“In 1602, Mischievous Winds blew Bartholomew Gosnold’s Ship to Martha’s Vineyard. As Legend has it, he scoured the island for ingredients to brew ale for his crew. Alas, he found none, and he fell asleep on the shore. Under the light of moon, he awoke to a sensuous mermaid with jet black hair and a devilish grin. Sitting at water’s edge she beckoned to Gosnold. The closer he got, the further she swam away, tempting him to follow. So he did. Finally, he found himself in a field brimming with lush island grapes. These would be perfect for wine he thought. But Nay, he was a good Englishman, so these grapes became the secret ingredient for a robust, refreshing beer. Gosnold never saw the mermaid again. He went to his grave wondering if he ever saw her at all. Today we brew every handcrafted beer as Gosnold did, with grapes leaves harvested on the Vineyard and a splash of mermaid mischief. Naturally, we had no choice but to name our beer after the elusive siren who started it all. Bad Martha” (www.badmarthabeer.com)
Bad Martha Brewery is located on the exclusive island of Martha’s Vineyard. Set along side Upper Main Street in Edgartown and tucked away in Donaroma’s Nursery, making the location of this brew house as unique as their beers. Upon entering the Farmer’s Brewery you are taken through fresh flowers, budding trees, a bonsai garden, and beautiful flowering bushes. The walk through the gardens sets the tone for the rustic and open air concept farm style brewery. Seats scattered throughout the properties add to the alluring nature of the brewery and invite you to sit back, unwind, and soak in the Vineyard air.
Once settled in, the tasting began with something light and fun. The beer menu included a “Vineyard Summer Shandy”. Bad Martha Summer Ale and Lemonade was the perfect mixture of beer and sweet lemon. This drink was absolutely perfect. The lemonade added an ideal amount of tart to the beer creating a refreshing, crisp, summer beverage for long days on the Vineyard beach. I highly recommend this drink for someone looking for a light and fun summer drink with just a splash of alcohol.
The scene was fun and energetic. Guests were enjoying their drinks, some light snacks, and numerous beer games buzzed in the background. A fun place to people watch, meet with friends, enjoy the flowers and sip locally brewed ingredients hand crafted into tasteful brews. Bad Martha modeled its brewery after a wine tasting room in Napa Valley. They always offer their guests free samples of beer, a try before you buy philosophy. I absolutely loved the proudly displayed locally derived ingredient list hanging on the wall. It was refreshing to see that everything that went into making this Martha Vineyard brewery so special had been harvested locally and will help support the local farmers of the island.
Next stop was ordering the Flight paddle.
Summer Ale - The summer ale was delicious. It had just the right amount of fruit flavor without being overpowering. It was robust for a summer pilsner and had a perfect golden hazy hue. This beer will please any palette with its crisp and light taste and texture.
Martha’s Vineyard Ale - This might have been my favorite beer in my flight pattern. It was strong in flavor with hints of caramel and honey. The color was amber and the beer had a beautiful aroma of honey and the flowers it was derived from. A definite must have beer when visiting Bad Martha Brewery.
Honey Helles - This delightful beer was a winner all around. The beer was light and crisp with hints of fruit and honey. It left you feeling refreshed and wanting more. The Honey Helles had just the right amount of sweet to be a fun summer Vineyard beer.
Chocolate Stout - Warning you must love chocolate! This chocolate stout didn’t mess around with plenty of hints of chocolate and coffee. This beer is best enjoyed as a sipper due to the thickness and overall heaviness of the brew. The beverage is great for a cooler evening and would make a wonderful "beachy" night beer.
West Coast Session Ale - This Ale ranked the lowest for me. I couldn’t appreciate the bitter taste and it was overall too strong for my palette. The consensus on this beer was a strong, sharp, hoppy, and tasted like an IPA. We happily moved along to the Belgian White.
Belgian White - The Belgian White was a perfectly crafted wheat ale with hints of fruit. This beer was smooth, thick, and lingered on your tastebuds for just the right amount of time. I loved the fresh and buoyant appearance of this pour. A must try!
Island IPA - This is a wonderful IPA beer for the IPA drinkers of the world. Its bold, unique flavors will have you back for round two. With hints of the tropics this truly is an island getaway. If you are in the mood for something witty and fun, check your bottle cap, you may be in for a surprise!
What good is an afternoon of beer without a few snacks thrown into the mix? I was surprised to see only a few light snack options. They were offering three different types of platters with a variety of cheese, veggies, and meats. I quickly decided on the cheese platter, it presented itself well, and I was in the mood for some beer and cheese! The food came quickly and was very fresh and tasty. The cheese platter was stocked with Cheddar, Gouda, and goat cheese. With the cheese you received salted crackers and slices of bread. A mustard based dipping sauce was provided, unique in flavor and quite delicious. The Almonds were unbelievable and were great for snacking on throughout our beer tasting. The food pairing deemed to be perfect and was an ideal ending to our afternoon with Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery.