About our sugarhouse
Matras Maple is a 2,100 tap and growing operation, but that's not how it started. Brothers Willie and Asa started boiling sap down into sugar in 2002 with the help of their dad, Gene, using a homemade setup. That setup included 20 taps from neighborhood trees and a simple pan over an oil drum. After those long nights over the outdoor setup they only made a few gallons a year, but from that time on the brothers caught the maple bug and have been adding taps ever since.
Today the brothers make several hundred gallons of maple syrup from their sugarhouse that was built in 2010. Sap is trucked in to the sugarhouse from sugarbushes (large stands of tapped maple trees) in three different towns - Epsom, Chichester, and Pittsfield. Two of the largest sugarbushes have vacuum systems which increases sap yield and helps make the yield a little more predictable. Fifty of the taps are old-fashioned buckets that line a dirt road near the sugarhouse. While both brothers have full-time jobs outside of sugaring, tapping trees and boiling sap is something they look forward to every year.
Over the years the brothers added energy-efficient equipment that reduced the amount of wood required to run the evaporator, as well as time spent boiling sap into maple syrup. Sap is run through a reverse osmosis machine before boiling which removes 50-75% of the water. Then the sap enters a steam-away hood over the evaporator which pre-heats the sap before it enters the evaporator. The sap is then boiled on a two-and-a-half by eight-foot wood fired evaporator.
The sugarhouse doubles as a farm stand and is open year-round. Products made by the family are for sale including artwork by Gene Matras, organic milk, cows milk soap, and a wide selection of maple products.