Craft beer selection is expanding around the world at a rapid pace. From stouts made with oysters in Ireland to Blueberry Cream Ale to Canada's own Pumphouse Brewery, the options are endless.
New England is center for home brewing, microbrews and beer festivals. There are hundreds of independent breweries along the East Coast. Enjoying a series of beer tours and tastings is a great trip for budget honeymoon travel.
Learn more about a brewery from each New England state to start brainstorming the ultimate beer-centered vacation.
Thimble Island Brewing Company is located in Branford, Connecticut, on the shoreline, not far from New Haven. It's named after a nearby island chain that's a popular destination for summer boating.
The company was started by friends Justin Gargano and Mike Fawcett, according to its website, who began brewing beer in their Branford apartment. They started the business in 2010 and sold their first beer in 2012. Head to the brewery for a guided tour on Saturdays or simply stop in for a tasting any afternoon. You can also find Thimble Island beers in bars and restaurants along the Connecticut coast.
Just outside Bar Harbor, Maine, you'll find the Atlantic Brewing Company. It began in 1990 as Acadia Brewing Company in the downtown area, when the operation was only capable of brewing one barrel at a time, the company website explained. The current location is near Acadia National Park, where the brewery is settled on a former farm. According to Visit New England, the owners strive for a European and vineyard vibe.
There are three tours offered every afternoon, plus tourists can stop in for a brew any day. The selection includes limited editions, seasonal ales, IPAs, a porter and a stout. You can try one of their brews in bars all over Maine as well as a few other states along the East Coast.
The Boston area is more well-known for beers like Sam Adams and Harpoon, but there's a fair selection of microbreweries nearby as well. Somerville Brewing Company is located a few kilometers from Harvard University's campus, where it'll be opening a taproom in addition to the brewery.
Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter were already making their own brews at home when they began travelling to learn more about craft beer offerings worldwide. Their first product was available to the public in 2011 and they continue showing their brews off at beer festivals around New England. Somerville Brewing Company's most interesting varieties include the chocolate porter that uses Taza Chocolate, a blood orange flavor, late summer peach ales and a cream ale for the seasonal spring brew.
Smuttynose Brewing Company has become quite popular, with products being shipped to Europe and Asia as well as half of the U.S. It's been in production since 1994, the company's website stated, when the company was formed and named for an island off the coast of New Hampshire. Tours and tastings are available every day. Drop in to try their ales, IPA, porter, pilsner or all four.
Not far from Providence, you'll find Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of the Bucket Brewing Company.
The company's website explained that two friends were brewing independently when they decided to combine powers in 2010 to create Bucket. They offer an ale, a porter and a maple stout currently. Tours and tastings are available on Saturdays, but consider visiting the night before as well for the weekly Friday Night Sound Check, a music and art event.
Magic Hat Brewing Company has been growing healthily since it opened in 1994. With 400 beers produced each minute and 48 rotating beers on tap at the on-site bar, it's one smooth operation. The Artifactory, as it's called, and the Growler Bar are in South Burlington, Vermont. Enjoy a self-guided tour any day of the week or a free guided tour over the weekend. The website mentioned that dogs are welcome at the brewery in case you want to bring your pup along for the journey.