On Sunday afternoon, March 12, 2017, we traveled across the Patuxent River to Calvert County. After visiting Running Hare Vineyard to pick up six bottles of wine (part of our wine club membership commitment), we headed to Mully’s Brewery (click here to see their opening hours, address, and a map to get directions to visit them), which was on our way home. Founded in 2013 by Jason and Cindy Mullikin, they offer tastings on site as well as regular tours of their operation.
My wife Cindy was planning to make corned beef and cabbage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the recipe calls for using lager beer. She thought what better way to give the dish a Southern Maryland flavor than to use a Southern Maryland lager, and that’s why we were at Mully’s. Cindy wrote-up her recipe in the article “Corned beef and cabbage,” which we published on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17, 2017.
Mully’s is in an industrial park, back off Hallowing Point Rd. (MD Rte. 231), the road that connects Charles County to Calvert County via the Benedict Bridge. They have a Prince Frederick address, but they’re really about three-and-a-quarter miles southwest of Prince Frederick proper, less than three-quarter of a mile from the eastern shore of the Patuxent River. Many of the local roads were apparently named with the nearby Patuxent River in mind, with examples such as Ketch Rd., Skipjack Rd., and Mully’s itself is located on Schooner Lane.
Mully’s makes a lot of beers; some are available year-round, and others are seasonal batches, both of which you may find at retail outlets. Then there are some brews they call their Scratch List, which are small batches available only in their taproom.
What to buy? The best way to figure that out is to taste some! They offer flights of five pours for $5, so we decided to share a flight between us. Nancy Mullikin, Jason’s mom, who manages the tasting room, greeted us at the bar where found a couple stools. Obviously this is a real family operation.
Mully's tasting menu
We looked over the listing of available brews and selected our five (presented here in the order as they appear on the menu):
- Marc Six Blonde — One of their year round brews, which is a light gold ale.
- Shucker Stout — This is another year round brew, which is dark with a roasted barley flavor. It won a gold medal at the 2016 Maryland Craft Beer Competition in the stout category.
- Schooner Black Lager — This is one of their seasonal brews, and is another dark beer. It won a gold medal at the 2016 Maryland Craft Beer Competition in the Amber Lager/Dark Lager/Bock Category.
- Hazelnut Coffee Stout — As part of their Scratch Series, this is a limited-edition revision of their Shucker Stout, modified by the addition of hazelnut-coffee beans.
- Sky High IPA — Another Scratch Series beer, this Indian Pale Ale (IPA) style brew has a strong citrus note, given it was made with the addition of Seville-Orange peels.
We handed over our order form to Nancy, and then waited for the flight to be assembled. She delivered the flight of beers in a wood rack with each brew’s name hand-written in front of it. The colors, the aromas, and presentation were all quite impressive.
Beers to taste
Needless to say, we dove right in — figuratively, if not literally. My wife Cindy tends to go for the lighter beers, and I’m a big stout fan. Cindy liked the Marc Six Blonde best, and I loved the Hazelnut Coffee Stout. But she needed a lager for her corned beef and cabbage recipe, so selected the Schooner Black Lager, of which we got a four-pack, along with a six-pack of the Marcus Six Blonde. Unfortunately, since the Hazelnut Coffee Stout was from the limited-edition Scratch Series, there was none available in bottles. If we had a growler (typically a glass or ceramic jug that holds a half-gallon), or been willing to purchase one, we could have brought some home with us. But, we didn’t have room in our refrigerator for it, so had to do without.
After tasting the beers, I headed into the brewery to get a look at where the magic happens. There, I chatted with Jason Mullikin about their operation. He, like his mom, was quite friendly and happy to chat with the customers. Frankly, my impression was that neither of them felt like they were working — they were just enjoying doing something they love.
We headed home with our beers and a nice feeling. It had been a most pleasant way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon. I just wish they were a little closer to us. ♦