• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 17 comments on New England’s Top Five Craft Beers

  1. The best beer on this list is not even a top 50 New England Craft Beer. Treehouse, Trillium, Maine Beer Company, Hill Farmstead, Bissell Brothers and Clown Shoes each make multiple beers that are better than any on this list.

    Allagash and Jack’s Abby are excellent craft brewers and those two beers are solid choices. Just nowhere near the top 5.

    1. Thanks David. I’ll treat you to a pint any one of the 100+ local beers that are clearly better than Sam Adams Lager. Many of these can be found within 2 miles of campus.

      1. I am in total agreeance with this comment. I work for a local brewery which has opened my eyes to the amazing local craft beer we have in Boston. This list falls short especially when Sam Adams (which is mainly brewed out of PA now) is on the top of the list.

    2. Totally agree with your comment. Second ‘top NE beers’ list I have seen this week that is way off mark. Not to say that the beers listed are bad… just not the Best.

  2. Kudos for reaching past 495 to BBC, but if you haven’t endured the 90 minute wait at Treehouse Brewing (Monson/Charlton), then you can’t even begin to discuss top 5!


  3. This list is amateur hour.

    How about an IPA? Night shift has a few. Have you been to Cisco brewery? Amazing beers, indie is great, locals only even better.
    How is harpoon not on this list? Notch should be cut.

  4. Hi Rich,
    Please try something/anything from Trillium Brewing and Tree House in Monson/Charlton and then see if anything changes on your list. I’ll try yours.

  5. Wow, I love a good and hard-to-get NEIPA as much as anyone, but I don’t take issue with someone who might not know about them yet. If someone loves Sam Adams, then great. LET PEOPLE ENJOY THINGS!!!

    1. I totally agree with your sentiment as I think all of the beers listed are fantastic on their day. However the author is inviting these comments by calling an article the “top 5 craft beers” and then listing 3 beers that are found in gas stations across the northeast. 5+ years ago it would have been a much more fitting title.

  6. In addition to an exhaustive IPA list the dark beers at Trillium are amazing (Pot & Kettle is rated as one of the best Porters money can buy) and they have a barrel aging program that is first rate. Moreover they have a beer garden on the Greenway this summer so you don’t have to wait in long lines for growler fills to sample their amazing brew. In addition to Nightshift I suggest trying anything from Mystic.

  7. Thanks for the shout out to BBC Coffeehouse Porter. We were the first coffee porter on the market 21 years ago and still put out a great beer. Drink deep, me hearties!

  8. Right up front in the article, Sandy says his list is more about the different styles of beer that he prefers, and he is intentionally ignoring cult beers that are hard to find, or so small that you can’t easily find them.

    That said, maybe IPAs are not his style. I know that I can’t drink them, even though I tend to enjoy just about every style of beer out there. I grew up in the era where the most exotic beers available were Beck’s and Heineken. Back then, you had a 50-50 chance that either of those two would be skunked.

    When beers like Pete’s Wicked Ale, and Sam Adams showed up, I quickly developed a taste for good beer, and have never looked back since those early days.

    Sandy’s picks are a good start for somebody who has never had anything other than the beers in the Bud/Miller/Coors families.

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