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Traveling to New England for Memorial Day.

Discussion in 'US - New England' started by Davihaw, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Davihaw

    Davihaw Savant (320) Illinois Jun 19, 2012

    My wife and I are headed to New England for 8 days and are looking for beer and non-beer activities. We will be attending HF Anniversary event on May 25th and going from there. I have the following breweries on the agenda, anything I am missing? Are there other things to do near some of these breweries that are not beer related? Any must-see sights and sounds? Also looking for good bar and bottle shops in the areas we will be traveling to.

    VT:HF, The Alchemist, Lawson's Finest
    ME:Allagash, Main Beer Co
    NH: Smuttynose, Portsmouth
    Mass: Boston Beer, Cambridge Brewing, Pretty Things

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jamvt

    jamvt Savant (490) Massachusetts Aug 5, 2005

    I would definitely check out the Harpoon Beer Hall. Pretty slick and they always have 2-3 new Pilot Beers only available at the brewery. The pretzels are pretty amazing too.

    Also Pretty Things brews at Buzzard's Bay in Westport. They don't have their own brewery or tasting room.
     
  3. ceight

    ceight Aficionado (120) New York Apr 29, 2012

    I can only offer advice on VT as this is the only place of these I've been to, but there are some great things you can do if you have time.

    Waterbury:
    First, I'm not sure if you're camping for the HF festival, but if not, The Old Stagecoach Inn in Waterbury is amazing. The breakfast is phenomenal (and included in the room rate) and it's old, but clean. Definitely a charming place.

    If you guys like ice cream, I've heard the tour at Ben & Jerry's is pretty cool, and not a super time-commitment. Plus, if you check in on Foursquare, it's free!

    Bars to check out: Prohibition Pig, Black Back, and The Reservoir. All usually have at least one HF beer on tap, and oftentimes have Heady Topper available. Though, these may be crazy on the festival weekend. Pro Pig also has some great food, and Black Back has delicious tacos.

    Montpelier:

    Hunger Mountain Food Coop usually has good bottles/Heady Topper if you get there early enough. I have a feeling their shelves will be a wasteland really quickly on the weekend of the festival, though.

    There's a Farmer's Market that has some great products. I have only been to the indoor market in the Vermont College gym, but I imagine the outdoor market on State St. is even better.

    And finally, the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier has really, really good food, and also always have HF/Lawson's on tap.

    There are probably a ton of things I'm missing, but this post is already way too long. Congrats on getting festival tickets, by the way!
     
  4. I highly recommend eating at CBC and then visiting Mystic, Night Shift and Idle Hands. They are all very close to each other. Boston beer tour always feel very touristy/unauthentic to me.

    Harpoon beer hall is an option if you actually plan on being in Boston and there is stuff to do in the Seaport district (ICA museum, lots of good restaurants).Maybe Trilium will even be open by then in Fort Point and you can walk around there too.
     
    jedwards and ctkach like this.
  5. Sounds like a fun trip. Depending on your route, here are some others that I would consider making part of the itinerary:

    VT: Zero Gravity Brewery @ American Flatbread (Burlington). Also Lawson's doesn't allow visitors, as far as I know.
    ME: Rising Tide (Portland). Just a heads up that Maine Beer will be in Freeport by then, I believe.
    NH: Earth Eagle (a block from Portsmouth Brewery), Blue Lobster (Hampton), Throwback (North Hampton)--these are all in the Seacoast area near Portsmouth. You could also check out White Birch (Hooksett) if you're heading up I-93 (sounds like you won't be based on some of the places, though), or Moat Mountain (North Conway) if you're passing through the White Mountains between Vermont and Portland.
    MA: While Pretty Things doesn't have their own brewery, you could visit Lord Hobo or Atwood's, both a few blocks from Cambridge Brewing (CBC) to get them on-tap.

    Enjoy the weekend. Sounds like it'll be a blast!
     
  6. For Mass, you can hit Harpoon brewery, Lord Hobo or Sunset Grille, and for shops I suggest Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, Marty's in Newton, or Redstone in Stoneham. There are many other options in Mass, but for Boston, this is a pretty good start. As far as things to do, grab a meal in the North End for some good authentic Italian, check out Fenway, and hit Newbury st to spend some dough and check out Bauer Wines while there.
     
    Ganglani likes this.
  7. Swap your Pretty Things tour with a visit to Jack's Abby.
     
    JrGtr likes this.
  8. If you head up to Smuttynose check out Riverwalk brewing. They are a half hour before Portsmouth off of 95 north coming from Boston. http://www.riverwalkbrewing.com/
     
  9. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (380) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    Highly recommend Novare Res in Portland. Stop in after the Allagash tour and grab some beers and food. If its nice out the outside deck is pretty great.

    Also, definitely skip Sam Adams and go on a Harpoon brewery tour and check out the new beer hall. I haven't been to the new beer hall yet, but their tours are great.
     
  10. kinopio

    kinopio Savant (375) Massachusetts Apr 30, 2009

    I don't like Harpoon much but the new beer hall is great.

    I live a few blocks from Sam Adams so I go to events a lot there but I think your time is better served elsewhere like Lord Hobo or one of the new breweries such as Night Shift, Mystic, Jacks Abby since they make more interesting and local beer and do growler fills(Sam Adams does not). If you do to to Sam Adams there are some good bars around there: Brendan Behan, Doyles, Canary Square.

    I would rather spend time at Novare Res than at Allagash and Maine Beer co. Novare is in a MUCH cooler part of town and they'll have stuff on tap from all the good Maine breweries.
     
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  11. Lost Bear Bar in Portland Me and Portsmouth Brewery in Portsmouth Nh were great stops when i was traving thru that area last year.
     
  12. For bars I second Sunset Grill in Allston - stellar beer selection. http://www.allstonsfinest.com/menus/sunsetgrill_beer_menu.pdf

    Deep Ellum is good too and just a few blocks away.

    For stores, second Marty's in Newton and recommend Julio's in Westborough.
     
    jtdolla911 likes this.
  13. If you head towards Burlington, I'd recommend checking out Fiddlehead and Zero Gravity (American flatbread). They don't bring the .rar factor of the other places, but they make some great beers.

    Lawson's doesn't have anything that is open to the public.
     
  14. If you want to get off the beaten path and/or go to the beach (crowded since Memorial Day weekend is opening weekend, but still fun) come out to Gloucester on your way down from New Hampshire. After the beach check out The Pub at Cape Ann - our brewpub located on the working waterfront.
     
    mingo1968 likes this.
  15. Patrick

    Patrick Initiate (0) Massachusetts Aug 13, 2007

    ACBF is memorial day weekend, right? Hit that up.
     
  16. Davihaw

    Davihaw Savant (320) Illinois Jun 19, 2012

    what is ACBF?
     
  17. Patrick

    Patrick Initiate (0) Massachusetts Aug 13, 2007

    American Craft Beer Fest.
     
  18. Flashy

    Flashy Advocate (555) Vermont Oct 22, 2003

    McNeills in Brattleboro- as well and Flat Street and The Whetstone. Brattleboro has an interesting and reasonable hotel- The Latchis nearby if you are looking for a place to stay- you won't be sorry if you stopped in Brattleboro if you've never been in the area.
     
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  19. Little outdated, but still seems relevant. I'll get around to updating it one of these days: http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/visiting-portland-me-some-ideas.30751/

    Glaring omission from it would be would be Blue Lobster. Pai men Miyake's tap list continues to impress - had Tilquin there last week. Oxbow is worth the trip. Ebenezers could be on your way from VT, if you take 302... Lots of options. Do your homework and have a great trip!
     
  20. I was there 2 yrs ago a thought it was great sitting by the water enjoying a Fishermans Ale. Ive been trying to get it down here in Philly with no luck
     
  21. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Chad Jan 8, 2012

    Non beer related but if you end up taking route 93 on your way to Hill Farmstead check out Polly's Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill NH - it's pretty close to the highway and they have some fantastic pancakes - if you go do call ahead seating.
     

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