The East Coast Brewery Guide

By Katy Nastro

As summer days shorten and the air gets a bit chilly, we tend to look for ways to make the most out of the fall weather. Road trips in autumn aren’t just for leaf-peeping but also brewery hopping. Say cheers as we ride down the eastern seaboard with a guide on local breweries that are fall must-stops for frothy sips. And don’t worry, our designated drivers will also benefit from the scenery and delicious bites from these breweries as we drive from Maine to Florida.

 

Maine Beer Company

Freeport, Maine, is home to the state’s namesake brewery, Maine Beer Company. A proud independent craft brewery, MBC was founded by two brothers with one goal: to make beer that they would want to drink. On the outside, the brewery looks like a dark-paneled farmhouse, but inside, a state-of-the-art tasting room provides tasty brews and bites. Try the Peeper pale ale and know that each year, 1% of MBC’s proceeds go to environmental non-profits such as the Allied Whale and Center for Wildlife.

 

Stoneface Brewing Co.

Just south of the Maine border is Newington, New Hampshire—home to Stoneface Brewing Co. A staple in the community since 2014, Stoneface has taken the bustling New Hampshire craft brewery scene by storm. Located right off the highway, it’s a quick stop to rest awhile and sample a hoppy New England IPA or the bright German-style sour Berliner Weisse with Raspberry. Their funky labels and hilarious names like “Thanks, I’ll Walk” lend to the easy-going vibe the brewery and staff employs.

 

Cisco Brewers Seaport

Boston, Massachusetts, the city known for putting Samuel Adams Boston Lager on the map, has some competition these days. Microbreweries are popping up everywhere, even on the coastal island just south of Nantucket—cue Cisco Brewery. For more than twenty-five years, they’ve been brewing perfectly crisp brews with a coastal feel. For those who aren’t huge beer fans, fear not! Cisco Brewery also owns a distillery, a winery, and mixes a mean cocktail onsite in a never-ending outdoor tasting room. Head down to Connecticut, and you can find another Cisco Brewers location there, as well!

 

Brix City Brewing

Little Ferry, New Jersey, is home to a microbrewery built from a high school friendship that blossomed into a business partnership. The founders, Joe Delcalzo and Pete Reuther, both found themselves pondering their futures over a pint and decided brewing great beer might just be the ticket. Fast forward to today, and Brix City is now one of the first breweries in Bergen County with a massively popular tasting room. Grab one of their eight-plus beers on tap, but be sure to sample their flagship American porter, Porter Authority.

 

Dewey Beer Co.

Dewey Beach, Delaware, might host tourists who pass through looking for sun and sand in the summer, but year-round they are home to Dewey Beer Co. Similar to most of our other breweries on the list, a few friends got together over a few drinks and decided beer-making would be their next move in life. Former high school physics teacher turned homebrewer Mike Reilly found himself concocting IPAs and sours that he and his friends were sure to love and share with the masses. Hit the beach, then take a late afternoon jaunt to the brewpub off Dewey Beach for a bite and a cold one.

 

Nansemond Brewing Station

Suffolk, Virginia, is fairly new to the brewery scene with the induction of Nansemond Brewing Station in 2019. The brewery shares its namesake with the nearby river and the Native American tribe local to the area. A small country town is becoming quite the pitstop for out-of-towners and locals alike due to the distinct recipes and culinary-inspired brews. Updated twists on old classics like the Swamp Rose, a sour ale brewed with blueberries and hibiscus flowers, is sure to make your detour worthwhile.

 

Edmund’s Oast

Charleston, South Carolina, may be a foodie haven, but it’s also home to a notable craft brewery, taproom, and restaurant all owned by Edmund’s Oast. Their beers can be found in eight different states along the southeast and beyond. The Exchange, their retail store located next door to one of their truly delicious restaurants, is a homegrown shop dedicated to providing shoppers with the best in beer and wine “geekery.” The staff is all exceptionally knowledgeable in beer trivia, while the restaurants and taprooms are remarkably inviting. Sample some tasty concoctions like their “Cereal For Dinner” blonde ale or their “A Darker Cut” pale ale brewed with honey and whole leaf hops while savoring one of their house-made desserts like vanilla raspberry pie.

 

Ormond Brewing Company

Ormond Beach, Florida, is home to the first craft brewery in Volusia County. Established in 2013, this brewery always has eighteen beers tapped and ready to go. Some are made with artisan ingredients, but all are brewed onsite. Not only are the beers ready to go, but so are some delicious local food trucks like Cool Beans BBQ, Mijo’s Tacos, and Stoked Poké—who all make daily or weekly appearances. The taproom also invites local bands and singers to come and play under their covered stage in the back garden, where they offer brews and bites and some delicious entertainment.