Interview with Boston Rising Star Brewer Bryan Greenhagen of Mystic Brewery

by Alex Kalf
April 2015

Alex Kalaf: How did you first get into brewing beer?
Bryan Greenhagen:
I have a background in industrial fermentation and product development. I used to homebrew on weekends in grad school. I’ve always been focused and fascinated by the process of fermentation. When I looked back into my family tree, I found out that quite a few of my distant family members had similar backgrounds to what I’m doing now.

AK: Describe your style as a brewer.
BG: It takes a ton of influences from historical brewing methods and focuses extremely heavily on fermentation and yeast and other brewing related microbial flora.

AK: What is your favorite beer that you have brewed?
BG: It’s very hard to pick, but I love pre-industrial beers like farmhouse style. I was a line cook in the past, so I take a bit of the cooking approach. I’m extremely proud of my traditional Lambic program.

AK: How many barrels a year do you currently produce?
BG: We produced 1,100 barrels last year in 18 barrel batches.

AK: What is the most important part of brewing?
BG: I focus heavily on yeast and bacterial fermentation and take influences from Belgian farmhouse breweries and use tricks that have taken a long time to learn. The funny thing is, when you meet with these brewers, their methodology is more about tradition and how we have always done things, rather than the process.

AK: What kind of beer do you like to drink in your free time?
BG: The pre-industrial farmhouse styles we brew here.

AK: If you weren't a brewer, what would you be doing?
BG: Some sort of fermentation-related scientist, most likely.

AK: Where will we find you in five years?
We are currently in the process of obtaining a brewhouse, so we’re looking to increase production and grow the traditional lambic program.