Boat shoes and polo shirts aren’t required, but they’ll help you blend in with the clientele at these breweries in highbrow summer hotspots.
Newport, R.I. | Coastal Extreme Brewing
This spot is a bastion for yachting competitions, presidential vacations, Colonial homes and, since 1999, craft beer. Located just north of the Newport Historic District—home to the 1670s-built White Horse Tavern, one of the country’s oldest drinking spots—Coastal Extreme quenches thirsty vacationers one pint at a time inside a newly renovated brewery. Swing by for a flight of its Newport Storm beers and a taste of specialty spirit Thomas Tew Rum, or catch up with the brewery this August when it headlines as the official brewery of the annual Newport Folk Festival. DRINK: Sip the brew that started it all, the malty Hurricane Amber Ale, or celebrate the season with the hoppy IPA Summer Ale.
Kennebunkport, Maine | Kennebunkport Brewing
The most famous residents of Maine’s tony Kennebunkport may be the Bush family (at least, when they’re summering), but in the beer world, this fashionable slice of the Northeast is the birthplace of Shipyard Brewing. Founded at Kennebunkport Brewing in 1992, Shipyard eventually relocated to Portland, Maine, but still maintains ownership of this original location. Thirsty patrons can sample both Shipyard and Kennebunkport beers inside Federal Jack’s Restaurant & Brewpub, located above the brewery on the banks of the Kennebunk River. DRINK: Savor Shipyard’s Export Ale where it was originally conceived, or opt for a highly sessionable Goat Island Light, a 3.8%-ABV lager named after nearby Goat Island Lighthouse.
Nantucket Island, Mass. | Cisco Brewers
Located on the bucolic south side of Nantucket Island (across the sound from the famous Cape Cod Kennedy compound) is a triple threat—Cisco Brewers, Triple 8 Distillery and Nantucket Vineyards—churning out some of the best wine, spirits and beer in the region. The beer arm of the operation, Cisco Brewers, began in 1995 after Randy and Wendy Hudson took jobs with Nantucket Winery and started brewing on the winery’s grounds. Today, Cisco’s moved indoors, and utilizes barrels from the winery and onsite Triple Eight Distillery for its specialty beer series. DRINK: The Woods series is an experiment in barrel aging; its star, Lady of the Woods, a chardonnay-barrel-aged Belgian ale, is a delightful display of tropical fruit and buttery wine notes.
Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. | Offshore Ale Co.
Just a stone’s throw from Martha’s Vineyard’s famous Flying Horses Carousel sits a conspicuous red barn that houses the Massachusetts island’s only brewery. Despite the Vineyard’s highbrow culture—it was a favorite vacation spot of the Clintons and, a long time ago, Ulysses S. Grant—Offshore Ales keeps it casual with peanut-shell-covered floors, rustic wood paneling, brewery tanks visible from the dining room and 10 taps (including one cask) that offer momentary respite from keeping up with the Joneses. DRINK: Wash down bites of brick oven pizza or a handful of peanuts with a pint of Beach Road Nutbrown Ale, which won gold at last year’s Great International Beer Festival.
The Hamptons, N.Y. | Southampton Publick House
In the Hamptons, a white party springs to mind before a weissbier—unless you’re familiar with the world-class brews crafted at the Southampton Publick House. Inside the brewery’s historic building (which operated as a speakeasy in the ’20s for notables like Babe Ruth), multiple GABF medalists evoke the Old World, like a Düsseldorf-style altbier, a biére de mars, a saison and a double witbier. DRINK: Take sips of the summer seasonal Keller Pils, an unfiltered, single-hopped pilsner in the German tradition.