21 Sep 2015

What’s Brewing On Nantucket?

In their 2009 hit single “Chicken Fried,” the country sensation Zac Brown Band considers there just might be nothing better than a “cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right and the radio up.” If Zac were to visit Cisco Brewery on Nantucket, he might twist those lyrics just a bit to “cold beer on a summer night and a pair of beach shorts that fit just right,” and he would discover no need for a radio when there’s live local music in the house. Of course, he would likely also discover he likes his scallops fried right along with his chicken.

Nantucket’s Cisco Brewery has become a cult classic and “the place” to be not only at the end of a summer beach day, but late afternoons and weekends all year round. The audience the famed watering hole attracts is as wide-spread and diverse as the popular libations they’ve created. It’s one of the few places on island where families can bring their toddlers, teens and even granny to enjoy the fun. Pets are welcome too and are treated to their own watering stations. Our dog has determined it to be her favorite island hang out spot and has formed her own circle of canine friends that she enthusiastically snubs us for the minute we arrive.

The brewery has done an amazing job of creating some cleverly named and really high quality beer, liqueur and wine. I’m a big fan of the Whale’s Tale and my husband loves the Shark Tracker. Their “Gale Force” gin and Triple 8 vodka are both delicious and have quickly gained popularity. The “Notch” whiskey just won international awards and there is major buzz that their “Nor’easter” bourbon will do the same. In addition to the libations, visitors are treated to a wide array of delectable selections from some local food trucks. If you missed the scallop or lobster roll from The Nantucket Lobster Trap truck this summer…well, let’s just say you missed it.

There is something beyond the menu that makes this casual and rustic hotspot great. It is one of the few island “equalizers.” Nobody cares what kind of car you drive – it’s parked in town or half a block away. Nobody’s impressed with the designer wear (or lack of) – we’re all in our grungy beach garb. No opportunity to flash the black card (or to wonder what one is) – it’s cash only at the door and we’re all given the exact same wristband as we enter. No reserved seats and no special treatment – grab a bench if you can get it, get in line for the raw bar and wait your turn for a cold one.

Zac Brown said it best as he concluded, “It’s funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most, not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes. There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind; this I’ve come to know, so if you agree have a drink with me.” Stop by Cisco Brewery and have a drink with a few hundred other loyalists who’ve already discovered one of the best ways to spend a day on Nantucket.

On tap

Shellie Dunlap

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