The New England Brewery Tour Series: Massachusetts Breweries (Pt. 5 Cape Cod)
New England is replete with brewing states, many of them boasting some of the most sought after brews in the country. Since the rise in popularity of the craft brew, beer artisans have aimed to gain notoriety through their concoctions. Massachusetts has made its mark as a state that can consistently deliver a high-quality beverage.
Detailing each of these breweries one at a time would be to handicap our readers from finding the breweries they want to add to their tour list now. Multi-part state tour posts will give a birds-eye view of a brewing state. For a closer look at a specific brewery, dive into its brewery spotlight.
Compared to Boston, this vacation destination in Massachusetts does not have nearly as many breweries to offers. That doesn’t mean it can’t serve for an excellent tour while you travel down to Provincetown on Cape Cod. The spread of breweries provides a convenient path on the way to the far east of the state.
Just dotting the path with beer is not the point of these brewers. Each also comes with their own addition of personality and quality that is well worth the time spent. For those venturing out to the Cape for vacation, no matter what area your plans take you, there is a brewery nearby that is sure to satisfy.
If you missed the beginning of the Massachusetts tour, make sure to check out The New England Brewery Tour Series (Pt. 1 Boston) as well and let us know what you think of our list.
Breweries of Cape Cod
Cape Cod Beer
As the namesake of the region, Cape Cod Beer holds its own as one of the best breweries this part of Massachusetts has to offer. It ought to be if it is going to carry the reputation of the entire region on its labels.
Located in Hyannis, Massachusetts, this brewery is located in an excellent spot for vacationers to take a quick visit. For anybody on the earlier part of the Cape, Hyannis won’t take long to get to. For people spending their time closer to Provincetown, the trip to anywhere on the Cape remains manageable, but it might be more convenient to make a trip to the brewery on your way into Cape Cod or on your way out.
Owners Todd and Beth Marcus got their brewing project started in April of 2004 and have seen tremendous growth since then. The couple hired their first employee in the Spring of 2005 and have since grown to an operation that produces about 12,000 barrels of beer per year. Now, distributing the beers across Cape Cod and as far west as Plymouth, Massachusetts, Cape Cod Brewing has proven that they are an establishment with staying power.
With an expansive list of brewing styles, Cape Cod Beer gives any beer drinker a reason to be excited. If you like beer, there is sure to be a style within their selection that you can appreciate.
Devil’s Purse Brewing Company
Of all of these breweries, Devil’s Purse has been the only one I’ve thus far been able to find in stock at a store in Western Mass. Their Handline Kolsch, available in Whole Foods, is one of their staple beers and is a very well balanced, easy to drink beverage. Found in South Dennis, Massachusetts, this is another conveniently located brewery for Cape Cod visitors.
The brewery itself has regular hours for tours and hours varying by season for their taproom. Devil’s Purse maintains a rotating schedule of food trucks hosted on location for visitors to the brewery, and guests are welcome to bring their own food from wherever they like. In accordance with the zoning laws of the area, they are only permitted to operate as a standing-room-only bar.
Although zoning laws make this brewery trend away from the family-friendly style, their flavorful brews are well worth the trip if you can find time to stop in for a fresh beer on tap.
Any fans of Christmas movies will want to get to Naukabout Brewery to try their Candy Cane IPA named after the terrible creatures made famous in the movie Elf. While they may be something for Buddy the Elf to fear in the North Pole, in Naukabout Brewery, the Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins is flavored with the Seven Layers of the Candy Cane Forest and is not a treat to be turned down.
This is just a sample of the joy, pleasure, and nostalgia that Naukabout brings into their brewing styles. The brewery and taproom are found in Mashpee, Massachusetts, convenient distances from Attaquin Park and Mashpee Pond. Their location is open to the public with food trucks, events, and live music Wednesday through Sunday.
Devoted to having fun and enjoying their craft, Naukabout is an ideal place to go for a good time. If you are currently looking for a place to spend some time for a break from your regular schedule, you couldn’t make a mistake by finding a space to visit in or near Mashpee and stopping in to visit the boys at Naukabout.
Hog Island Beer
With the trend of new breweries opening with dizzying regularity, it is difficult to say how long Hog Island Beer will hold the title of ‘The Outermost Brewery on the Cape.’ Regardless of whether they will be able to maintain that title, they have it now, and it is not the only thing this young brewery can boast about. Currently, Hog Island is one of the few Cape Cod breweries whose beer can be found across the entire state, including Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
The Brewery at Hog Island is open seasonally and features a basic menu of the ideal bar foods. Their menu, of course, includes the classic lobster roll that the area is famous for. The threesome that runs the brewery has strong roots in the Cape Cod area and enjoy being a part of the culture. Cape Cod is one of those places where you need to be a particular personality to become a part of the culture. It would be hard to expect any of the breweries in Boston proper to relocate to Orleans and feel that they would be able to adapt to the new environment. The team at Hog Island belongs here, and they are making a thriving venture out of it.
Buzzards Bay Brewing
Unsurprisingly located near Buzzards Bay in Westport, Massachusetts, Buzzards Bay Brewing Company enjoy a picturesque location for their brewing. In one direction, charters ship off to take people to the island escapes of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Not far off to the west is the Rhode Island border for another flavor of eastern coastline relaxation.
The group at Buzzards Bay is a collection of farmers that are devoted to the highest quality in the malt, hops, yeast, and water that they use in their brewing. They offer two options for visiting and drinking. The Westport farm and taproom have regular hours Tuesday through Saturday, or you can take advantage of their new taproom in Bourne, which is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Buzzards Bay’s experience in farming and devotion to the ingredients that go into their beers feed into their excellence. They make a commitment to allowing the quality of the ingredients to come through their beer instead of masking their quality with extra flavorings and embellishments.
Mayflower Brewing Company
Plymouth and the Buzzards Bay area are not technically a part of Cape Cod, but they share a coastal environment. The breweries in Plymouth and Buzzards Bay could provide ideal destinations to break up the trip into or away from Cape Cod. Plymouth has plenty to offer in its own right, so you might find yourself hanging around for a while.
Mayflower Brewing provides a wider variety of brews than the majority of breweries on the Cape. Their beers include a core group, a seasonal supply, and another group of beers they call the Cooper’s Series. Mayflower brewing might be the most widely distributed beers amongst this list. With distribution all across the New England area, the Mayflower brand is known across Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and, of course, Massachusetts. The founders of Mayflower Brewing have bloodlines going back to John Alden, one of the passengers of the Mayflower itself.
By naming their brewery after the ship that played an essential role in the foundation of the state and country, Mayflower shows pride in their tradition. That pride comes through equally in the work they do in their beverages. The beers they deliver to their patrons are second to none and deserve time taken for a visit and taste whether that is on a deliberate trip to Plymouth or through a side trip on the way to the Cape.
The State’s Finale
While this five-part-series has only begun to chip the surface of this iceberg of breweries, there will be no more such brewery tour post concerning Massachusetts. If there are breweries that you feel were unjustly left off this list, I promise, it was done with no prejudice in mind. Your favorite brewery could likely be included in a brewery spotlight in the future anyway (more likely, if you give me notice of this brewery through the comments section). Since my starting this series, multiple breweries have come to my attention worthy of this list. Expect many more to be included in the Brewery Spotlight than you have seen on this tour.
If you missed any articles of the Massachusetts Brewery Tours, check out the links below and let us know which of your favorites we missed. There is just too many to choose from.