Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont.
Photo Credit : Courtesy of Hill Farmstead Brewery
Please note that many establishments throughout New England have modified their hours and/or operations in response to COVID-19. Always check for the latest information before making travel plans.
If a cold craft brew is one of your favorite ways to kick back and relax, you won’t want to miss a visit to one (or more, or many more) of the terrific New England craft breweries found in all six states. It wasn’t easy, but here are our editor-approved picks for the best craft brewery in every New England state.
Need more outdoor travel ideas? Find these picks, plus more than 120 of the best things to do, places to eat, and places to stay that celebrate the great outdoors in The Best of New England: Outdoor Edition.
Here, tangy IPAs like Sea Hag and Fuzzy Baby Ducks plus myriad other tasty ales and lagers lure beer hounds off the Merritt Parkway before they head to nearby New Haven for their requisite pizza order at Frank Pepe, Sally’s, or Modern.
Word spread quickly about Bissell Brothers’ signature ale, The Substance, after it was first tasted back in 2013 at the late-night hot spot the Thirsty Pig. Now, Noah and Peter Bissell run their namesake brewery and taproom at Thompson’s Point in Portland, as well as a second brewery, Bissell Brothers Three Rivers, in their rural hometown of Milo. Start with the tropical IPAs, but don’t overlook the highly original barrel-aged saisons like Fire Road and creamy oatmeal stouts like Umbra.
Best Craft Brewery in Massachusetts
Exhibit A, Framingham
There’s no doubt Trillium and Treehouse deserve the accolades for all the award-winning IPAs they produce in the Bay State, but we’ve got our eye on this small brewery in the industrial backlots of Framingham, a stone’s throw from the far bigger Jack’s Abby brewery. Local beer lovers have been snatching up such Exhibit A standouts as the Cat’s Meow, the lighter Just a Kitten, and the Kölsch-style Goody Two Shoes. Also be on the lookout for Wandering Thoughts, full of ripe citrus flavors.
When Pete Beauregard won first place for a home-brewed IPA in Boston in 2013, he knew he was onto something good. The following year, he would debut Stoneface Brewing on the outskirts of Portsmouth and begin turning out the best-selling Stoneface IPA. For a lighter beer, try Stoneface’s Berliner Weisse with hints of either blackberry or raspberry—or go for the special double-fruited version.
Homegrown hops flavor the beers at the state’s first-ever farm brewery, Tilted Barn, which recently expanded into a new post-and-beam barn that houses a 30-barrel brewhouse and a tasting room with a large outdoor lawn, seating area, and patio. Grab a delectable fruity double IPA and drink in the serene setting.
Nearly since its start in 2010, this has been a place of pilgrimage for beer geeks. Some of the best-loved brews are named after founder Shaun Hill’s forbears, including double IPA Abner, while the Philosophical series includes the popular maple-infused imperial stout Beyond Good and Evil. Mediocrity has no place here, as evidenced by the awards and accolades Hill Farmstead hauls in, year after year.
Did we miss your favorite? Leave your picks for the best New England craft brewery in the comments below.