Review: Mystic Three Cranes Cranberry Farmhouse Ale

Review of Mystic Three Cranes Cranberry Farmhouse Ale from Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, MA.

Type: Farmhouse Ale  ABV: 6.4%  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “Harking back to the time when noble Sandhill Cranes roamed cranberry-filled marshes. This beer pairs seasonal beer-making traditions with our native fruit – freshly harvested from a small Massachusetts cranberry bog. Mystic brewery sits at the base of Admiral’s Hill in the Mystic River Valley of Metro Boston. We focus on method and technique to recapture the mystic nature of early brewing at our fermentorium.”

The Reality: Smells like a traditional farmhouse ale, with notes of fresh grass and citrus. Familiar farmhouse flavors strike the palate first, with tastes of pepper, citrus, iron, faint malt and hops that all have a bitter cranberry backdrop that never really comes to the foreground. This beer finishes dry with a mild peppery aftertaste.

Final Verdict: It can’t be easy to make a beer with cranberries and not have the cranberry flavor be a dominant player, but Mystic has done just that. If you’re a fan a well-crafted farmhouse ales, you’ll feel right at home with this beer, and the addition of cranberry adds an additional layer of complexity and blends right in like it’s always been there. The beer definitely has a refreshing quality about it and would be the perfect remedy after a long day of tilling the field or harvesting a cranberry bog. It would also be delightful (and appropriate) at one of the countries many Crane Festivals (yes, they are real).