The craft beer explosion has touched every region of the United States, and New England is no exception. If you are an aficionado, the only downside is that there are so many great new microbreweries cropping up with such frequency that itís easy to lose track of them all. To keep you current on the best of the brews, here are four up-and-coming microbreweries in New England that live up to the hype.
Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores (Connecticut)
If you struggled with Latin during high school, you may want to refer to Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores by its English translation, ďThe Order of Eccentric Boilers,Ē or simply by its abbreviation, O.E.C. Located in the appropriately affluent town of Oxford, Connecticut, O.E.C. certainly lives up to its (odd) name, with very unique beers, meads and ciders. The most interesting and popular of their concoctions are the brews that make up the Experimentalis series, which utilizes fresh fruit grown in O.E.C.ís own greenhouses and orchards and aged in oak barrels. If you are visiting the taproom on an Experimentalis release day, get there early, as they tend to quickly sell out on both taps and bottles. To plan your visit, head to their home page.
Oxbow Brewing (Maine)
Tucked away far off the beaten path, Oxbow Brewing is a farmhouse brewery located in a renovated barn in rural Newcastle, Maine. Onsite is a small, rustic tasting room that serves up refreshing farmhouse beers, among which the most quintessentially Maine is the Saison dellíAragosta, a tart ale brewed with local sea salt and fresh live lobster. The small companyís profile is growing, as evidenced by the recent opening of a blending/bottling facility and taproom in the city of Portland. You can find taproom hours and a full list of available drafts and bottles here.
Lamplighter Brewing Company (Massachusetts)
Having set up shop inside a former auto shop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Lamplighter Brewing Company boasts 1,500-square-foot taproom that features cool lounge seating, cold-brew coffee from in-house partner Longfellows Cambridge and a small menu of tasty bar snacks. And, of course, there is excellent in-house beer, as well. There is something here for every taste bud, from the subtle and chamomile honey wheat-flavored Group Theory, to the heavily hopped and aromatic So Much For Subtlety double IPA. Named after the gas lamps that are found throughout the city, Lamplighter Brewing Company is quickly becoming a Cambridge institution. To see a full list of beers on tap, visit their website.
Four Quarters Brewing (Vermont)
Four Quarters Brewing is a four barrel brewery that set up shop in the central business district of Winooski, Vermont in 2014. The microbrewery quickly made a name for itself in the region with its unique and responsibly-sourced beers, which include favorites like the Belgian Trappist-style Opus Dei and the smoky Ursa Major oatmeal brown ale. Four Quarters is still in the early stages, so its taproom hours are often changing. Be sure to head here to find out the latest.
The New England beer scene has come a long way from the days of Narragansett. These are just some of the great brews that the region has to offer.
This article is presented by Colonial Honda of Dartmouth in N. Dartmouth, Massachusetts.