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
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
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
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!