Life Essentials

This week on the ‘Life Essentials’ series, Travis wanted to share what beers are key to a good craft beer stock.

When it came time to write my ten essential things for LLM, I wanted to add a beer in there…but I didn’t want it to seem like I have a problem…so then I thought, why not do just beer!? Clearly this does not help my aforementioned dilemma, but who’s counting? So grab your glass and belly up because we’re going to give you options galore that you’ll be swearing by in no time.

It seems like every time you turn around there is a new micro brew popping up, so here are 10 tried and true essential New England beers that will rock your socks off:


Night Shift Brewery – Pfaffenheck – Everett, MA

I just tried this beer for the the first time, and friends it is delicious! A bright, traditional pilsner. Floor-malted German grain delivers soft notes of honey and biscuit, balanced by a floral, zesty hop profile.


People’s Pint – Natural Blonde – Greenfield, MA

The Natural Blonde is a light, crisp dry hopped flavor that is easy to drink, and great with any meal….or just a whole plate of their bacon chocolate chip cookies.

Stone Cow Brewery – Farm House Saison  – Barre, MA

The original session beer, and old time, rustic farmhouse ale. Crisp, light, refreshing and slightly tart with hints of lemon and orange zest.

While it’s certainly a hike from the Boston area, Stone Cow has some of the best, taps in central MA. Catch them on Friday nights throughout the summer for their field to flame BBQ, which uses free range beef, pork and chicken raised right in their fields. Their Roll-in-the-Hay IPA is worth a try as well.


Spencer Brewery – Imperial Stout – Spencer, MA

A massive, roasted, malt-forward American Trappist take on the Anglo-Russo Imperial Stout tradition.  Luxuriantly frothy foam, waves of coffee, chocolate and caramel sensations, a generous blend of dark fruit flavors.  Intense and robust.


Trillium Brewery – Pier American Wheat Ale – Boston

American ale features Galaxy and Citra in the dry hop. Bright aromatics of overripe peach, orange rind.

Wachusett Brewing – Blueberry Ale – Westminster, MA

I can’t stress enough that this is not a beer that you’re going want to drink a dozen of, but it does have a very unique flavor that pairs great with backyard BBQ fare. This ale does define the style. A slight aroma of blueberry, balanced by a subtle flavor that gets fermented into this delicious wheat ale.


Alagash Brewing – Sixteen Counties – Portland, ME

This beer is refreshing and light and easy to drink, it’s truly a great summer beer. Sixteen Counties has a bright, copper hue with aromas of lemon rind, flowers, and grapefruit.


The Alchemist – Heady Topper – Stowe, VT

Not an IPA for the faint of heart.  This beer highly bitter, but well controlled though a light fruity sweetness. If you see it, buy it. It tends to sell out quickly to the droves of people who wait in line at the brewery every day. There is a strict limit of two four packs per person.


Tree House Brewing  – Green – Charlton, MA

Cross-continental IPA.  Made with Australian and American hops, this citrus heavy IPA opens up in the glass with notes of pineapple, tangerine, and orange rind.  It’s sharply bitter and nearly 8% ABV. . . The name comes from the initial batch in which, post boil, the wort looked green from so much hop particulate floating around.  Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Hill Farmstead – Motueka Single Hop Pale Ale – Greensboro, VT

An American Pale Ale bittered, flavored, and dry hopped exclusively with Motueka hops, a New Zealand