|Photo courtesy Kathleen Baglio Humphreys|
February 2008 - Ranked 5th in Yankee Magazine's taste contest for Grade B maple syrup. Entries were from all of the New England states; the top five honors all went to New Hampshire sugarmakers!
September 2007 - 1st Place, Hillsborough County Fair, New Boston, NH
February 1, 2007––The Maple Guys–––Chris Pfeil and Chris Schoen of Lyndeborough, have again been awarded the Carlisle Trophy for excellence in maple syrup production. This competition, held at the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association annual meeting, selects the highest quality maple syrup from sugar houses around the state that won first, second or third place at a New Hampshire fair. The Maple Guys’ medium amber syrup placed second at the Hillsborough County Fair, but took top place at the Carlisle competition. Taking second place for the Carlisle Award was Bill Cheney of Homestead Maple in Campton, and the third place winner was David Burrows of Moultonborough.
The Maple Guys LLC has been in operation for ten years, and is located on Schoolhouse Road in Lyndeborough. Last year, the partners had 650 taps and made 120 gallons of syrup. In their new kitchen and showroom at their sugar house, they make and sell maple cream, syrup, granulated sugar, and candy, and proudly display the trophy they won in 2005. Their products are also sold at a New Boston store, a nearby ski area and through a gourmet gift basket distributor. In 2006, their sugaring operation was certified organic by the State of New Hampshire.
Their technique for making such high quality maple syrup is always keeping their equipment clean and boiling down the sap as quickly as possible. The men work together on all phases of production from tapping to boiling and packaging the finished product. They welcome visitors during the maple season, but recommend calling ahead at 801-3158 to see if they are boiling. They will be open for New Hampshire Maple Weekend, which is March 24 and 25. For those unable to visit their sugar house, The Maple Guys’ products may be purchased through their website at www.mapleguys.com. The Maple season is expected to begin about the end of February in Southern New Hampshire and a week or two later further North.
February 8, 2005--Chris Pfeil and Chris Schoen are neighbors and share a friendship. Eight years ago, they became partners in "The Maple Guys Sugar Shack" of Lyndeborough, NH, producing and marketing maple products. Now they share one more thing. The Carlisle trophy for the best maple syrup entered into the state-wide competition.
This contest takes place at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, and The Maple Guys' syrup earned a perfect score for its flavor, clarity and density. Rusty Colby of Boscawen captured second place in the competition, and Bodan Peters of Sugar Hill took third. In order to compete for the Carlisle trophy, each entry must have placed first, second or third at a New Hampshire fair. The Maple Guys' syrup won second place at the Hillsborough County Fair.
With help from their wives and small children, The Maple Guys produced about 120 gallons of syrup last year. They sell their maple cream, syrup, granulated sugar and lollipops from their sugarhouse on Schoolhouse Road, at three area stores and over the internet.
When they began sugaring, Pfeil and Schoen collected sap from over 300 buckets and boiled it down on a wood-fired evaporator. Their sugarhouse was built on an old foundation and originally had a dirt floor. One spring the frost heaved the evaporator out of level so badly, the blazing fire threatened to burn their pans. After that, the men cemented the floor, eliminating that problem.
Although they now use plastic tubing, they firmly believe they collected more sap with buckets. Their holding tank for sap is a 250 gallon stainless steel tank, which the men rescued from a decommissioned battleship. This year they are installing tracks for a G-gauge electric train, dubbed The Maple Express, which will carry jugs of syrup around the sugarhouse on flatcars.
The Maple Guys' secret for making such high-quality syrup is: boil the sap as quickly as possible and keep the equipment clean. They both agree that their work habits complement each other, and they are both very particular about cleanliness.
Now, with about fifteen cords of firewood at the sugarhouse, The Maple Guys are ready for this year's maple season, which is expected to begin in the southern part of the state about the end of February. During the season, they welcome visitors, but recommend calling ahead at 801-3158 to see if they are boiling.
Friends and neighbors often stop at the sugarhouse to visit and watch the first harvest of spring being made into pure maple delicacies. This year, The Maple Guys Sugar Shack will also be open to visitors during New Hampshire Maple Weekend, which is March 19 and 20. Stop by and try their award-winning syrup!