Paste Magazine Ranks 10 New England Beers in Its ‘Must-Try’ List

Heady Topper takes No. 3 overall. See what else made the cut.

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“Beer Flight” image via Shutterstock

Since being posted on May 30, Paste Magazine‘s “100 American Craft Beers Every Beer-Lover Should Drink” has gone viral. The music and pop culture magazine, based of Decatur, Georgia, has become a great resource for craft beer over the last several years, dedicating more and more print coverage to everything booze and beverage.

On its “quintessential” list of beers that “define the American craft scene,” Graham Averill and his colleagues have included 10 examples from New England. These include:

  • 93.  Samuel Adams Boston Lager (Boston, MA)
  • 85.  The Alchemist Focal Banger (Waterbury, VT)
  • 84.  Hill Farmstead Abner IPA (Greensboro, VT)
  • 79.  Allagash White (Portland, ME)
  • 71.  Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA (Portsmouth, NH) 
  • 21.  Allagash Curieux (Portland, ME)
  • 18.  Hill Farmstead Everett (Greensboro, VT)
  • 17.  Samuel Adams Utopia (Boston, MA)
  • 14.  Clown Shoes Undead Party Crasher (Ipswich, MA)
  • 3.  The Alchemist Heady Topper (Waterbury, VT)

Now, a tenth of the list isn’t peanuts, but it does seem a bit paltry when compared with other regions like Colorado with 12, Michigan with 8, and California with 27. Granted, those states are all producing fantastic craft beer, but it would have been nice to chip into that West Coast dominance.

It comes as no surprise that The Alchemist’s Heady Topper double IPA was the highest ranked beer in New England. But seeing Clown Shoes’ Undead Party Crasher imperial stout placed ahead of anything by Hill Farmstead or Allagash, well, that was a bit of a shocker.

Rounding out the top five alongside Heady Topper was Cigar City’s Hanaphu imperial stout (No. 5), Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout (No. 4), Russian River’s Pliny the Elder (No. 2), and the white whale of craft beers, Three Floyd’s Dark Lord (No. 1), which is only sold one day a year out of Three Floyds’ Munster, Indiana, brewery.