Looking for a North East location with a lot of craft breweries

Discussion in 'New England' started by Rjs2005, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Rjs2005

    Rjs2005 Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2017

    Hey All,

    So I am planning a trip with a few friends and am currently looking for a place like a nice town or city (preferably in the Northeast US) where a bunch of craft breweries are located in close distance to each other, either walking distance or a short drive. I live in Central Jersey and here we can have anywhere from 3-5 breweries within a 10-20 mile radius so I am looking for something similar to that. Any suggestions are welcome.
  2. Piels25

    Piels25 Aspirant (239) Dec 17, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Boston, MA
    Burlington, VT
    Portland, ME
    Portsmouth, NH
  3. Gastone

    Gastone Initiate (168) Feb 27, 2006 Massachusetts

  4. Davl22

    Davl22 Aspirant (282) Sep 27, 2011 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Portland, ME
    Jwale73 likes this.
  5. Roy_Hobbs

    Roy_Hobbs Disciple (395) Jan 21, 2017 Connecticut
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    All good suggestions above. If any of you are baseball fans, Cooperstown NY has Ommegang and a couple others (in addition to the baseball HOF)
  6. papposilenus

    papposilenus Crusader (785) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Portland is the only place I can think of that you can actually walk to five different breweries; i.e., Foundation, Austin Street, Battery Steele (if it's open yet), Casco Bay and Allagash. I mean, if you're planning on just, like, parking an rv and getting completely messed up.
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  7. beertrip

    beertrip Initiate (151) Feb 6, 2015 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Portland gets my vote as well. So many breweries you won't get to all of them. The downtown area is loaded with good food and beer bars. Make sure to go through tree house on way there or back. I did that trip this past summer and can't wait to do it again.
    cdilisio likes this.
  8. cdilisio

    cdilisio Initiate (47) Apr 18, 2015 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Portland, but I'm biased. Not to mention most restaurants per capita...
    krustster likes this.
  9. 7irondave

    7irondave Disciple (382) Jun 22, 2016 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Portland, ME
  10. papposilenus

    papposilenus Crusader (785) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    AND you can stop off in Portsmouth on the way - Smuttynose, Portsmouth Brewery, Stoneface, Great Rhythm, Deciduous - and spend some beer-tourist dollars in New Hampshire, too! DON'T wait to do it on the way home because you'll have no money left after paying all the tolls on the Maine Turnpike.
    7irondave likes this.
  11. t_ee_g

    t_ee_g Initiate (112) Jun 27, 2014 Maine

    Not to pile on for Portland, ME but yes to pile on because of my bias.

    In addition to the Industrial way spots (Austin St, Foundation, etc) you've also got three relatively close to one another in East Bayside in Rising Tide, Lone Pine (newish, both the Portland Pale Ale and Tessellation DIPA are reasonable endeavors), and Oxbow up the Hill.

    Kingshead and Little Tap House consistently have a great draft roster, maybe the best in town, IMO.

    Novare Res is a great sunny day drinker, and Maps is cool basement spot for a nightcap.

    Those are my thoughts, and find peace in your ultimate decision.
    cdilisio likes this.
  12. DeweyCheatem-n-Howe

    DeweyCheatem-n-Howe Devotee (407) May 23, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Portland is an awesome choice. So is Burlington, VT - since you said "short drive," you can go to Foam, Fiddlehead, Magic Hat, House of Fermentology (not sure if they're open to the public, but their stuff is at Foam if not), Queen City, Burlington Beer, and you're like 30 minutes by car from The Alchemist and Prohibition Pig.
  13. jhavs

    jhavs Poo-Bah (1,637) Apr 16, 2015 New Hampshire
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    + Geary's if they keep the taproom open.
    papposilenus likes this.
  14. dantonbrown

    dantonbrown Initiate (188) Feb 24, 2011 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Battery Steele is opening this weekend!
    papposilenus and cdilisio like this.
  15. dantonbrown

    dantonbrown Initiate (188) Feb 24, 2011 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Portland has my vote... you cannot beat the quality and proximity of all of the breweries, bars, restaurants and beer events anywhere else. There are clusters of breweries within walking distance of one another:

    Industry Way - Allagash : Foundation : Austin Street : Battery Steele : Geary's
    Bayside - Oxbow : Rising Tide : Urban Farm Fermentory : Lone Pine : One Eye Open [No taproom yet but available to go?]
    Thompsons Point - Bissell Brothers : Bunker Brewing

    In my travels I haven't found a place with a better selection of restaurants with a higher food quality to beer selection ratio. Boston, Burlington, Portsmouth, etc. are all awesome but it's impossible to beat what Portland has going on right now.

    More recommendations for breweries, restaurants, food trucks, etc. here: www.mainebeerscene.com
  16. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,023) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    LOL. When I first read your post, I thought I had inadvertently switched back over to the NW forum (as your description of Portland Maine is very comparable to some of the descriptions I see for Portland Oregon).

    The wife and I are here for a few days, and so far we've completely enjoyed our stay. I have a couple of questions/observations, that perhaps you can shed some light on. One very noticeable difference between this Portland and the one in Oregon is the absence of multi-tap growler stations. I'm assuming the laws must be different here, as so far I haven't seen much in the way of growler or crowler sales around town.

    Also, while there are some excellent beer bars in town (in fact, we're just about to head over to the King's Head for lunch), so far I haven't seen any place with what I would call a huge number of tap handles (other than the crappy sports bar place next to our hotel - Portland Harbor Inn - which has close to 30 beers on tap, with a good half of them AAL's and the like). Again, I get the impression this might be intentional; most places seem to have around 10 or so beers on tap, almost all of which are locally sourced (which is something I particularly like - love to try as much local beer as possible).

    Anyway, it's just something I find curious, and was wondering about. Thanks!
  17. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (968) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Novare Res has at least 30 taps and that can sometimes be overkill. Other places could be intentional or may just be limited by space. I sort of prefer a shorter list and maybe some places do as well, aggressively rejecting The Ginger Man type bars. Maine definitely has a drink local attitude.
  18. t_ee_g

    t_ee_g Initiate (112) Jun 27, 2014 Maine

    As far as lots O' handles, was reminded of the Great Lost Bear, while checking out @dantonbrown 's site. I suppose fewer taps moves more kegs, fresher for your mouth @John_M

    I've only gotten growler fills at tasting rooms, and the one and only crowler I ever had (it's fine should I be accused of beer vessel noobery) was from your neck of the woods. A dear old friend sent along a Great Notion Over Ripe, last November.
  19. John_M

    John_M Moderator (6,023) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Forgot all about the Great Lost Bear. The last time we were here (some years back), the selection there was large, but pretty underwhelming (for the most part). Food there was so-so at best. I forgot they were even here. :-)

    The quality of the food scene seems to have improved dramatically in Portland since the last time I was here. Haven't visited Novare Res on this trip yet, but it sounds like they've increased their number of tap handles since last I was there. My recollection was that they had a huge bottle list, but I seem to recall a tap list that was under 20. Again, that was some years ago.

    King's Head was great I thought. I think they had around 32 or 33 tap handles, and the selection was very, very good. Mostly local stuff, but again, in my book that's a total plus.