Rising Star Brewer Bryan Greenhagen of Mystic Brewery - Biography

Chelsea, MA

March 2015

If you get to pick anyone to be in charge of the yeast strains going into your beer, lifetime beer aficionados and avid-turned-pro home brewers might be near the top of your list. Closest to the top should be Bryan Greenhagen.

Greenhagen got into beer by way of fermentation. An early curiosity as to why plants develop the ability to make flavors and fragrances in nature morphed into Greenhagen’s post-doctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Yes, you read that correctly.) And while a career followed that found him fermenting to create flavors and fragrances for a living, Greenhagen realized it would be much more fun to turn his PhD and expertise toward beer.

In 2011, Greenhagen founded Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, with beer brewed off-site at Pioneer Brewing in Sturbridge and the wort fermented back in the Chelsea space. The results are beers that have more variety and authentic local flavor than your average flight. This is thanks in large part to a months long process of locating and harvesting indigenous yeasts that are cultivated from local fruit, purified, and selected for brewing. Tack onto that the barrel-aging that much of Mystic beer goes through and you have a serious devotion of time. But the yields are unparalleled. Greenhagen is methodical and meticulous with a traditional bent, but he’s brewing wholly new (and colorfully local) beer, like the Vinland Two which earned Mystic a gold medal in the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.