The Only Great American Beer Festival Guide to New England Breweries You Need [Updated with 2015 Winners]
September 23, 2015

[Updated with 2015 Winners]

I’ve seen a couple of “can’t miss” lists for the Great American Beer Festival, and don’t get me wrong, those are great. But for those in other parts of the country, you may be looking specifically for some delicious New England brews to try. Some may have distribution near you, but you’ve never been able to catch it. Some may not spread as far West or South as you reside. Regardless of your reasons, here are all of the breweries you’ll be able to find at GABF, and some brews we hope they’ll be offering.

Take a look at the map and the list and let us know–which brewery are you most excited to try?

Maine Brewery

Allagash Brewing Co

50 Industrial Way, Portland, ME 04103

The singular Maine brewery in attendance at GABF, Allagash has been around since 1995, when founder Rob Tod wanted to bring Americans some delicious Belgian-styles. After winning in a sour category last year, I wonder if they’ll continue in that direction or go back to a standard Belgian.

Update: Allagash won 2 awards in 2015!

  • Category: Belgian-Style Tripel (Allagash Tripel)
  • Category: Belgian-Style Witbier (Allagash White)

Baxter Brewing Co

Baxter Brewing brought their delicious Window Seat Coconut Almond Porter with them to GABF 2015 and went home with the Field Beer award.

Connecticut Breweries

Firefly Hollow Brewing Co

139 Center Street, Bristol, CT 06010

Back at the Festival for the second year, Firefly Hollow previously entered Moonrise Amber, Red Lantern, Toadstool Stout, and Twinkler Barleywine. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll be bringing this year!

Two Roads Brewing Company

1700 Stratford Ave, Stratford, CT 06615

Two Roads is such a creative brewery, from their events to gear to their “six pack” bus that they will send anyone traveling to the brewery by train, I’d like to see them win something at GABF.

Massachusetts Breweries

Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Company)

30 Germania St #1, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

This one doesn’t really need explanation. I love a good Sam (but please don’t pass me a Cherry Wheat).

Cambridge Brewing Co.

Cambridge Brewing Co. won the American-Style or International-Style Pilsener category last year with “Remain In Light.” They just released their Great Pumpkin Ale, so we’ll see if they bring that as an entry, but I’m expecting they may show us Hay is for Horses.

Clown Shoes

23 Hayward St, Ipswich, MA

Any brewery that publishes a blog post as honest as this one is one that I’m excited to see succeed. I’m looking forward to hearing about their entry!

Harpoon Brewery

306 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210

Another brewery that needs no introduction, but if you happen to live somewhere that you’re not able to get it, be sure to give it a try! I have absolutely no clue what they’ll be bringing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see their UFO Pumpkin on tap.

Jack’s Abby Brewing

81 Morton Street, Framingham, MA 01702

Around since 2011, Jack’s Abby is growing like crazy in Framingham. They’re even in the process of an expansion (including a beer hall) and are sharing construction updates as it progresses.

Lord Hobo Brewing Company

5 Draper St, Woburn, MA 01801

I’m assuming they’ll be bringing their Boom Sauce, but we’ll have to see!

Mayflower Brewing Co

Mayflower entered into the “Other Belgian-Style Ale” category and medaled with their Summer Rye Ale.

Medusa Brewing Company

111 Main Street, Hudson, MA 01749

With 12 beers currently on tap at their Hudson brewery, this is a local company that has plenty to choose from.

Newburyport Brewing Co

4 New Pasture Road, Newburyport, MA 01950 

The first keg and can brewery in Massachusetts, Newburyport can also be found on certain Delta flights, so you may have tried it in the air.

Wormtown Brewery

72 Shrewsbury St, Worcester, MA 01610

Wormtown won big at last year’s US Open Beer Championship with Hopulence, Biere de Miele and Be Hoppier, so I’m curious to see what they’ll bring to GABF. Be Hoppiest also is tapped today at their brewery–that should have a line out the door waiting to try it! I would love to see the beer Kevin cannot stop talking about, even years after drinking it: Norm.

New Hampshire Breweries

7th Settlement Brewery

7th Settlement’s 1623 Brown Ale was entered into the American-Style Brown Ale category and won the gold.

Beara Irish Brewing Co.

2800 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth NH

Simplicity is key at Beara Irish Brewing Co. They praise that their beer has “no junk”: only water, grains, hops, and yeast. If you don’t see them at GABF, you can visit their tasting room in Portsmouth, NH for some unfiltered beers and live Irish music.

Red Hook

1 Redhook Way Pease International Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH 03801

With a brewery on the West Coast, there likely aren’t too many attendees who haven’t tried a beer from Red Hook, but they’re worth a taste if you haven’t.

Milly’s Tavern

500 Commercial St., Manchester, NH 03101

Manchester, NH’s only microbrewery has already won an award for its “Milly’s Oatmeal Stout.” Will  they attempt to come out on top in a different category this year?

Rhode Island Breweries

Grey Sail Brewing

63 Canal Street, Westerly, RI

A local brewery with nautical-themed beer names and a monthly charity night, we hope good things for Grey Sail. They just had the first Ocean State Beer Fest, and are helping to grow the Rhode Island beer community.

Narragansett Brewing Co

The smallest state came away a winner in the “Old Ale or Strong Ale” category when Narragansett received the Silver medal for their Innsmouth Olde Ale.

Revival Brewing Co.

95 Chestnut St, Providence, RI 02903

Brewing with other breweries, and incorporating local flavors into beers like the White Electric Coffee Stout, Revival is the epitome of local, and Rhode Island.

Vermont Breweries

Lawson’s Finest Liquids

Warren, VT

Last year, Lawson’s won the Specialty Beer category with Maple Tripple Ale. A local (and non-local) favorite, even those not at GABF can enjoy Lawson’s this weekend at SIPtemberfest

Long Trail Brewing Co.

5520 US RT 4, Bridgewater Corners, VT 05035

In 25 years, Long Trail has offered a big variety of brews from its Vermont brewery. Most recently, the SMaSH project has been released, showcasing a single malt and a single hop, highlighting the effect each has on an ale.

Magic Hat Brewing Co

5 Bartlett Bay Road, South Burlington, VT

Magic Hat may be one of the most fun breweries, in artwork, marketing, and as a place to visit, so we’re excited to see what they bring to the draft line at GABF.

Otter Creek Brewing

793 Exchange St, Middlebury, VT 05753

Will they be bringing Wolaver’s Pumpkin Ale back again at a shot for two in a row in the Pumpkin Beer category?

von Trapp Brewing

von Trapp entered their aptly-named Bohemian Pilsner into the “Bohemian-Style Pilsener” category and brought the Silver medal home to Stowe.

Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery

36 Bridge Street, Brattleboro, VT

While you won’t be able to enjoy the view from their rooftop bier garten at the festival, you can should enjoy one of their brews. If you are able, the wonderful dining experience is worth the trip to Brattleboro–definitely go when the weather is beautiful to enjoy the waterfront views!

The Traveler Beer Co.

Burlington, VT

Known for their light and easy-drinking Curious Traveler, I would expect to see this and a seasonal like the Jack-O Traveler.