The first batch of beer from the new Chelsea Brewery hit shelves recently and the reviews have been positive. The Mystic Brewery, LLC’s signature beer Saison can now be found a local liquor stores like Fernandez Brothers and restaurants like Larry’s House of Q on Broadway.
The owners of Mystic Brewery, who signed a lease in March and begun preparations to bring a Belgian-style brewery to Chelsea, completed its first batch in late fall and the craft beers like Saison and Suffolk Dark Ale will give any other small batch brew a run for its money.
Mystic Brewery concept has been to make pre-industrial style beers, like those from Belgium, but with a distinct New England agricultural influence.
The brewery, located at 174 Williams St. in the New England Produce Market area, is run by MIT trained fermentation scientists Dr. Bryan Greenhagen, PhD, his wife Emily Greenhagen and professional brewer James Nicholson.
When the three brewers first opened, they said the focus would be on their flagship beer, Mystic Saison. Mystic Saison was built from Greenhagen’s fourteen years of home brewing 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 has resulted in a solid craft brew.
“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.”
With a focus on these specialty beers such as Saison and barrel aged beers made with regional and exotic fruits as well as finely crafted after-dinner “malt cordials, the first batch of Saison has met beer enthusiasts’ expectations.
According to the brewers at Mystic, Saisons were traditionally brewed for refreshment during the summer months. They describe their Saison as light in color, effervescent with a billowy, well-retained head — it is very dry and strongly aromatic with light pepper and pear overtones. Heavier in alcohol at 7% abv, it finishes clean and bright, with a very light bitterness.
Mystic has made its Saison in line with Belgium tradition, style and ingredients.
“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.”