The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh
Bethany Bandera

Beer Tourism! 9 Great Breweries Around the Northeast

Around the country, more than 2,500 breweries are now filling kegs, cans, growlers, and bottles with every style of beer imaginable. To some, the variety might seem overwhelming. But for the epicurean traveler, this brewery boom is an opportunity to hit the road in search of a new favorite ale or lager. And in that spirit, here are a few favorites from the Northeast curated especially for Frommer’s by the author of The Great Northeast Brewery Tour (Voyageur Press).

You can buy The Great Northeast Brewery Tour by clicking here.
Two Roads Brewing Company, Stratford, Connecticut
Bethany Bandera
Two Roads Brewing Company, Stratford, Connecticut
It’s not wrong to picture a room full of pipes, hoses, and tanks when someone mentions the word “brewery.” These are companies in the business of producing lots of liquid after all. At Two Roads, however, the four founders decided to repurpose the Baird Machine Company Building and turn it into a handsome, functional space for visitors. Naturally, you’ll want to start with a sample of their Ol’ Factory Pils, a German style with an American twist.
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3 Stars Brewing Company, Washington, DC
Bethany Bandera
3 Stars Brewing Company, Washington, DC
Until recently, the District of Columbia lagged behind the rest of the country when it came to craft beer. Change has come quickly though—and in exciting fashion—with the opening of breweries like DC Brau, Bluejacket, and 3 Stars. Since finding real estate in the Lamond Riggs neighborhood, the partners behind 3 Stars have released a variety of creative takes on the saison style including versions with fresh cranberries, basil and lime peel, and peppercorns.
Baxter Brewing Company, Lewiston, Maine
Bethany Bandera
Baxter Brewing Company, Lewiston, Maine
You might say Maine’s Baxter Brewing has a can-do attitude. From the moment it started brewing in the historic Bates Mill complex, the company has kegged and/or canned every one of its beers. A commitment to green practices and the environment runs deeper than mere packaging. Baxter Outdoors, a recently launched offshoot, will host adventure races and multi-day excursions. Both sound like perfect excuses for a can of Pamola Xtra Pale Ale.
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Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Mt. Airy, Maryland
Bethany Bandera
Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Mt. Airy, Maryland
Chefs aren’t the only people thinking in terms of farm-to-table these days. Brewers are in on the trend, too. Some seek out local ingredients like honey, maple syrup, or fruit, while others get even more ambitious by trying to source some of their hops and malts from their own backyard. Milkhouse Brewery is located on a hop farm in Mt. Airy, and has already won admirers with their balanced, British-style Best Bitter and their rich, full-bodied Dry Stout.
Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company, North Conway, New Hampshire
Bethany Bandera
Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company, North Conway, New Hampshire
Exploring the brave new world of craft beer will work up anyone’s appetite, and fortunately for the hungry road tripper, almost half of the breweries currently in operation are brewpubs—restaurant-breweries that sell a significant percentage of their beer on-site. At Moat Mountain, the menu concentrates on dishes that will fill you up after a day of hiking or skiing in the White Mountains. The dry rubbed, smoked beef brisket, for instance, pairs well with Bone Shaker Brown Ale.
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Mystic Brewery, Chelsea, Massachusetts
Bethany Bandera
Mystic Brewery, Chelsea, Massachusetts
Some breweries are known for aggressively hopped offerings. Others have made a name for themselves with maltier styles of beer. A few even venture into the realm of sour beers. At Mystic, the focus is on yeast, the single-celled organisms that convert sugar into alcohol. The results have been excellent. Vinland Two, an ale fermented with a yeast strain from a Maine lowbush blueberry, took gold at the Great American Beer Festival.
The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh
The Church Brew Works
The Church Brew Works, Pittsburgh
Plenty of breweries across the Northeast are able to impress visitors with their bitter beverages, but it’s a select few that can also brag about their appearance. Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh is one of them. Occupying St. John the Baptist, an enormous brick church built in 1903, this brewery-restaurant is like none other. Careful restoration preserved stained glass windows and the original flooring, both of which are best appreciated, of course, with a pint of Pious Monk Dunkel.
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High Point Brewing Company, Butler, New Jersey
Bethany Bandera
High Point Brewing Company, Butler, New Jersey
Ask a brewer about their source of inspiration, and many of them will mention eye-opening trips abroad to Germany, Belgium, and Great Britain. At High Point, the classic Bavarian wheat beers serve as a touchstone for its own award-winning range. A cozy taproom, complete with a wood-burning stove for chilly afternoons, is the perfect place to sample seasonals like Ramstein Maibock, an amber lager with a toasted malt profile and a hint of sweetness.
The Norwich Inn and Brewery, Norwich, Vermont
Bethany Bandera
The Norwich Inn and Brewery, Norwich, Vermont
Established in 1797, the Norwich Inn has the distinction of being the first hotel in Vermont to host a U.S. president. Of greater interest to the beer traveler is the fact that the on-site pub, Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, serves draft beer brewed about 100 feet away. For the full experience, reserve a room during one of its Bread & Brew weekends or take advantage of its “Ales at the Inn” special, a package that includes a welcome pint, a souvenir glass, and a bottle to go.
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Newport Craft Brewery, Newport, Rhode Island
Bethany Bandera
Newport Craft Brewing and Distilling Company, Newport, Rhode Island
Across the United States, a number of veteran craft brewers—those who have been in the business a decade or more—have branched into the realm of craft spirits: rum, gin, and vodka in particular. Newport Craft is one example, adding a rum distillery to its Rhode Island operation in 2006. Make the most of a visit by trying a tasting flight of four beers, and then moving on to a rum tasting where you’ll sample the raw spirit, cask strength rum, as well as the finished product.


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