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Cornhole and Cape-brewed beer at Hog Island Beer Company in Orleans

“The brides are all right, but the parents were driving me crazy,” Mike McNamara says.

In 2013, he and business partner Mark Powers bought the Jailhouse Tavern in Orleans, renovating the restaurant and updating the event space in the back. But after a couple of years spent hosting showers and rehearsal dinners, they wanted to do something different: “It wasn’t really our thing.”

McNamara has a beverage background, having worked with brands like Guinness, Smirnoff Ice, and Smithwick’s Ale. Putting a brewery in the event space made sense, he says, given the lack of small brewers on the Cape. Hyannis’s Cape Cod Beer and Devil’s Purse Brewing Co. in South Dennis are outliers once you cross the bridges.

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Enter Hog Island Beer Co., which opened adjacent to the Jailhouse Tavern in early June. The dark paneling of the event space has been replaced by an aesthetic McNamara calls “industrial Cape Cod chic,” with Edison bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a lawn out back studded with cornhole boards. The partners brought in an experienced homebrewer, John Kanaga, to do the brewing.

One of the problems many brewers face when just starting out is the lack of affordable equipment. Hog Island got lucky. When Cape Cod Beer listed its old brewing equipment for sale, McNamara pounced, installing the system in Orleans.

At 15 barrels, “it was a little bigger than we were looking for, but we have room to grow,” says McNamara, who hopes to expand to retail in the future. Currently, visitors can consume pints on site and fill growlers to go.

Hog Island — the name is derived from an uninhabited island in Pleasant Bay — currently brews three beers: a wheat beer, a stout, and an IPA. An Irish red ale is in the works. Patrons can pair the beers with pizza or Bavarian pretzels, ordered from the bar, and take their drinks with them to the lawn or communal tables, avoiding some of the long waits for service Cape Cod summers can bring.

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McNamara says he’s surprised by a lack of local beer options on the Cape, and sees room for growth.

“We live in an area where we pride ourselves on local,” he says. “I find it interesting when you walk out into another restaurant and you see all these beers that have nothing to do with the Cape. If we could cultivate a community of breweries on Cape Cod, I think that would be awesome.”

28 West Road, Orleans, 203-249-7528, www.hogislandbeerco.com.


Gary Dzen can be reached at gary.dzen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.