A Little Bad Martha, A Lot of Good
Iconic Martha’s Vineyard brewery opens a new location in Falmouth, carrying on the style and tradition first set on the island.
If you’ve been to Edgartown, odds are you’ve encountered the black and blue sign featuring a mermaid who looks suspiciously like Angelina Jolie. Curious, you’ve probably pulled into the parking lot, finding a beautiful cedar barn and luscious nursery. Inside, you’re greeted once again by that mermaid, this time, atop the bar pulls showing off a wide range of locally crafted and brewed beers. This unique brewery, Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery, pulls their name and logo from the lore of Captain Gosnold, who found himself on the island, searching for the ingredients to make ale for his crew. One night, a mermaid appeared to him and showed him a field full of grapes. Instead of making wine, he used the leaves to brew ale, a technique still used by Bad Martha brewers today.
Jonathan Blum launched Bad Martha Beer in 2012 at Boston’s Baseball Tavern and opened the flagship brewery in Edgartown in 2014. Since then, Bad Martha has been providing the island’s residents and visitors with a unique experience and distinctive brews. The beer’s early popularity led to expansion into bars, stores and festivals, on and off the island, winning 12 international medals along the way. That success convinced the team to open a second Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery in the fall of 2019 in East Falmouth on Rt. 28, welcoming old fans and newcomers alike to enjoy the fruits of their labor year-round.
Bad Martha Falmouth’s General Manager Josh Flanders says the choice to make the jump to Falmouth was an easy one. “It’s right on the other side of the boat; a lot of people already knew the brand, so it wasn’t like we were starting somewhere completely new where no one knew of us. It’s just across the pond, so it made sense. It has a similar clientele, and with the tourist industry, it felt like a natural next step. It felt like home, but on the mainland, where things can be a little easier.” Those things made easier include expanding distribution and maintaining a year-round business. The new building also has space for a full kitchen, and it is the only brewery on Cape Cod to have its own state-of-the-art canning line. Visitors can buy beer by the glass or a flight paddle, or take home a growler, crowler or cans of select styles. The goal is to always have at least 10 craft beers on tap, despite the challenges of COVID-19. And working with architectural designer Peter Pometti, the team was able to build upon what made the first Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery so iconic.
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