Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekending: Three Breweries in Three Days

Here in Massachusetts, we enjoyed a much-needed and well-earned three day weekend. Yesterday, Monday, was Patriots' Day, or Marathon Monday (the 120th running). While some companies use this day as a floater, my husband had the day off and so it became an opportunity to plan a staycation, and catch up on a few chores. 

The Señor likes craft brews. He likes trying small batch beer made by local breweries and so we decided to try a local brewery and gastropub, which became the theme of the weekend, visiting three local breweries in three days.

On Saturday, after some house chores, we went out west for a coffee at a bakery which makes my favorite almond-sesame-maple cookie. When we arrived, we were surprised (as was another patron) to find that the bakery had closed early that one day. So, it was on to Plan B, and thanks to Yelp, we found another independent coffee house where we indulged in iced coffees and biscotti. 

After picking up some needed house supplies at the big box store up the road, we went in search of a local brewery and as luck and location would have it, just over the border into Vermont, we found the Whetstone Station Brewery and Restaurant in nearby Brattleboro

The brewery and gastropub, with a fire-lit deck and bier garten, overlooks the Connecticut River and features a Mug Club, which rewards you with your own personalized mug and other discounts and benefits once you have tried 99 of the experimental brewery's beers in one year. 

They only make one brew regularly: their own IPA, but they publish their recipes on their website. 

The Señor tried the beer sampler...

And their famous Brewer's Burger; however the local favorite seems to be Tim's Awesome Burger, loaded with Vermont cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato, maple marinated bacon and peanut butter...yes, peanut butter. 

Not the famous peanut butter burger, but delicious, nonetheless. 

On Sunday, we took off for Maine, heading up to Portland. The northern New England coast has its share of local brews as well, but in Portland, after a lovely afternoon tea in a cute French patisserie

we went for an in-house brew at Gritty's, self proclaimed as Portland's Original Brew Pub. They also have locations in Freeport and Auburn, Maine. 

We took advantage of the $.50 wing happy hour special and the señor enjoyed their famous BPA.  

On Monday, we went back out west for two reasons. We planned on purchasing our flights for Spain and Portugal, which we did at the travel agency we typically use, and we planned on coffees at a favorite coffeeshop, and dinner at another brewhouse in the Pioneer Valley. 

What we didn't plan was having dinner with a dear friend; what a wonderful surprise, indeed! 

We finished off our weekend with cappuccinos and cannolis at the bakery across the street from the brewery. 

It was a lovely end to a lovely weekend. 

If you're visiting New England, here are the places that made our weekend itinerary. 

Whetstone Station
36 Bridge Street
Brattleboro, VT 

Portland Patisserie and Grand Cafe
46 Market Street
Portland, ME 04101

Portland Brew Pub
396 Fore Street
Portland, ME 04101

Esselon Cafe 
99 Russell Street (Route 9)
Hadley, MA 01035

Northampton Brewery
11 Brewster Court
Northampton, MA 01060

La Fiorentina Pastry Shop
25 Armory Street
Northampton, MA 01060

What was the highlight of your weekend? Are you a craft beer fan? Where is the best local brewery and gastropub in your area? We're always up for a road trip. 


  1. This sounds like a fabulous way to spend a weekend close to home, and a surprise dinner with a friend is the cherry on top!

    1. It was a lot of fun, and surprise meet ups are the best!

  2. That looks like so much fun. Breweries have such a fun atmosphere. Love your pics too. Pinned one.

    1. I'm not much for beer, but the food was great! Thanks for stopping by and for pinning.

  3. This looks like a tasty long weekend! My husband and I love checking out local breweries and eating a brew pubs. We've visited quite a few in Portland -- we'l have to check out the ones on your list!

    1. I'm not one for beer, but my husband is a fan of craft brew, so it's fun to indulge with him, and the food was great! Portland is a craft beer (and foodie) much fun!

  4. Well that sounds like an AWESOME weekend!

    My boyfriend actually does some home brewing himself, and we don't eat out a lot, but we usually go for the craft beers when shopping. NYC's kind of exploded with breweries - it all started with the Brooklyn Brewery, and now we've got Six Point and Coney Island and Rockaway and the Bronx Brewery and I'm sure a half-dozen more that I haven't run across yet. It's fun having so many local options.

    We don't really have a favorite local brewpub - I think in NYC the breweries are more focused on brewing and then getting good distribution in stores and bars.

    If you ever find yourself in Oregon and thirsty, though, check out Coin Toss Brewing - this is a recently opened endeavor by a friend from college and looks pretty great!

    1. Oregon is on my short list of places to visit. It seems like craft brew, in general, has exploded. I have friends that home brew and luckily, there are a few supply stores nearby. Local options almost always trump mass market. Thanks for stopping by, Bonnie!

  5. What perfect timing! My weekend was similar to yours, visiting some craft breweries here in NJ. But while we were there, we decided that we should definitely take a trip to Vermont/Maine later this year to check out some other breweries, namely Allaghash, Shipyard, and Harpoon. I'll definitely keep this handy for when we start really planning the itinerary. Sounds like a lovely long weekend!

    1. You won't be disappointed by Vermont or Main. There is so much to do and so much great food and beer to be enjoyed. Allagash, Shipyard, and Harpoon are very popular. We have a local brewery here too...Wachusett, that is very good. New Jersey is close; I hope you can explore New England soon. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  6. Hi Kelly, sounds like a fabulous weekend with some fun finds for you and the Senor! Your proximity to both Vermont and Maine provides for lots of exploring and diverse finds. Although I've come to miss you in the summers I am indeed also looking forward to reading along on your summer travels, and am quite fond of Lisbon too! See you soon.

  7. Sounds like you had a fantastic weekend full of delicious food and beverages! I'd love to take a New England road trip someday, so thanks for all the ideas.