I flew back to Cape Cod to celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family. One of the only outings I did while there was a father-daughter date day of checking out motorcycles, attempting to find new motorcycle boots, and stumbling across a great brewery in Hyannis – Barnstable Brewing. What went from a “call them and see if they are open” to one of the best afternoons of sampling all their beers on tap, to continuing to purchase their beers while on Cape and finally a new regular spot for my dad and his friends.
From the initial call, I was in love. A super friendly guy answered the phone and invited us to “come on in” and my dad made friends with the wife of one of the brewers – what do they share in common? She got married last year at the same exact church my parents got married in a couple of decades ago. Did I mention their beers are delicious? If you are on the Cape anytime soon – please check out this place!
Barnstable Brewing’s passion for great quality ingredients and outstanding beer started where their hearts have always been: their family. Co-owner Peter Connor started home-brewing over 30 years ago. What started as a family tradition at barbecues, graduations, and family weddings blossomed into something much bigger in 2012 when Peter won the Samuel Adams “Come Brew With Us” contest. After brewing with professionals at a larger scale, Peter realized that he was on to something special. Shortly after, Peter and his wife, Ann Connor, found the perfect Cape Cod location to make their dreams come true. Suddenly, the vision came to life. “Barnstable Brewing” was born.
While preparing for the grand opening, Ann & Peter’s son, Mark Connor, attended the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany where he became a certified Brew Master and helped to refine some of Barnstable Brewing’s most successful recipes. Mark’s background in science and Peter’s decades of experience have come together to create a dynamic duo in crafting some of the best beer on Cape Cod.
Barnstable Brewing prides itself on being a family-owned business with the passion and skills to create a beer that you will fall in love with. I can not stress this enough – they have a huge passion for great beer and family connections. You walk in that door and you are like family.
Here are the beers we tried:
CAPE CRUSHER (Helles Light Lager)
Another beer in the ‘Heritage Series’! A crisp Light lager brewed using 100% imported German ingredients. This beer is inspired by the time while studying brewing sciences at the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany. A Helles is a traditional German Pale Light Lager. This “bier” is full-bodied, mildly sweet, light-colored, with lower amounts of perceived bitterness, making it the perfect beer to “crush” at your favorite places on Cape Cod. ABV: 4.9% IBU: 16.3. I can not wait to come back to the Cape next summer and sip some of these on the beach.
BLUEBERRY ALE (Fruit Beer)
A refreshing light fruit ale fermented with frozen Blueberries from Maine and hopped with Northwest US hops. Floral and berry aromas, with just enough bitterness and biscuit malt backbone that makes this beer refreshing and crisp. ABV: 5.3% IBU: 10.2
AMERIHOP (American Pale Ale)
To say this beer is incredibly balanced would be an understatement. It is pouring out of taps with a yellow hue and a creamy, white foam head. Pick up a light floral aroma with a hint of citrus thanks to 100% American hops sourced from the Pacific Northwest. Faint late bitterness is in pleasant equilibrium with a sweet malt backbone. ABV 5.5% IBU: 13.6. Clearly, I’m a little biased because I love things from the PNW, but this beer is an amazing year-round beer. You can not go wrong with it.
WOBBLY JACK (Pumpkin Beer)
A refreshing pumpkin Ale with select grains and hops from Europe, fermented with Organic Pumpkins from Massachusetts and Illinois, Organic Brown Sugar, and finished with Organic Vanilla Beans from Mexico. ABV: 6.7% IBU: 12.8. All I wanted to drink while in the USA was dark, pumpkiny (or other interesting beers – kelp and oysters for example) and this one was a personal pleaser. Thank you for creating this beer.
JESUIT JUICE (New England IPA)
Barnstable Brewing’s New England IPA series calling it EXAMEN. It is inspired by our family’s Latin Jesuit education at both Boston College, and Creighton University. With each brew, they changed every variable, dry hopping techniques, and ingredients. EXAMEN 25 – JESUIT JUICE – is quite simply a powerhouse NEIPA! Tons of tropical fruit, big juicy flavor, and loooooong hazy appearance. It’s full of ridiculously good hops. They had to name it – it’s a behemoth. ABV: 6.5% IBU 37.
TWO JESUITS WALK INTO A BREWERY (Imperial IPA)
Packed with grapefruit and passionfruit, citrus and tropical aromas. ABV: 8.2% IBU 70.
BAVARIAN SLAM (Munich Dunkel)
Dark beer boasting ABV: 5.5% and IBU 22.
RASPERRY K-DUB (Kristallweizen)
A harmonious marriage of German Wheat Beer and raspberries. The key attributes of our Kristallweissbeir create a base for this fruit ale. Fermenting this bier over raspberries provides additional fermentable sugars for the yeast to consume, resulting in more alcohol, a slightly sweet finish, and beautiful fruit aroma. Pouring from the taps with a pink hue and a balanced carbonation profile. ABV: 5.7% IBU: 10. This was the beer that my dad bonded with one of the bar tenders. She shared that the picture on the cans was from her wedding – a small little chaple on Cape Cod – turns out it was the small little chaple my parent’s also got married at! Needless to say, we bought a four-pack to take home and show my mom.
MANGO MILKSHAKE IPA (Milkshake)
Honestly, not my favorite beer from Barnstable Brewing. However the ABV: 7.5% might make you change your mind.
CIVIC RENT (Lager)
A delicious, malty lager with ABV: 4.9% and no IBUs. Barnstable Brewing is proud to collaborate with Shepley Wood Products to produce Civic Rent. Civic Rent combines both of passions as a social obligation to pay back to the community. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of every 4-pack of Civic Rent benefits the Housing Assistance Corporation and their Workforce Housing Relief Fund.
RIZZY (Russian Imperial Stout)
Back again!! This beer is the king of all stouts. With an alcohol by volume in the double digits, it is a beast of a beer. Expect massive chocolate and roasted malt flavors, with a hint of dark fruit. Sip nice and slow to allow this beer to warm up, as the flavors intensify and the alcohol becomes more prevalent. ABV: 10.5% IBU: 97. Great beer for a cold snowy night on the Cape with a fire burning.
CATCH ME LAGER (Lager)
Catch Me Lager is baseball beer made for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. There is nothing quite like summer ball on the Cape and Islands! ABV: 4.9% No IBUs.
Ever been to Barnstable Brewing? What beers did you like?