Critique My NE Road Trip Itinerary!

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by kmbeer, Oct 21, 2015.

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  1. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

    Got incredible suggestions on this forum from a bunch of you and have put together an itinerary. Would love to have (any additional) critiques, comments, and recommendations!

    Taking a New England road trip with my husband the first week in November for our anniversary. Traveling from NY --> Burlington, VT --> Waterbury, VT --> Portsmouth, NH --> Portland, ME. We we are meeting a couple of our friends in Portland for a long weekend. It will be our first time in Burlington, Portsmouth, and Portland (and although we've been to Waterbury, it was a quick stop at Pro Pig and Craft Beer Cellar). All accommodations (with the exception of Sunday night) have been booked and only Hen of the Wood has been booked restaurant-wise.

    I realize we're being pretty aggressive with stops at different breweries, but there are just too many to explore. I'll most likely be too hungover to do much of what is on this list, but I'd still appreciate any feedback! Thanks guys!

    Sunday, NY --> CT or VT
    - Drive from Long Island, with either a stop for the night in CT or continue all the way to Burlington. Either way, football will be watched and beer will be drank. (Recs for sports bars in Burlington [or even along the way from NY]??).

    Monday, Burlington
    - Stop by Mill Market & Deli (10:00 a.m.) and Healthy Living (11:00 a.m.) in an attempt to get Heady/ other local stuff.
    - Check in at Hotel Vermont. Get some advice from the beer concierge.
    - Lunch and a beer at American Flatbread/ Zero Gravity.
    - Trip to Fiddlehead; check out walking trails at Shelbourne Farms.
    - Dinner at Hen of the Wood (6:30 p.m.).
    - Drinks at the Farmhouse/ find sports bar to watch MNF.

    Tuesday, Burlington --> Stowe --> Waterbury
    - Breakfast at Penny Cluse Cafe.
    - If unable to get Heady on Monday, check out City Market and/or Pearl Street Beverage.
    - Drive to Stowe Recreation Path; rent bikes at AJ's or Nordic Barn. Explore.
    - Drive back to Waterbury; check into Old Stagecoach Inn.
    - Pick up VT goodies (and hope to score SOS) at Craft Beer Cellar.
    - Bar crawl and dinner at Pro Pig/ Blackback/ Reservoir.

    Wednesday, Waterbury --> Portsmouth, NH
    - Breakfast at Old Stagecoach.
    - Attempt to pick up Heady if still needed at Craft Beer Cellar/ Crossroad Beverage/ Waterbury Village Market.
    - Drive 3 hours to Portsmouth, NH, stopping at Garrison City Beerworks, Stoneface, and Smuttynose on the way.
    - Check into Hotel Portsmouth.
    - Get lunch at Portsmouth Brewery.
    - Walk around downtown Portsmouth.
    - Uber to Kittery, ME for dinner at Black Birch.

    Thursday, Portsmouth, NH --> Portland, ME
    - Breakfast at the Friendly Toast.
    - Possible stop at Tributary (depending on timing; brewery opens at noon).
    - Drive to Cape Neddick, ME for easy hike.
    - Possible stop at Banded Horn Brewery (depending on timing; brewery opens at 4:00 p.m.).
    - Check into Marriott in Portland; lunch at Slab?
    - Explore downtown; meet up with friends.
    - Dinner at Eventide Oyster Co.?

    Friday, Portland
    - Check out Old Port; grab breakfast downtown.
    - Check out Bier Cellar and Craft Beer Cellar for local beers.
    - Uber to 1 Industrial Way. Allagash tour at 1:00 p.m.. Hang out at Allagash/ Foundation/ Bissell/ Austin Street; grab lunch at food trucks.
    - Go out in Portland . . . maybe Novare Res?

    Saturday, Portland
    - Explore Portland Farmer's Market.
    - Drive to Bissell for Swish release at noon.
    - Brunch at Little Tap House/ college football games.
    - Possible drive to Portland Light House/ Museum?
    - Dinner at Central Provisions or Fore Street.

    Sunday, Portland, ME --> NY
    - Drive home, with a stop at Armsby Abbey in MA.
    - Cry.
  2. JakerLou

    JakerLou Meyvn (1,226) Jan 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    This sounds like an awesome trip. One minor suggestion. If you are walking around downtown Portsmouth check out Earth Eagle.

    Another thought. On your way from Waterbury to Portsmouth you could stop in Montpelier and check out Hunger Mountain Coop. They won't have Heady on Weds but they may have a lot of other great beers and they have some really fantastic food. Ideal for a long car ride :-).

    OK one last thought. Barreled Souls is in Saco ME, might be worth a stop.
    #2 JakerLou, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
    Jbrews, Ken_P, Brian_Burke and 2 others like this.
  3. vtcraft

    vtcraft Initiate (187) Apr 1, 2013 Vermont

    For vt portion of your trip: you should be able to get heady at healthy living on Monday no problem check their site for deop time. I was there at 4 ish yesterday and a stack of cases was sitting in the beer area. Also check flatbread site, I'm not sure they are open for lunch during the week. mNF finagans on college street has nice tap list flues under radar, Manhattan pizza, Rira's not best tap list, rj's more of college seen.
    kmbeer likes this.
  4. marcrgrenier

    marcrgrenier Initiate (68) Apr 22, 2015 New Hampshire

    For Portsmouth, be careful with Uber as the City has banned it. There are still some drivers though. Earth Eagle for sure when you are walking around and if you need a cool old Portsmouth bar after the Black Birch check out the Coat of Arms.
    Not sure where you are hiking in Cape Neddick, but Mount Agamenticus in York is the highest point around and is an easy hike with a great view.
  5. rknrll

    rknrll Initiate (44) Jul 13, 2009 Massachusetts

    You take very structured vacations.
    yuppiescum, kmbeer and SveNss0N like this.
  6. oldbean

    oldbean Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    It would be an obscene amount of driving but I'd be tempted to hit Hill Farmstead plus Parker Pie and/or Schilling on Wednesday instead of Smutty/Garrison/Stoneface.
    Ken_P, kmbeer and Horbar like this.
  7. soze47

    soze47 Savant (917) May 22, 2010 Massachusetts

    My critique is - well done!

    Fore street is amazing. Perhaps you could try to hit duckfat in Portland for lunch or dinner on Friday?

    Fwiw - I've had several friends creep up to Parker pie company and hill farmstead is a great destination.
    kmbeer likes this.
  8. Evmo31

    Evmo31 Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2015 Connecticut

    My only crituque would be missing out on hill farmstead. Stay a little longer in VT and hit up hill early on wednesday before heading to NH. Portsmouth is a awesome city, but a new england beer pilgramage would not be complete without a stop at HF. Enjoy your trip, it sounds amazing!
    GiantCogs, Ken_P and kmbeer like this.
  9. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Doc Ponds in Stowe for a beer after biking on way back to Waterbury may be worth a stop...

    I also really like Barreled Souls in Saco, which is pretty close to Banded Horn.

    Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier for a pop if you check out Hunger Mountain Coop.

    And I second Earth Eagle if you're hanging around in Portsmouth.
    kmbeer and JakerLou like this.
  10. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I feel like I'm on the vacation too! I like the detail. As I've said in the other thread, Black Birch in Kittery is worth it. Since you are staying the the Hotel NH on state street, basically all of downtown is within 5 minutes walking. Strawberry Banke museum is cool to walk around and burn off your Portsmouth brewery lunch. Also, Prescott Park is across the street from the museum and has some nice walking areas. One of my favorite locals for coziness alone is Two Ceres cocktail bar. Beer selection is pretty mediocre, but the ambiance is among the best in town.

    I know tourists like to mob the Friendly toast but be warned:

    I would recommend Colby's breakfast at 105 Daniel St (walking distance for you), or if you want to drive go to Cafe Espresso just outside of the downtown area in the Hannaford plaza.
    FrankLloydMike and kmbeer like this.
  11. Flashy

    Flashy Devotee (492) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    Hill Farmstead is not necessary unless you are there for a bottle release, want to fill growlers or just want to go there. Eats up a big chunk of time and you can get the beers on tap without the 1/2 day drive.
    #11 Flashy, Oct 21, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
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  12. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I agree. Unless the goal is to bring the beer home, there is plenty of opportunity to drink the HF beers at all of the tap rooms/restaurants you have listed. I think HF is a great trip, but does add a ton of time, and you have a ton packed into the itinerary already!

    Have fun! Looks great!
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  13. BranfordBound

    BranfordBound Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2010 Connecticut

    I'll second Doc Ponds for Stowe. I was there about 3 weeks ago and it was the best place in town. Heady, Focal, HF, Fiddlehead, Von Trapp, Belgian stuff, this place has it all. Cool vibe, too. Food is legit, as well, since I think it's owned by the same people from Hen of the Wood (also amazing for food).

    Edit: I'd also skip out on Hill Farmstead (@jhavs is right). Pretty much any craft beer place you're going to will have the good stuff from them and even the regular joints will have the basics like Edward.
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  14. Flashy

    Flashy Devotee (492) Oct 22, 2003 Vermont

    Now that's taking hippie casual to far.
    kmbeer likes this.
  15. BranfordBound

    BranfordBound Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2010 Connecticut

    Website says open everyday @ 11:30: (at the very bottom)
    kmbeer likes this.
  16. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Yeah, I think Doc Ponds had Heady cans for 5 bucks on the menu....can't beat that deal!
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  17. kinopio

    kinopio Aspirant (278) Apr 30, 2009 Massachusetts

    Sounds like a great trip. Kings Head Pub is close to Little Tap House and has TVs for sports so that could be a good quick stop on saturday. Great draft list there. And if its a nice day when you are in Portland I'd suggest walking over to the Eastern Promenade. Nice park with excellent views of the water.
    kmbeer likes this.
  18. oldbean

    oldbean Initiate (0) Jun 30, 2005 Massachusetts

    Counterpoint: the bottle conditioned saisons. That's really what makes HF a draw for me. YMMV.
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  19. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    Good point! If that is what your into. Dorothy has been on tap, but if you want the bottles, or special release bottles, need to head to the source.
    kmbeer likes this.
  20. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (504) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    My hat is off to you for trying to squeeze in so much good stuff. I think I'm tired just reading it :slight_smile:

    I'd third the recommendation to hit Earth Eagle in Portsmouth. It's a cool little space (right in the thick of downtown) and it has, if nothing else, a very unique approach to beers. Pop in for a quick beer just before lunch at Portsmouth brewery since it's literally about a 3 minute walk away.
    kmbeer likes this.
  21. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

    Thank you all so much - this is exactly what I was hoping for. I will definitely add Earth Eagle to the list.

    Re: HF -- I went back and forth about it a bunch and while I will probably regret not going, I just worry it will add to much time to the trip and will stress us out too much. And like you guys have said, there will be plenty of opportunity to drink it in Burlington and Waterbury. It'll be a good reason to go back soon.

    Thanks again for all the help, and feel free to offer any additional suggestions. As you can imagine, I've been basically useless at work trying to figure out all the places to hit, but it's made the anticipation for the trip that much better. Really looking forward to it.
    JakerLou likes this.
  22. WanderingFool

    WanderingFool Poo-Bah (2,111) Aug 7, 2002 Massachusetts

    I suggest getting to Bissel around 11:00 am to wait for the opening at noon.
    kmbeer likes this.
  23. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

    Thanks! Do you know what the limit is?
  24. Jbrews

    Jbrews Disciple (351) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    For Portsmouth skip Smutty, its out of the way.

    Everything else looks great. If you have any questions regarding Portsmouth shoot me a message. I love our city and sharing it with folks.

    Also for Black Birch you need to be prepared for a wait and possibly one on the 1 hour to hour and a half level. They do not take reservations or call ahead so its kinda a crap shoot. When you show up go in and wait at the entrance to put your name in with a nice gentleman with curly hair(Can't miss him) Then walk through the bar area and look for some seating in the back area near the brooms and kitchen. You can sit back there to wait and be out of the crowded doorway. They will most likely come over and offer you a beverage during your wait. when I was in Saturday night I had the choice of Epiphany, Substance, Lunch etc. It was glorious.

    Food is the shit and you won't regret it.
    kmbeer likes this.
  25. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

    Great - thanks! Looking forward to.
  26. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

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  27. BeerinBiddo

    BeerinBiddo Initiate (0) Aug 31, 2013 Maine

    While in NH, it's worth going a little out of your way to hit up Deciduous up in Newmarket.

    Good call on Black Birch - great tap list, and you can't beat the food. Central Provisions vs. Fore St. - I'd go with Central every time, but YMMV.
    Sneex and kmbeer like this.
  28. ricknelson

    ricknelson Devotee (445) Feb 20, 2010 Vermont

    Also check out Three Penny Pub in Montpelier.
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  29. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (824) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island

    I'm so jealous - your husband is a lucky guy for you planning this trip of a lifetime.

    Additional suggestion for Portland for lunch/dinner - Empire. Some of the best Chinese I've ever had. Order a few small plates and wash it down with some Substance on tap. And one of the mornings, make sure you stop by holy donut.
    kmbeer likes this.
  30. kmbeer

    kmbeer Initiate (0) Feb 23, 2011 New York

    Haha - I try to tell him that all the time! Usually doesn't work :slight_smile: Thanks for the recommendation - just checked out Empire's menu and it looks awesome. Will make sure I stop by Holy Donut as well.
  31. BeerinBiddo

    BeerinBiddo Initiate (0) Aug 31, 2013 Maine

    Almost forgot - even if you're in Biddeford at a bad time for Banded Horn, it's worth driving into town to get lunch at the Palace Diner. Their Palace Royale is the best burger in the state, and their tuna melt will change your life :slight_smile:
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  32. GiantCogs

    GiantCogs Initiate (0) Oct 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    Personally, I'm less of a hoppy beer freak and would be much much much happier spending the time bringing home two cases of Hill Farmstead Anna. They usually have a food truck there, Parker Pie is fantastic and has a great tap list, and Lost Nation is close enough with amazing food and drank. Plus, it's such a unique spot and you are traveling so far. Also, near Lost Nation in Morristown is an easy spot to pick up Heady.

    Edit: Definitely go to Novare Res. Central Provisions rules. If you get a little beer fatigued, we had great cocktails at Portland Hunt + Alpine Club.
    kmbeer likes this.
  33. Mikecap

    Mikecap Champion (824) May 18, 2012 Rhode Island

    Can't agree more on the HF recs. With the new tasting room open, it's even better than before. Full pours on the deck while you wait for your growlers is just about perfect. Also, the ramen food truck is top notch.
    kmbeer likes this.
  34. pehodges

    pehodges Initiate (95) May 25, 2013 Massachusetts

    Dorothy is not a saison.
  35. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (2,053) Apr 16, 2015 New York
    Society Trader

    didn't say it was. meant something different from the hoppy brews that are typically seen on tap in VT.
  36. elucas730

    elucas730 Initiate (0) Feb 5, 2010 New York

    If you want to guarantee yourself some Heady, the Beverage Warehouse has a 10AM Tuesday drop. Line starts forming around 9:00 and you MUST be in line before 10 to get some. If you are in line, you WILL get some Heady. The closer you are to the front, the better your chance of getting a case. Just make sure you get to Penny Cluse early enough that you can get in line at the Bevy.
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  37. dubdrop

    dubdrop Disciple (340) Aug 6, 2012 Vermont

    I was in Portland a few months ago and my wife and I had an awesome breakfast here: It had been called Bintliff's, but according to the website, it's still the same owner. they just changed the name.
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  38. pehodges

    pehodges Initiate (95) May 25, 2013 Massachusetts

    Doesn't seem like anyone has mentioned that Nov 1-7 is Portland Beer Week.
    Special events, bigger crowds (although the "Clustah" this weekend will keep a lot of out-of-staters from a repeat trip next weekend).
    RE: Hill Farmstead- from your beer preferences and brewery interests, looks like you'd be ok skipping the brewery and sampling the PAs/IPAs/DIPAs available on tap throughout the area. Only reason to visit would be if you were interested in their saisons (bottle or full-bottle pours in the tasting room) which typically don't go out on draft or if they put a special release out (sorry, no advance notice from HF until about Sunday, and they're only open Wed-Sat, so would mean major schedule juggling).

    When hitting the liquor stores, remember to keep an eye out for beers distributed in VT/ME but not in NY.
    Admittedly MA distribution is not as extensive as NY, but our trip past Hunger Mountain last weekend brought back Jester King, Crooked Stave and Prairie not found in MA. Since you may be hitting up Black Birch and Tributary, stop at the Kittery 7/11 (yes a 7/11, gas station and mind blowing bottle shop), and wherever you stop, experiment- maybe pick up a SoMe.
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  39. meefmoff

    meefmoff Zealot (504) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Yeah, this is a great point. It can be easy to get overly focused on the handful of hyped heavy hitters and overlook the fact that there's plenty of very good, easily accessible stuff that you just don't hear quite so much about. If you came across, say Tribute or Idyltime or Limited Access in a place without the shadow of HT, Lawson's and HF you'd probably be quite pleased :slight_smile:
    kmbeer likes this.
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