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Craft Beers and Brew Pubs

We have a nephew coming to visit that is a real beer hound. For those of you really into these things, which are the really essential New England spots, outside of the Boston area? and does Portsmouth NH have a particularly worthy craft beer scene/ worth the one hour trip time? I've also heard there were some good brewers in the Newburyport/merrimac area?

And if you were doing a New Eng tour, what would be on your list of excellent locations? or if you could link me to a CH thread or an article.... much appreciated! Thx again.

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  1. Waterbury VT, check out Prohibition Pig.

    1. Pretty things has a list of places that serve the fantastic and interesting Brews http://www.prettythingsbeertoday.com/...
      Here is a link to a article on Craft Brewing in New England
      http://www.bostonmagazine.com/article...
      Portsmouth Brewery turns out some good ales
      http://portsmouthbrewery.com/
      Smuttynose in Portsmouth does tours
      http://www.smuttynose.com/
      In Portland Maine there is Allagash that turn out great Belgium Style Ales
      http://www.allagash.com/
      A link to Mass. Brewer's Guild
      http://www.massbrewersguild.org/craft...
      That should get you started

      1. I think you should make the journey up to portland. You can take the train (Downeaster) from North Station if you don't want to drive then cab it to the Old Port. In the Old Port, all within a few blocks are Shipyard brewery, Gritty's, and, of course, Nuvare Res which can rival and pub anywhere. You can throw some great food into the mix to appeal to your tastes ( I follow and very much enjoy you posts on the Boston board) like the fried oyster bun and an Allagash Black at Eventide (add some oysters as well). Actually, most of the many really good restaurants in town come complete with a really nice beer selection. Come to Portland - you will solidify your place as his coolest uncle. How many chances will he ever have to get to Maine?

        1. The best breweries in New England in my opinion are;

          Alchemist...Waterbury,VT

          Hill Farmstead...Greensboro Bend,VT

          Lawson's Finest Liquids...Warren, VT

          Allagash..Portland,ME

          Maine Beer Co....Portland,Me

          Pretty Things..Massachusetts

          I'm really like a lot from Element Brewing....Massachusetts

          White Birch is nice.....NH

          In my opinion Burlington Vermont, Stow Vermont and Portland Maine are the top 3 destinations to find great beer in New England.

          I'm sure I'm forgetting a few off the top of my head.

          4 Replies
          1. re: phatchris

            Heady Topper from the Alchemist is quite possibly the best beer made in the U.S. so yes they have to be first. Smuttynose puts out some serious beers.

            In Maine we have Oxbow and Marshall wharf up north a bit and of course Allagash and Maine Beer Company as our top Portland breweries.

            Haven't been but When PIgs Fly pizzeria/Bakery in Kittery has a super legit beer menu. Oxbow farmhouse might be the one beer I would drink every single day if I had to pick one

            http://www.sendbread.com/beer_wine.php

            1. re: grittys457

              Lucky me - my brother in Burlington swears by Heady Topper and is bringing a case for the 2 of us to sip in a couple weeks in Florida. He says he knows the actual day(s) of the week it is made, and he drinks it from the 16 oz. cans and not from a glass. He says there is a reason why.

              1. re: Veggo

                Because its pretty cloudy, and after two weeks in the can protiens coagulate and causes floaties - pour it into a glass and its quite disturbing to look at. And it's also a tongue in cheek jab at beer geeks.

                1. re: LStaff

                  I talked with bro this morning about this - FL is still 89F by day, and my concern is the temp of the 2nd half of a pint, without being rushed to enjoy it cold. I have devised a plan that involves hammocks, coolers, and lots of ice, plus guacamole and rock and rolly. Thanks for the info, LStaff.

          2. I think the list goes something like this.

            Ebenezers Pub Lowell, ME http://www.ebenezerspub.net/ - rated best beer bar in the world 4 years in a row.
            Novare Res Portland, ME http://novareresbiercafe.com/ - I am going there for the first time in Oct and am excited.

            In Vermont I feel ever place is pretty even when it comes to beer, there is about 5 or 6 places that are quite good.
            Three Penny Taproom Montpelier, VT http://www.threepennytaproom.com/ - Beer is good, I usually eat at Mad Taco just down the streat
            Prohibition Pig Waterbury, VT http://www.prohibitionpig.com/ - Beer is good, mixed cocktails are very nice, food to me is hit and miss.
            Blackback Pub Waterbury, VT http://blackbackpub.com/ - Good beer, don't bother with the food
            Worthy Burger S Royalton, VT http://www.worthyburger.com/ - Good beer, great burgers and fries
            Farmhouse Tap & Grill Burlington, VT http://farmhousetg.com/ - Good beer, above average food
            American Flatbread Burlington Hearth / Zero Gravity Burlington, VT http://americanflatbread.com/restaura... - Only in house made beer, which is awesome. Great pizza I personally always eat the specials get a large 1/2 & 1/2 of the meat and veg specials.

            I would personally keep my eye out for the followign VT breweries. Each is at the top of their game producing great product.
            Zero Gravity - Burlington VT
            Hill Farmstead - Greensboro, VT
            Lawsons Finest Liquids Waistfield, VT
            Fiddlehead Brewing Shelburne, VT

            There are a couple I have not tried, and until I do I can't recommend.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jjadamsfb

              Ebeneezers ("voted best beer pub") also has a sister location in Brunswick Maine which is an easy jaunt off the 295. It's called Lion's Pride and they have 35 beers on tap.

            2. For brew pubs in scenic settings:
              Flying Goose Brew Pub - New London NH - Casual pub with spectacular views of a very scenic part of NH. Good beers too!
              Jasper Murdoch Ale House - Norwich Vt. - Billed as the smallest brew pub in the US, a comfortable upscale pub with a nice outdoor patio. Norwich VT is quite charming, and the beautiful Dartmouth campus is just across the river in Hanover NH.
              Harpoon Brewery - Windsor Vt. - Large, modern brewery with a lively, casual pub for dining. They give a pretty interesting, fun tour with lots of beer samples!

              1. These are all fantasic suggestions. I think you should pick a region that you want to visit, and go with the suggestions for that area.

                If you do choose Seacoast NH, the tours at Smuttynose are excellent. I've been on several brewery tours and this was by far the best one. Also, lots of samples at the beginning and end of the tour. Check their website for times, but I think they're around 5:00PM on Fridays and 11:00AM on Saturdays.

                Down the road on Route 1 in North Hampton is Throwback. It's just a little brewery in a warehouse. Excellent beer and lots of local ingredients. They do "growler hours" on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons.

                Redhook (Pease Airforce Base in Portsmouth) has good beer and decent food. I've never done a tour there.

                Blue Lobster is a new nano-brewery on Route 1 in Hampton that should be open in the next few weeks.

                The Black Birch is an excellent restaurant in Kittery Foreside. Food is spectacular and not very expensive for what you're getting. The beer list is excellent. Lots of beers from New England that I've never tried, along with several Belgians.