Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro Bend, Vermont.Photo Credit : Courtesy of Hill Farmstead Brewery
Beyond the quintessential foliage activities like apple picking, fall fairs, and leaf-peeping adventures, there’s a new trend in New England that’s sure to make your autumn even more memorable. Over the last decade, a wave of remarkable craft breweries and year-round brewery tourism has exploded, but there’s something undeniably appealing about visiting a brewery during the fall season.
In Yankee’s current issue, we curated a comprehensive list of notable New England breweries and cideries that you can include in a leaf-peeping itinerary, but many of the locations are in mill spaces or bustling cities. If you’re prioritizing foliage, there are many New England breweries that aren’t mere stops along the way – they are destinations in themselves, nestled in the countryside or on wooded farmland, with breathtaking views of the vivid fall colors. They are places where you can sit outdoors and enjoy a brew, fully immersed in the kaleidoscope of autumn.
This list is about those places. It’s not primarily about the beer, although it’s worth mentioning that each of these establishments serves some exceptional brews. Instead, it’s about the atmosphere, the opportunity to savor the crisp autumn air, and the simple pleasure of enjoying an ice-cold beverage during New England’s finest season.
Below is a list of some of New England’s best breweries for fall foliage. We’ve arranged them chronologically, starting with those that reach their peak colors in late September, and concluding with those where the autumnal hues linger into November, offering you a seasonal journey through New England’s finest brews and views. Cheers!
The scene: The legendary brewery is situated amidst the rolling hills of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on a hilltop farm near the quaint micro-town of Greensboro Bend. The brewery’s rustic charm blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings, and the outdoor space in the fields offers a fine setting to spend an afternoon during the peak colors. Timing: Late September – Early October
The scene: A little bit of Austrian charm in the Green Mountains near Stowe, Vermont, the brewery sits on 2,600 acres with stunning mountain views during any season. But in fall, the trees transform into a breathtaking carpet of reds, oranges, and yellows below you while you enjoy the crisp mountain air from the deck of the lodge. Timing: Early October
The scene: The riverside brewery in Littleton, NH sits right next to a covered bridge and exudes a cozy, rustic charm that’s a perfect match for the fall season. You can enjoy your brew while overlooking the White Mountains and while listening to the soothing sound of flowing water below. Timing: Early October
The scene: Definitive Brewing has three locations across Maine, each with a very distinct feel. Their Western Maine location feels like a ski lodge, with huge windows and views up the slopes of the ski resort. After your stop at the brewery, you can take a scenic lift ride up through the amazing fall colors right across the parking lot. Timing: Early October
The scene: A rustic gem tucked amidst the rolling hills of central Vermont, this brewery offers a peaceful setting for leaf-peeping enthusiasts during the autumn season. With a barn-like exterior that well fits the pastoral landscape, what sets Bent Hill Brewery apart is its stunning porch that overlooks the sprawling fields and hills. Timing: Early October
The scene: When you look up this brewery on Google Maps, you first prominently see the pin for “Foliage Viewpoint” and the street view doesn’t disappoint. Located at the top of Hogback Mountain, it is the perfect spot for friends to gather in autumn and enjoy the beautiful 100-mile views, without even utilizing the adjacent trails. Timing: Early- to Mid-October
The scene: This small brewery outside of Skowhegan offers an inviting fall experience with a picturesque backdrop above the Kennebec River Valley. The brewery’s rustic ambiance and views, whether from the indoor space or on the patio overlooking rows of hops ready to harvest, make it a prime destination for leaf-peepers. Timing: Early- to Mid-October
The scene: Conveniently located on White Mountain Highway, this early brewpub on the craft beer scene has great views from their porch of the surrounding Saco River Valley and the National Forest. Timing this visit is tricky, as the nearby notches peak at least a week or two before the town of North Conway. Timing: Mid October
The scene: It doesn’t get more quintessential than enjoying a beer in a hilltop post and beam barn, but with Appleview Orchards right across the street, this brewery offers an unparalleled opportunity to cross off a few items on your fall checklist in one perfect autumn afternoon! Timing: Mid- to Late-October
The scene: Nestled in downtown Brattleboro, the brewery’s riverside location offers stunning views from the rooftop beer garden up the Connecticut River Valley. The hillsides along the river have both oaks and maples which peak at different times, giving it a long season of fall color. It’s also a great place to watch for bald eagles, migrating hawks, and waterfowl. Timing: Mid- to Late-October
The scene: This brewery started as a hopyard and working farm providing ingredients to other local breweries, and now they are a destination of their own. They have lots of outdoor seating options through fall, from picnic tables with umbrellas and outdoor furniture, but encourage visitors to bring their own chairs and blankets and spend the afternoon on their gorgeous lawn. Timing: Mid- to Late-October
The scene: There are few breweries that have made more of an investment in enjoying the outdoor space surrounding their brewery than the iconic brewery in Charlton. Enjoy their beverages from gazebos, fire pits, pavilions, and Adirondack chairs on their stunning grounds, or enjoy a walk or ride on the many trails in the adjacent woods that they maintain. Timing: Mid- to Late-October
The scene: A true farm brewery and hopyard, their pastoral location provides a serene and idyllic fall experience, whether you’re indoors or enjoying the many tables set out on the edge of their fields. Surrounded by the beauty of a Connecticut late autumn, but not far from Hartford, it’s an ideal destination for leaf-peeping enthusiasts seeking a tranquil New England getaway. Timing: Late October
The scene: A very different feel from the other breweries on this list, the brewery is a charming, coastal-inspired establishment that perfectly complements the seaside surroundings. The taproom overlooks a tidal wetland filled with golden yellow grasses all autumn. The surrounding upland forest of oak trees peaks late in October, and the whole scene simply glows in late afternoon light. Timing: Late October
The scene: This charming brewery embraces its agricultural roots and the surrounding farmland offers a tranquil and farm-inspired fall experience. With its welcoming atmosphere and extensive outdoor space, it’s the perfect place to enjoy their craft beers while immersed in the late fall air all the way into November. Timing: Late-October to Early-November
The scene: This farmhouse brewery boasts a coastal-inspired architecture that blends harmoniously with its seaside surroundings. Situated on the scenic Aquidneck Island, they highlight the multiple outdoor decks and extensive outdoor seating to showcase the stunning views of Narragansett Bay. Timing: Late-October to Early-November