Tom, Everyone is giving you great suggestions, but let’s get specific on a few places.
The Great Lost Bear is away from the downtown and Old Port area, and a taproom more than a brewpub. They do have a huge selection and a great menu.(Forest St.)
Gritty McDuff’s www.grittys.comis a brewpub which specializes in English Style Ales. The only fruit beer here will be a raspberry wheat. Excellent pub food here. Very casual, with some seating in benches. (Fore St. in the Old Port)
Three Dollar Deweys on Commercial St.is a great taproom,
also very casual, with a great selection of beer. Very extensive list.
Shipyard Brewing has it’s main plant in Portland, close to the Old Port. Available for tours.
The Red Hook Brewery is very nice. Decor is like a Colorado ski chalet, very comfy. Food is very good. Problem is the location and the hours. It is located next to Pease Tradeport (formerly Pease Air Force Base)on the outskirts of Portsmouth, NOT the downtown. Definitely call for hours before you go.
The Portsmouth Brewery (same owners as Smuttynose Brewery) is another nice brewpub, great food with a wide range of ales. Weizenheimer is their trademark wheat beer, and the Amber lager has been a personal favorite.
Both Red Hook and Portsmouth Brewery make a wonderful bitter.
Shipyard Brewing Co. AKA Federal Jack’s Brewpub-nice location overlooking the water. Try "Old Thumper", made with the Ringwold yeast imported via license from England.
Camden, Rockport area:
Seadog Brewing (brewpubs) have been resurrected by Shipyard Brewing.
Vermont Pub and Brewery(brewpub)- long standing brewpub, again, good food and a very wide selection of well made ales.
Ray McNeill’s is great. Casual, and perhaps one of the most creative brewers in all of New England. Do not be afraid to shop in the neighboring stores in Brattleboro for 22oz. individual bottles with homemade paper labels of small batch beers that McNeill has made. This man experiments, and I can not remember not liking anything I have purchased. I always remember to bring back several extra bottles of his handcrafted brews back across the border from VT into MA.
The food recommendations are on target. I could only add Curtis’ BBQ in Putney, VT (reviewed here by Jane and Michael) as one of my preferences.
Just my 2 cents.
Keep in mind that Red Hook has a murky affiliation with Anheuser Busch, which is as far removed from microbrewing as it gets. In fact, as a competing interest, Anheuser Busch would like nothing more than for craft brewers (the mom and pops of the beer industry) to disappear from the face of the earth. Supporting AB is like supporting McDonald’s.
Thanks for all the tips…. Boston is a logistical choice, not my ideal plan. I work for an airline which is good because I fly free but bad because it is space available. Boston gives me a lot more options to get home if there are problems. Not that there are ever any problems with air travel in the Northeast<G>.
I do plan to do the New Haven, Hartford, Providence roundrobin someday when I don’t have somewhere that I have to be.
I’ll post a trip report when I get back. (Do I do that here or is there another forum for that?)
Gritty McDuff’s is great! Burgers are great there too! Happy eating! KokomoJoe
Glad you’re coming to Maine. Red’s might be crowded, but they do make a good haddock sandwich. The Sea Basket is good, too. Gritty’s has a nice assortment of beers & I would also check out Brian Boru if you’re doing a pub crawl.
On your way back down to Boston try to check out Flo’s on Rt 1 between Ogunquit & York. Be warned, they are only open 11-3 & sell only hot dogs (remember cheezburgercheezburgercheezburger?) But the sauce is the secret & it’s close to ambrosia.
If you like microbrews, go to the Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH, they have great Buffalo wings too. If you have time to eat in Boston, go to the Daily Catch on Hanover St. in the North End (Italian section). They only serve seafood, calamari is the specialty, but try the lobster fra diavolo, in addition to a whole lobster, there are mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, scallops all in a spicy sauce over freshly cooked linguine. It’s close to the airport, too.
Go to Gilbert’s Chowder House in Portland ME. They are on Commercial Street in the Old Port. They have the best seafood chowder in New England. Ask for a "double seafood" order.
I like the "Sea Basket" in Wiscasset, on RT 1 on the left just before Wiscasset village. Red’s is always crowded and the parking is difficult, Sea Basket has plenty of parking and a really tasty Loster (salad) roll on a different kind of bun from most NE seafood rolls. Excellent clams, chowder and other seafood too. Red’s roll is hot lobster roll which is excellent, maybe things have quieted down a bit and you’ll be able to get near the place. "Sarah’s" is across the street from Red’s(on your right) and has an amazing Soup/Bread bar, homemade soups and breads, great for chilly NE weather, right on the water too, plus other local seafood and homemade goodies. A new place called "Cooleen’s" has opened up at the old Montsweg resturant location (still Rt 1) , we tried that this summer and they have fixed it up very nicely. I had a hot lobster roll there, but they did not toast the roll and it had "fancy" lettuce in it, which is just not done! Nothing but maybe a little iceburg ! After I picked the lettuce out the lobster was good though. The place is nice and I will go back, maybe try something else.
Tom. As a microbrew fan, you must make tracks for McNeill’s brewpub in Brattleboro, Vermont, just down the road from Wilmington. One of only a handul of craft brewers east of the Rockies that consistently do everything right.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I will print them all and take them with me. A trip report will follow as well.
I think I have nailed down staying in Portland Sunday night. I am a Microbrew guy and there seems to be a few brewpubs and tap rooms in the downtown area. I think the Holiday Inn By The Bay is the best deal within walking distance of the Old Port. I am hoping to check out Gritty McDuff’s, The Sail Loft and The Great Lost Bear.
Monday is for clams and lobster rolls. Tell me where. Right now I am watching "Sandwiches You Will Like" on PBS and Sebak says Red’s in Wiscasset is the place. True?
Can’t wait for more tips-
OK here’s one suggestion: "Bill’s Restaurant" in Greenfield MA is a great place to eat. According to my map program (Delorme 2003) it’s a 48 min. drive from Wilmington VT to Greenfield MA VIA rte. 112. This rte. avoids I 91 and actually becomes the hypotinuse of the triangle
(making it the shortest way!). Check out a map. Anyway map program directions: SR 100 out of VT to SR 112 (MA) thru Colrain and R 2 (MA whichich is the "Mohawk Trail) then 2A and US 5 (also SR10). Bill’s is on Rte US 5 (SR 10)in Greenfield…also Federal St.!
From there hop onto RTE 91 South and pick up MA Turnpike (I 90) just north of Springfield MA. Head east on Turnpike (toward Boston!). There are several options from here! You could stop in Sturbridge MA and get off at Sturbridge exit. Nice town to drive through and "see NE". Restaurants here would be "Picadilly Pub" right on RTE 20 (which is where you’ll come to when getting off Turnpike. The "Pic" is "pubish" and a VERY small MA chain that has VERY good food (real mashed…) VERY good prices and great burgers (maybe half pounders not sure). Their turkey is great! Anyway as you exit Turnpike head west on RTE 20 and the "Pic" is on right. It’s a large barn redish building w/ pleanty of parking! It’s big so don’t big discouraged! There are other restaurants in Sturbridge but they tend to be expensive. However if you’re there in time for Sunday Brunch the "Publik House" is excellent (a liottle formal and a bit pricey but a "New England" experience. My time has run out for the Internet and I must go…but I think they are on the net! Also as you go along Turnpike you can find another "pic" at exit 10 in Auburn. On Rte 12 heading East. Good luck! Will try to get on line tonight and post more! Happy eating! KokomoJoe
You really don’t have much time! But right now…I’m working on it! Hopefully I’ll be back w/ some suggestions! This is my territory! Happy eating! KokomoJoe
Head west on Route 9 from Wilmington to Bennington and eat at the Blue Benn Diner!
FOR A COUPLEOF BBQ STOPS, TRY BUB’S BARBECUE ABOUT 3MILES OFF THE S. DEERFIELD EXIT OF ROUTE 91 HEADING SOUTH ON RTE. 116.
SECOND A MUST CURTISS BBQ WHICH IS EXIT 4 OFF OF RTE 91 ABOUT COUPLEOF MILES. ALSO HEARD OF A NEAT EATING SPOT AT THE SAME EXIT TAKING A RIGHT INTO THE TOWN.
Tom, I hope you get some good feedback. I’ll be in the Providence, Worcester, MA area in a few weeks, so I’m looking for suggestions too.
As for Speedvision. Good Luck. I’ve never seen it in a hotel. I can’t even get it at home.
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