Best Breweries in New England

By Lydia Schrandt June 30, 2020
Best Breweries in New England (Credit: DavideAngelini/Shutterstock)

The New England region is home to just over 600 craft breweries (according to the Brewers Association), which means you’ll never have to travel far for a cold pint. But microbreweries are not all created equal. 

We’ve narrowed down the pool of choices to the 10 best in each state — the breweries known for making the crème de la crème of New England craft beers — for your drinking pleasure.

Top Breweries in New England

These are the best breweries in New England, broken down by state.

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Best Breweries in New England: Maine (Credit: James Mattil/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in Maine

Maine has a big beer scene — more than 130 craft breweries — for such a small state. Many of these beer makers take advantage of local ingredients, like water from Sebago Lake and homegrown barley, hops and wild yeast.

Allagash Brewing Company – Portland

This popular Portland brewery specializes in Belgian-style beers made from locally sourced ingredients. Guests can sip their pint of choice in the tasting room, or sign up for a free hour-long brewery tour.

Maine Beer Company – Freeport

What began as a home brewing project transformed into a full-blown microbrewery in 2009. A decade later, the selection includes a range of styles, including the classic Spring Peeper Ale and guest favorite Maine Beer Lunch IPA.

Bissell Brothers Brewing – Portland & Milo

Housed in a century-old former railway building in Thompson’s Point, Bissell Brothers Portland headquarters pours their signature hoppy ales, like their flagship The Substance Ale IPA. You’ll find mixed fermentation, wood aged, and spontaneous fermentation beers at the Milo taproom.

Full list of the Best Breweries in Maine

  • Allagash Brewing Company – Portland
  • Maine Beer Company – Freeport
  • Bissell Brothers Brewing – Portland & Milo
  • Mast Landing Brewing Company – Westbrook
  • Foundation Brewing Company – Portland
  • Oxbow Brewing Company – Newcastle
  • Tributary Brewing Company – Kittery
  • Banded Brewing Co. – Biddeford
  • Rising Tide Brewing – Portland
  • Baxter Brewing Co. – Lewiston
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Best Breweries in New England: Vermont (Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in Vermont

The Green Mountain State has more craft breweries per capita than any other state, so whether you’re in Burlington or the countryside, sip-able suds are always close at hand.

Hill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro Bend

No conversation about Vermont beer would be complete without mentioning this multi-award-winning brewery, where just about any selection on tap is well worth the pilgrimage to the remote Northeast Kingdom.

The Alchemist – Stowe

The Alchemist, with its bright, airy, and industrial taproom in Stowe, has garnered a loyal following for its Heady Topper Double IPA. Tour the birthplace of New England IPA for a behind-the-scenes look at the sleek production facilities.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Waitsfield

Lawson’s Double Sunshine American Imperial IPA has earned a perfect score on Beer Advocate, but that’s just one reason to grab a pint at this cozy taproom. Others include a roaring fireplace, game tables, and loads of outdoor seating.

Full list of the Best Breweries in Vermont

  • Hill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro Bend
  • The Alchemist – Stowe
  • Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Waitsfield
  • Foam Brewers – Burlington
  • House of Fermentology – Burlington
  • River Roost Brewery – Hartford
  • Frost Beer Works – Hinesburg
  • Red Clover Ale Company – Brandon
  • Foley Brothers Brewing – Brandon
  • Four Quarters Brewing – Winooski
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Best Breweries in New England: New Hampshire (Credit: Diana Nault/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in New Hampshire

New Hampshire boasts more than 90 breweries across its seven regions. The Granite State Brewers Association even has its own NH Beer Trail to help guide thirsty travelers to their next pint.

Smuttynose Brewing Company – Hampton

One of New Hampshire’s original craft breweries, Smuttynose offers free brewery tours and hosts regular events in their Towle Farm taproom. Beer aficionados come for the SmuttLabs experimental brews.

Stoneface Brewing – Newington

In the craft brewing sea of IPAs and sours, it’s the Stoneface Russian Imperial Stout that stands out at this Newington brewery

Tuckerman Brewing Company – Conway

This Conway brewery has become the go-to spot for post-adventure brews in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Sit down at the curved bar for a tasting, or in summer, catch some live music outside.

Full list of the Best Breweries in New Hampshire

  • Smuttynose Brewing Company – Hampton
  • Stoneface Brewing – Newington
  • Tuckerman Brewing Company – Conway
  • Spyglass Brewing Company – Nashua
  • Kettlehead Brewing Company – Tilton
  • Deciduous Brewing Company – Newmarket
  • From The Barrel Brewing Company – Derry
  • Kelsen Brewing Company – Derry
  • Schilling Beer Co. – Littleton
  • Branch and Blade Brewing – Keene
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Best Breweries in New England: Massachusetts (Credit: Sunny Chanruangvanich/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in Massachusetts

When you drink a Massachusetts beer, chances are you’re drinking a product packed with local ingredients, including indigenous yeast strains and locally malted grains. Bay State produce, including berries, apples and herbs, often make their way into local beers.

Tree House Brewing Company – Charlton

Hop-forward IPAs take center stage at this destination brewery about an hour from Boston, and you won’t find Tree House beers anywhere else. Fans are known to line up an hour (or more) before opening.

Trillium Brewing Company – Boston

This New England farmhouse-inspired brewery has a few locations in the Boston area, including their small flagship in the Fort Point Channel District. This experimental brewery has released more than 200 beers since opening in 2013, so there’s always something new to try.

Jack’s Abby – Framingham

If you thought lagers were going out of style, think again. Jack’s Abby brews these light, crushable beers exclusively, and serves them in a German-style beer hall.

Full list of the Best Breweries in Massachusetts

  • Tree House Brewing Company – Charlton
  • Trillium Brewing Company – Boston
  • Jack’s Abby – Framingham
  • Brick & Feather Brewery – Turners Falls
  • Vanished Valley Brewing Co. – Ludlow
  • Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company – Worcester
  • Night Shift Brewing – Everett
  • BLDG8 Brewing – Northampton
  • Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company – Framingham
  • Fort Hill Brewery – Easthampton
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Best Breweries in New England: Connecticut (Credit: Joe Tabacca/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in Connecticut 

Connecticut has just over 100 breweries, with more popping up all the time. That means beer drinkers can find their next favorite by following the Connecticut Brewers Guild’s Connecticut Beer Trail.

Fox Farm Brewery – Salem

Fox Farm brews some of the best IPAs in the state (if not the nation). Their bucolic taproom in Salem also pours an excellent smoked helles, European-style lager and an oatmeal stout.

New England Brewing Co. – Woodbridge

NEBCO has been on the Connecticut craft brewing map for more than two decades, and can releases often draw a crowd. Beer lovers can sip experimental IPAs or iconic brews like Atlantic Amber, Elm City Lager or Imperial Stout Trooper.

OEC Brewing – Oxford

If you’re in the mood for something different, make your way to OEC. The name stands for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores (Latin for Order of Eccentric Brewers). This Oxford beer laboratory focuses on sours, wild ales, blended and oak-aged beers.

Full list of the Best Breweries in Connecticut

  • Fox Farm Brewery – Salem
  • New England Brewing Co. – Woodbridge
  • OEC Brewing – Oxford
  • New Park Brewing – West Hartford
  • Skygazer Brewing Company – Southington
  • Counter Weight Brewing – Hamden
  • Tox Brewing Company – New London
  • Breakaway Brew Haus – Bolton
  • Tribus Beer Company – Milford
  • Lasting Brass – Oakville
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Best Breweries in New England: Rhode Island (Credit: Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock)

Best Breweries in Rhode Island

While Rhode Island was once known as the rum capital of the world, brewers have carved out their own niche in recent years. Beer lovers sipping their way around the state’s 30-plus breweries should pick up a RI Brewery Passport, a project from the Rhode Island Brewers Guild.

Tilted Barn Brewery – Exeter

The tiny town of Exeter is home to the state’s first farmhouse-style brewery, housed inside a century-old barn. Many of the beers on tap feature locally sourced ingredients, including pumpkins grown on-site and locally foraged blackberries.

Proclamation Ale Company – Warwick

Pale ales shine at this 15,000-square-foot brewery in Warwick. Here beer lovers can order food from a rotating lineup of local food trucks and play vintage arcade games.

Long Live Beerworks – Providence

Hop-forward hazy IPAs and cask-conditioned ales are front and center at Long Live Beerworks in West Side / South Side Providence.

Full list of the Best Breweries in Rhode Island

  • Tilted Barn Brewery – Exeter
  • Proclamation Ale Company – Warwick
  • Long Live Beerworks – Providence
  • Buttonwoods Brewery – Cranston
  • Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island – Westerly
  • Ravenous Brewing Company – Cumberland
  • Crooked Current Brewery – Pawtucket
  • Whalers Brewing Company – South Kingstown
  • Beer On Earth – Providence
  • Revival Brewing – Cranston
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