Microbrewery Guide - Microbrewery Oregon - Seattle Microbreweries

The ideal place to sample the best of Northwest handcrafted ale is a well run brewpub, which will stimulate the human spirit with warmth, the scent of malt, pleasant conversation, and hearty food. Helping to combat the chilly, damp climate of the region, brewpubs have become great places of refuge where you can shake off the tears of a hostile world, order a pint of cask beer, then savor a complex beer that will caress every one of your senses.

Microbreweries, which, by definition, are companies that produce less than 20,000 kegs a year, can be found everywhere from Minneapolis to Maui, although it all began in the Pacific Northwest. On any evening, many dozen locally brewed beers and ales are available for your enjoyment in Portland and Seattle.

Most East Coast microbreweries produce German style lagers, which is the most famous style of brewing for American palates. The microbreweries of the Northwest go all out for wildly adventerous bitters, stouts, and porters.

With all of these amazing beers to choose from, you may be wondering where to begin. When you look for a microbrew, you should always be thinking about variety. At any time in both Seattle and Portland, you can find several dozen fresh, locally made brew on tap. They all range in strength from the standard 3 1/2% to a very potent 8 1/2%.

As for the flavor, you will have to taste it for yourself. There is the rich sweetness of malt, balanced well with good bitter hops. Then, there is also the mocha java overtones of roasted barley, used with stouts and porters, and the spicy kick of malted wheat.

There are also the sweet ales and tart ales, mild ales, and ales that are so charged with flavor that they linger on the tongue. No matter which type of microbrew you choose, your sure to get a flavor that will make you come back for more.

Below, you will find a guide to some of the best microbrews out there.

Long Trail Brewery - Bridgewater, Vermont

This brewery offers several brews that will easily quench your thirst. The long trail ale is a very good choice, as it's very tasty and not too heavy, just right. The hibernator is also good, although it's winter seasonal and high in alcohol. With a pinch of honey, the pollenator provides a thirst quenching solution to a hot summer haze.

Catamount Brewery - White River Junction - Vermont

The best seller here is the Catamount amber, as it is very tasty. The Catamount gold is also good, as it is lighter than the amber and offers plenty of refreshment on a hot day. For winter months, the Catamount Christmas ale offers a crisp taste for the cold.

7 Barrel Brewery - New Hampshire

The 7 Barrel Brewery is a restaurant as well as a brewery. The best brews here are the Dublin brown ale and the red 7 ale, although you really can't go wrong with any of their offerings. They also offer live music every Friday night with many great bands.

Vermont Pub - Burlington, Vermont

This pub is the sister brewery of the 7 Barrel Brewery. They offer a great bar that serves two rooms, with plenty of fresh and tasty beer. The brown ale and dog bite bitter are the best, as they are both very tasty.

Magic Hat Brewery - Burlington, Vermont

This brewery offers some of the best in the state of Vermont - as well as the entire United States! Their well known popular number 9 can be found on taps around the state. When you visit, don't forget to look under the cap, as they call it "Magic Hat" for a reason!