Monday, January 31, 2011

Pilgrimage to Plymouth - BrewEngland (re)Visits: Mayflower Brewing Co.

So as I mentioned this past Saturday, Sarah and I - along with our friends Vicki and Joe, took a trip down Rt. 3 to attend/help out at a private event held at the Mayflower Brewing Co. brewery in Plymouth, MA.

The event was put on by the Duxbury Newcomers' Club, which is a non-profit organization that provides social, recreational, and charitable opportunities to its members. Basically, it was a beer social for club and non-club members (note: the DNC typically requires you to be a resident and member of the club to attend their events). Food for the event was provided by Go-Go's Catering, that included sandwiches, cheeses, vegetables and dips, and chili to name a few items. The Duxbury Newcomers' Club also provided soda and wine for the non-beer drinkers. However, the main focus was of course on the amazing selection of craft beer offered by Mayflower Brewing Co.

The guests started to roll in, and the requests for samples grew at a steady rate. It was then that our friend Ryan asked me to help out by pouring samples. POURING SAMPLES?? Yes, please!

Now, I must admit...prior to Saturday I had only used a draft system (not the picnic tap typically used for kegs at parties, etc) twice before. My buddy Mike received a kegerator for Christmas (jealous!), and had me over a few weeks ago. I helped myself to a few pints of his homebrewed Bourbon Porter, and got to take part in some of his first pours. It took me a little while to get the hang of Mayflower's draft lines, but I eventually got in a rhythm.

I have to say, it was really fun to help out. I've tried all of the beers Mayflower Brewing had to offer that night, so I was prepared when the guests weren't quite sure what to try. I'd ask them if they liked hoppy beers (Mayflower IPA- one of my favorites), milder beers (Golden Ale- their flagship brew or Pale Ale), or dark beers (Porter or Winter Seasonal Oatmeal Stout- both amazing beers).

We also got to meet Ryan's girlfriend Rachel, who is a Pennsylvania native. Although she was from the Eastern part of the state, I was able to share a few stories of my trips to western PA as a younger boy as I have/had family there. She's also a student finishing up here degree, much like myself, so we could commiserate with each other.

Ryan also took the guests on a few brewery tours. So, with him in the brewery, Joe and I, with the help of Rachel, tended bar.

Sarah loving the Oatmeal Stout!

After the guests cleared out, the four of us, plus Ryan and Rachel had some time to digest the evening. We also took the opportunity to get a personal tour of the facility (again for us, first time for Vicki & Joe).

As I mentioned, Mayflower's Imperial Stout came out last week. It's a limited release beer that weighs in at a whopping 10.6% ABV. It aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels for almost a year, before being bottled and released.

These are the same barrels used for Sam Adams Utopia!

The barrels are currently filled with water, to help preserve the wood, and so they can be used again. I'm unsure if Mayflower plans to brew the same Imperial Stout again next year, but it's in such high demand, and short on supply, one can only guess they might just do that! We still haven't had it, but I plan on picking up a few bottles this week. One will be reviewed here, and I plan on cellaring another bottle for around six months or so, as recommended by Ryan.

Adam also loves the Oatmeal Stout!

Ryan also showed us their newly acquired suite, which has been converted to a large cold storage area. This allows Mayflower to store all of their bottles in a unit kept around 50 degrees, which Ryan explained is also super convenient when they're ready for distribution. They have a separate cooler for their kegs and ingredients.

We once again hit the brewery floor to check out the rest of the tour.

Sarah trying some green (uncarbonated) IPA

Adam with his green IPA

Sarah and Vicki with some green IPA

We were then brought to the other side, where the kegging, bottling, and packaging takes place.

Rachel and Vicki near the kegging system & bottling line

Just beyond the bottling line, is Mayflower's cold storage unit. All their kegs are kept there, which is conveniently located near their loading dock for easy access.

We also got the scoop on Mayflower Brewing Co.'s upcoming Spring seasonal beer. At this time it's highly top secret, but all I can say is that I am VERY excited for it to come out. Once I'm able to share details on the style, I will let everyone know!

Once again, we had an amazing time at this brewery. The dedication Ryan and the rest of the Mayflower Brewing crew put into their beer and the company are amazing. We can't be more excited for them to continue to grow and expand, and we plan on visiting the brewery again in the near future!

Mayflower Brewing Co. is located on 12 Resnick Road in Plymouth, MA. They provide tours most weekdays, and if you're lucky you might get a Saturday tour (unsure if they still are doing them). If you haven't been, you have to go! If you see Ryan, let them know Adam and Sarah from BrewEngland sent you!

The brewery can be rented out for private functions, such as the one for the Duxbury Newcomers' Club. If you're interested in having an event there, you can email them at or call them at (508) 746-2674 to get more information.


eileen said...

looks like you guys had a great brewery field trip!

BrewEngland said...

It was a great time! The next time you're back in MA, we should all go there! I think you'll enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

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I was looking for blog posts about Plymouth to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you :)