Learn Blog

We Launched a Brewery Only Beer Series with a Gin Botanical Gruit

On Friday, July 7, 2017 in Plymouth, MA, Mayflower Brewing Company will launch Ebb & Flow, a brand new brewery only series. The first beer, available that day in the Mayflower tasting room, will be a Gin Botanical gruit called Dutch Courage.  The series itself is a project providing an avenue for smaller scale brewer experimentation as well as an opportunity to collaborate with local artists who are invited to create the can designs. Mayflower recently opened the doors to it’s brand new expanded and renovated tasting room. The Ebb & Flow series is an exciting reason to visit the tasting room, try some of the freshest limited brew and take home cans featuring the local art. Dutch Courage will be available for tastings, pints, and 4 packs of 12oz cans from the brewery.


The Mayflower Brewing team always has ideas for new beers and realizes that the craft beer consumer is usually in the mood to taste new beer as well. The Ebb & Flow Series is essentially a stack of blank canvases, where the brewers can create on a bit more of a whim with constant change between the beers if they are so inspired. Ryan Gwozdz, the head brewer for Mayflower, is excited about launching with Dutch Courage because he already enjoys the super floral and aromatic botanicals found in gin. These include juniper, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, angelica root, orris root, orange peel, and cubeb berry. “It’s a play on a cocktail,” says Ryan “scaled up to what would work in a beer.  It’s something we haven’t really seen before, but it just works.”  A gin botanical gruit is a beer brewed without any hops. Historically that was the difference between ale and beer. Hops were introduced in the 1500s. Before that, ale was being brewed. When hops were added, it was then called beer. Historically, gin came from the original name Jenever.  Connecting it all, the story goes that Dutch soldiers in the Thirty Years’ War gained bravery when given gin, which became known as their Dutch Courage.

Amelia Wilson, a Rhode Island-based artist who channels her interest in dark humor, botany, sea creatures, and alcohol to create captivating and playful artwork; created the label for Dutch Courage. Bold imagery, crowded compositions, frisky colors, and organic patterns are unmistakable elements of her work. Born into a family of artists, she was painting at a young age and studied a variety of visual arts throughout high school and college.  She attended Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona, where she found her niche in painting and botanical illustration. She graduated in 2013 with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Visual Art. Her travels and experiences across the southwest and Mexico are an obvious influence on her current work. “I love complementing contrasts. I love pairing childish whimsy with adult undertones, bright colors with heavy black lines and I like to place desert elements in pieces that cater to an east coast locality. I like to mix it up and overdo it,” she says.  Although she dabbles in a range of media from screen printing to jewelry making, Amelia mainly creates acrylic paintings and pen illustrations.  She uses her vibrant color palette to transform natural organisms into something artificial and unlikely- but no less alive. Most of Amelia’s artistic career has been focused on creating artwork but she is now taking a more professional approach to her role as an artist and is beginning the process of creating a portfolio, establishing a web presence, and curating a show for Fall 2017. As of now her commissioned works can be enjoyed in various local businesses across Rhode Island.

This beer series is all about brewer creativity and, with this limited edition packaging, artist creativity. Mayflower’s usual packaging is classic and recognizable, but they wanted to do something completely different for Dutch Courage, their first ever botanical gruit. Dutch Courage is a summer release so it seems fitting this beer is refreshing in both its style and colorful packaging. The perfect person to kick off this series, Amelia is “…psyched to be the first outside artist to design a label for Mayflower. I love Mayflower, I love the brewer, and I love what the brewery represents. The design was created by free hand using a combination of pen and paint. It is entirely original and I hope it captures the spirit of the Dutch Courage, and I hope it does the delicious beer justice.”