A New England Brewery Road Trip
Two Roads Brewing Company
The beer is good, but the brewery space at Two Roads is the kind of space you can spend an entire day. An old, converted, the outdoor beer garden, complete with a food truck and corn hole sets, is perfect for a sunny day and inside glass walls surrounding a reclaimed wood bar show off the entire brewing operation. And every fall the brewery runs a competition called Conn Artists for (you guessed it) local artists, with winners getting their work shown off one of Two Roads’ 30 foot high fermenters.
Two Roads Brewing, 1700 Stratford Ave, Stratford, CT; 203-335-2010
Trillium Brewing Company
While Trillium has a massive 16,000 square foot taproom in Canton, Massachusetts that’s worth a visit, you can take a quick jog off I-95 on the Mass Turnpike into Boston to stop at the brewery’s can and growler spot, which is much more intimate. Only able to squeeze about seven people through the door at a time, it’s well worth it to get a can of their geographically named ales like Fort Point Pale Ale or Congress Street IPA. And a can it will probably be, because at their Congress Street location they just have cans, bottles and growlers available at the moment.
Trillium can and growler location, 369 Congress Street, Boston MA 02210; 617-453-8745
Night Shift Brewing
While you’re on your brief detour off 95, stop in the North Boston suburb of Everett, where you’ll find Night Shift brewing. You may have seen cans of their Santilli IPA out in the wild, but a trip to the brewery is very much worth making. There you’ll get to try some of their rarer limited release and small batch beers they always have rotating through.
Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Hwy, Everett, MA; 617-294-4233
Bissell Brothers Brewing Company
Opened in December 2013 by Bissell brothers Peter (a former Professional Photographer) and Noah (a home brewer), the brewery, which makes a variety of excellent barrel-aged beers as well the super-hoppy Substance IPA, is now housed in an old railcar repair location. The brothers have totally transformed the space, building an outdoor deck, and a sleek indoor taproom.
Bissell Brothers, 4 Thompsons Point #108, Portland, ME; 207-808-8258
Allagash Brewing Company
No trip to New England breweries would be complete without a stop at the Allagash brewery. Rob Tod runs one of American craft beer’s must trusted shops and the brewery frequently has lines out the door before they even open. And while most all beer drinkers are familiar with Allagash’s famous White, a trip to the brewery opens up the world of barrel-aged options from the Portland brewery as well as wild fermented beers from their coolship.
Allagash Brewing, 50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME; 207-878-5385
Foundation Brewing Company
Foundation is a smaller, newer entrant to the New England craft beer scene, but has already developed a devoted following. Located in a space across the street from Allagash that has served as a brewery incubator of sorts for other notable players in Maine beer like Bissell Brothers and Maine Beer Co., Foundation’s Epiphany IPA is considered by some to be the best IPA in Maine, no small task in a place with as much good beer as the Pine Tree State.
Foundation Brewing, One Industrial Way, Portland, ME; 207-370-8187
Maine Beer Co.
Food & Wine’s Mike Pomranz described Maine Beer Co.’s Lunch as “an IPA so great you don’t even need to think about how great it is.” That alone makes the Freeport brewery worth a visit, but every time you buy one of their beers, you’re also contributing, just a bit, to make the planet a better place. The brewery’s motto “Do What’s Right,” refers to the fact that they donate one percent of all their sales (that’s sales, not profits) to non-profits working to help the environment, like the Royal River Conservation Trust and the Maine Audobon Society.
Maine Beer Company, 525 U.S. 1, Freeport, ME; 207-221-5711