Wicked Wednesday – Favorite Brew Pubs

NEWS: Jadedcup is the randomly selected winner of Edith’s author apron from yesterday’s post. Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to edith at edithmaxwell dot com.

It’s Wicked Wednesday and we’re celebrating the release of Edith’s Mulch Ado About Murder! In honor of a scene in the book, we’re dishing about our favorite brew pubs today. Wickeds, name your fave!

Jessie: I’m not sure I have ever even been to a brew pub. I have to confess, I am really not a fan of beer. For me, wine, martinis and caipirinhas are all delicious and fun but beer? I just don’t get it.

Liz: I don’t drink beer either anymore, but there is a really cool place in the town I used to live, the Willimantic Brewing Company.  Aside from the beer factor – which makes it hugely popular, the overall atmosphere is cool. It’s the former post office, and they’ve named everything on their menu has a post office theme, whether it’s something named after a town in the area or an “air mail special.” The mixed drinks are pretty awesome too!

Julie: Jessie and Liz, I love beer enough for both of you! Last year we took a tour of the Harpoon brewery. SO much fun. They make pretzels with the leftover yeast that they serve with different sauces. Can’t recommend it enough! I also love the Cambridge Brewing Company. Boston has a lot of great bars and pubs, so I am just scratching the surface.

Barb: My favorite brew pub? The one that’s hardest to get to. Monhegan Brewing Company, “Fine Craft Ale, Ten Miles Out to Sea.” You already know that if you come to Maine in the summer, I urge you to spend a night on Monhegan Island. There are no paved roads and almost no vehicles, but there is a craft brewing company, and it’s well worth the short walk to get there. On a warm day, there’s nothing like it.

Sherry: I’m not sure I have a favorite brew pub. But I’ve been to a lot of pubs I’ve enjoyed over the years. One of them is the London Bridge Pub in Monterey, California. They have such a beautiful view that any beer would taste good.

Edith: The scene in the book is at Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, NH. We discovered it on a brewery tour (crawl?) after Christmas a couple of years ago, and have been back several times. Run by two women, it has a delightful air, fabulous beer, and tasty food. They grow their own hops and I tried to be true to the outdoors seating in the scene I wrote. And they gave me the recipe I included in the book!

Readers: Do you have a favorite beer or brew pub?


27 Thoughts

  1. I’m not a beer drinker either, but the Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh is gorgeous (yes, it’s located in an old church) and the food is fabulous. Also, the Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington, New Mexico has the BEST fish and chips I’ve ever eaten.

    1. The Church Brew Works has decent beer, but the last time I was there, the food was inedible. I ended up sending it back–and I never do that! This was several years ago, so maybe they’ve improved.

      1. I admit, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been there. How disappointing.

    1. There used to be a nice one called John Harvard’s in Swarthmore when we lived there, but the last time I looked it had turned into an Olive Garden (boo!). But more recently, after a book event in Maryland, I was directed by the guy at the desk at the hotel where I was staying to a small brew pub in a nearby shopping center in Hagerstown–I think it was called Benny’s. It was small and busy–and I had the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten (local grass-fed beef)–along with a house ale, of course.

  2. Well. Where do I start??? Pittsburgh has craft breweries in just about every neighborhood. There are three in Lawrenceville where I set Brewing Trouble. I have two favorites, though, and neither one is in Lawrenceville.

    East End Brewing is in the Larimer neighborhood and they also have a taproom in the Strip District downtown. Scott, the owner, helped me out a lot with research. I love their Fat Gary Brown Ale.

    My other favorite is Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh. It’s a little larger than your typical craft brewery, but the three brewers there come up with some interesting beer while still sticking to Rheinheitsgebot (purity law of 1516, which states you can only use water, barley malt, hops, and yeast to make beer. It was revised in the 1700s that you can also use wheat.) All their malt and hops come from Germany. Their Hefeweizen is especially delicious. They have four standard beers and a specialty beer that changes monthly. They tap the keg for the specialty beer on the first Wednesday of every month. There’s a parade with the keg through the beer hall with the band playing Oktoberfest style music, then they tap it and give free samples until the keg is empty. After that, you have to buy the beer. They have guests do the actual tapping each month, and I’m going to be tapping the keg on the first Wednesday in November, if anyone wants to come and party!

    And I’ll stop now because this is the longest comment ever, lol.

      1. You really do have to come to Pittsburgh! They post videos of the keg tappings on YouTube. Not quite the same as being there!

  3. Excelsior Brewing Company, right in quaint downtown Excelsior, MN! Not far from the lake, you can go for a stroll after you partake!

  4. Joyce, I remember when you tapped the keg the last time. It was quite the party.

    I’m also not a beer fan. I did go to the Church Brew Works a couple times when I worked near there and the food was decent. Is Penn Brewery on the North Shore considered a brew pub? And of course Hofbrauhaus.

    1. Penn Brewery is a brew pub. They have excellent beer and great German food. I can’t remember when they have it, but once a year they brew a stout called “Chocolate Meltdown” with real chocolate in it. Yummy!

  5. I am also not a huge beer drinker, preferring to drink wine. But the craft beer industry has exploded in the past decade in Ontario with over 100 new craft breweries and brew pubs. Toronto (and now Ottawa) has the excellent Mill Street Brewery where I drink their Tankhouse (amber) ale. In the western USA, I like Colorado’s Fat Tire ale and also enjoyed going to Deschutes Brewery in Portland, OR.

    1. We went to a small tasting room in Ottawa near where my sister lives (couldn’t tell you where that is, though). Fabulous stuff.

      1. Glad you enjoyed the beer there, Edith. Yes, more than 1/2 dozen new craft brewpubs have opened in Ottawa since I moved here in 2014. Gatineau (across the river from Ottawa) will be hosting its annual Festibiere (beer festival) from June 8-10. There will be over 300 craft beers there!

  6. I’m not a big beer drinker (it makes me feel so full!), but Chicago has quite a few breweries and brew pubs. However, the only one I’ve been to (that I can recall off the top of my head) is Revolution Brewery. That place is great and the food is delicious. It must’ve been at least 4 or 5 years ago that I went, but I still remember I had something called the Farmer’s Burger that was topped with a fried egg and it was AMAZING. Runny egg yolk makes everything better.

    Also, I prefer cider, but will happily drink an ice cold Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ or a Blue Moon.

  7. Brew City Grill & Brew House in Worcester is fabulous. I’m not into beer but I love their burgers and mixed drinks!!!

  8. Since I don’t think alcohol of any kind, one that serves great water? Honestly, outside a glass of juice in the morning, I drink water the rest of the day. How boring am I?

  9. Funny you should ask! See my book, What’s Brewing in New England: A Guide to Brewpubs & Craft Breweries (Down East Books, 2016). I cover all 6 New England states and there are hundreds to choose from.

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