Learn Our Story

The Mayflower Brewery Story

Mayflower Brewing Company is a craft beer microbrewery located in historic Plymouth, Massachusetts. Founded in 2007 by a tenth great grandson of John Alden, beer barrel cooper on board the Mayflower, we are dedicated to celebrating the history and legacy of the Pilgrims by creating unique, high-quality ales for the New England market.

We brew and package all of our beer at our brewery in Plymouth and use only traditional brewing methods and ingredients. Our product line includes a set of year-round beers that honor traditional English ales, seasonal beers that celebrate our New England weather, and small batch releases that give us a chance to try out new ideas.

We package the beer in kegs, cans and bottles and are currently distributing the beer in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, and Maine. Get on board and join us on our adventure.

Taste the History

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower set sail for the New World on one of the boldest voyages in American history. On board were 102 passengers, including fifty-one Separatists and fifty-one “Strangers” – hired hands, indentured servants and others who came for their own reasons. The history books most remember such prominent figures as William Bradford, Edward Winslow and Myles Standish for their leading roles in the adventure. But it was a young hired cooper named John Alden who held perhaps the most important job – building and tending the wooden barrels which carried the Mayflower’s most precious cargo, thousands of gallons of beer that sustained the Pilgrims on their arduous journey to America.

Indeed, beer was the staple drink on board the Mayflower. Unlike water, which quickly spoiled when stored in the hold of ships, beer contained no bacteria, and the then-recent introduction of hops made it keep longer. It was also a terrific source of carbohydrates. Men, women and children drank beer daily, and sailors aboard the Mayflower received a daily ration of a gallon.

After sixty-five grueling days at sea, the Mayflower sighted land along the coast of Cape Cod. The ship headed south towards its planned destination on the Hudson River. But treacherous seas from the Polluck Rip off Monomoy Point forced the Mayflower to turn north and drop anchor at Provincetown. After several weeks of searching unsuccessfully for a suitable harbor on the Cape, the Pilgrims were cold, tired and, most importantly, low on beer. In their words, “we could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer.”

And so it was that on December 20, 1620 the Pilgrims chose the site for their new colony in Plymouth. Set on high ground and protected from the sea by the natural harbor, the plantation was easily defended and provided a commanding view of the bay and Cape Cod. There was also a great deal of land that had already been cleared and planted with corn by the native Patuxets several years earlier. Most important, the plantation contained a “very sweet brook” and “many delicate springs of as good water as may be drunk.” Today, we use that same water to brew our family of Mayflower ales.

We could not now take time for further search or consideration, our victuals being much spent, especially our beer.
William Bradford
In his firsthand Account of the Pilgrims at Plymouth

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