The perfect activity for a rainy summer afternoon in New England.
An American “Craft Brewer” is: small – (the brewery distributes no more than six million barrels of beer a year); independent – (less than 25 percent of the brewery is owned by a non-craft beer brewery (example: Anheuser-Bush) and…traditional – (the majority of the brewery’s output consists of “beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation.”
If you’d like to participate in this movement that is taking our country by storm, here are a few local New England breweries to check-out and support the next time you’re have a craving for an authentic ice-cold local craft beer.
Zero Gravity – Burlington, VT
Zero Gravity Craft Brewery began in May 2004 in Burlington, Vermont, inside a restaurant they called American Flatbread Burlington Heath. One of the distinguishing elements of their beers at Zero Gravity is adherence to the qualities of the classic beer styles that make those beers great.
Long Trail Brewing – Bridgewater Corners, VT
The first batch of Long Trail Ale rolled off the line 1989. Back then the brewery—known as the Mountain Brewers—was a modest 45 barrel brewhouse tucked into the basement of the Old Woolen Mill in Bridgewater Corners. Andy Pherson, Long Trail’s founder, embarked on a journey to brew an affordable, American-made alternative to the pricey German and English exports that filled the shelves. At the time, the craft brewing industry in America was on the rise and Vermont was better known for maple syrup than beer. In 1989, Long Trail Ale hit the taps at local watering holes like the Back Behind Saloon, Inn at Long Trail and 20’s Pizzeria; blazing the trail for Vermont’s craft brewing industry.
Otter Creek Brewing – Middlebury, VT
Otter Creek has been hitting, hopping and dosing brews with creativity since acid-wash jeans were hip. Under the direction of brewmaster Mike Gerhart, they are undergoing a renaissance of rad, a rebirth of cool–throwing a bit of kind into the kettle whenever possible. Their hop-soaked ales are available throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.
Maine Beer Company – Freeport, ME
“We are always trying to be better at making quality beer, treating our employees well, and taking care of our earth and the creatures that live on it. We donate 1% of our gross sales to environmental non-profits. We support local charities with a portion of our tasting room sales. We use high-efficiency LED and fluorescent lighting. We purchase e-certified wind credits to offset 100% of our electricity. We donate our spent grain to local farmers. We use environmentally-safe cleaners whenever possible.”
Allagash Brewing Company – Portland, ME
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995, as a one-man operation in a small space on the outskirts of Portland, Maine. Founder Rob Tod had worked in a brewery setting before and recognized a void within the craft brewing movement. Today, Allagash has six year round beers in its portfolio, seven yearly releases and numerous one-offs and keg only releases. They continue to be successful by pushing the limits of beer and themselves. They always strive to produce the finest Belgian inspired and experimental ales this side of the Atlantic. Allagash began as New England’s original Belgian-Style brewery and have grown into one of the industry’s most distinguished and well-respected brands.
Oxbow Brewing Company – Newcastle, ME
Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery specializing in traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American influence. They brew small batches of beer in a renovated barn in rural Newcastle, Maine. Their beers can be found in fine bars and restaurants throughout Maine, Vermont, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington DC.
Tributary Brewing Company – Kittery, ME
Brewer, Tod Mott, creator of the original Harpoon IPA and Portsmouth Brewery’s Kate the Great, steps out on his own to create great beer in Kittery, Maine.