I’ve written a number of articles about the evolution of established local breweries in the wake of increased competition. Another interesting case is Mayflower Brewing Company in Plymouth, MA. For years Mayflower was known for a solid lineup of no-nonsense, traditional British beer styles, led by their outstanding Mayflower Porter. Over the last few years they have expanded their seasonal line-up, with strong showings from beers like Spring Hop and their Thanksgiving Ale. Recently they started to release small-batch, limited edition beers in the Cooper’s Series, which began as draft-only but are now released to 4-pack bottles due to the popularity of the beers. I enjoyed the Scotch Ale from this series, and heard rave reviews about Alden (a DIPA), but unfortunately never got to try it. I hate when I miss a limited beer release, sometimes I keep meaning to pick something up and by the time I get around to it the beer is already gone. The way the Cooper’s Series is going, I’m planning on trying to sample every release from here on out. The latest beer in the series is Squanto, a farmhouse ale named in honor of a Native American who helped teach the Pilgrams native methods of cultivation after their first winter in Massachusetts. Brewing a Belgian style ale is a bit of a departure for a brewery that has focused almost exclusively on British styles. Mayflower brewed 100 barrels of Squanto and released it on draft and in 12 oz. bottles, I’ve still seen it around in a few bottle shops, but you should grab it soon if you want to try it before the run is over!
Mayflower Squanto pours a cloudy straw yellow with a mild white head. The scent is mostly Belgian style yeast, floral and spicy. The yeast leads the flavor too, with notes of pepper, coriander, sour apple and hay. There is also noticeable hop character, touches of grass and earth along with a dry finish. Many American brewers are making saisons with yeast strains and hop varieties that both add complementary fruity flavors and aromas, but Mayflower went in a slightly different direction here with more earthy and spicy tones. There is enough malt to keep everything is balance, with hints of cracker and whole wheat bread. The beer is light bodied and easy to drink, but packs a pretty solid punch at 6.0% ABV. The finish is dry and relatively clean, with just a hint of yeasty esters. This is a perfect beer for the porch or BBQ, easy to drink, full flavored and should complement a variety of food. The Mayflower Cooper’s Series continues to establish itself as a must-try, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next! Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
Previous Mayflower Reviews: