Five New England Breweries That You Need to Visit
With fall foliage right around the corner, it’s only a matter of time before herds of visitors descend on New England to take in the breathtaking views. If you’re in the midst of planning your leaf peeping adventure, here are 5 New England Breweries that you need to check out while you’re here:
5. Rock Art Brewery – Morrisville, VT – If you’re coming down from Canada or willing to head up to the northern reaches of Vermont, Rock Art Brewery is a spot that you need to check out. Rock Art Brewery was started in the late 90′s by Matt Nadeau. Some of you may have heard about Rock Art back in 2009 when sugar-hocking giant Monster Energy tried to sue them over a special anniversary beer called the Vermonster. With the help of a grassroots movement, Monster Energy eventually dropped their dispute.
Rock Art has an amazing new facility in Morrisville. Complete with a tasting room, gift shop, and other Vermont goodies, the Rock Art Brewery is a must see. They’re one of the great microbreweries in New England that have grown organically while also maintaining a collection of great brews. Be sure to check out their Midnight Madness Smoked Porter.
- Location: 632 Laporte Rd/Rt 100 Morrisville, VT
- Hours: Monday – Saturday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
- Tours: 2:00pm and 4:00 daily, special tour at 11:00am on Saturday
- Web: www.rockartbrewery.com
4. Woodstock Inn Brewery – Woodstock, NH – Not only can you drink some amazing beer at the Woodstock Inn Brewery, but you can also stumble on upstairs and sleep it off once you’re finished at the bar. This inn is a great take on a bed and breakfast (bed and brew?). You can also book your rooms online, which is also pretty handy.
Not only does Woodstock Inn make some pretty great beer, but they’re also in an amazing location. Nestled right in the White Mountains, Woodstock Inn acts as a great base camp for daytime hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. Aforementioned fall foliage drives are also pretty spectacular in this area. Don’t forget to check out the Kancamangus Scenic Byway.
- Location: 135 Main St North Woodstock, NH
- Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm daily
- Tours: Daily at 12:00pm
- Web www.woodstockinnbrewery.com
3. Maine Beer Company – Portland, ME – I’m pretty sure that the Maine Beer Company is the smallest brewery on this list. Even if you live in New England, there’s still a good chance that you haven’t heard about them. This isn’t because they’re not a good brewery, in fact, they’re actually struggling to keep up with demand. Their beer is actually so coveted by some fans that it gets bought up almost instantly.
The Maine Beer Company is the epitome of the scrappy microbrew startup. The two brothers that run it, David and Daniel, are working tirelessly to make some really beautiful beer. That being said, they only currently offer tours on Fridays at 2:00pm (you may also want to check out their brewery page for cancellation info). The great thing about such small breweries is that you’ll actually get to talk to the brewer and owner. While you’re there, make sure to pick up a bottle or two of their Lunch IPA, it’s awfully hard to find in stores.
- Location: 1 Industrial Way, Unit 3 Portland, ME 04103
- Hours: Retails store, Monday & Tuesday 10:00am – 2:00pm. Tastings only during tours.
- Tours: Fridays at 2:00pm
- Web: www.mainebeercompany.com
2. Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project – Somerville, MA – At the very least, you have to love Pretty Things Beer for their name alone. This wondrously quirky beer company is a refreshing face in the craft beer scene. Fittingly, Pretty Things doesn’t actually have their own brewery (they refer to themselves as tenant brewers, meaning that they rent brewing space while supplying their own recipes, ingredients, and labor). But what they do have is some pretty awesome beer.
While you’re traveling around New England, try and track down a few Pretty Thing bombers (22 oz. bottles to the uninformed). While there may not be a tour prefacing your enjoyment of this beer, know in your heart that you’re drinking some hand-crafted goodness straight out of New England. If any beer company without a brewery deserves a mention in an article about brewery tours, it’s Pretty Things.
- Location: Somerville, MA
- Hours: None
- Tours: None
- Web: www.prettythingsbeertoday.com
1. Throwback Brewery – North Hampton, NH – Alright, I’ll admit; this is a bit of a hometown pick. But hear me out. Throwback Brewery may be the newest addition to the southern NH craft beer scene, but they’ve also earned their reputation as some seriously talented brewers. Their Dippity Do American Brown is unlike any other brown ale I’ve had before.
Like a lot of other smaller breweries, Throwback doesn’t have a massive taphouse or restaurant. What they do have is really fresh beer available for growler fills. Their hours are pretty limited but you won’t regret taking the time to tour their facilities. Their “Franken-brewery” is a testament to not only their dedication to the beer world, but an inspiration for all the homebrewers out there that have dreams of opening their own microbrewery some day.
Think that I missed out on a must-see brewery? Have any recommendations for brewery #6? Leave a comment below.