Best Breweries in Massachusetts

Discover the Best Breweries in Massachusetts: A Guide for Beer Enthusiasts

Massachusetts is a hidden gem for beer enthusiasts, boasting a thriving craft beer scene with over 200 breweries spread across the state.

From the influential Boston Beer Company to the unique flavors of New England IPAs, the Bay State offers a diverse and exciting selection of the best breweries in Massachusetts, including taprooms and brewpubs for everyone to explore and savor.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore Massachusetts’ craft beer scene with over 200 breweries and a prominent New England IPA influence.
  • Experience unique taprooms, brewpubs, restaurants, and festivals celebrating the state’s vibrant beer culture.
  • Sample beers from renowned establishments such as Tree House Brewing Company, Trillium Brewing Company & Notch Brewing for an unforgettable experience.

Exploring Massachusetts’ Craft Beer Scene

Massachusetts boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with over 200 breweries spread across the state. It ranges from the historic Boston Beer Company to the highly favored New England IPAs, providing a diverse array of beer styles and tasting encounters for beer aficionados.

Cities like Boston, Somerville, and Salem are known for their craft beer offerings and good food options, making them must-visit destinations for anyone seeking to explore the best breweries in Massachusetts.

The craft beer culture in Massachusetts has been significantly influenced by the Boston Beer Company, which has inspired a wave of independent brewing companies to emerge.

The popularity of New England IPAs has also had a considerable impact on the Massachusetts beer scene, with numerous local breweries producing exceptional varieties of this beer style. Together, these factors have contributed to the rich and diverse craft beer landscape that Massachusetts has to offer.

Boston Beer Company

Established in 1984 by James “Jim” Koch and Rhonda Kallman, the Boston Beer Company is home to the iconic Sam Adams brand. The company has had a significant influence on the craft beer landscape in Massachusetts.

Its success has not only facilitated the reemergence of the brewing industry in the state but has also inspired other craft breweries to open in the vicinity. Boston Beer Company has been a pioneer in innovation, introducing novel beer styles and pushing the limits of what is possible in the brewing realm.

During its peak, Boston, including South Boston, was home to 27 breweries. Samuel Adams beer was launched on Patriot’s Day in April 1985, and its success brought back the Boston Beer Company name.

The company’s legacy extends beyond its own successes, as it has inspired other influential brewing companies such as Harpoon Brewery. Today, Boston is a surprisingly good beer city, making it an ideal location to start a brewery.

New England IPAs

The New England IPA style has become a prominent feature of Massachusetts’ craft beer scene. Characterized by its hazy appearance, juicy and tropical fruit flavors, and low bitterness, the style has gained a devoted following.

Flagship beers such as Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine IPA are highly sought after, and the exclusive direct-to-consumer approach of large tasting rooms across the state has aided New England IPAs in dominating the beer scene in Massachusetts.

The popularity of New England IPAs in Massachusetts is attributed to their distinct characteristics and flavors. Their refreshing and accessible taste has attracted a broad spectrum of beer lovers, which has further increased their popularity in Massachusetts and other parts of New England.

Furthermore, the craft beer scene in Massachusetts has embraced the New England IPA style, with numerous local breweries producing remarkable varieties of this beer style.

Must-Visit Breweries in Massachusetts

When exploring Massachusetts’ craft beer scene, there are three must-visit breweries that should not be missed: Tree House Brewing Company, Trillium Brewing Company, and Notch Brewing.

Each of these breweries offers unique experiences and exceptional beer, making them perfect destinations for beer enthusiasts to visit and enjoy.

Tree House Brewing Company

Tree House Brewing Company is a popular brewery with multiple locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Acclaimed for their excellent beer and stylish taproom/tasting area, which often features live bands, Tree House has gained a reputation for perfecting the New England IPA style, with readers appreciating their flagship beer, Julius.

Visiting Tree House Brewing Company is an experience to remember, with popular beers such as:

  • Julius
  • Haze
  • Green
  • Alter Ego
  • Doppelgänger

Described as the Dave Matthews Band of breweries, Tree House is a highly sought-after destination, with half of the visitors appreciating the reason for its popularity, while the remaining individuals simply wish to revel in the experience.

Trillium Brewing Company

Established in March 2013 by JC and Esther Tetreault, Trillium Brewing Company has rapidly expanded from a small location on Congress Street in Boston to multiple establishments throughout Massachusetts, including:

  • Canton
  • Fort Point
  • Fenway
  • Boston Common

Trillium is renowned for introducing beers such as Fort Point Pale Ale and Congress Street IPA that have had a significant influence on the regional and national beer industry.

Trillium Brewing Company offers a unique experience at their Canton location, specializing in wood-fired pizza and barbecue. They also feature two beer gardens; one recently opened on Boston Common with a performance venue, while the other is located on the Greenway and is accompanied by seasonal food trucks.

Offering a diverse range of beers, Trillium Brewing Company provides an inviting atmosphere for beer enthusiasts to gather and enjoy their exceptional brews.

Notch Brewing

Notch Brewing, renowned for its session beers, offers a unique experience for those who appreciate low alcohol content without compromising flavor. Established in 2010 by Chris Lohring, Notch Brewing specializes in traditional lagers and central European beers, setting it apart from other breweries in Massachusetts.

Located in Salem, Notch Brewing’s taproom provides a cozy atmosphere where visitors can enjoy an array of session beers, including their flagship brews, all while soaking up the brewery’s dedication to traditional brewing techniques, such as triple-decoction mash, open fermentation, and weeks of horizontal lagering.

Notch Brewing is a must-visit destination for those seeking a distinctive and flavor-packed craft beer experience.

Regional Highlights: Breweries Across Massachusetts

Beyond the must-visit breweries, Massachusetts presents a varied mix of regional highlights, comprising Cape Cod and The Islands, Central Massachusetts, and Western Mass and the Pioneer Valley.

Each of these regions boasts its own unique craft beer offerings, providing beer enthusiasts with a wide array of flavors and experiences to explore and delight in.

Cape Cod and The Islands

Cape Cod and The Islands provide a plethora of microbreweries, brewpubs, and taprooms for beer aficionados to discover. Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket boast a number of microbreweries, with Martha’s Vineyard having a slight edge over Nantucket at 2-1.

One popular brewery on Nantucket is Cisco Brewers, where patrons often partake in a selection of beverages including Triple Eight and Nantucket Craft Cocktails. The Woods vintage beer, with Lady of the Woods being a favored brew, is also a popular choice at Cisco Brewers.

Visitors to Cape Cod and The Islands can anticipate a vibrant and varied craft beer scene, with local breweries presenting an extensive array of beer styles and flavors.

From the unique brews of Cisco Brewers to the charming taprooms and brewpubs scattered throughout the region, Cape Cod and The Islands are an ideal destination for beer enthusiasts seeking new and exciting beer experiences.

Central Massachusetts

Central Massachusetts hosts an array of breweries, presenting distinctive flavors and experiences for beer enthusiasts. Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company and Spencer Trappist Brewery are two notable breweries in the region, each offering their own distinct brews and specialties.

Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company is known for its Pulp Daddy 8% Imperial Hazy NEIPA, Greylock 12% Imperial NEIPA, GG Vibes 8.2% Imperial Hazy NEIPA, Bombshell 8% Imperial Blonde Ale, and more.

Another unique brewery in Central Massachusetts is Moon Hill Brewing Co., which utilizes distinctive brewing techniques, beginning with traditional European ales and lagers and later extending to brew sours, Belgians, IPAs, and barrel-aged beers.

With a diverse range of breweries, flavors, and styles, Central Massachusetts provides a delightful and memorable beer experience for all visitors.

Western Mass and the Pioneer Valley

Western Mass and the Pioneer Valley present a varied collection of breweries and brewpubs, each offering distinctive encounters for beer aficionados.

Some examples include:

  • Amherst Brewing, renowned for its extensive selection of over 125 unique beer flavors
  • Paper City Brewery in Holyoke, which allows visitors to observe the brewing process firsthand
  • High and Mighty Brewing in Holyoke, which also provides the opportunity to visit their facilities and learn about the brewing process

Many breweries in Western Mass and the Pioneer Valley boast inviting and memorable atmospheres, with scenic outdoor seating areas and a variety of local brews to sample.

Beer trails in Western MA allow visitors to explore craft breweries, pubs, and tasting rooms, providing a unique and engaging experience for beer lovers.

A Taste of Taprooms: Where to Sample the Best Beers

For those favoring a more personal and concentrated beer experience, taprooms in Metrowest and North Shore offer an ideal ambiance to taste the finest local brews. These establishments offer a dedicated space for customers to taste and enjoy the breweries’ unique and exceptional beer offerings.


In Metrowest Massachusetts, notable breweries such as Jack’s Abby and Springdale Barrel Room offer a diverse array of beers for patrons to sample.

At Jack’s Abby taproom, they typically serve a selection of lagers, both traditional and experimental options, as well as cider and seltzer on draft.

Just down the street, the Springdale Barrel Room provides a distinctive experience, featuring local-curated art, arcade games, and a rustic-industrial atmosphere.

The tap room also offers a view of thousands of oak barrels containing ales and lagers undergoing fermentation, providing a unique glimpse into the brewing process for visitors.

North Shore

The North Shore region of Massachusetts is home to a variety of breweries and taprooms, offering a wide range of unique beer experiences for visitors to enjoy.

Vitamin Sea Brewing and Widowmaker Brewing Co. are two noteworthy breweries in the area, each providing their own distinct brews and atmosphere.

Vitamin Sea Brewing is known for its highly rated beers, such as:

  • Beer List; Just Another T-Shirt Shop – 6.8% ABV – (4.19 rating)
  • Alone And Adrift – 7% ABV – (4.17 rating)
  • AU Jus – 7.8% ABV – (4.16 rating)
  • Greetings From Weymouth – 6.8% ABV – (4.19 rating)

Widowmaker Brewing Co., on the other hand, employs unique brewing techniques, such as hazy brewing for their pale yellow brew with citrus and mango flavors.

Both taprooms offer a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere for beer lovers to sample and savor the best of North Shore’s craft beer scene.

Brewpubs and Restaurants with Craft Beer

For those seeking a more inclusive dining encounter along with their craft beer, Massachusetts’ brewpubs and restaurants offer an optimal atmosphere.

Democracy Brewing and Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen are two such establishments that offer not only exceptional beer but also delectable food and inviting atmospheres.

Democracy Brewing

Democracy Brewing, located in Downtown Crossing, Boston, is a worker-owned brewery and kitchen. Their unique business model allows employees to become worker-owners after one year of employment, providing them a role in decision-making and receiving profit sharing.

Democracy Brewing offers a variety of beers, such as:

  • IPAs
  • Kölschs
  • Pale ales
  • Saisons

Notable beers include Suffragette Pale Ale, Consummate Rioter, and Worker’s Pint, all perfect for those who appreciate their own beer.

In addition to their exceptional beer offerings, Democracy Brewing provides a selection of starters, salads, and entrees, including:

  • Beer Pretzel
  • Side Fries
  • Caesar Salad
  • Miso Kale Salad
  • Regular Burger
  • Sausage Broccoli Ricotta Pizza Bagels

Their scratch kitchen can also create tailored menus for events, ensuring a memorable dining experience for all guests with a secure proceeding and seamless site connection.

Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen

Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen, located in North Reading, Massachusetts, is a family-friendly brewery and restaurant.

Established by brothers Steve and Mike Gabardi twelve years ago, Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen is known for its unique brews such as Bavarian Analgesic Märzen and Sweepnman’s Flu(e) Fix Red Ale.

In addition to their distinctive brews, Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen offers a selection of dishes such as:

  • Wings
  • Tenders
  • Pretzels
  • Ahi nachos
  • Cool Ranch chicken tenders
  • Cheeseburger pizza
  • Barbecue burnt end mac and cheese

The welcoming atmosphere, exceptional beer, and inspired food make Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen an ideal destination for families and beer enthusiasts alike.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Massachusetts also organizes several seasonal events and festivals, commemorating the state’s craft beer culture. From the annual Cape Cod Brew Fest to other beer festivals and events throughout the state, these gatherings showcase the diverse range of craft beers and provide a fun and engaging experience for beer lovers.

Cape Cod Brew Fest

The Cape Cod Brew Fest, an annual event at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds in East Falmouth since 2012, has grown to become a favorite event for beer aficionados.

Featuring beer dinners, tastings at liquor stores, and over 100 breweries providing a wide selection of beer styles for sampling, the Cape Cod Brew Fest offers a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the best of Massachusetts’ craft beer scene.

Participating breweries at the Cape Cod Brew Fest include Cape Cod Beer, Two Roads Brewing Company, and Cape Cod Craft Brew Fest, offering a diverse selection of beer styles and flavors for festival-goers to enjoy.

With its focus on showcasing local and regional breweries, the Cape Cod Brew Fest is an ideal event for those seeking to immerse themselves in the craft beer culture of Massachusetts.

Other Beer Festivals and Events

Besides the Cape Cod Brew Fest, Massachusetts organizes various other beer festivals and events, honoring the state’s craft beer culture.

Noteworthy beer festivals and events held in Massachusetts include:

  • Boylston Schul-Verein Oktoberfest
  • Massachusetts Craft Beer Festival
  • Brew Woo Worcester’s Original Craft Beer Festival
  • Boston Beer & Sweets Fest

These festivals and events provide a remarkable opportunity for beer enthusiasts to sample a wide selection of craft beers from local breweries, offering a fun and engaging experience for all attendees.

With its rich craft beer culture and diverse range of events, Massachusetts is the perfect destination for beer lovers seeking to expand their knowledge and appreciation of craft beer.


Massachusetts boasts a thriving and diverse craft beer scene, offering a wide range of breweries, taprooms, and brewpubs for beer enthusiasts to explore.

From the influential Boston Beer Company to the unique flavors of New England IPAs, and the seasonal events and festivals that celebrate the state’s craft beer culture, Massachusetts is a hidden gem for beer lovers.

With its rich history and ever-evolving beer landscape, the Bay State provides an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking to discover and savor the best breweries in Massachusetts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many breweries are there in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is home to over 200 breweries.

Tree House Brewing Company offers a variety of popular beers, such as Julius, Haze, Green, Alter Ego, and Doppelgänger.

What is the New England IPA style?

The New England IPA style is characterized by its hazy appearance, tropical fruit flavors, and low bitterness.

What is the history of the Boston Beer Company?

Established in 1984, the Boston Beer Company pioneered its inaugural brand of beer, Samuel Adams, created by founders James “Jim” Koch and Rhonda Kallman.

Are there any seasonal beer festivals in Massachusetts?

Yes, there are seasonal beer festivals in Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Craft Brewers Festival, Hyper-Local Brewfest, and Harpoon Beer Festivals.