated Colonial Theatre, Defiant has been an exciting addition to Laconia’s downtown, already abuzz with excitement for the Theatre which came back to life in spring of 2021.

Since its opening last August, patrons have been filing into Defiant for craft beer, delightful snacks, a great collection of albums to thumb through (available for purchase), and just an overall fun hang with good company. Since its opening, Defiant has also brought live music, open mic comedy, and even some “Yoga Mosa” Sundays to downtown.

Kristin Bastille, Co-Owner of Defiant Records & Craft Beer teamed up with Justin Slattery, Executive Director of Belknap EDC when she and her partner in business and life, Mike Testa were ready to bring their ideas to life. They wanted to open a business that filled a need for Laconia and would add to the growing city. They envisioned a place where everyone would feel welcome. With their combined passions, hers for craft beer, his for collecting albums, and together, their love of music, Defiant Records & Craft Beer fit the bill.

Through Justin and Belknap EDC, Kristin made a lot of connections to help her get the business off the ground and running. “They were a great source of resources,” says Kristin.

Justin connected her with:

- Architects to help get Defiant’s ideas on paper and plan the space.

- Bonnette Page and Stone (BPS), a local building construction firm, to work on the build out.

- Rita Toth, Business Advisor with New Hampshire Small Business Development Center who gave her guidance on everything business from A to Z.

Kristin says, “I would like to thank Justin from the Belknap Economic Development Council for helping us get this business off the ground and going and giving us the resources we needed to get where we are today.”

“The pleasure is all ours,” responded Justin. “We‘ve really enjoyed working with Kristin and her team and we’re excited for all the great work they’re doing. It’s such a fun atmosphere…an exciting place to hang out at Defiant.”


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