IPA? Pinot Grigio? Scotch? No matter your beverage of choice, there are breweries,
wineries, and distilleries on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard where you
can learn the ins and outs of how beer, wine and spirits are made. So, come to the
Cape and Islands to sip and learn about your favorite beverage and perhaps discover
a new “regular.”
If you love beer, then be sure to pay a visit to one of these three breweries located
in the area.
Beer began brewing in Hyannis in 2004 and describes their beer as “a
vacation in every pint.” With the wide selection of their local brews, you are bound
to find your “vacation spot.” Sample year round favorites such as Cape Cod IPA,
Cape Cod Red, and Cape Cod Beach Blonde, as well as their seasonal beers, Stargazer
Stout, Berry Merry Holiday Ale, and Hot Blonde, just to name a few. A visit to the
Cape Cod Beer Brewery is well worth the visit. If you are interested in how they
brew a “vacation,” then you won’t want to miss a tour of the brewery to learn the
process of creating Cape Cod Beer. Tours are offered daily Monday through Saturday at 11:00 am. Families are welcome, but children
must be supervised. If you miss the tour, stop by for a free beer tasting during
retails hours, weekdays 10 AM- 6 PM and Saturdays 11 AM to 3 PM.
Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard is home to the handcrafted beer of the
Offshore Ale Company. Since 1997, they have regularly brewed local favorites
East Chop Lighthouse Ale, Menemsha Creek Pale Ale, and Beach Road Nut Brown Ale.
Their seasonal selection is second to none. The classic fall beer, Octoberfest,
is made with wood fire roasted sugar pumpkins, their Miss Behavin is a winter warmer-style
beer, and their Offshore Blueberry is a summery, fruity favorite. Tours are offered Mondays & Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday - Fridays at 2pm, and Saturday 1pm, 2pm & 3pm. Tour is $10 and includes tasting. Reservations are strongly recommended, and participants must be 21+. In addition to beer, Offshore
Ale Company offers an extensive food menu and is open for lunch and dinner. Be sure
to stop by on your next visit to Martha’s Vineyard, and decide for yourself if “it’s
on Nantucket is known for such microbrews as Whale’s Tale Pale
Ale, Sankaty Light Lager and Grey Lady Ale. They started brewing beer in 1995 and
have producing quality beer ever since. The Brewery itself is akin to an outdoor
bar. There is usually live music and a food truck from which to purchase food, and
there is plenty of space for kids and dogs to play. If you are looking for a fun,
casual spot to taste some local beer, then a trip to the Cisco Brewery should be
on your to-do list. Tours are held 1pm – 2pm & 4pm – 5pm. Enjoy live music each day at 4:30.
The cost is $20 and includes many samplings as well as a tour tasting glass.
Or, if wine is your preference, a stop at one of the Cape and Islands local wineries
is a must.
Cape Cod Winery, founded in 1994, is home to vinifera grapes, and their
vineyard has been compared to those found in the area of southern France and Northern
Italy. With the abundance of cranberries on Cape Cod, it is no surprise that the
Cape Cod Winery produces a cranberry blush as well as a cranberry chardonnay. Looking
for a nice red? The Nobska Red, with its hints of raspberries, cherries and black
currants, is a popular choice. With these, as well as 7 other wine selections to
choose from, be sure to stop by for a tasting. Summer tasting hours are 12 AM to 4 PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday, Saturday hours are 11 AM to 4PM from the end of June through Labor Day. Fall tasting
hours are 12 PM to 4 PM on Saturday and Sunday through the end of December.
Winery was established in 1981 and is located near Cisco Beach on Nantucket.
By combining local ingredients along with off island ingredients, this winery is
producing some unique and delicious reds and whites ranging from Peach Vigonier
and Blueberry Pinot Gris to Black Cherry Port and Sailor’s Delight. Part of Cisco
Brewers, tours are held 1pm – 2pm & 4pm – 5pm, and are in conjunction with tours of the
brewery and distillery. The cost is $20, which includes a sampling of the products.
Established in 1991,
Truro Vineyards is a family owned and operated business that produces
beautiful wines in a beautiful setting. Situated in the hills of Truro, a visit
to the tasting room in the fully restored 1830’s farmhouse is a treat for anyone
who enjoys wine. Tastings are $10 and are held from the end of March through the
beginning of May on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays from 11 AM to 5 PM, and Sundays
from 12 noon to 5 PM. Beginning in May, tastings are held every 30 minutes, Monday
through Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM and Sundays 12 PM to 5 PM. Free Wine & Vineyard Tours are held at 1 PM & 3 PM, Distillery Tours are held at 12 PM & 2 PM. In addition to tours and
tastings, Truro Vineyard is host to numerous events. One of the most popular during
the summer is Wine, Art, Appetizers, and Music (WAAM), which is held every Wednesday
throughout the summer. Five local wines are paired with food prepared by local chefs,
and all this while enjoying live, local music and local art. Whether looking for
a dry red or a nice Chardonnay (which goes perfectly with local seafood), with over
ten wines from which to choose, a perfect match should be easy to find!
Crush Winery in Harwich is the newest winery addition to the area. Not
only is it a winery that produces exquisite wines, but it is also a cooperative
that encourages and supports active wine making. From the Starfish Sauvignon-Blanc
to the Three-Sip-Cran, you will find something special about each of First Crush’s
wines, which are available at many local restaurants and liquor stores. Although
there are no set hours for public tastings and tours, visitors are welcome but must
arranged by appointment only.
Located just off Cape in South Dartmouth is
Coastal Vineyards. Founded in 2004, they grow their own eight different
varieties of grapes. Coastal Vineyards produces small batches of creative wines
such as Ocean Breeze, Cranberry Sunset and White Wave, and each is sure to please
the palate. The outdoor tasting room is located at the vineyard, offering a spectacular
setting to enjoy a sampling of wines. Tastings are available seasonally Friday through
Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM.
If you prefer spirits to beer and wine, then pay a visit to the only distillery
on the Cape and Islands. Triple 8 Distillery on Nantucket began producing
their high proof spirits in 2000. Currently, they distill five vodkas ranging from
traditional to flavored (vanilla, orange, blueberry and cranberry) and four types
of liqueurs, including a gin, rum, bourbon, and a 10-year single malt whiskey. Triple
8 is a part of
Cisco Brewers; thus their tours also include a tour of the brewery and
winery. Tours are held 1pm – 2pm & 4pm – 5pm. The cost is $20 and includes a sampling
of some of the products as well as a tasting glass.
When visiting the Cape and Islands, be sure to take some time to taste the local
flavor at one the breweries, wineries or distilleries. Cheers!