• December 27, 2017

Mystic Brewery

Regan Cleminson

When it comes to beer composition, hops and malted barley play starring roles—but for Mystic Brewery founder Bryan Greenhagen, it’s all about the yeast. With hundreds of varieties and strains available, these oft-overlooked microbes majorly impact the fermentation process.

For years Greenhagen worked in industrial fermentation, isolating and breeding yeast strains for companies across a range of industries. While pursuing postdoctoral studies at MIT he began home brewing on weekends for fun, and launched Mystic Brewery shortly after graduating.

As the team waited for a brewing license, they cultivated a house yeast strain, setting a new bar for the Chelsea brewery from the get-go. Mystic would focus on native fermentation, using local flora to ferment beer. It would also emphasize Old World methods, like the use of square fermenters and creative barrel aging. The result? A world of flavor that extends far beyond the typical.

Mystic launched with its Saison Renaud, a provision-style saison fermented with the company’s longest continuously cultured strain of yeast. It’s available year-round, along with two other core brews: Table Beer—which pays homage to the old Belgian tradition of serving very low-alcohol saisons at the dinner table—and Voltage IPA.

The remaining lineup consists of rotating limited releases. The fruit-forward Danger! Danger! Double IPA (which lives up to its name with a nine percent ABV) is another fan favorite, boasting impressively low bitterness for a hop bomb. Recently released unfiltered double IPA Citra Position is already quite the crowd-pleaser, unique for being a single-hop brew that features both Citra hops and Citra lupulin powder (an oil-rich hop dust), thus shining a spotlight on the juicy hops in multiple ways. Brewed with Cape Cod cranberries, Three Cranes is a tart ale with some subtle spice and farmhouse funk for good measure. The name Day of Doom says it all: This Belgian quadruple ale clocks in at a staggering 12 percent ABV, its potent flavor profile yielding dried fruits and a decent dose of malts.

Swing by the Chelsea brewery for a selection of around nine beers on tap plus several for purchase. Table Beer, Day of Doom, and Saison Renaud, for example, are all available in bottles, and Table Beer and Fabrication X are among a handful available in cans. Partake in Jenga, darts, and other games, and when hunger sets in, order a Neapolitan pie or hearty pasta from Ciao! Pizza & Pasta, which acts as Mystic’s kitchen Thursday through Saturday. Tours are offered by appointment only.

No need to trek to Chelsea to pick up Mystic’s suds; find them at The Wild Duck, Brookline Liquor Mart, Kappy’s Fine Wine & Spirits, and Total Wine & More. Or order Mystic on draft at Cultivar, The Ginger Man, Lulu’s Allston, Brewer’s Fork, Russell House Tavern, and Foundry on Elm.

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