Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer Red and Blonde on the deck at the Palmer House Inn

Cape Cod Beer, Micro-brews Only Found on the Cape

Best known for their smooth amber ale, Cape Cod Red, the Cape Cod Beer company brews a wonderful range of beers and ales well suited for any taste and season. A trip to the brewery or sampling a few of the ales here in Falmouth are an essential part of the Cape Cod experience.

Cape Cod Beer Red and Blonde on the deck at the Palmer House Inn
Cape Cod Beer Red and Blonde on the deck at the Palmer House Inn

Cape Cod Beer a Brief History

Cape Cod Beer Sign
Cape Cod Beer Sign

Cape Cod Beer was first brewed in April of 2004 by Todd and Beth Marcus. They started out at the old Hyport Brewing Company at the west end of Main Street in Hyannis. They were there for two years while they transported the kegs to a storage space across town to be washed and back again to Hyport. During those early days they sold home brewing supplies out of their house. That first year they had twelve customers. Todd was the only employee and they delivered beer in the family van.  In 2005 Brian Flagg joined the company to help to keep up with the increasing demand.  Then in January of 2006 they moved to a 3,000 square foot building at 1336 Phinney’s Lane  in Hyannis. At that time they had three full time employees, Todd, Brian and Blake Prior. Blake had been their salesman prior to the move. In August of 2006 two additional tanks were added to the brewery to meet the increasing demand and that fall Beth was able to join the company full time as Cape Cod’s Beer’s business manager. Since then each year has brought more brewing capacity and additional retail space.

Cape Cod Beer is now distributing their products within approximately fifty miles of the brewery. The area encompasses the area from Plymouth to Provincetown.

Cape Cod Beers

Cape Cod Red, is the the company’s flagship beer. It is a North American style Amber Ale and is available year round. It is a smooth and mellow well-balanced ale with caramel and toffee malt notes and a subtle spicy hop character.

India Pale Ale, is available year round also. It is bold and hoppy and is an American style IPA. It has a citrusy hop bite and a subtle malt finish. It blends wonderfully with spicy dishes and fried foods.

Another year round product is, Cape Cod Beach Blond Ale. This is an American Golden Ale. It is light and refreshing. It is a very drinkable golden ail with a hint of toasted malt character and a clean finish. It is very smooth and is perfect for the beach, backyard, or just relaxing after a long day. The folks at Cape Cod Beer are fond of saying,” Once you get Cape Cod sand in your shoes, you will always return and once you get a taste of Cape Cod Beach Blond Ale, you’ll always come back for more.” It is wonderful with seafood, pizza and salads.

Cape Cod Seasonal and Specialty Beers

Cape Cod Beer growler on the beach
Cape Cod Beer growler on the beach

Cape Cod Summer, is a seasonal beer. It is available from April fifteenth through September first. It is an unfiltered Bavarian wheat beer. It is a pale, spicy, fruity wheat ale that has refreshing flavors of banana and clove that comes from a special yeast. This type of unfiltered wheat beer is popular in Bavaria during the spring and summer months. It is light and wonderfully refreshing during the hot days of summer and goes well with seafood and chicken.

Cape Cod Golden Harvest, is another seasonal ale that is available from September 1st. through October 31st. This straw colored ale is mild and drinkable. It is a German style ale and is similar to an Octoberfest brew. Golden Harvest, has a rich German malt aroma and is brewed by blending six malts and just enough noble hop character to provide a balanced finish.  It is best when served with sausage, poultry, pork or Mexican dishes.

Cape Cod Porter, is available from November 1st through April 15th. It is dark and malty and is a surprisingly drinkable dark beer with chocolatey malt character. Porter beers were once known as the drink of the common man of East London. It is best served with hearty meats, barbecue, oysters and desserts.

Cape Cod Beer also brews several  specialty beers such as, Berry Merry Holiday Ale. This ale is available from November 1st through to January 1st. and  is distributed in Growlers only. It is an amber ale with cranberry, clove and orange notes.  Berry Merry Holiday Ale, pairs nicely with all holiday foods such as turkey, roasts and fruitcake. It is the perfect compliment for seasonal festivities.

Cape Cod Dunkel Weizen, is another specialty brew. It becomes available in mid September and can be purchased on draught or at the brewery. It is an unfiltered Bavarian wheat dark beer, that has a unique banana bread character. The beer is cloudy and is medium brown in color with a fruity finish. Cape Cod Weizen, goes well with roasted meats in addition to  German and Mexican foods.

Old Man Winter Cape Cod Beer, is brewed in January and February. It is brewed in the British Old Ale style. It was developed for sipping by the fire while the Cape Cod winter rages outside. It is wonderful with cheese, grilled or roasted meats or a piping hot stew.

Cape Cod Beer’s Buster Brown Beer, becomes available in November. It is an American Brown Ale and is named after Beth and Todd’s field spaniel, Buster Brown, whose photo appears on  the label. It goes well with beef, pork, mushrooms and nutty flavored foods such as pecan pie.

Cape Cod Beer Vanilla Bean Porter, is another specialty beer that is a surprising drinkable dark beer with a chocolatey malt character. It is infused with Tahitian Vanilla Beans and becomes available on February 15th. It is best when paired with smoked meats, expresso and coffee flavored deserts.

Last but by no means least is, Cape Cod Beer Bitter End Imperial IPA. This beer becomes available in February and is an imperial pale ale. It is a medium bodied unfiltered brew that is brewed by blending five different malts and four types of hops which makes this beer uniquely  drinkable. It is outstanding when paired with spicy dishes and fried foods.

The folks at Cape Cod Beer are always coming up with something new. The retail shop is open Monday through Saturday year round and the staff is always eager to talk about their passion. A visit to the brewery would make a fun vacation afternoon excursion.

Cape Cod Beer
1336 Phinney’s Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601
t. 508-790-4200
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While all of our rooms have their own Cape Cod charm, we’d  recommend the Henry David Thoreau Cottage, with its private deck where you can have your own beer sampling with friends, or the Harriet Beecher Stowe Room, with a jacuzzi-style tub and cozy fireplace you might just decide to stay in.

Cape Cod Sailing on the Liberte

Cape Cod Sailing with Reefed Jibs of the Liberte

Cape Cod Sailing with the Captain and Crew of the Liberte

Cape Cod Sailing with Reefed Jibs of the Liberte
Reefed Jibs of the Liberte
Cape Cod Sailing Liberte's Bow
Liberte’s Bow

The seventy-four foot, three-masted schooner Liberte’ is docked in Falmouth Harbor each year from the fourth of July until Labor Day Weekend. On the very last day of her stay in Cape Cod last year, I decided to go out for a wonderful bit of Cape Cod sailing. The sky was blue and the wind was up. When I arrived on the dock, Captain Chris was working rapidly reefing the sails. He said that it was the best sailing day of the season. Sailing is a fantastic activity to do on Cape Cod.

As we dropped the lines and headed out of the harbor, the sails filled and we were off for an afternoon of splash and dash. I was glad that my hat was securely fastened under my chin.

Hoisting the Sails
Hoisting the Sails

When Liberte’ leaves the dock the captain quickly makes sail depending upon the wind and tide. They may sail west to Woods Hole, on the way they sail past Nobska Lighthouse. Woods Hole has some wonderful old houses that can only be seen from the water. Beyond that are the Elizabeth Islands, the undeveloped emeralds of the New England coast line. If the wind takes them east they sail past the bluffs of Falmouth Heights and the beaches and nature sanctuary of Waquoit Bay. On the day of my sail we headed south in the direction of the waters near Oak bluffs and Martha’s Vineyard.

Captain Chris was born and raised in Woods Hole. He started sailing as a boy on a small pond. Later, he served as a deck hand on the New York Yacht Club summer cruises. He also sailed his families Cape Cod Knockabout in the Woods Hole channels. At the age of eighteen he earned his USCG captain’s license and the rest is history.

History of the Liberte and Cape Cod Sailing

Captain of the Liberte
Captain of the Liberte

The Liberte’ is a custom-built steel hulled schooner that was designed for sailing comfort and fun. The hull was constructed at Little Creek, Norfolk, Virginia. She has a spoon-shaped bow and the interior, deck arrangements and sails were designed by Captain Chris and his wife Jane. The overall length is seventy-seven feet from the tip of the bow sprit to the stern, and the beam is eighteen feet.  There are three aluminum masts and the tallest is the one in the center and it is 64 feet in height. The booms are made of pine. The engine is a 135 horsepower diesel and the boat’s top speed is 8.5 knots. Captain Chris proudly boasts that they can carry enough fuel to reach Bermuda.

During the design process one of the most important requirements, was that they wanted a boat that was rigged so the schooner could be sailed by one person. Below decks there is over six feet of head room and the main salon is seventeen by seventeen feet. There is a large well equipped galley. There are two split cabins under the foredeck, a crew’s quarters forward and a large master stateroom aft. Liberte’ is United States Coast Guard certified for forty-five passengers.

The deck has plenty of open space. There are over sixty seats on the deck yet a wheelchair can easily be accommodated. In addition to offering sails on Cape Cod, this beautiful schooner can serve large buffets and intimate sit-down dinners for suitable for celebrations, corporate outings and numerous private outings.


The Liberte’ is docked in Falmouth Harbor each year from the fourth of July until Labor Day Weekend. During the fall, winter and spring months Liberte’ is docked on Spa creek in Annapolis, Maryland. For more information on sailing with this beautiful Cape Cod schooner visit their website at

The Palmer House is located a short distance from Falmouth Harbor and the Liberte. If you are choosing a sailing themed holiday, we suggest staying in the Richard Henry Dana Room with its model sailing ship, the Herman Melville Room to peruse a copy of Moby Dick while admiring original artwork of New England sea-side towns, or the Emily Dickinson Room just because it has a jacuzzi-style tub and romantic fireplace.


Cape Cod Lighthouse: Cleveland Ledge

Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse Painting

The beautiful Cape Cod lighthouse, Cleveland Ledge Light, is rare example of Art Modern architecture, has been sold to Sandy Boyd, a California businessman who owns a dozen coffeehouses on the west coast. The lighthouse stands high in Buzzards Bay, approximately two miles due west of Old Silver beach in North Falmouth. Boyd hopes to restore it as a residence.

Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse Painting
Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse

In 1989 the United States Coast Guard  automated the light, which meant that it no longer needed its eight man crew. Since that time the interior of the structure has deteriorated significantly.

The lighthouse is seventy feet tall and made of steel and concrete. It flashes a white light every ten seconds and the two second foghorn blasts every fifteen seconds, in foul weather. In 2010 the lighthouse was put up for auction by the United States General Services Administration as part of the National Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000. Mr Boyd recently bought it for $190,000 and plans to restore it to its original condition. At the present time he is searching for the original plans, old photos,and biographies of the crews that served on the lighthouse. He hopes to make it a living museum. His goal would be to use it as a fundraising destination, where people could go for an evening.

This is the first lighthouse in Massachusetts that has been sold to a private party. As conditions of the sale, the lighthouse must remain an aid to navigation and the historic structure must be preserved.

The structure is much larger than it appears from Old Silver Beach. It has four stories, four bedrooms, one bathroom with a bathtub, subway tiles and the original light fixtures, a living room with a wood burning stove, a galley kitchen with pantry and an office. Above all that is a spiral staircase that leads up into the lighthouse tower.  The tower has two landings that are large enough to accommodate comfortable furniture and lighting. There is also a basement that houses  diesel engines and cisterns. It has an iron caisson foundation that is 52 feet high and it is fifty-two feet in diameter and sits in twenty-one feet of water. The caisson foundation was made in New London, CT in 1940 and was towed to its home by commercial tugs, where it was sunk into the ledge. It took nineteen hours for the tugs to make the journey. It is the only Art Moderne lighthouse of its kind in New England. It sits atop Cleveland Ledge on the eastern side of the southern entrance to the channel that leads to the Cape Cod Canal. It was the last lighthouse to be commissioned in New England in 1943. At the time of its commissioning, it held a fourth-order fresnel lens.

Cleveland Ledge lighthouse was named after President Grover Cleveland, who had a home in Bourne, just north of Falmouth. Cleveland enjoyed fishing in the area. This home was the first “summer White House” and was called Gray Gables. Gray Gables was destroyed by fire in 1974.

The president’s full name was Stephen Grover Cleveland and he was the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. He was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms. His first term was from March, 1886 to March, 1889 and his second term was from March, 1893-1897.

For more information and photos of this Cape Cod lighthouse go to:

More information:

Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A
Harriet Beecher Stowe room
Cape Cod's Roosevelt Room, B
Cape Cod’s Roosevelt Room, B

While all of our rooms have their own individual charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day of adventures exploring the historic lighthouses of Cape Cod, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, Jacuzzi-style tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.