Recipes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nantucket: Cisco Brewery

Before this trip, the last time I had visited Nantucket I was barely a teen so I really had no clue about the nightlife or any of the great bars on the island, not to mention a brewery/winery/distillery!

That’s right…Brewery + Winery + Distillery = one of my new favorite places ever!

If you go to Nantucket you must MUST visit Cisco.

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I have tried a couple of their beers before, most recently the Cherry Woods that I was obsessed with after enjoying this sour refreshment at Armsby Abbey back in July

The brewery isn’t a bar downtown, it’s a bit off the beaten path and you probably wouldn’t randomly drive by if you were just visiting for a weekend.  We knew about it because my cousins love it (they know the island well) and Brian loves trying new beer and visiting breweries. 

We actually visited Cisco, twice in 3 days :)  The first was Sunday for a tour.  Through a combination of the public shuttle + walking down a fairly pedestrian un-friendly road…we made it.  On a Sunday at 2pm it was already pretty crowded, but we found our tour guy, Stu.  We were lucky that it was just us and one other couple. 

We started with the brewery, and while we toured our little sample cup was never empty for more than a few minutes…we sipped on Grey Lady and I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite beer.
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The beer production is all done by hand still, even the labeling of the bottles!  They have recently enlisted the help of two off-island breweries (1 in Ipswich, MA and one in NY) to assist in the production of some of their popular beers as the Nantucket brewery can’t handle the demand; they are maxed out! 

The Labeling “station”:

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They recently released a series of oak barrel aged beers called The Woods series.  This is where my beloved Cherry Woods comes from.  There is also Dark Woods, Lady of the Woods (the Grey Lady in oak barrels…we bought a bottle but haven’t opened it yet), and White Woods.  The barrels are recycled from their wine production; when they are no longer suitable for wine, they are used to produce these beers!  White woods won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup…unfortunately there was not much of this beer produced and therefore was never released to the public.   

IMG_4462 Can you believe each French Oak barrel costs about $1000!!!!
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We didn’t try all the beers during the tour (but not to worry, we came back Tuesday and had a sampler)

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Next was the winery…again a small production. 

IMG_4468They actually get their grapes from the west coast, either in whole grape or juice form.  Nantucket just is not a great place to grow grapes for wine.  The first sample was the Chardonnay.  This is probably my most favorite Chardonnay now…I’m usually not a huge fan, I find them too sharp and dry, but this was buttery and smooth.  I really liked it.

We also tried a Pinot Noir and a sparkling Pinot Grigio infused with cranberry.  So refreshing!

And then there was the booze…

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They make a regular vodka, blueberry, cranberry, orange and vanilla vodka.  All naturally colored from the fruit. 

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We had a few small samples

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And then tried a few of their new liquors…my favorite was the coffee liquor…mmmmm, delicious!  This would make an amazing brunch cocktail.

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And not that we got to sample it, but they also produce a single malt scotch, called Notch (you can’t call it “Scotch” unless it’s made in Scotland).  It’s been aged for 8 years and sells for a mere $888.00 a bottle!!  Apparently its amazing, very highly rated, and yes they do have plenty of people who buy it…we asked ;)

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Check out this sweet copper still!!  So cool in person.               IMG_4492

The Notch ages in these barrels for 8 years, and there’s still no guarantee each barrel will be good enough.IMG_4494
The beer, the wine, and the vodka are all delicious…but the BEST part of visiting Cisco is the atmosphere… IMG_4496 live music…IMG_4498 IMG_4499

It’s basically just a big open, outdoor, chill bar.  Bring a lunch, your dog, and your friends and spend an afternoon in the sun…

It was PACKED on a beautiful Sunday afternoon

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And I had fun taking photos of all the adorable dogs :)

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Oh and enjoyed a refreshing Cherry Woods.  Brian had their 15th Anniversary brew…it was an American style Tripel, and very strong.

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Seriously go here.

Did I mention we went twice in 3 days??

Brian really wanted to do a sampling of all the beers and they don’t do samplers when its busy (as it was Sunday).

So Tuesday we rode bikes down, brought lunch and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon…there was barely anyone there and it was awesome.

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We picked up a few items from Bartlett Farm Market down the road… There need to be more BYOFood Bars.

Raw Vegetable Salad…sooo good.

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

IMG_4696 And a delicious tomato, fresh mozzarella, and prosciutto sandwich on fresh bread. IMG_4698

Some friendly bar games.

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Amazing how empty the place was compared to Sunday

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After the sampler I walked over and got a cocktail

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Peach and Pineapple infused vodka with OJ, cranberry, and club soda…yeah think that was it.

It was delicious, not too sweet and not too strong…I don’t like a strong vodka taste in my drinks

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IMG_4717  Can you tell we liked it here??

13 comments:

  1. Gosh I love the Cisco Brewery! I'm lucky that my roommates parents rent a house on Cisco every year, and I crashed at their pad this summer. I loved the "taste the rainbow" of all the triple 8 vodkas, and they have the best cocktails

    ReplyDelete
  2. The pictures are SO beautiful. The brewery should use your blog on its website! Looks like a great spot. Josh is a HUGE brewery fan. If we're ever up in MA together, I'm going to make him go here!! Love all the puppers- so so cute. And i want some of that raw veggie salad

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the Cisco Brewery! I've never done the tour but have really enjoyed the beer and vodka tastings!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love that you went twice! This is definitely on my list of things to do next time I'm in Nantucket. And isn't it so funny how you never notice stuff like this when you're a kid?? And then you get older and you're like "how did I not know this was there?!"

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post! My favorite beer is from Cisco: Whale's Tale Pale Ale...!!

    I'd love to check out the brewery and more of their beers!

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