Author Archives: Mark Zap

About Mark Zap

Bass Player, Brewer, Farmer, Husband, Father and all around Ball Breaker!

New Website

Hey Everyone, I haven’t updated this site in sometime…For those not in the know, I have decided to merge my love of beer with my new farm lifestyle at my New Website:

I will slowly fade out this page over time so if you are still interested in following things that I’m doing please go there…

Oh, and by the way I’m opening a brewery this summer (2017)!

Cheers and hope to tip a glass with you out there sometime soon!


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It’s that time of Year!

One of our favorite times of the year here on Tamarack Farmstead is when we are eating straight from our garden! 

In this case it is the harvesting of fresh basil to make our stock of pesto. We jar enough to carry us thru till next season…

Tonight it is on the ravioli!


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Beer Sessions Radio @ Tamarack Farm!

I just wanted to THANK my friend Jimmy Carbone of Beer Sessions Radio for doing a remote “Fireside” broadcast  here at Tamarack Farmstead last evening! As always the conversations and the libations were great and it was a real treat for me to host a BSR show in the kitchen of my 200 year old farmouse! I also want to thank my buddy Patrick Soucy of AppleCrest Farm Bistro for joining in on the fun and for the lovely Ciders he shared with us!

I will keep you all posted on when this episode will air!

Cheers and Happy New Year to All!


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Tis’ the Season for Hops & Rhizomes!

It’s that time of the year again here at Tamarack Farm when we start getting early sprouts and we do our annual trimming…

That’s said , We have cleared our hop “test” yard and have some hop rhizomes for sale! We are selling them first come first serve at $10 a bag. Each bag consists of 12-15 rhizomes which would be enough for about 4 hop hills. We have seen rhizomes selling for as much as $7 a piece (ouch!) so Tamarack Farm’s “Bag 0′ Rhizomes” is a bargain!

We currently have Hallertau, Nugget and Centennial. 

We are also running a special on hops from the 2014 season for $10 a pound! We need the freezer space for the upcoming growing season so we will pass on the savings to you my fine hop headed friends!

Hops available: Cascade, Nugget & Centennial

If interested in Rhizomes or whole leaf hops feel free to contact us via email @ 
OR just call me @ 718 541-5794. 

We will ship via USPS. Get em while their hot!



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2014 Apple Pressing @ Tamarack Farmstead!

It’s that time of year again! We will be doing our annual Cider Pressing this Sunday, October 5th at Tamarack Farm around Noon..

Our apples are once again provided by Christa’s Fat Apples @ Maxant Farm in Still River, Mass. Thanks Christa!

Feel free to bring the kids, press some apples and enjoy the beautiful fall weather on the farm (it suppose to be 65 deg.and sunny!)
Free samples as we press and bottles for sale to take home if you so wish!
Hope to see you!

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Tamarack Farmstead/RiverWalk’s “Farm to Kettle” beer!

There is a Great article written about the release of RiverWalk’s “Farm to Kettle” beer in this mornings Newburyport Daily News! “Farm to Kettle”was made exclusively with Tamarack Farm hops!

Thanks to the Daily News for the love and hope to see you all out there at the various release locations!



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2014 Hop Harvest Recap/RiverWalk’s “Farm to Kettle” Wet Hop Beer!

Happy End of Summer to All!

It was a beautiful summer here in New England and we had a very successful year despite some of our early issues…

In the beginning of the hop growing season we had a fair amount of rain and cool nights which are a breeding ground for Downy Mildew. Downy Mildew was responsible for the great hop blight that literally wiped out all the hops on the East Coast Pre-Prohibition and forever doomed large scale hop farming on this side of the coast forever. We were hardly the only farm with this problem. It effected nearly all the hop yards on the east coast. That said, these days if you catch it early it is easily treatable with organic solutions. Luckily, Caroline and I caught it early, didn’t loose a single plant and had a fairly decent second year harvest. We successfully dried nearly 100 lbs of hops and were also able pull off a wet hop beer with one of our favorite local brewers: RiverWalk Brewing Company

RiverWalk is the first commercial brewery to brew with our hops! They decided to brew a hoppy Red Ale called “Farm to Kettle” It was literally picked and driven over to the brewery in about 2 hours time total so as to preserve the delicate aromas and to keep the highest quality possible. As soon as a hop is picked it starts degrading immediately so we feel the timing has to be perfect to faithfully execute a wet hop beer. RiverWalk understood this and we worked together to get it done. The beer will be a limited release so stay updated by checking Riverwalk’s Website, Facebook & Twitter for details. We want to Thank Steve, Christian and Ally for their support!

We will also be selling hops directly! Feel free to send me and e-mail if interested:

We have Cascade, Nugget and Centennial whole leaf hops available.

Here are some pics of the 2014 Harvest!

Cheers for now!

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Hop Harvest 2014

Hello All!
It has been a busy year here at Tamarack Farm and it has not left much time for a social media presence as you can tell by my last post (January!)
I will recap the season complete with pictures when the work subsides but now the business…
I was going to put out the call to come and help with hop harvest this weekend but Caroline beat me to it with an e-mail to friends so I decided to repost it here:

Happy you have all had a wonderful summer. We will be harvesting hops this weekend at the farm and wanted to extend an open invitation to you all to stop by, pick some hops, taste some beer and enjoy the company of your friends and neighbors.

We will likely begin around 10AM on both Saturday and Sunday. We will have tables and tents set up in the hop yard. Please bring a pick-nick lunch if you plan to stay for the afternoon. Kids are welcome.

Feel free to come and go as you please and also to share this invitation with anyone else you feel might be interested in stopping by. Looking forward to seeing all who can make it!!

P.S. We will likely be picking Labor Day weekend for anyone who is unable to make it this weekend and would like to be part of the fun.

Caroline and Mark
Tamarack Farm
59 Locust Street
Merrimac, MA 01860

I would like to add that there Will Be Beer!!!
Hope to see you all there!

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Farmhouse Multitasking

Happy Brew Year!
With a new year brings new tasks on the farm and one of those things is to actually work on the “house” part of the farmhouse! Caroline and I have decided to redo our living room and make a more “adult” space (something one craves when living with a 3 year old and her toy explosion) It started with the removal of 30 year old wallpaper and followed by 3 coats of plaster…
How to do such things and keep up with my brewing schedule?
Well, I decided to make a Dubbel in honor of the cold weather and plaster the living room while mashing!
So I extended my mash to 2 hours and did a no sparge technique to save on time. I figured 2 hours was enough time to do the second coat of plaster. Turns out to be a good guestimate because it took me roughly and hour and a half which left xtra time to stop and have an espresso next to the fire!
Next installment will be on juggling chainsaws!
Till next time…

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Back in the Saddle (Again)

The past few months have been a long strange trip for sure but am happy to report that things are going really well here on Tamarack Farm…Here is the skinny:

I spent the month of August in Alaska brewing with my buddies @ The 49th State Brewing Company and it was again a truly an amazing experience! I was working 70 hours plus a week and loving every minute of it! I came home more charged than ever to get my brewery here off the ground here. Even though it is a long game, we are working on making it a reality… A special Thanks to Jay Bullen & David McCarthy for being good friends and giving me such an amazing opportunity to brew beer in the Last Frontier!

In the meantime when I got back we immediately started to pick and dry hops from the test yard and the production yard! I got a few pounds of all or our varieties such as Hallertau, Centennial, Cascade and Nugget to do some test batching with. We are still toying with the idea of expanding for next season but since we have so many irons on the fire we may hold off until the following season for expansion…



Brewing As Art was a success in its first debut out of NYC at Starwbery Banke in Portsmouth! It was well received and we have had many invites for the future so stay tuned to for updates!

I am also glad to report that Tamarack Farm is the new home for Brewing As Art. With my partner Scott Van Campen’s recent venture into making his metal shop the SI Maker’s Space, we decided it would be best served here on the farm being brewed on and in a place where few have had a chance to see it. I am SUPER excited to have it home and to brew on it! Here are a few pics of me brewing my annual “Pumpkin O’ Puss” on BAA!



As I type this I also have 2 batches of Tamarack Farm Cider fermenting!  One is with my house Saison strain and one with a Brettanomyces strain! We have has so much fun making Cider here that we have plans to start replenishing our Apple orchard here in the spring…



And lastly, since we have had such great success with our Rasberry patch I have brewed my first Framboise made exclusively from Tam-Farm Rasberries! Plans to expand our Rasberries are also in the works…

Cheers and Happy Fall!


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