The best breweries in New England! With bold flavors made from the finest ingredients, you won’t be able to resist these smooth brews.
Best Breweries In New England
New England is one of the most popular areas of the US. There is a lot to explore in the area, including historic sites, delicious seafood, and iconic lighthouses. Something else New England is known for is its beer. It’s been made in since the days of the colonists and has since then evolved into some of the best beer in the world.
So if you’re traveling through the area and would like to visit some of the best breweries in New England, keep reading!
Pro Tip: If you enjoy wine as well, check out the best wineries on the east coast!
The Alchemist – Stowe, VT
Kat of World Wide Honeymoon
If you’re a fan of Hazy IPAs (AKA NEIPAs), then a visit to The Alchemist in Stowe, Vermont, is a must. Why? Because the NEIPA was invented here!
Back in 2004 John Kimmich at The Alchemist (formerly located in Waterbury, Vermont), created a juicy, floral beer with low bitterness and a unique, hazy appearance. It came to be known as Heady Topper. It became wildly popular, so much so that they had to limit sales in order to supply to retailers after a tropical storm significantly damaged their original facility.
People would flock from all over the globe just to get their allotted cans, including someone who flew their private jet from South Africa! Heady Topper is still known as one of the best beers in Vermont, let alone the entire world, and the brewery is a popular place for beer lovers.
While you currently can’t go inside due to renovations, you can still purchase cans to-go and pick them up in their Stowe location. They are also offering guided tours daily at 5 pm for $20 which includes the tour, a tasting glass, a pour from the brewery, and a can to enjoy in the beer garden afterward. You must be 21+ to go on the tour.
During the warmer months of the year, they also have their beer garden open. Other beers to enjoy at The Alchemist include their Focal Banger, another NEIPA, and their Farmer’s Daughter Belgian-Style Saison.
This brewery, full of incredible stories and history, is definitely one of the best breweries in New England.
Von Trapp Brewing – Stowe, VT
Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler
Von Trapp Brewing is located at the Trapp Family Lodge in the picturesque town of Stowe, Vermont. The von Trapp family of Sound of Music movie fame, settled on a farm with magnificent mountain views in the hills of Vermont. In 1950, they opened the Trapp Family Lodge to guests. They opened the brewery in 2010 in an attempt to replicate the crisp lagers of their homeland of Austria. The craft brewed Trapp Lager has become a signature beer of von Trapp Brewing.
A visit to the Bierhall Restaurant and Brewery is reminiscent of a visit to Austria. Their motto “a little of Austria, a lot of Vermont” rings true when you visit. Austrian inspired dishes such as Bratwurst or Schnitzel complement the German and Bavarian based brews. Vermont maple syrup is used liberally in both the menu items and some beers.
Order a flight of lagers and pilsners to enjoy some malt forward brews. 6 oz. tasters are $4 while a pint is $8. Find a table in the outdoor bier garden to admire views of the Green Mountains while you sip your drinks. The Bierhall is located on cross country ski trails in the winter and mountain bike/ hiking trails in the spring, summer, and fall. It’s the perfect place to relax after outdoor activities on the Trapp Family Lodge property.
Schilling Beer Company – Littleton, NH
Kate of New Hampshire Way
Whenever you’re talking about New Hampshire breweries, one brewery in particular always gets mentioned: Schilling Beer Company. A favorite of beer connoisseurs in the Granite State, this small brewery is located in Littleton, in the northwest corner of the White Mountains, a stone’s throw from the Vermont border.
While many New Hampshire breweries go heavy on the IPAs, Schilling is actually more focused on European brewing styles. On the menu here you’ll find Czech Pilsners, Belgian Tripels, and German Doppelbocks, including the occasional Augustin or Gose.
Schilling does not offer beer flights, but they offer short pours for around $3-4, which lets you put together your own sampler of sorts. The bartenders here are highly knowledgeable and happy to chat in depth about how these beers are made.
Schilling has two sections: a store and tap room, and a brewpub that dishes up food along with their beers. Schilling serves some of the best wood-fired pizzas in the White Mountains!
There is plenty of outdoor seating in the warmer months, and the setting on the Ammonoosuc River is positively idyllic. Take the time to spend an afternoon in Littleton, enjoying more small businesses like Little Village Toy and Book Shop and Chutters, a fantastic old-fashioned candy shop.
Great Rhythm Brewing Company – Portsmouth, NH
Kate of Adventurous Kate
For some brewers, it’s all about the beer. For others, it’s about marrying their love of beer with another one of their interests. Great Rhythm Brewing Company in Portsmouth, NH is all about melding their love for beer with their love for music. Set in a large, cavernous space on the edge of North Mill Pond, Great Rhythm keeps the playlists popping all day, with a lot of rock, some folky pop, and interesting finds they come across. On nice days, you can sit outside at picnic tables.
On the beer menu, you’ll find plenty of hoppy IPAs, like the signature Soundcheck line of experimental IPAs, several New England Double IPAs, and everything from Kolschs to Pilsners. Great Rhythm also offers an inventive collection of sour beers, from the Lemonberry Squish to the Berry Berry Berry, and a Margarita Gose pumped up with citrus flavors. The offerings are always changing.
Great Rhythm does not offer beer flights, but they’re happy to offer samples of whatever’s on tap. The bright neon cans are like works of art themselves, and you can pick up four-packs to take home with you.
Portsmouth is one of the best day trips from Boston during the summer months, and especially so if you enjoy brewery-hopping. Portsmouth and the Seacoast are home to more than a dozen breweries altogether, from tiny storefronts in strip malls to large, expansive farms, so grab a designated driver and make a day of it!
Sea Dog Brewing Company – Topsham, ME
Allison of Eternal Arrival
If you’re looking to visit some breweries while on a Maine road trip, don’t miss Sea Dog Brewing Company in Topsham, ME. There are several branches of Sea Dog, but I love the one in Topsham (just across the river from Brunswick) because of its location.
It’s located on the edge of the Androscoggin River with a beautiful view of the historic Frank J. Wood Bridge which connects the neighboring cities of Topsham and Brunswick. The view is absolutely stunning, with views of the river, historic mills, forest, and surrounding city. The brewery is also located inside the historic Bowdoin Mill, which is a really beautiful building!
Sea Dog has Maine-inspired pub fare (think adding on a lobster tail to a Caesar salad, clam chowder, lobster bisque, and Maine blueberries in the BBQ sauces) as well as seasonal and year-round beers. They do offer beer flights with several different samples — they typically have 6-8 beers on tap that you can try — though when I was there I just got their raspberry beer and my friend tried their blueberry beer. Both were fantastic!
Parking is limited, especially on weekends, so do try to plan your visit for a less busy time.
Fun Fact: Although often overlooked by the other New England States, there are some pretty awesome places to go leaf peeping in Maine!
Allagash Brewing Company – Portland, ME
Brittany of Travel By Brit
Allagash Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery in Portland, Maine, that’s received some national attention for its most popular beer, Allagash White.
Spending the afternoon at Allagash Brewing Company is one of the best things to do in Portland, ME. The rustic ambiance of the outdoor seating area, in addition to the lawn games, food truck, and upbeat music, make this an excellent spot to relax and hang out for hours on end.
Even though Allagash’s tasting room does not offer flights, you can ask the bartender for a few samples to find the perfect brew for you. Allagash rotates their on-tap beers seasonally, but a few highlights include the Allagash White, a witbier with citrus and spice, Allagash Tripel, a Belgian-style golden ale, and Nocturna, a seasonal cask-poured bourbon barrel-aged stout with vanilla beans. Regardless of what type of beer you enjoy, you’re sure to find a brew you’ll love at Allagash!
If you don’t want a lobster roll from the Bite Into Maine food truck, you are permitted to bring your own food to the tasting room. Children can enter the brewery if they stay with their family, and well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome, too!
Urban Farm Fermentory & Gruit Brewing Company – Portland, ME
Kelly of Girl with the Passport
Looking for one of the best breweries in New England? If so then head to the capital of Maine and visit Urban Farm Fermentory & Gruit Brewing Company. It’s without a doubt, one of the best breweries in Portland since they use local, sometimes foraged, ingredients to create a wide variety of unique beers, ciders, meads, gruit, vinegars, jun, and kombucha.
And when I say unique, I mean unique since you can order flights here that feature turmeric, ghost chili pepper, and rose petal flavored brews. However, the real highlight of any visit is a giant glass of delicious, Habanero Imperial Stout for just $6.00 – a beer that you can savor while marveling at all the funky green art murals that adorn the exterior and interior of the brewery.
Plus, if you have any non-drinking friends, you can bring them here too since these guys are all about the fermentation and create delicious, non-alcoholic kombucha and jun. So, once you have your drinks in hand, feel free to chow down on some delicious waffles as you listen to live music from a picnic bench right in front of the entrance.
And if you visit in the winter, not to worry because they have ample indoor seating too, making this a great spot to hang out and relax when you’re in downtown Portland.
Trillium Brewing Company – Boston, MA
Ryan of Passions and Places
Trillium Brewing Company is frequently cited as one of the best breweries in Boston, if not the entire country. The eight-year-old brewery may not have invented the New England IPA, they certainly popularized it to the point that it became a national phenomenon. Trillium’s hop-forward recipes, like the double dry-hopped Fort Point, are the stuff of legends in beer trading circles. When craft beer lovers visit Boston, it’s not a question of whether you’ll visit Trillium, but where you’ll go afterward.
Fortunately, this legendary brewery has outgrown the tiny space in Fort Point where they started back in 2013, which only sold growlers and cans to-go. Now, Trillium has four locations – a larger Fort Point space with a full restaurant, an expansive Canton taproom, a chic spot next to REI in the Fenway neighborhood, and (my favorite!) their seasonal beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The last one is the perfect place to grab a pint on a warm summer evening, and it’s steps from the North End’s mouth-watering Italian restaurants, so you won’t go home hungry.
One of the few criticisms levied against Trillium is that they don’t offer flights. When you’re brewery hopping and aren’t sure what’s good, a flight lets you hedge your bets with a few different options. But Trillium forces you to commit, which can be intimidating when it’ll set you back $10 for a 10oz pour. Fortunately, everything on tap is amazing, and a visit to Trillium will never leave you disappointed.
Bad Martha Brewery – East Falmouth, MA
Brianne of A Traveling Life
Bad Martha Brewery, with locations on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, embraces its motto, “great beer, getting bad and doing good”–they have a lot of fun with their naughty namesake, Martha, and give 10% of their profits to local hunger charities. As for the great beer, they typically have 16 beers on tap at their East Falmouth taproom, including a pilsner, blonde ale, stout, porter, and a few IPAs.
Their Boghead Cranberry hard seltzer is made with local cranberries and enjoyed by beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike. They generously allow you to sample any beer on tap, and you can choose to purchase four-beer flights, half pints, pints, or pitchers. All beers on tap are also available to go in 32-ounce crowlers and 64-ounce growlers.
As for food, they offer a variety of pizzas, and snacks like cheese plates and charcuterie, and in addition to drinking, you can enjoy live music or outdoor games on the patio.
Pro Tip: If you’re heading to Western Massachusetts, check out Artifact Cider Project in Florence. They use only local fruit from within 100 miles and their ciders are top notch!
Whalers Brewery – South Kingstown, RI
Brianne of A Traveling Life
If you find yourself in southern Rhode Island, Whalers Brewery definitely deserves a stop. Located in a historic mill, the massive tap room is perfect for gathering with a group of friends and playing games like cornhole, giant Jenga and pool. They typically have six beers on tap–flagship and seasonal offerings, and the rest rotate on a weekly basis–which are sold by the glass, flight and “howler” (32-ounce growler).
Their most popular flagship is Rise, a pale ale (5.5% ABV) that won “Best American Style Pale Ale at the 2022 World Beer Championships. If you’re not a beer fan, another one of their flagships is Drift, a cucumber lime hard seltzer (4.5% ABV). They don’t sell food, but you can bring your own, or have it delivered from one of the local spots they recommend.
Well-behaved dogs and children are welcome in the taproom (after 6 p.m., it’s 21+), and regular events feature beer samples, giveaways and live music.
BAR – New Haven, CT
Lyndsay of The Purposely Lost
BAR in New Haven, Connecticut is well-known for its contemporary spin on the city’s legendary apizza. But did you realize that the well-known pizzeria is actually a brewery? The BruRM at BAR first opened its doors in 1996 and has been serving fresh microbrews ever since. On Thursday through Saturday nights after 9:30 p.m., they also function as a dance club.
The brewery, dance club, and pizzeria offer a variety of house-brewed ales and IPAs, as well as a selection of local and regional beers on tap. If you want to try all of their homebrews, you can grab one of their flights of five which includes a porter, a lager, two IPAs, and a sour ale.
You’ll also find a number of wines, cocktails, and spirits available if that’s more your style. Don’t pass up the chance to try their famous brick-oven apizza while you’re sipping your beer! Whether you’re drinking on the dance floor of their club on a Friday night or sitting outside at this Connecticut brewery enjoying a beer with your apizza, you’re sure to enjoy your time at this excellent New England brewery.
Brewport – Bridgeport, CT
Danielle of The Thought Card
Loved by locals and visitors alike, Brewport is a brewpub in Bridgeport, Connecticut, specializing in craft beer, oven-style thin-crust pizza, and salads. Cocktails, root beer, and wine are also on the menu. While I highly recommend trying one of their in-house brews like Blood Orange Blonde (my favorite starter), Brewport also features an extensive list of New England guest brews from ciders to stouts and IPAs.
During the warmer months, chill outside on the outdoor patio or keep cool inside the spacious taproom which pays homage to Bridgeport’s industrial roots. Brewport continues to be one of my favorite Connecticut breweries, and it’s where my husband and I had our first date!
Final Thoughts On The Best New England Breweries
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the best breweries in New England. We hope to keep keep adding to it as we continue to travel. If there are any other breweries in New England that you recommend, please leave us a note in the comments below. 🙂
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