Building Business: Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery
Bad Martha offers wicked good brews—and a wicked good time—at its distinctively designed Vineyard brewery
“What happens on the Vineyard stays on the Vineyard,” so claims one cheeky T-shirt sold at Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery on Martha’s Vineyard. What’s not kept an island secret, however, is the brewery itself.
Located in Edgartown on the site of Donaroma’s Nursery, Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors since opening in 2014, serving as more than just a brewing facility for Bad Martha’s craft beers. After launching Bad Martha on the Vineyard in 2013, co-founder Jonathan Blum says he and business partner Peter Rosbeck of Rosbeck Builders decided they needed a special place for people to experience their beer. The barn-style brewery is that place, providing patrons a unique and idyllic setting to enjoy the many varieties of freshly made Bad Martha brews—like the Honey Helles, 508 IPA, or the new Shark Bite Jalapeno Cucumber Kolsch, all concocted by master brewer Jacobi Reid.
“I love coming here because everybody’s happy,” Blum says. “We want this to be a really chill, relaxing place where people who live on the island and tourists can come to enjoy a delicious beer.”
Bad Martha beer certainly isn’t ordinary beer, so it’s fitting that its brewery—and the way its brewery was built—isn’t ordinary either. When he set out to build the Bad Martha brewery in 2014, Blum says his vision was, in essence, Wine Country meets Martha’s Vineyard. “I wanted to create for a brewery what you’d find at a Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley winery,” he explains.
Blum enlisted Vineyard architect—and friend—Patrick Ahearn, FAIA, to bring his vision to life. For the “country brewery” look desired, Ahearn went with a post-and-beam barn design—and he knew exactly who could best build such a structure.
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