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Microbreweries

I'm looking for microbreweries within about 3.5 hours of Boston, especially Northern New England but doesn't have to be. Ideally, places with good food, parking, and of course beer that are located someplace scenic or interesting.

e.g., Redhook in Portsmouth would be fine but it's not an especially nice area to drive to, although nearby downtown Portsmouth and the Portsmouth Brewery might be an option. Just some info on what I'm looking for, but all suggestions welcome and anything as far as Burlington, VT or Bethel, ME works.

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Portsmouth Brewery
56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

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  1. Maine has a number within your range. For listings, check http://www.mainebrewersguild.org One of the best is The Liberal Cup http://www.theliberalcup.com/ in Hallowell (near Augusta, about at your limit), which has recently opened a daughter enterprise on Saco Island in Saco (name is now escaping me, but I'm sure some other Maine hounds can help). In Portland is Sebago Brewing (and pub): I don't like either the food or the beer as well. Sea Dog brewing has pubs in S. Portland, and probably the most scenic pub in the state in Topsham, overlooking a major waterfall: http://www.seadogbrewing.com/

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    Liberal Cup
    115 Water St Ste 1, Hallowell, ME 04347

    2 Replies
    1. re: mainemal

      Thanks, that's a great start.

      I forgot to mention places that gives tours are a bonus.

      1. re: mainemal

        I strongly second The Liberal Cup in Hallowell. The sister pub in Saco that mainemal mentioned is called Run of the Mill.

        Both Shipyard and Allegash in Portland (which may be too large to fit your definition of microbrewery)offer tastings/tours (no pub/food on premises though).

        The Maine Brewers Guild site has a complete list of their members by category and a map...www.mainebrewersguild.org

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        Liberal Cup
        115 Water St Ste 1, Hallowell, ME 04347

      2. Run of the Mill in Saco, Me has standard pub fare. The beer is not good. Sebago and Sea Dog beers are ok. Same with the food. Not worth the drive. Redhook is nothing special. Plenty of free beers on the tour but the beers are just alright.

        If I were you- Head to the Portsmouth Brewery. Excellent beer and food. After that head up 89 and hit the Alchemist in Waterbury, VT. Tremendous beers and great food. After that keep heading up to American Flatbread in Burlington. Great pizza's and beers. Drive down rt. 7 and hit Wolavers/Otter Creek Brewing in Middlebury. They give an excellent tour. If you're feeling adventurous you can hit up Rock Art in Morrisville and take a tour.(after you hit Alchemist) More great beers. Vermont will give you plenty of great beers along with good food. Informative tours as well.

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        Portsmouth Brewery
        56 Market St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

        American Flatbread
        46 Lareau Rd, Waitsfield, VT 05673

        8 Replies
        1. re: mjp81

          American Flatbread brews their own beer. I didn't know that. Sounds like some good options in VT. Do you have a favorite if you plan on eating?

          1. re: 1red111

            The Alchemist would be my preference. A wide variety of offerings, featuring locally produced products. Zero Gravity brewery at Flatbread.... they usually have 8 or so beers on tap plus plenty of offerings from around the world. Bottle selection is very good as well.

            1. re: mjp81

              I was going to recommend The Alchemist, as well. I don't drink at all, but everyone I know whose opinions I respect and who drink brews like this agrees that they've got a great selection of microbrews. :)

              1. re: mjp81

                I've put the Alchemist at the top of my list. Have you ever been to

                Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, VT?

                1. re: 1red111

                  I walked in and was not impressed with harpoon at all. They charged for small samples of their beers, I believe it was $2 for a couple ounces. Most places just give them away in expectations that you'll buy a pint. Not too helpful or friendly either. There's a restaurant along with a store... didn't bother hanging around in the restaurant and the store didn't offer any deals on beer. Its the old location of Catamount with some nice views but I didn't feel it was worth a detour to rt. 91.

                  1. re: mjp81

                    Thanks. I'll keep it on the bottom of the list of possibilities for now.

                    1. re: 1red111

                      Have you been to Harpoon or Sam Adams in Boston?

            2. re: mjp81

              Sorry you didn't like Run of the Mill. We do. We have had good beer and good food there. Maybe you hit an "off" day.

            3. For a combo of food and beer, it doesn't get any better than the alchemist imo.

              I also like Long Trail Brewery for burger/wings - I think they may take the best setting award though for their deck alongside the Ottaquechee river.

              I also want to visit Marshall Warf in ME for their beers and rawbar - I think they are on a pier or something, but don't know what the atmosphere is like. Not within 3.5 hrs. of Boston though.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LStaff

                Good idea with Long Trail. Totally forgot to mention it. Great setting. Self guided tour when I was there. Great selection of merchandise too.

              2. there's a fairly new brewery in Hooksett, NH: White Birch Brewing (http://www.whitebirchbrewing.com/). They don't have a restaurant, but they make some incredible beer and are very small, so you would probably get a good tour. One caution to heading to Long Trail...they get very crowded on big travel weekends. We arrived with our two kids at lunch and had to leave because none of us could handle the wait. It was a sunny Sat. in October though!

                1 Reply
                1. re: solargarlic

                  Thanks for the heads up on the wait. I'll make this a mid-week or off-hours stop.

                2. How about Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery in North Woodstock NH. http://www.woodstockinnnh.com/

                  The website is dated, but the beer is quite good, as is the food.

                  It looks like their Maple Porter is on tap right now. Very tasty, and made with maple syrup from their neighbors, Fadden's Sugar House.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TimW

                    I was trying to think of places in NH and the Woodstock Inn never occurred to me. We used to go there a lot when we were hiking the 48 4k's. I always thought the restaurant had a moldy smell I didn't like.

                    I still go to Moat Mountain in North Conway at least once a year.