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The Times
  • The Beer Nut: Chelsea's Mystic Brewery opens new tasting room

  • The weather wasn't good on Saturday, and the roads in Chelsea had the most potholes I had ever seen. But I was on a mission, and snow blowing on the ground and a possible broken axle wasn't going to stop me from visiting the grand opening of Mystic Brewery's new tasting room.

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  • The weather wasn't good on Saturday, and the roads in Chelsea had the most potholes I had ever seen.
    But I was on a mission, and snow blowing on the ground and a possible broken axle wasn't going to stop me from visiting the grand opening of Mystic Brewery's new tasting room.
    Mystic Brewery has quickly become one of my favorite breweries since they opened about a year and a half ago, so I was looking forward to heading there on Saturday for the grand opening.
    For those who aren't familiar with Mystic, they specialize in brewing saisons. Mystic's first beer, the Mystic Saison, is one of the best first beers by a brewery I have ever tasted.
    Mystic brewed several versions of the saison aged in different wine barrels. They also brewed other versions of it, including Three Cranes, which was made with cranberries (and was my beer of choice to pair with my Thanksgiving meal).
    They also create several other non-saisons, which are nothing short of fabulous.
    The tasting room is great, and has a classic, almost old-fashioned feel to it. Mystic founder Bryan Greenhagen said most of the design elements are made with reclaimed wood from various places throughout New England.
    The major ceiling beams and the wooden double factory doors came from an industrial whistle factory in Charlestown. The bar top is from a mill in Lowell, while the bar face is made from New England fieldstone. The wood frame for the factory doors came from the American Powder Mill in Acton, which made gun powder for the Union Army during the Civil War.
    Inside the brewery, they have several empty Jim Bean bourbon barrels, which were used to age various beers, that are now used as table tops so people can set down their beer samples and talk. In the room are also a couple of couches in which visitors can sit and relax.
    On Saturday, Mystic had 10 different beers on tap, all available to be sampled. The brewery is only allowed to serve 2-ounce samples, and cannot do full pours.
    Along with Mystic’s regular beers, they plan on having brewery-only beers that will not be sold in stores. The brewery-only beers included the Table Beer, a 4.5 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) saison, and the Half IPA, a low-ABV India pale ale. Greenhagen said another brewery-only beer that’s planned is a double IPA.
    All of the beers are available in growlers - either a 32-ounce version or a 64-ounce version. The empty growler will cost $5, and then the prices of the various beers vary.
    If you go, make sure to take the tour. A tour costs $6, but you get a full-size Mystic tulip glass, a guided tour of the beers on tap, and then a tour of the brewery.
    Page 2 of 2 - Led by Greenhagen, the tour is very informative and interesting. He goes into detail about the brewing operation, Mystic's brewing method, how they package the beer and even how they create their own yeast they use in the beer.
    If you're a fan of good beer and brewery tours, Mystic is a great stop. You can make it a whole day if you want. Two other breweries, the Night Shift Brewing and the Idle Hands Craft Ales, are both about five minutes away in nearby Everett. Stop by at all three and you’ll have the chance to taste some of the finest beers Massachusetts has to offer, all in one day.
    The Mystic Brewery is at 174 Williams St., Chelsea. The tasting room is open 3 to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
    Norman Miller is a MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer. Email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out the Beer Nut blog at blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut. Follow him on Twitter at @realbeernut or on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/beernutnorman.
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