Think of New England, USA and you think of seafood chowder, lighthouses and picture postcard towns nestled in the midst striking autumnal colour. Well we do anyway.
But it’s got even more to offer than you might think. There is an entire ecosystem of award-winning breweries, brew pubs and local farms that exist solely for the purpose of pouring the perfect pint. If you are looking for the ideal ale, chances are it is here. Now we love New England even more.
From the better-known watering holes of New England to the undiscovered gems, everyone is open and welcoming, as is the beauty of beer culture.
Most states offer brewery tours, the ultimate beer lover field trip, or have official state beer trails where you will experience the high quality and creative diversity of fresh, hand-crafted, locally-brewed beer. Or why not just ‘play it by beer’ (sorry) and see where you end up? Here are some of the highlights to choose from …
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing Sunday afternoon with friends or a longer holiday with a significant other, take a few days to explore the Connecticut Beer Trail.
More than a dozen local Connecticut breweries, brew pubs, beer bars and home brew shops enable visitors to experience the state’s underrated beer culture. Old post offices and huge department stores have been converted, some decked out with unusual seating options such as barber chairs and theatre seats – while the homely Olde Burnside Brewery in East Hartford offers ales specially brewed along old Scottish methods. No two venues are the same – as is the case with the variety of offerings.
Maine is bursting with 39 breweries and over 100 different brands of quality handcrafted beer.
The Maine Brew Bus promotes local breweries by offering a personal beer tour experience. The beer tours are all inclusive and provide transportation to and from Maine’s award-winning breweries, taking in smaller, up-and-coming breweries, with site tours, beer trivia, pub snacks and of course the chance to sample the best brews. The Maine Brew Bus also offers private Maine Bus Tours which are perfect for hen or stag groups.
It’s thought that Vermont has more craft breweries per capita than any other US state. With so many to explore, why not take to two wheels on an all-inclusive trip that combines all the amazing elements of a traditional Vermont cycling holiday whilst visiting over half the state’s breweries.
The Vermont Bike and Brewery Challenge is six jam-packed days of outstanding cycling, breathtaking scenery, farm-to-table meals and delicious brews. Or for more relaxed exploration of the state’s beer culture, travel with Burlington Brew Tours and enjoy delights such as the Vermont Pub & Brewery which is the third oldest on the East Coast.
The Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack offers a complimentary factory tour where visitors can experince first-hand how Budweiser is crafted, brewed and packaged, as well as a chance of a picture with the world famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. But if you’re looking for something really local there are plenty of delightful surprises – try the Woodstock Inn Brewery for top-notch craft ales in stunning surroundings.
No-one loves a beer as much as a sailor (don’t quote us on that), so it’s no surprise that Rhode Island has ten great breweries.
The Newport Storm Brewery and Thomas Tew Distillery are open for tours and tastings of Newport Storm Beer and Thomas Tew Single Barrel Rum, including views of production from their observation deck.
Last year, they increased capacity allowing visitors to drop in, sample the year-round beers (seasonal or experimental varieties), take away a souvenir tasting glass – and gain insider knowledge of which Newport-brewed beers to look for on a visit to Newport’s fine eateries.
Massachusetts has a ‘publick house’ tradition stretching back to 1634 – but the Barrington Brewery brings that tradition firmly into the 21st century as the first brewery on the east coast to use energy from a solar panel system in its brewing process and at its restaurant.
You can enjoy the Barn Brewed Beer and food made from scratch. The brewery even grows its own hops in season and features an outdoor Beer Garden.
Each of the six states hosts an array of beer festivals, including dedicated Oktoberfest events against the backdrop of New England’s vibrant Fall colours. For more information visit www.discovernewengland.org/new-england-activities/new-england-breweries.
For further information on New England, visit http://www.discovernewengland.co.uk.