New England Beercations, Redux
(Is Burlington be the beeriest town of them all? (Photo by Jared and Corin/Wikimedia Commons)
Find great places to enjoy delicious ales and lagers around New England? Yes, please. I pretty much had the best assignment ever for May’s beer package: “Three Brewtastic New England Getaways.” I wrote about all the ways to sate your suds cravings in Burlington, Portland, and Portsmouth.
However, there were some finds that didn’t make the final cut. (I can talk about local beer for hours — that’s why word counts were invented.):
Next time I’m in my favorite Maine city, I’ll stop by Mama’s Crowbar — formerly George’s and Awful Annie’s — on Munjoy Hill (207-357-7678). You’ll find Maine beers from Allagash, Oxbow, Rising Tide, and more on tap and spoken word and live music several nights a week. East Bayside’s Brand spanking new Bunker Brewing Company released its Irish Imperial Stout Trashmaster there in March, too.
The weekend we visited Phish-town was Magic Hat’s Mardi Gras parade and celebration — so I remember every spot we visited with a hops-induced fondness. We had lunch at Das Bierhaus, a tour and tasting at Switchback, and late afternoon sips at the Farm House Tap & Grill before decamping to American Flatbread (802-861-2999, americanflatbread.com) for pizza. The saison and the Viller’s E.S.B. were standouts from the in-house Zero Gravity craft brewery.
There’s also a plaza in neighboring Winooski that’s a beer lover’s paradise: The Winooski Beverage Warehouse (802-655-2620, beveragewarehousevt.com) stocks more than 900 beers, purportedly “every beer available in Vermont” — including rare and vintage selections in display cases — and the nearby Vermont Homebrew Supply (802-655-2070, vermonthomebrew.com) has everything you need to D.I.Y.
I mentioned Alex and Gretchen McDonald’s A&G Homebrew Supply in the magazine, but didn’t have room to add that Alex and Gretchen’s brother Butch Heilshorn are starting their own nano-brewery, Earth Eagle Brewings (eartheaglebrewings.blogspot.com), on premises in late summer-early fall.
Several people I spoke to for the story mentioned Black Birch (207-703-2294, theblackbirch.com), just over the bridge in Kittery, Maine. The casual eatery, which opened in December 2011 in a former post office, has been a boon to the local beer community with 24 rotating drafts.
I also chatted with Nicole Carrier, who founded North Hampton’s Throwback Brewery (603-379-2317, throwbackbrewery.com) in summer 2011 with Annette Lee. The pair creates beers that take advantage of ingredients available within 200 miles — New Hampshire wheat and syrup from Taylor Brothers Farm in Meriden go into the Maple-Kissed Wheat Porter, for example. You can fill up your growler or growlette (half-growler) at the brewery, Thursday-Saturday. Finally, Portsmouth’s Blue Mermaid Island Grill but also has a pork shank braised in the Throwback brew on the menu.
Most of these spots will probably have special menus or events for American Craft Beer Week (May 14-20), so stay tuned.
And definitely drink in the rest of our May beer package.