Mass Brew Bros


Inside a beige professional building at the coastal Cape Cod town of Falmouth on Main Street, AQUATIC BREWING CO. opened November ’20. The casually intimate brewpub was started by local MIT-grad residents Greg Horning and Alex Bergman, two homebrew hobbyists serious enough to take their ambitions to a higher level of prosperity.

A sterling operation, Aquatic Brewing’s porcelain-floored brewroom features an oak top serving station, five community tables, hanging pendant lights and rear brew tanks. A wood-boarded Aquatic insignia hangs above the silver tap handles.

My wife and I showed up on a Thursday eve in April ’24 for trivia night, downing five of Aquatic’s well-rounded offerings.

A fine yeast-lagered steam beer, Highly Common California Common gave its honeyed amber grain toastiness, lightly smoked peat malting and rustic hop earthiness a spritzy lemon pep as gluey paper pasting ensued.

Tart lemon souring overrode herbal hibiscus adjunct and light black peppering for muskily leathered saison, Hibiscus Shrewd, leaving a candied lemon peel bittering on the waxy crayon-like citrus finish.

A Northeast/West Coast IPA-styled pale ale, Defendable Draft placed dry grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering across spruce-tipped pine resin as candied papaya-mango-pineapple tropicalia seeped below.

Dark chocolatey light roast coffee and Madagascar vanilla headed rich Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Faint Glimmer, picking up ancillary espresso, mochaccino, caramel latte and burnt marshmallow banter over Black patent malt(?) bittering.

Cold-brewed milk-sugared coffee overtones ruled debonair Oatmeal Stout, Pie In The Sky, sweetened by toffee-candied burnt caramel malting.


Image result for bad martha's edgartowen


Occupying a weathered shingled shack in the Martha’s Vineyard town of Edgartown, BAD MARTHA FARMER’S BREWERY opened in 2014 as the flagship site (with a Falmouth location in Cape Cod since September 2019). An inconspicuous Bad Martha sign at Donaroma’s Nursery leads patrons to the flower-bound pub originally built by Amish settlers years hence.

A rustic back patio and wood furnished side patio surround the cement-floored, pitched-ceilinged, wood-walled barnhouse. Bad Martha’s beautiful bronze bar top and huge windowed copper kettle add to the antiquated homespun elegance. Each tap handle features a sexy blue mermaid. Artisan pizza ovens are stored in the mezzanine.

“All Bad Martha Beer is uniquely brewed with hand-picked wild grape leaves grown on Martha’s Vineyard, so there is a piece of the Island’s soul infused in every sip,” goes the brewery’s organic motto.

My wife and I enjoyed the Beer Bacon Pizza alongside all eight available brews on our sunny Saturday afternoon stopover, April ’24.

Flagship Extra Special Bitter, Martha’s Vineyard Ale, maintained a soft buttery caramel spread for sedate floral-daubed dark honey, desiccated orange and dried grape illusions above its moist earthen peat moss bed.

Wild vineyard grape leaf crisping, mildly floral Bartlett pear sweetness and mineral grained pilsner malting gave mild blonde ale, Vineyard Summer, its casual dry splendor.

Festive mulling-spiced amber lager, Spiced (Yule), retained a lightly smoked Vienna malt sweetness and dried orange-apricot respite but its cinnamon-clove-cardamom pinch lacked resilience.

Dried fruited spicing and mild herbal pining sparked appeasing moderation, Patio IPA, utilizing locally grown hops and sugary pale-crystal malts.

Dry Mosaic/Centennial-hopped 508 IPA secured its pine lacquered grapefruit rind bittering and shifty orange-tangerine tang with baked breaded caramelized malts.

Plummy beet-sugared Belgian ale, Beach Plum Dubbel, gained subtle cherry, banana and fig snips to engage mild fruited hop esters and caramelized pilsner malts.

Soft-tongued brown ale, Bad Bad Pecan Brown, relegated its smoked candied pecan adjunct as charred walnut, buttery chestnut and dark cocoa subtleties merged above slightly burnt caramel base.

Dark-roast coffee nuttiness and chicory root earthiness combined for Woodford Reserve-aged Bourbon Street Coffee Porter, a semi-rich dark ale with only subtle bourbon hints.


Offshore Ale Company – Martha's ...


One block from the center of town in Martha’s Vineyard village, Oak Bluffs, OFFSHORE ALE CO. opened in ’97 and remains the island’s only year-round brewery.

Inside a rustic barnhouse built by the Amish, this sizable one-room pub features a half-covered front patio leading into the tile-floored high-ceilinged interior. Brewtanks are stored in the balcony and several local nautical items (steering wheels, buoys, lanterns, rowers) line the walls.

I sat at the oak-topped bar where twelve draught handles reside. A large stone fireplace to the left adds warmth to the booths and tables across from the bar. An open kitchen serves wood-fire pizzas, burgers and casual pub grub.

Long-time head brewer, Neil Atkins, crafts some fine, mostly dry, beers for the local islanders and visiting landlubbers. I sojourned late April ’24 on a crowded Friday evening to down a few previously untried suds.

Lemon-peeled ruby red grapefruit grappled Islander Double IPA, leaving slight grassy astringency upon its dank pine resin.

Blending candi-sugared Belgian ale sweetness with sharp West Coast-styled IPA fruiting, Hop Goddess Belgian IPA let lemony grapefruit and orange rind dryness slip into the mild tea-like midst.

A bold West Coast IPA, Lazy Frog retained a fruitier profile than Hop Goddess as grapefruit peeled orange and tangerine tanginess plus pineapple-guava tropicalia settled alongside juniper-tipped blueberry bittering.

Daintily figgy plum-spiced winter warmer, Miss Behavin,’ let dry ginger, birch and sarsaparilla niceties reach its chalky cocoa bottom.

Dry Irish stout, Steeprock, melded its dark chocolate bittering to milk-sugared coffee plus walnut, cola and Brazil nut snips.

Dark chocolate penetrated Inkwell Imperial Stout, picking up hop-charred black coffee and Blackstrap molasses bittering.


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Named after an unused Revolutionary War hideaway, FORT NONSENSE BREWING COMPANY opened in Denville, January 2018. Initially Inside an inconspicuous red brick shelter along Route 10, this cozy nanobrewery offered intriguingly indeterminate flagships and stylishly varied one-off brews.

Ensconced in their new digs since October ’21, Fort Nonsense now occupies a sizable warehouse space in nearby Randolph. Its spacious, high ceilinged open area features a central formica-topped 10-stooled bar serving sixteen draughts emulating from the stage left stainless steel brewtanks. At the far right corner is a cozy couched lounge area and in between are several windowed chaired tables. Exposed metal pipes hang from above.

During my April ’24 sojourn with friend Dan Smith, settled into several previously untried suds, including and a sweet potato and chocolate cake stout, plus one Crescent City-styled coffee porter, a Mountain Dew sour, a lager and two hazy IPA’s.

Easygoing clear yellowed light lager, Lightning Strike, let sour lemon fizz prickle its lightly spiced hop perfuming and maize-dried straw wheat bottom.

Tart soda knockoff, Fort Loco Sour with Mountain Dew, gave its beery soft drink a lemony 7Up spritz and salted lime cologne wiff.

Juicy hazy beige yellowed IPA, Misty Morning, utilized floral pined Zythos hops, zestful Idaho 7 hops and limey Moteuka hops to evoke salty guava-mango tropicalia and lemon-candied yellow grapefruit tartness over mildly oated wheat creaming.

Dry yellow orange hazed NEIPA, Cosmic Cloud, allowed semi-sharp orange, pineapple and grapefruit bittering and grassy hop astringency to contrast its richly creamed oated wheat spine.

Serenading its milk-sugared chicory coffee entry with roasted dark chocolate, New Orleans-styled Cafe Du Nonde Cold Brewed Porter retained a doughy fried beignet pastry caking.

Sugared yam adjunct received lactose vanilla creaming, bittersweet black chocolate spunk and mild cinnamon sweetness for 12% ABV pastry stout, So Many Friggin’ Sweet Potatoes, leaving wispy black cherry, hazelnut paste and toffee illusions on the backend.

For dessert, chocolate cake stout, Did You Say Chocolate?, heaped dark chocolate syrup upon creamy cake battered vanilla richness and mild cola nut, toffee and espresso snips.

The following are my notes at previous Fort Nonsense Denville spot.Fort Nonsense Brewing Company (Denville) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE  You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Run by three beer lovin’ brothers, including head brewer Andrew Aslanian, the ambitious pint-sized pub (with small back patio beer garden) crafts mostly easygoing fare meant to melt on the tongue.

I take a seat at the oaken wood-barred tap room to sample seven satisfyingly soft-toned suds listed on the blackboard menu.

It’s mid-September ’20, so I tried placid Octoberfest, Unsinn Machen (defined as ‘fooling around’) first. Its cheerfully refreshing red-orange-yellow fruiting stayed subtle engaging autumnal leafy hop foliage and mild roasted tobacco crisping over dainty Vienna malt sugaring.

Soft-watered Farmhouse Funk with Strawberry (an offshoot of tropical Golden Berry Farmhouse Funk) plied lemondrop-candied strawberry tartness to white wined whims and grassy hop herbage.

Then came the entourage of stylishly differentiated India Pale Ales.

Delicate Cascade-hopped Harvest IPA brought honey-spiced lemony orange zest to mild wet-hopped pining.

Tart green grape esters, orange-peeled grapefruit rind bittering and pine-lacquered restraint sat atop creamy crystal-pale malts for dry-hopped West Coast-styled Great Falls IPA.

Juicy NEIPA, Regolith: Tranquility Base, retained a candied grapefruit, peach and tangerine tartness and light wood-toned hop bittering above mildly creamed pale-sugared malts.

Best bet: Fully concentrated fruit juicing intensified Lacto By Nonsense. Conditioned on mango and tangerine, its lactic fructose-loaded front end amps up the lemon-juiced salted mango and pureed tangerine density, pineapple-like lulu tanginess, sour-candied Sweet-Tart pucker and vinous white wining. Though its sweaty sox aromatics seems off-putting, the highly acidic tropical fruiting makes a powerful statement.

For a late afternoon sendoff, traditional porter, Arnold’s Tavern, allowed light roast coffee pleasantries to ride above dark chocolate, walnut and hazelnut illusions.

Revisited Fort Nonsense March ’21 to try one trusty salted sour and a yellow-bellied java stout.

Sea-salted La Vie En Gose allowed tartly sour-candied strawberry/ raspberry adjuncts to gain bubbly Seltzer-like fizz (picking up mild passionfruit, cranberry and gooseberry wisps).

Mellow cocoa-nibbed Peruvian/ Costa Rican coffee tones subtly joined brown-sugared maple syruping and light vanilla creaming for You Think You Know Me Golden Stout, an understated pastry treat with cinnamon-spiced Horchata, toasted marshmallow and spiced rum licks contrasting phenol hop astringency.


On tap at Kitchen & Beer Bar, mischievous pastry stout conditioned on toasted coconut, almond, pecan and peanuts and draped in lightly maple syruped vanilla creaminess over brown chocolate malting perfect for dessert. Ancillary German cake, Black Forest cake, molasses cake, almond coconut cake, cherry cordial and pecan pie illusions vie for attention. Well-integrated nightcap.

the Kitchen - Mortalis Brewing Company ...