Mystic Brewery Blends Old World Tradition with Modern Beersmithing

Mystic Brewery Blends Old World Tradition with Modern Beersmithing
Mystic Brewery
174 Williams Street | Chelsea, MA 02150

Mystic Brewery is located in historic Chelsea, Massachusetts. A place that isn’t “afraid of no stinking microbes,” they brew new beers in the old tradition.

With a Ph.D in agriculture and years of homebrewing under his belt (did I mention he once founded a garage punk rock band?), Founder and ‘Fermenterer’ Bryan Greenhagen was inspired to open Mystic Brewery after honeymooning in Belgium. The brewery was established in 2011, bringing artisanal ales to New England, selling beer primarily in large-format bottles.

EntranceCertified BJCP beer judge and award winning homebrewer Adam is the Lead Brewer. Another accomplished homebrewer (including New England Homebrewer of the Year in 2008 and winner of the 2009 Master Championship of Ameteur Brewing) Alastair is head of Reasearch and Development.

I recently visited the tasting room at Mystic Brewery. The entrance is along the right side of the industrial building. I almost felt like I was traveling into a medieval castle as I saw the Mystic Brewery flag flying and the lanterns glowing. I walked up the ramp and entered the massive metal doors.

A “wall” of empty barrels separate the seating area from the bar, and regal flags hung on the walls resembling stained glass windows. I noticed the table of large cork-and-cage bottles with the large chalk board above boasting the day’s available beers.

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I was quickly welcomed and offered a tasting sheet. “Would you like a flight?” was the question I was waiting to hear. Windows behind the bar offered an unobstructed view of the brewing area, and large, rolling, wooden doors separated the space from the brewery.

I sampled their full line-up of beers, which included:

  • Table Beer – This 4.3% ABV “Artisanal Lawn-Mowing Beer” gets its distinct flavor and texture from the house yeast strain.
  • Mystic Saison – This 7.0% ABV Belgian farmhouse ale is refreshing, effervescent, and dry with pepper and pear notes. The beer is clean, bright, and very aromatic.
  • Flight of the Earls – This 5.7% ABV Blended Irish Stout was my favorite of the line-up. Roasty and delicious!
  • Saison Renaud – This 6.5% ABV modern, yet traditional farmhouse ale is clean and crisp with spicy and fruity notes. It’s brewed with pilsner malt and Saaz hops, and fermented with the house yeast.
  • Mary of the Gael – This 6.7% ABV Spring Saison is refreshingly hoppy. It’s brewed with a base of pilsner malt, a touch of honey malt and is dry-hopped with a large amount of floral hops.
  • Day of Doom – This 12.0% ABV quad is brewed with Pilsner malt, wheat, Saaz hops, and the Renaud yeast culture.
  • Wigglesworth India Wharf Pale Ale – This 5.1% ABV pale ale is part of the Wigglesworth Real Ale series.


Several bottles were available to go including 2011 Cellared Descendant (strong dry stout made with molasses and Saison yeast), Saison Renaud, Table Beer, Old Powderhouse (an 11% ABV wheatwine), Saison, Mary of the Gael, Amais (Belgian dark ale), Flight of the Earls, and Day of Doom. A current list of the tap and bottle list at Mystic Brewery can be found on their website.

BarrelsI picked a bottle of Entropy. WIth this beer, Mystic Brewery defined a new category of beer. This high-gravity creation, is fermented in four stages with four different yeast strains (house Trappist strain, a French white wine yeast, a sherry yeast, and an English barleywine yeast). The beer has been described as a a barley port, imperial Belgian, a triplequadruple, or a ‘Boston Cognac’. We will definitely taste this unique creation on a future episode of Beer Busters.

Mystic recently announced that the brewery’s tasting room will re-open as Artisanal Beer Cafe on Wednesday, June 18th, a classic artisanal beer cafe with full beer pours. The cafe will offer food later in 2014, including local and imported cheeses, charcuterie, and breads. Tasting flights will also be available.

Other exciting news: In 2015 the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) silver line will start service to Chelsea including a stop three blocks from Mystic Brewery! This easily adds Mystic to my list of regular stops when visiting Boston.

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