Mystic Brewery, LLC has signed a lease and begun preparations to bring a Belgian-style brewery to Chelsea. Mystic Brewery will focus on making pre-industrial style beers, like those from Belgium, but with a distinct New England agricultural influence.
The brewery will located at 174 Williams St. in the New England Produce Market area.
The company was founded by MIT trained fermentation scientists Dr. Bryan Greenhagen, PhD, his wife Emily Greenhagen and professional brewer James Nicholson. Their focus will be on specialty beers such as saisons and barrel aged beers made with regional and exotic fruits as well as finely crafted after-dinner “malt cordials.”
“We see our efforts as a part of the evolution of craft brewing,” said Greenhagen. “First we rebelled against a near total lack of choice in the marketplace. Then we found we could not only make great beer but we could also push the boundaries of what Americans see as beer. Today we can finally return to the kinds of beer that were beloved and even thought to be sacred for millennia.”
Greenhagen added that his brew team loves the double meaning of Mystic, because it is not only a place his ancestors settled, but it is also exactly what people thought beer was for ages and ages–a mystical liquid made by a mystical process.
While it is well known in brewing circles that the fermentation and yeast selection is key to producing a quality beer, Greenhagen’s unique insight and devotion to that process, coupled with his success as a homebrewer, is what strives to set Mystic apart from others.
In trying to capture truly native New England character in their beer, Mystic has gone as far as isolating native New England brewing yeasts in an effort to capture what Greenhagen calls ‘beer terroir’ or what beers would have tasted like in New England even before the pilgrims landed.
In the first year Mystic Brewery’s focus will be on their flagship beer, Mystic Saison, a classic European-style saison. Mystic Saison was built from Greenhagen’s fourteen years of homebrewing experience and his career in flavor and aroma fermentation science. That coupled with the knowledge and experience of commercial brewing that Mystic’s head brewer James Nicholson gained at Capitol City Brewing Company in Washington, DC, as well as during his internships at Sly Fox Brewing Co. in Pennsylvania and Brauerei Merkel in Freudenberg, Germany should make for a good beer.
“I have a pretty singular focus on making the absolutely best beer possible,” said Nicholson. “We worked extraordinarily hard to create and refine the recipes for Mystic and we think this kind of hard work is what people deserve from their local brewery.”
Chelsea was chosen in part for the access to the produce markets and its proximity to the iconic Mystic Bridge.
“Chelsea is a film maker’s favorite because it’s a place that has real character,” said Greenhagen, “There is nothing pasteurized or homogenized about Chelsea. It’s been the home to hopeful and hardworking immigrants who built the fabric of America for generations. It’s a great place for a tribute to our collective origins and celebration of our cultural diversity.”
Tours will not be available the first year, but a tap room and tours are planned for a second phase build-out of the brewery anticipated in 2012. Mystic Brewery hopes to ship its first batch of Mystic Saison by mid-year 2011. Barrel-aged beers, requiring aging time, are planned to be available by the holidays. Cordials, requiring extensive aging, are planning to be introduced to the market by 2012.