Last Friday Mystic Brewing in Chelsea announced that they would be closing the brewery and stopping production of the brand’s beers this month, shocking many local beer enthusiasts. Earlier this week I wrote some thoughts on the brewery, their impact on me as a beer geek, and what this means for the local beer scene. To follow that up I thought I would do a ranking of my favorite Mystic beers, more as a celebration of the great beers they have brewed than a definitive ranking of quality. This ranking is by no means complete, Mystic has 154 beers listed on Untappd and I haven’t tried close to all of them. Without further ado, please enjoy my favorite Mystic beers, and let me know which beers top your list! Links, where provided, lead to the full reviews. As you can see, I’ve reviewed a lot of Mystic beers in the 6 years of Hoppy Boston!
22. Mystic Melissa: Mystic was one of the few breweries to experiment with gruits, an old style of brew that used herbs instead of hops. Melissa was brewed with lemon balm, juniper, and lavender.
21. Mystic Grapefruit Frappe: In general I am not a huge fan of the milkshake IPAs, the vanilla can be offputting, but this one was pretty good, plenty of citrus and just a hint of sweetness.
20. Mystic Kanzu: A saison brewed with coffee. This is an interesting combination, I liked it but I’m not sure it’s something I would want to drink all the time.
19. Mystic Vinland Four: I enjoyed this wild ale entry into the Vinalnd series, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the earlier entries with yeast cultured from specific fruits (listed below).
18. Mystic Sauvignon Blanc Barrel Aged Saison: I think there is a lot of room for more experimentation with different beer style and barrels combinations, and this union of spicy saison with fruity wine works great.
17. Mystic India Wharf Pale Ale: A British pale ale brewed as part of the Wigglesworth series, a collection of traditional bottle conditioned British beer styles.
16. Mystic Flor Z: One of Mystic’s first beers brewed with wild yeast, this beer had a nice balance between sour, fruity, funky, and spicy.
15. Mystic Echo: A hoppy session saison with plenty of different flavors packed into a light and easy drinking beer.
14. Mystic Three Cranes: A saison brewed with cranberries, released every year in November. I am sure this beer was enjoyed with many Thanksgiving dinners!
13. Mystic De Varenne: A blend of lambic-style wild ales, each barrel-aged for at least a year. Mystic and Cambridge Brewing started an amazing barrel aging and wild ale collaboration, I hope that it doesn’t disappear.
12. Mystic Hazy Jane: When Mystic released a rotating series of seasonal saisons this was the summer beer. Brewed with substantial amounts of wheat this beer was light and easy drinking but packed plenty of flavor, a great choice for a warm summer day.
11. Mystic Saison Renaud: Mystic’s flagship saison. Light and easy-drinking but packing a complex mixture of flavors from the fermentation, just what you want in a saison.
10. Mystic Saison Dutronc: A slightly re-worked version of Saison Renaud to give the same profile but allow the brewery to can the beer. I never tried them side-by-side, but I think they pulled it off.
9. Mystic Voltage: When Mystic started regularly brewing and canning their NEIPAs this quickly became their flagship hoppy beer. A quintessential version of the style, with big fruity hop flavors and mild bitterness.
8. Mystic Double Voltage: The DIPA version of Voltage was also a very tasty NEIPA, and drinks incredibly easy for a big beer.
7. Entropy: One of Mystic’s most unique beers, an uncarbonated still ale brewed with three different yeast strains. I would grab some of this if they release cellared versions.
6. Mystic Vinland Three: A Belgian style dubbel brewed with yeast cultured from raspberries grown in Vermont. Just an amazing combination of flavors.
5. Mystic Table Beer: I horribly underrated this beer when I first reviewed it. Just a perfect little session beer, plenty of flavor, balanced, pairs well with a variety of foods, and destined to be underrated by people like the 2013 version of me.
4. Mystic Descendant: A Belgian style dark ale brewed with molasses; dark, flavorful and decadent. Another beer I will miss in the winter.
3. Mystic Vinland Two: This is one of the beers that I tried for the first time and it immediately blew my mind. Mystic cultured yeast from Maine lowbush blueberries and used it to brew this saison. It is amazing how much blueberry flavor comes through. I wish they had made this a regular release.
2. Mystic Day of Doom: A rich and boozy Belgian style quad that goes down incredibly smooth. This is one of my favorite styles for the winter months and is woefully under-represented in the local market. Anyone who knows where I can buy some leftover Day of Doom please pass along the info.
- Mystic Mary of the Gael: This delicious hoppy saison was Mystic’s spring seasonal release and it is the beer I will miss the most. My wife and I discovered this beer together soon after we got married and it became a spring tradition to split a bottle to celebrate the end of winter. It will feel weird not to have a bottle this spring.