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New England Beer: What am I missing?

Preface: I love a craft beer. But having lived in Malaysia for 5 years, and now Mexico for 2, my exposure has been limited. I remember trying the odd hazy and being so intrigued.

Fast forward and I’m currently on a trip around New England. I was looking forward to the beers for a longtime but so far have been disappointed. I’ve had some ok IPAs, but or seems most places are too focused on the appearance of the beer and don’t put much thought into the flavour. There seems to be a real lack of actual “beer flavour”* most just seem like a craft version of a bud light.

What am I missing? And where should I go for the good stuff? Am hitting up Alchemist in a few days and am hoping that rectifies things

*I’d consider an ESB as the basic “beer flavour”

To edit: ESB is by no means my favourite beer. Just consider it a basic ale flavour that I can then judge others from. I understand NEIPA is deliberately nothing like it.

Day 2 Edit: After having been to Alchemist and having a Heady Topper (and Focal Banger) and drinking some beers from Zero Gravity and BBCO, i would like to retract any bad word I have said and replace them praise. Worth the trip.


  1. I totally understand not being a fan of NEIPAs, but saying they taste like a “craft version of bud light” is very, very confusing.

  2. The NEIPA is basically the polar opposite of the malty ESB. Maybe you just don’t like fruity ales and prefer malty lagers.

  3. Completely agree on the lager recos mentioned. Unfortunately I can’t picture a NE craft which makes a high-end ESB style. And Bocks kind of tend to be seasonal.

    At Alchemist, I expect you’ll try Heady, and it’s a unique IPA. Grows on you. I recommend Crusher also, if they have it.

    You may find Hill Farmstead on tap, for example Edward, in restaurants around Stowe. Also excellent.

    You’re not far from Lawson’s so you may see some of their stuff around. Sip of Sunshine is an excellent less-hazy(?) double IPA. And Lawsons stouts are very good.

    My main reco would be to hit the decent pubs around and grab flights. Maybe something will spark you and be like YES THATS IT.

    At Treehouse you’ll have a surfeit of choice. It’s all phenomenal. Never had a bad Treehouse. Also never had a Treehouse which is super different from some other Treehouse. Make of that what you will.

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