Above, Mighty Squirrel Co-founder Henry Manice (left) and Graphic Designer George Warren (right) pose with a friend in the “life-size six pack” that they built for their launch party.
Mighty Squirrel is the newest entry into Boston’s crowded craft beer scene, but they shouldn’t have a problem carving out a niche—they’re the first to offer a beer with added protein.
While most brewers go to lengths to remove protein from their brews, Mighty Squirrel has pioneered a process to add the “good” proteins while retaining the desired flavor profile and a crystal-clear pour.
The idea came from co-founders Henry Manice and Naveen Pawar, who were looking for a refreshing beer that would “fit in at the finish line”. In other words, they wanted a beer that they wouldn’t feel guilty drinking after a good workout running, playing tennis, or finishing a Tough Mudder—their regular regimen.
They started as many craft brewers do, with a homebrew kit in their kitchen. From the start, they were focused on the unique goal of protein-enhanced beers, full of craft beer flavor and similar in calories to existing beers on the market.
After years of test batches and refining, they’ve launched with two offerings: “Mighty Squirrel Original” and “Mighty Squirrel Light”.
The Original is “complex with bready, caramel, and citrus notes, plus a hint of honey” while the Light offering is “clean and crisp with citrus and honey notes.” They’ve managed to pack in 5 grams of protein into the Original and 4 grams into light, coming in at 175 calories and 109 calories, respectively. (For comparison, Sam Adam’s Boston Lager is also 175 calories, while a Sam Light is 119.)
Being an avid homebrewer myself (and a bit of a craft beer snob), I was sceptical of the idea of protein in the beer from the start—and wasn’t sure how they’d achieve the clarity and flavor profile they were looking for (full disclosure: I worked with Mighty Squirrel to help design their website before starting at BevSpot).
The “Original” drinks like a traditional Vienna style lager—this definately isn’t your next overpowering American craft beer, but it doesn’t claim to be. Instead, it’s actually a nicely balanced traditional style with a malty nose and an incredibly clean apperance and taste. It’s sweet on the tongue, but still dries out at the end. Less hop-forward than traditional European Viennas, it drinks like something closer to a Mexican amber with light DMS notes that are appropriate to the style.
Basically, this is exactly the thirst-quenching drink that you’re looking for “at the finish line”.
An Entreprenurial Boston Launch
They kicked things off at their current home—WeWork—with a launch party last Friday before heading to Miracle of Science, the first bar to officially carry their beer on tap. I caught up with them at their event for a few drinks, and to celebrate the long-awaited launch…
Co-founder Henry Manice talks about the idea and beginnings of Mighty Squirrel.
Party-goers amongst the “life-size six packs” and a pyramid of freshly-brewed cases of Mighty Squirrel.
“Celebrate Mighty Moments” is Mighty Squirrel’s rallying cry, and a life philosophy to live by.
Naveen Pawar (second from left) enjoys the launch party with his wife and friends.
Mighty Squirrel schwagg and fresh six-packs for the taking.
Mighty Squirrel transformed the WeWork space for their launch.
We wish the Mighty Squirrel team all the best as they expand. For any bars or restaurants looking to add their beer to the menu—you’ll be able to find them in our online catalog soon!