Hoisting a pint at your favorite New England brewpub is a summer tradition, and there is no shortage of offerings across all six states. Here is just a sampling in the Bay State and northern New England.
Newly built and opened in the autumn 2017 by the father-and-son team of Gary and Jake Rogers, True North Ale Company in Ipswich, Mass., boasts an on-site taproom, patio and events space. The taproom offers “Northern Haze,” a juicy New England IPA; Beach Haus, a crisp German summer lager; and refreshing Mexican lager called Cerveza.
Across town, the Brewer’s Table at the Ipswich Ale Brewery couples two dozen outstanding beverage selections (try the coffee-inspired Zumatra Stout, Pumpkin Porter or the fruity Cranberry Beret) with a farm-fresh pub menu.
Night Shift Brewing in Everett, Mass., serves a variety of on-tap offerings like Santilli, an American IPA, and a light lager called Night Lite (“mixed fermentation” fans will love the Rickey Weisse, with raspberries and limes).
Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery has been brewing its own craft beers for two decades. Coupled with a family-friendly restaurant and inn, the brewery is one-stop shopping for the thirsty adventurer. The Kane Country Maple Porter is a real treat, as is the Summer Brew, a light pilsner. And that’s not to take anything away from their everyday offerings, such as Red Rack Ale, 4000 Footer IPA and Pig’s Ear Brown Ale.
To the north, past Cannon ski area, is the Schilling Beer Company in Littleton. The brewery/brewpub has an impressive selection, including a dry, spicy Abbey-style Erastuc, a Bavarian-style golden Paulus, the dark, complex Georg lager, a German-style Randus ale, a Czech pale lager named Alexndr, and a “tart” pale ale named Konundrum.
On the opposite side of the Kancamagus Highway, the Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Company pours Square Tail Stout, Cathedral Ledge Lager and Bone Shaker Brown Ale, among other delights. After a really good hike or bike ride, nothing is quite as refreshing as Miss V’s Blueberry Ale.
Close by, the Seadog Brewing Company offers great wheat ales (blueberry or raspberry) and the popular Old Gollywobbler Brown ale. You can also find Seadog pubs in Maine (Topsham, South Portland, Camden and Bangor), and in Exeter, N.H.
Vacationland has a ridiculous number of breweries. Perhaps the best “starting point” is the Maine Brewers’ Guild Maine Beer Trail (mainebrewersguild.org). By the coast is Gritty McDuff’s in the outlet mecca of Freeport. Founded in 1988, Gritty’s bills itself as Maine’s “original brew pub,” putting it at the forefront of a brewing renaissance. It continues to lead the way with outstanding offerings “from grain to glass,” such as Black Fly Stout, Vacationland Ale, Sebago Light Ale and Original Pub Style.
A Portland gem, Allagash Brewing Company boasts a fun array of traditional Belgian-inspired brews and a slew of seasonal choices. For the adventurous, try one of their “coolship” beers, crafted using spontaneous fermentation.
Owned by the Stone Coast Brewing Company, the Sunday River Brew Pub in Bethel is a big, spacious pub, and a nice complement to the Shipyard Brew Haus Restaurant at the White Cap Lodge. Try the sweet Sunday River Alt, refreshing Raspberry Wheat, or the robust, roasted Black Bear Porter.
The Hill Farmstead Brewery in remote North Greensboro is “the revival and continuation of 220 years of Hill heritage and hand-crafted history,” highlighted by a logo derived from a sign that hung in Aaron Hill’s tavern, just up the hill, in the early 1800s. The brewery produces small, controlled barrels of uber popular beers, and you’ll be able to find more than a dozen on tap on any given day.
Idletyme Brewing in Stowe features the offerings of brewmaster Will Gilson. This Mountain Road brewery continues the legacy of The Shed, a Stowe institution shuttered in 2011. The craft-brewed ales and lagers are the perfect complement to the extensive menu, which includes both pub fare and fine dining options. Favorites include the velvety Vanilla Porter, British-style Oatmeal Stout, Munich-style Dunkel Lager, and the signature Idletyme Ale.
Bustling Burlington is replete with brewpubs and breweries, led by Magic Hat, which recently unveiled Bartlett Bay, which balances the sweet with the sour, creating a fiesta of flavors from orange to lime to nectarine, with a little salt for good measure.
Check out Switchback Brewing Company. In addition to Switchback Ale and Connector IPA, the brewery also offers “rotating specials,” which can include SwitchBock Keller Bier, Slow-Fermented Brown Ale, Citra-Pils Keller Bier, Marzen Fest Bier, Dooley’s belated Porter and Roasted Red Ale, plus limited runs of French Saison, Berliner Weisse, Export Stout, Thai Lime Gose, Bohemian Pilsner and Smoke Marzen.
Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville, once the home of Chris Chance’s iconic Fat City Cycles, bills itself as “honest small-batch beer,” including a traditional German Gose, a light-bodied blonde called Petit Ardennes, a hoppy, ruby-tinted Rustic Ale, a golden Vermont Pilsner and a smooth, dark, Pitch Black beer.
Finally, the Long Trail Brewing Company at Bridgewater Corners, a short drive from Killington, is a Vermont institution, with almost two dozen year-round and seasonal brews available.