Top 10 Beer Destinations

Sure, we all know the greater Boston area is filled with incredible beer bars.  We also know that small, craft breweries are popping up all over our state’s capitol.  My intention, as a sufferer of city-phobia (characterized by an acute avoidance doing anything within city limits, a distain city parking, always getting lost, and calling places like Stoneham “Boston”), is to push the city people towards making beer-cations all over New England.  

All of these locations make for a great spot to take someone you love or a friend on a nice little adult field trip.  Here, then, are Review Brews Top 10 Non-Boston Beer Destinations:

Northampton is not only a great little
western Mass town.  There is also
great beer here.
Brimfield, MA: Home of our favorite brewery of the year Tree House Brewing Co.  The people are nice, the beer is fresh and fantastic, and the scenery is quintessential New England.  Bonus stop: BT’s Barbecue on Rt. 20.  Unreal brisket sandwich to compliment your Julius IPA.  Must find: Any Tree House IPA

Northampton, MA (right):  Head to western Massachusetts and grab a pint (or two) at the Northampton Brewery, sister brewery of the Portsmouth Brewery.  Northampton is a small, artsy town.  Tons of shopping local stores and great eating.  Stop at the Sierra Grill for another amazing beer list.  Bonus points if you take a ride up Rt. 91 to visit Valley Malt in Hadley.  Must find: Brewmaster Jack Ambrewsia double IPA

Portsmouth, NH (below):  It’s been stated (by me and usually after a bunch of beer) that Portsmouth is the best city in America.  Hyperbolic?  Yes.  Head to the Portsmouth Brewery for Tyler Jones’s delicious beer, or hit the Thirsty Moose for Great Rhythm Resonation Pale Ale. Must find: Project X at Portsmouth Brewery

Think we just know beer?  Think again.  Check out
this cheese & cracker platter at the Farmhouse
Tap & Grill in Burlington, VT.
Burlington, VT (left):  Burlington’s craft beer scene is infamous.  Vermont Brewery offers cheap flights of their beer.  The Farmhouse Tap & Grill has the best beer list in the city, complete with vintage bottles of your favorite stouts and barleywines.  Also, try the cheese samplers.  Unreal local options.  Must find: Forget beer (there's plenty of that)!  Go for the cheese platter pictured!

Waterbury, VT:  Just 30 minutes southeast of Burlington is Waterbury.  Stop in for a pint of Ice Cream at the Ben & Jerry’s factory then warm up at Prohibition Pig.  Have a tall boy of the Alchemist’s Heady Topper (the cannery is a street away from Ben & Jerry’s), or try something from the renowned brewing mind of Shaun Hill at Hill Farmstead.  Must find: Heady Topper (of course)

Haverhill, MA:  Review Brews favorite local option.  The Tap Brewing Co. has rebranded and is making great beer.  Try their newest flagship Sassy Rabbit Rye Ale alongside a brand new menu.  The Barking Dog Ale House is new to town and offers an extensive draft list, one of the best north of Boston.  Must find: Braised short rib grilled cheese at Barking Dog Ale House

North Conway, NH:  North Conway, NH is home to Moat Mountain Brewery & Smokehouse.  Try the sample’s paddle, while enjoying the BBQ Bison nachos. Must find:  The aforementioned nachos & sampler

Have a Maine Beer Co. offering
alongside your lobster roll in Portland.
Portland, ME (right):  Portland, Maine is home to lobster rolls and a strong craft beer community.  Head to Allagash and Maine Beer Co.  Or hang out downtown at Novare Res, which boasts an outrageously large beer menu.  Look for the local options on that menu, from Rising Tide Daymark to Oxbow Farmhouse Ale.  Must find: Maine Beer Co. Lunch

Newburyport, MA:  New to the craft beer scene, Newburyport is the home of Riverwalk Brewing Co. and is the future home to Newburyport Brewing Co. which should be open some time in 2013.  Two excellent beer stores - Leary’s Fine Wines & Spirits and New England Wine & Spirits - also reside here.  Must find: Riverwalk Brewing Co. Uncle Bob's Bitter

Hampton, NH:  Hampton is making a splash into the craft beer scene.  Throwback Brewery & Blue Lobster Brewing Co. are new to the mix, while regional mainstay Smuttynose opens their new brewhouse in Hampton some time in the fall of 2013. Must find: Blue Lobster Brewing Co. Gold Claw Pale Ale

Love to hear what you think!