Inspired by his family’s Pilgrim roots, California native and East Coast transplant Drew Brosseau founded Mayflower Brewing Company in historic Plymouth, Mass. in 2007.
Brosseau is a thirteenth-generation descendant of John Alden, a cooper on the Mayflower. The cooper was responsible for the construction, repair, and maintenance of the ship’s barrels which contained its precious beer supply. Having made land well north of their intended destination near the Hudson River, the Pilgrims were running short on supplies and needed to choose a site for their settlement as soon as possible: “We could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer,” William Bradford wrote in the ship’s log. They chose Plymouth for a number of reasons, including the “very sweet brook” that provided the water necessary for their survival. Nearly 400 years later, we use that same water to brew our beer.
Growing up in Sonoma, Calif., Drew admired New Albion Brewing, which opened its doors there when he was in high school and is widely credited with beginning the craft beer renaissance in the U.S. Along with his interest in craft beer, Drew wanted to build the business from scratch and control the product and processes from grain to glass. As a result, we do everything in house. Our production facility includes a two-vessel, 20-barrel brew house, enough fermentation capacity to produce 10,000 barrels per year, and packaging lines for both kegs and bottles. We also self distribute our beer in eastern Massachusetts via our own fleet of trucks.
In keeping with the history and legacy of the Mayflower, Drew and original brewers Matthew Steinberg and Ryan Gwozdz began by creating a series of four beers that span a full range of traditional English-style ales. These year-round beers, which include Pale Ale, Golden Ale, IPA and Porter, use only traditional ingredients and are noted for their balance and relatively dry finish. Although no beer dominates our production, Mayflower IPA is our best seller and Mayflower Porter is our most renowned, having won second place at the Great British Beer Festival in 2008, our first year of production.
Over the years, head brewer Ryan Gwozdz has expanded our offerings to include a complete set of seasonal beers as well as other specialty brews that we produce under our Cooper’s Series. Working alongside Ryan is brewer Paul Coyne, who joined us from Buzzard’s Bay Brewing and, like Drew and Ryan, is a proud graduate of the American Brewers Guild. Rounding out our brewery team are cellarman Kyle Nadeau and production associates Billy Delorie and Richie Welch.
Our seasonal beers celebrate the distinct changes of season in New England with little twists on traditional beer styles. We survive the cold winters with a rich and smooth Winter Oatmeal Stout. Then we welcome a break from the cold with our Spring Hop Ale, a hoppy red ale that is all about aroma and flavor. Mayflower Summer Rye Ale combines rye spiciness with mild and fruity bitterness to refresh us during hot summer days. Finally, we celebrate the harvest with Autumn Wheat Ale, a meeting of traditional wheat beers with the malty richness of dark ales.
Each November we release a limited edition “Cooper‘s Series” brew, Thanksgiving Ale—a mix between an American strong ale and an old English aged ale. Its hints of oak make this beer a nice complement to a Thanksgiving feast while a bit of aging makes it enjoyable year-round. Other Cooper’s Series batches have included Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, Maibock and Belgian Pale Ale.
Three times a week, we host visitors in our tasting room. We love this opportunity to interact with our local community as our regulars come in to fill up growlers, which are sold only at the brewery while first-timers explore the brewery and enjoy a tasting of our family of beers.
As a craft brewery, we take great satisfaction in seeing our beers in local restaurants and stores. We are fortunate to have found a welcoming community in Plymouth and southeastern New England that appreciates our product and supports our brand. We enjoy giving back to them through our involvement in a number of charitable organizations in Boston and the South Shore, including an annual American Lung Association bike ride, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Bacon and Beer Hunger Relief, Figawi Charities, Plymouth ARC and many more.
We hope you’ll stop by and “taste the history!”