The East Coast is home to a flourishing beer culture. Known for its wildly popular hazy IPAs, the oldest brewery in the country, and a vibrant craft beer scene, the states that line the Atlantic have long been industry innovators.
There are plenty of big-name breweries based out East that have made waves across the country: Heineken, Boston Beer Company, and Yuengling, to name a few. Some smaller craft breweries have also brought large-scale appreciation for East Coast brews, like Brooklyn Brewery and Dogfish Head. But there are many great breweries that fly under the radar and deserve their time in the spotlight.
We asked eight pros to help shine a light on some of the best, most underrated breweries the East Coast has to offer. Here are their choices.
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The Most Underrated East Coast Breweries According to Beer Pros:
- Jack’s Abby (Framingham, Mass.)
- Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine)
- Tributary Brewing Company (Kittery, Maine)
- DaleView Biscuits and Beer (NYC)
- Back Home Beer (NYC)
- Genesee Brewing Company (Rochester, N.Y.)
- Sankofa Beer Company (Washington, D.C.)
- Garrison City Beerworks (Dover, N.H.)
“Jack’s Abby. That’s not to say people don’t think Jack’s Abby makes great beer. I think that’s understood. But I don’t think the average craft beer drinker appreciates just how influential Jack’s Abby has been with regards to the resurgence in craft lagers. They were devoting all of their time and energy into making great lagers before just about everyone else. And they’ve always had a diverse mix of beers; from the universally appealing House Lager, to the experimental Destination and Keller series, to classic heavy hitters like Framinghammer. Jack’s Abby proved that lager is more than just yellow fizzy water long before most other craft breweries gave a sh*t.” —Mike Nika, head brewer, Greenpoint Beer, NYC
“I think the most underrated East Coast brewery might be Allagash. While they may be known to most people for their White Ale, and deservedly so, I think few people outside of diehard beer enthusiasts know they make some of the best mixed-fermentation beer in the country. Resurgam is consistently amazing. Their Ghoulschip will change your mind about pumpkin beers. If you can find old bottles of Interlude or Golden Brett, do yourself a favor and snag them up.” —John Montes De Oca, co-head brewer, Barebottle Brewing Co., San Francisco
“In my opinion, Tributary Brewing Company is the hidden gem in a sea of New England breweries. The legendary Tod Mott and company are incapable of making mediocre beer. They can brew anything from delicate lagers to bold imperial stouts. The passion Mott has for beer is both infectious and inspiring. I can only hope that 20 years from now, I have the same love for my craft as Tod does today. Tributary is a must-visit if you find yourself traveling to Maine.” —Patrick Chavanelle, R&D & technical brewer, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, Maine
“I’m not sure how they do it, but the guys over at DaleView are turning out some really delicious beers on a small system and with very limited space. Flint Whistler is the head brewer, and he works hand-in-hand with Chris Gandsy, the owner, to come up with some very special recipes. I love how they incorporate so much culture into the beer — both in the label art and ingredients used. One of the first beers I tried there was the Edmond Albius Baltic porter, which highlighted an important story and one that isn’t often told. Behind it all, they also have a great mission: expanding Black New Yorkers’ access to the craft beer industry through the Lovibond Project. Overall, they are doing some great things.” —Zahra Tabatabai, founder Back Home Beer, NYC
“There are rarely such impressive concepts as those of Back Home. Inspired by her grandfather’s homebrewing, the one-woman show headed by Zahra Tabatabai aims to replicate pre-revolution recipes of Iran while highlighting the unique ingredients of the Middle East such as sumac and Persian blue salt. Her can art is equally delightful, as the beer can features snippets of Persian poetry designed by a Middle Eastern woman based in Tehran.” —Galadriel Hernandez, brewer, Bronx Brewery, NYC
“Genesee Brewing Company from Rochester, N.Y. It’s not an easy task to make a macro brew like their Cream Ale that both stands out and is sessionable. Our first brew at Moniker, Debut Single, was a cream ale with that kind of impact in mind. Genessee’s seasonal varieties are also affordable and delicious. I routinely fill up my shopping cart with the Ruby Red Kölsch and the Bock. Genesee may be a huge brewery, but it doesn’t get the credit it deserves for the amazing liquid they pump out.” —Ben Estes, head brewer, Moniker Brewery, Providence, R.I.
“Sankofa Beer is a brewery I first tried out in 2019 at Fresh Fest. I thoroughly enjoyed every style they poured that day, and I always make an effort to grab some when I’m down in D.C. The beers I’ve enjoyed from them have been quality-brewed, classic styles with a story. Harmattan Haze wheat ale was an adept thirst quencher on the hottest day of August.” —Robyn G. Weise, assistant brewer, Wild East Brewing, NYC
“In my mind, one of the most underrated East Coast breweries is Garrison City Beerworks in Dover, N.H. Every single beer I taste from the Garrison City crew nails the balance of approachable and expressive. They have a phenomenal lineup across the spectrum of hoppy, crispy, dark, and funky beers, so there’s never a mood that isn’t satisfied by their offerings. Along with the exceptional beers, the aesthetic of their tasting room, labels, and overall brand is outstanding. A visit to their tasting room is a bright, engaging, and all-around sensory experience showcasing the absolute best that modern craft beer has to offer.” —Gene Buonaccorsi, director of marketing, Mast Landing Brewing Company, Westbrook, Maine