Brewery Review: Mystic Brewery (Chelsea, MA)

Brewery Review of Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, MA

Mystic is a truly artisanal brewery, focused on farmhouse and wild yeast styles, and reviving old brewing traditions. You can read more about their methods here, but the most important thing is the results they are able to achieve. Before we get to that, however, I would be remiss not to point out the logistics of their on-site tasting room.

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Mystic’s Chelsea, MA neighborhood location is really quite nondescript from the outside. The only thing that draws your eye is the really cool antique metal door, that seems otherwise out-of-place, but is a good beacon of what’s to come. Once inside, the tasting room is like stepping into old-world Europe, with rustic wood beams, a cobbled stone-front bar and barrels stacked high, visible in the next room. The tasting room also provides a great view of the brewing operation itself, and whoever serves you is likely one of the brewers (as that was the case on my visit). You instantly feel very connected to their vision of what brewing should be.

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But what about the product? Well, Mystic usually has six or seven of their beers available on draught on any given day, both available as growler fills and as full glasses in the tasting room. There is also a variety of their bottled beers (some quite rare) available for purchase. The selection of draughts is always changing and that’s a great sign in my book. Not only does it encourage return visits to try new things, but it means what you do get is very fresh and that they are also trying new things. The day I was there six beers were available and I tried all six via a flight, and if I went back today there would already be two new options to try (according to their website).

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You’re also probably wondering if the beer was good, or what kind of variety they offer since they specialize in farmhouse and wild ale styles. For starters, all the beer I had was excellent and well-crafted. There is no doubt these guys know what they’re doing and they are thinking outside the box. The variety was also very good, as I was able to try a saison, a porter, a table beer, 2 quads, and a gruit! For those of you that have never had a gruit, do yourself a favor and find one somewhere (good luck) and try it. It will give you a real appreciation for the art of beer making and what beer was like pre-1400s. Also, did I mention these guys think outside the box…

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I’m fortunate to live in Massachusetts, where there are many great craft breweries within driving distance, and a craft beer culture that is thriving. Even amongst all those great breweries Mystic manages to distinguish itself from the rest, and offers a unique craft beer experience. If you’re ever able to visit their tasting room, every second you spend there will be a second you won’t regret using when your life is over, unlike the 5700 seconds you spent watching The Adventures of Pluto Nash. You’ll never get those back…

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