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Martha's Vineyard Blog

Martha’s Vineyard Craft Beer: Four Breweries Near Edgartown, MA

Sea foam is no longer the most significant type of suds to wash up on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard — the craft brewing bonanza has made its way across Vineyard Sound and the results are delicious. We’re still on the upswing, so the availability of Martha’s Vineyard craft beer is growing each year. Right now, you’ll find two established breweries on Martha’s Vineyard and two more a stone’s throw away on the shores of Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Marthas Vineyard Craft Beer - Bad Martha

Bad Martha Beer Co., Edgartown

With their farmer’s brewery and tasting room at Donaroma’s Nursery here in Edgartown, Bad Martha Beer has been making craft brews right on our home turf since the summer of 2014. Stroll through the luscious gardens between May and October to sample as many as 10 varieties at any given time, each brewed with wild Vineyard grape leaves for an extra dose of island authenticity.

Bad Martha’s selection rotates constantly, but the flagship Martha’s Vineyard Ale is here to stay and it’s well worth a line on your island checklist. This smooth, bronze-colored ale with hints of the stronger flavors found in the Island IPA and the Vineyard Honey Ale makes a very approachable first step into the world of Martha’s Vineyard brewing.

Outside of the tasting room, which has growlers available to take out, you’ll find Bad Martha’s beer on tap at Chesca’s Restaurant in the center of Edgartown. If your stomach is well-adjusted to the high seas, you can even rendezvous with Bad Martha on the ferry from Woods Hole.

Offshore Ale Co., Oak Bluffs

Offshore Ale Co. - Marthas Vineyard BreweryOffshore Ale Co. touts a long list of Best of the Vineyard awards from Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, including Best Year-Round Restaurant and Best Bar/Pub. Chalk it up to dedication and consistency — this Martha’s Vineyard brewery has been operating seven days a week year-round since 1997.

Here, seasonal craft brews pair nicely with an upscale pub menu that’s as friendly to families as it is to beer enthusiasts. The Parmesan truffle fries make an excellent addition to any order, bringing new flavors to classic cut potatoes without being overbearing. Your evening at Offshore Ale Co. comes with an extra feelgood component, too: when you order certain beers like the East Chop Lighthouse Ale and the Menemsha Creek Pale Ale, you’re throwing a life saver to the Coast Guard Foundation Enlisted Grant Fund with a percentage of your tab.

Cisco Brewers, Nantucket

Our island neighbor to the southeast hosts an impressive three-in-one outfit: Cisco Brewers actually started as a winery, Nantucket Vineyard, which has also sprung Triple Eight Distillery more recently. You can uncover the finer points of all three legs of the operation on an hourlong tour whose entry fee includes generous samples and a souvenir tasting glass. If you can, get your hands on a corked bottle from the Island Reserve line — these relatively high-ABV specialty brews are a highlight.

If a visit to Nantucket doesn’t fit into your itinerary, you can find craft beer from Cisco Brewers right here on Martha’s Vineyard at Edgartown Meat and Fish Market.

Cape Cod Beer, Hyannis

Plans to get to the Vineyard via the summer ferry out of Hyannis require a stop at Cape Cod Beer. They offer brewery tours once daily at 11am and the tasting room is open all day. Playful brews like the Beach Blonde are available in 16oz cans for your cooler-packing convenience. The seasonal connoisseur can keep an eye on the Cape Cod Beer Calendar, a handy guide to what’s brewing when and where to get it.

Thirsty yet? If you’re ready to belly up and sample what these Martha’s Vineyard breweries have to offer, it’s time to start thinking about places to stay once the evening’s keg is kicked. Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites is located right at the center of it all, with Edgartown lodging options ranging from cozy guest rooms to luxury suites. Here’s to frosty mugs and fresh pints on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard.

Four of Our Favorite Martha’s Vineyard Breakfast Stops

Ready to experience Martha’s Vineyard sunny side up? With daylight washing over the harbor and the sea breeze keeping sidewalks safely below egg-frying temperature, go ahead and set your clocks to breakfast time. From omelets to orange juice, these Martha’s Vineyard breakfast stops have everything you need kick off a day of island exploration.

Martha's Vineyard Morning - Breakfast

Dock Street Coffee Shop

Find this time-tested Edgartown breakfast favorite hiding under a simple red-and-white awning emblazoned with the word DINER. Dock Street Coffee Shop’s menu offers much more than the name suggests — its galley kitchen, right behind the 18-seat counter, is capable of whipping up an impressive array of morning favorites in minutes. The fast, expert service is one reason not to fear the line on a crowded morning. The other, of course, is that fresh food of this caliber is worth the wait.

Espresso Love

Marthas Vineyard Breakfast - Espresso Love Edgartown has been loving Espresso Love since 1992. Since then, the bakery has expanded its menu from hot drinks and pastries more toward full-service, with tasty soups and sandwiches available for lunch, too. Attentive baristas make this a great Martha’s Vineyard breakfast stop if you’re in a hurry, and it’s easy to grab a couple of treats for the road.

The Atrium at Vineyard Square

Stroll downstairs to the atrium and enjoy a tasty Edgartown breakfast included with every stay at Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites. Here, guests need not compete with the rest of the island for a nutritious morning meal and our Edgartown hotel staff makes a point of presenting a variety of fruit, yogurt, muffins, cereals, juices, coffee, and teas that put the traditional hotel continental breakfast to shame. We’ve expanded and upgraded the space for the 2015 season, with the ability to offer more hot food options and an improved seating area. In the warm weather, you can enjoy breakfast out on the patio as well.

Black Dog Bakery and Café

One of the most recognized Martha’s Vineyard attractions, the Black Dog is famous for a reason. Along with iconic t-shirts, this Vineyard Haven establishment has fine baked goods and artisanal coffee blends. Its location makes it the perfect bookend for your Martha’s Vineyard vacation — stop in for a sandwich on fresh, homemade bread when you arrive on the ferry or get a cup of joe to go as you begin your journey home. For a sit-down meal, walk just around the side to the Tavern.

You can’t go wrong at any of these four Martha’s Vineyard breakfast staples — just wake up, smell the coffee, and let your hosts do the rest. Let us know your favorite place to eat breakfast in Edgartown in the comments below or via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. In the meantime, all this thinking about breakfast has us hungry for some scrambled eggs and linguica (the island’s favorite sausage, of Portuguese descent).

Meet Wes, Vineyard Square’s new GM

When you ask any of us at Vineyard Square what sets us apart, the unanimous answer is, “our staff.” We believe the people at Vineyard Square are some of the best on the island, offering our guests the sort of warm welcome and thoughtful service that will be well-remembered for a long time after your ferry leaves.

We are pleased to introduce Wesley Doyle as the new general manager of Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites. Wes is not exactly a new face; he has been with us for the past three years with an enthusiastic hello and a knack for making a stay at Vineyard Square a special one. Wes’s commitment to stellar service is obvious, and one that he shares with our entire staff.

To help you get to know Wes, we put him in the hot seat for an edition of the Vineyard Square Staff Six.

Here’s Wesley Doyle, General Manager.

Wes, general manager of Vineyard Square

1. Give us your one-minute memoir, including how you came to Vineyard Square.

I was born and raised in Rhode Island, which means I love coffee milk. I have been on the Vineyard since 2012 after a stylist at the Sea Spa Salon lured me here. I was working for Starwood Hotels at an airport property and was in desperate need of a change of pace. I was supposed to stay for the summer, but I never left.

2. What was your best moment at Vineyard Square (so far)?

That’s a tough question. Each check in gives me the chance to make other people’s vacations awesome, so the best moments come every day. Working with The Dream Foundation, for terminally ill adults, led to one of my top “best” moments.

3. What word describes you best?

Problem-solver. I work well under pressure.

4. Do you have any hidden (or not-so-hidden) talents?

I managed an independent record label based in Boston before moving to the island. I was in charge of securing new talent and overseeing the recording process for artists. An artist I worked with made it onto the Billboard Top 100 this past year, so I think that I know how to spot a good thing when I see it.

5. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I would love the ability to talk to animals because I think they would have an amusing take on life. Not that I don’t already talk to animals.

6. What are your favorite things to do/see/eat on Martha’s Vineyard?

Pack the Jeep, deflate the tires, drive onto Norton Point and cook dinner on the beach. There is no better reminder that I live on an island.


Now and Then: Guest Returns To Pose On The Deck

We were quite delighted to get the photo to the right (click to enlarge) from a great guy named Harry Perrone. Harry was a frequent guest at Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites years back in the mid-80s when the hotel was called the Colonial Inn.MV 1987 - 2014 b

Harry then stopped visiting Martha’s Vineyard for awhile (28 years to be exact!), but decided to visit again this summer. And – he brought the same t-shirt he was wearing in 1987.  “I love staying there. It’s in a great location with obvious beautiful views.  And I love Chesca’s restaurant just below.  I will try to stay again before the season ends and will return next summer as well,” he says.

Harry says he got the idea to do the “now and then” photo when he found the t-shirt in an old dresser (scheduled to go Good Will soon!) in the basement of his Mom’s house. He brought it to the island and the rest is history.  

“As you can see, not much has changed over the years on Martha’s Vineyard except the railing (and my  gut!),” he says.

Thank you for staying again, Harry, and for your sense of humor. We look forward to your next visit.

Our Edgartown Hotel Sponsors “Bike MS” Team

Our Edgartown hotel is proud to sponsor a team of riders in this year’s Bike MS: Ride The Vineyard. Named the “Vineyard Square Wheelers” our team is dedicated to helping create a world free of MS.Vineyard Square Wheelers Logo

The “Square Wheelers” is not just some clever incorporation of the hotel’s name with a biking reference. 

Square wheels are a perfect metaphor for living with MS.  For those with MS, everything is harder, sort of like trying to bike with square wheels.

Please consider joining us by signing up to ride with our team. Held on May 3. 2014, the ride offers a route for everyone, including families, no matter your cycling ability level. 

With the quaint charm and beautiful ocean views of Martha’s Vineyard, choose from 15-, 30-, and 60-mile routes and enjoy the flavor of the island.  The 60-mile features the cliffs of Gay Head, the beaches of Katama, and the scenic views of East Chop!

If biking is not your bag, please consider donating to the Vineyard Square Wheelers at our team page here.

Piknik March Madness

Our Edgartown hotel’s onsite boutique, Piknik, is holding huge SALE weekends in March.

Edgartown MA boutique items

Piknik, the onsite boutique at our Martha’s Vineayrd hotel, is having a blow-out sale on March weekends.

Prices have been slashed on back inventory of designer clothing and accessories for men and women.

 You’ll also receive special discounts on various original art work.  

These deals are not to be missed…and worth a planned (or even last minute!) trip to the Vineyard for the weekend. 

Held Fridays through Sundays, 12 to 7 daily.

Spa Deals all Quiet Season

Do you need additional incentive to hop on that ferry this quiet season? How about a deal at Sea Spa Salon – located right here at The Square?Edgartown MA spa services

The spa is offering specials six days a week!

  • Monday Fundays: Book a 50-minute spa service and receive an equal or lesser service at 50% off!
  • Toes for Tuesdays: Book a spa pedicure and bring a friend for 50% off the second one
  • Wash Away Wednesday: After any spa treatment, enjoy a wash and blow dry for only $25
  • Thrilling Thursdays: 20% off all nail treatments
  • Fur Free Friday: $45 brazilian wax (save $30) and 20% off any other body waxing
  • Salon Saturday: First time clients get a $20 coupon towards the next visit

Edgartown Hotel Video Contest Winner!

Drum roll, please! The winner of our 2013 summer video contest is. . . Sheila DiTocco!

Sheila won a four-night stay at a New Hampshire ski resort. It was a tough call (we got a number of creative entries), but Sheila charmed us with photos of her stuffed gorilla, Bam, experiencing locations all over the island. And, we do mean ALL over. Check out the delightful video here.

Video winner's gorilla on Martha's Vineyard.

Bam on Martha’s Vineyard.

Sheila – who was staying with us for her 25th anniversary when she shot all the photos that comprise the video – shared a little bit of Bam’s story with us. “Bam is well loved. She was originally given to my husband the first year we were married. He injured his back at work and I bought her to cheer him up. At that time she was bright white and clean. When we had children she became even more well loved. My husband would frequently sneak her into my suitcase when I went on business trips and when we went on vacation.

She has been to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Canada, all of the New England states, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and, of course, Martha’s Vineyard a number of times. This is her first starring role. She has had pictures taken before but has never been in a video.”

We are so glad she is now! Congratulations Sheila (and Bam).

Wednesday Shop Photos on Facebook

Do you know Edgartown’s shops well? Yes? Then you’ll want to place close attention to our Facebook page on Wednesdays between now and October 23. We’ll be uploading shop window photos three times a day (starting today!). Write down your guess as to which shop it is. On Oct 24, the day after all 15 Wednesday Window photos have appeared, email with your list of 15 in the CORRECT ORDER that they appeared. NOTE: we may not leave all the photos up on Facebook, so you can’t just come look on the final day!! You’ll win a gift certificate from us if you get them all right. READY?




Guest Post: Not Missing it on MV

by Rick Conti

Everyone has their own list of stuff they miss when they’re away from Martha’s Vineyard.  Certainly I’m no exception.  My list is long indeed.  The highlights of said list provide the fodder that makes these blog entries so easy to come up with.

But I have another list: Things I don’t miss while I’m there.  The former list is the magnetic force constantly tugging me seaward, back to the Vineyard.  The latter is the gravity that keeps me there, feet firmly planted on island soil, as often and for as long as possible.  Significant energy can be expended resisting those forces.  Rather than fight that losing battle, I give in whenever I can.  As several songs in recent memory declare, it’s a sweet surrender.

Here are portions of my two lists, in alternating order…

On the mainland, I miss the fresh, laser-sharp, salt-infused air of MV.  It simply has a higher, almost alive quality than can be found elsewhere.  

On the island, it’s a welcome relief to know I won’t encounter a single traffic light.  None.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Here where I live, they pop up like weeds everywhere I go.  Stop and go is my life.

Nowhere in my land-locked space can I hear one of the Earth’s greatest sounds: roaring ocean surf.  There’s nothing like that sonic miracle anywhere in the world but at the seaside.

Nowhere on the Vineyard will I run into a nationwide franchise.  No Dunkin’ Donuts, no McDonald’s, no Pizza Hut.  Who needs’em?  Who wants’em?

The never-ending display of sparkling, Christmas-esque lights gleaming off the ephemeral peaks on the rolling sea surface can’t be duplicated by any seasonal artifice.

At last, when I’m on MV, I’m not surrounded by “big box” retailers hawking slave-manufactured “goods”.  Having effectively crushed their more homely counterparts, they’re the only option left… on the mainland.

Isolation might not be everyone’s cup of lemonade.  Truth be told, it often isn’t mine.  But everyone needs some separation sometimes.  Paul Hogan (whatever happened to him?) could just as easily have been describing MV when he announced that Australia is “surrounded by water”.  (Supply your own accent.) No such barrier is available to the landlubber.

Big buildings have their place – you can’t build Saturn V rockets in a phone booth (whatever happened to them?) after all – but do they have to be everywhere?  And do they have to be so big?  My idea of an acceptable skyscraper is Edgartown Lighthouse.

Open space.

Highways and 65 MPH speed limits.

Ice Cream and Candy Bazaar

Ubiquitous tractor trailers.

Back Door Donuts.

Parking lots big enough to have their own zip code.

Edgartown Residence Club

In fact, one of the few things I don’t miss when I’m land-bound is cranky tourists.  Unfortunately, we’re just as disagreeable on the mainland…

…which is where we live…

…which is why I specialize in off-season visits to MV.