Fall means new styles of beers from local breweries and of course big breweries too, but the local beer scene is pretty interesting this year.
Bad Martha has 10 beers on tap, offering a great selection for people of all beer tastes. When I heard about Tim’s Beach Plum Ale, my interest was piqued. A stop at the Farmer’s Brewery was on tap for me.
I met with Bad Martha brewer, Jim Carleton, on a gorgeous Fall afternoon to learn more about the beach plum beer, and Jim had lots more to share with me about what the brewery is up to during the next couple of weeks, before they close at the end of October (they might stay open later).
Don’t forget when you stop by to enjoy a game of corn hole while enjoying a beer in the beer garden.
Beer & Beach Plums
When the Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery was in the works, a friend of the owners suggested they brew a beer with beach plums. Now a year later, that thought has become a reality.
Luckily it was a really great year for beach plums. Bad Martha was able to get 10 pounds from Morning Glory Farm, Jim and his wife picked another 10, and Island forager, Brian Lawlor, picked 40 pounds. The beach plums are quite beautiful, rich and dark. I have to thank Nicole Friedler Photography for the picture of the harvest below.
Jim crushed the beach plums to get the juice and then added the fruit and juice to the conditioning tank. Two plus weeks later, the beach plum ale was ready.
Not too sweet, just right, Jim produced a beach plum Belgian Double. This type of beer is unfiltered and usually has a dark fruit base, so it seemed a good match for the beach plums. Jim’s only wish was that the beach plums were ripe earlier in the season.
However, I think it’s a nice late Summer, early Fall beer, since it is unfiltered and has a bite — 7.7 % alcohol by volume.
It was time to test Tim’s Beach Plum Ale. I like Belgian Doubles, so I was hopeful. I was not disappointed at all.
I wonder if it’s the first commercial beach plum ale brewed? It was tasty and Jim says it will most likely return to Bad Martha next year.
Maybe there are even some beneficial antioxidants from the fruit in the beer making it a bit healthy. Most likely not — but a girl can wish.
Being tapped this week is the Pumpkin Pie Bock. A bock is a strong German style lager. Don’t be nervous pumpkin beer fans. This bock will most likely be to your liking.
The pumpkins are from Morning Glory Farm. The farm roasted and pureed the pumpkins for Bad Martha. In addition to the fresh pumpkins, there will be a noticeable pumpkin pie flavor since there is also allspice, clove, and vanilla.
I am definitely going to check this one out. I like pumpkin beers this time of year, and am hoping to add this to my list of favorites.
Maybe get a growler for Thanksgiving? I just hope it’s not too sweet, like some pumpkin beers of this style can be.
Yes, you read that correctly. Jim is brewing an Imperial Oyster Stout. An Imperial Stout is a darker, more robust stout, and yes, this one will be made with oysters, Katama Bay Oysters to be exact.
The oyster meat itself is put into the beer wort after the boil. I have never had an oyster stout, so I have no idea what to expect from this style.
I did not ask Jim about the flavor profile because I want to try it for myself without an preconceived notions. This will be on tap soon after the Pumpkin Pie Boch, and I will be trying this one as well.
Even if the beers mentioned above aren’t your style, you have to admit that it’s pretty awesome how creative Jim is being with locally grown or locally made resources.
Beach plums, pumpkins, and oysters are just more to add to the list, which already includes the local grape leaves, the honey for the Honey Helles beer, coffee from Chilmark Coffee, and chocolate from Not Your Sugar Mamas.
Many of those local ingredients are available at the Farmer’s Brewery. It’s pretty impressive. Clearly Jim is passionate about his craft and being immersed in the community.
Speaking of the Honey Helles, now called the Honey Ale, it was such a big hit this Summer, that it will most likely be bottled and available in 2015. Perhaps even at your local packy.
Though the doors of Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery are closing soon, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful Fall weather in its beer garden and the porch. Drink some seasonal brews, get a growler to go, or just plain relax, and drink a pint or two.
Jim had one more little tidbit for me, a wonderful surprise. He and the brewer from Offshore, Neal Atkins, are working on a beer together. I couldn’t get any more info out of Jim.
I am very curious about this, and love that idea. The more good, locally crafted beer on Martha’s Vineyard, the better. I’m sure there will be good blog about this collaboration.
If you’re not here to celebrate the Fall with these delicious beers, Bad Martha’s Farmer’s Brewery will be open during Christmas in Edgartown. A great idea, since that weekend is amazing, and a wonderful way to enjoy the holiday season.
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