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The Great Northeast Brewery Tour

Saturday, January 25, 2014
After a long hike in the great outdoors, few things are as satisfying as a fresh beer. Perhaps something with a woodsy or piney aroma that can transport you back to the trail you conquered earlier in the day. And preferably something brewed locally, minimizing the distance from tank to tap. Fortunately in the Northeast, the options for beer geeks and hiking freaks are numerous.

©photo by Bethany Bandera

I've spent the better part of my life in this region, and for all of its big cities and suburban sprawl, I continue to be impressed by the wild places that thrive beyond the interstates. From Mount Washington to the Potomac River and from the Allegheny Plateau to the Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast is blanketed with parks and preserves, green spaces that practically beg to be explored. In the last decade, the same area has also added an impressive number of breweries, and for me, this combination is impossible to resist.

When I sat down to write my third book, The Great Northeast Brewery Tour, I knew it would go beyond beer, urging readers to spend time in tasting rooms, but also encouraging them to venture out into the fields and forests that make this region such a scenic one. Plus, with more and more breweries canning their products these days, you can bring your favorite ale or lager to more places than ever. Always check park regulations first, but if alcohol is permitted, enjoy a beer by the fire after you set up camp for the night. It's hard to decide on a favorite pairing, but here are a few hiking spots and nearby breweries that I recommend visiting in tandem:

"¢ Camden Hills State Park and Marshall Wharf Brewing Company (Maine)

"¢ Crawford Notch State Park and Moat Mountain Brewing Company (New Hampshire)

"¢ High Point State Park and High Point Brewing Company (New Jersey)

"¢ Catskill Forest Preserve and Crossroads Brewing Company (New York)

"¢ Underhill State Park and Rock Art Brewery (Vermont)

Submitted by Ben Keene. Ben is a Discover Outdoors guide and a beer expert who has written for DRAFT, the Beer Connoisseur, All About Beer, Time Out New York, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He contributed to The Oxford Companion to Beer, blogs about beer and travel at, and tweets @WhereandBack. His first book was Best Hikes Near New York City, released in 2011 by Globe Pequot Press.