6 Reasons the Northeast Has the Best Beer Scene in America

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The fifth stop on Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across America Festival is Portland, Maine, the lobster-loving heartbeat of Maine’s Beer Scene. We roamed the festival grounds, tasted libations, talked to brewers, toured the city and then took a road trip into Vermont to find out what makes the Northeast beer scene great.

1. It’s the People
“The people here are incredible. I couldn’t tell you how many guys like Rob Tod, the Brewmaster and owner of Allagash, have helped out over the years either with advice or a piece of donated equipment. The fun part is walking into these breweries and seeing people like that put out such great products.” – Kai Adams, Co-owner, Sebago Brewing Company

2. It’s the Food
“It’s great to be up here. There’s a lot of innovation in both food and beer culture. Portland restaurants have James Beard Award winning chefs and they’re pouring our beer too. I love living up here.” – Rob Tod, Founder, Allagash Brewing Company

3. It’s Home
Brewers here have deep roots. Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead advertises those roots by naming his beers after his ancestors. “Blizzards, snowstorms, and pulling cars out of the snow? No thanks. I didn’t choose to brew in Vermont; this is home and that has a pull on you. There’s a sense of place and a meaning.” – Shaun Hill, Owner, Operator, Hill Farmstead Brewery

4. It Has New York City
“When we launched into New York last year I thought we had it covered, and then our distributor told us that we needed ten more trucks. Ten! You could practically hear this huge sucking sound as it went out the door.” – John Mallet, Director of Operations, Bell’s Brewery

5. It Has Brewers that Are Willing to Improvise
“I’m not really even supposed to be on the Beer Camp tour. They kind of swept me up. That’s what I love about being a brewer. Here’s to the unexpected pleasures of the brewing industry!” – Megan Parisi, Head Brewer, Wormtown Brewery

6. It’s the Water
“Our water here is surface water, so it’s nice and soft, similar to what you find in New York City so it’s ideal brewing water. It’s always easier to add minerals into the water if you need to than it is to take them out if you don’t.” – John Bonney, Co-Founder, Foundation Brewing Company

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