Whether it’s a cold brewskie or an artisanal cocktail, libations are a fabulous way to celebrate the hard work and commitment of your company. These New England spots offer both breweries and distilleries, and make for prime destinations for a company retreat, conference, or party. Here are the top picks from each lush location:
Destination: Easthampton, Mass.
Almost half-way between Boston and New York, this small yet mighty former mill town savors its industrial past while also attracting innovative and artsy new spots. Also enjoy the scenic Pioneer Valley sights of rolling farmland, stunning hills, and hiking galore.
Sublime Suds: Abandoned Building Brewery Founded in 2013 in a former mill building, Abandoned Building Brewery sits in a 2,700 square foot space with lofty ceilings and original hardwood floors. The tap room has a laidback and warm warehouse feel, and their events such as Food Truck Fridays and live music bring a friendly crowd. Inquire online about private events.
Spectacular Sprits: murr-ma Located in a converted mill that also houses shops, breweries, restaurants, and artists, this small distillery honors the legacy of the building with their artisanal small batch spirits including “River Valley Vodka”, “Mt. Tom Gin”, a canned “Gee and Tee” and more. Stop by to enjoy a tasting or tour or find their delicious craft-spirits in many local restaurants and bars.
Sagacious Suggestion: Coco and the Cellar Bar Coco and the Cellar Bar is an intimate and chic choice for a small group dinner (their dining room sits only 32, and the cellar sits 24). The seasonal and innovative food menu is matched by a captivating cocktail menu including gems like “Oaxacan Punch” and “Amici Amari.”
Destination: Portland, Maine
No New England brewery list can be complete without mention of Portland. With nearly 20 breweries and microbreweries, the city is constantly pushing innovation to the next level, and that creativity can be seen in the gastronomic and distillery scene as well.
Sublime Suds: Rising Tide Brewing Company Located in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood, Rising Tide stands out from the pack for a few reasons. They use local ingredients in every beer, creating unique and lively flavors. Their industrial, spacious tasting room and seasonal tar patio make for a great post-meeting hangout or private event space, offering perks like patio games, brewery tours, and the ability to bring in food trucks!
Spectacular Spirits: Maine Craft Distilling Operating under their “farm-to-flask” principle, Maine Craft Distilling collaborates with local farms to create brilliant craft-distilled spirits like “Blueshine Blueberry Liquor” and “Chesuncook Spirit,” made from carrots. Plan a company party at the distillery and rustic public house which provides three spaces for events ranging from 15 to 100 attendees. All events include access to the patio, a menu of MCD craft cocktails, wine, local draught and domestic beer, many food options and a catering menu prepared in house by their chef, and complimentary spirit tastings.
Sagacious Suggestion: Portland Harbor Hotel Up your work trip by staying at the ultimate spot for corporate groups: the Portland Harbor Hotel. The cozy and nautical feel of this 95-room boutique hotel reflects its prime location in the Old Port district (with multiple breweries and distilleries within a block). Plus, their three stunning event spaces are perfect for meetings of any size (capacities range from 18 to 120).
Destination: Newport, Rhode Island
You may know Newport as a swanky seaside city, known for yachts, mansions, and all things sailing. But besides beautiful ocean views and elegant colonial homes, Newport has a vibrant and exciting food and beverage scene.
Sublime Suds & Spectacular Spirits: Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. That’s right! At Newport Craft find all you need for beer and liquor lovers alike. Brewing a vast selection of craft beers since 1999, they started distilling craft spirits in 2006 as the first distillery in the state for over 135 years. They currently produce gin, amaro, single barrel rum, moonshine, and whiskey. Plus, their tasting room can host parties up to 80, and their seasonal outdoor pavilion offers 10 beers on tap, the full cocktail menu, and lawn games.
Sagacious Suggestion: Coddington Brewing Company Keep the brewery vibe going with a stop for a delicious meal at Coddington Brewing Company. The brewery has a pub vibe and is frequented by locals who appreciate the varied menu, the stellar beer selection, and knowledgeable staff. Seafood selections including Miso Salmon and Salmon in Lobster Cream are highly recommended.
Destination: Salem, Mass.
There’s far more than witches in this gorgeous seaside city, just a quick ride from Boston. A foodie and artsy mecca, Salem doesn’t disappoint in the beverage department, and many of the local spots (including those below) team up for mouth-watering collaborations.
Sublime Suds: Notch Brewery & Taproom Built in 2016, the brewery offers their many popular craft lagers and ales and specializes in refreshing session beers. Come check out their biergarten (open year round) and hip warehouse taproom complete with up to 14 beers on tap, communal tables, tasty snacks, and Skee Ball. For private events, their stunning “Star Room” is available for up to 30, or the full Tap Room & Biergarten is available for rental on Mondays and Tuesdays, November 1st through May 31st.
Spectacular Spirits: Deacon Giles Distillery Named for the title character of an intriguing 1835 temperance tale, Deacon Giles Distillery captures the spirit of old Salem and honors the rum-making roots of the city by providing the first distillery in Salem for over 100 years. The distillery offers craft gin, vodka, rum, spiced rum, amber rum, and absinthe. The spirited and relaxed Speakeasy Lab features a curated, semi-seasonal cocktail menu including gems like the citrusy “You’ll Shoot Your Eye out” or the perfectly balanced “Yippie-Ki-Yay.” Corporate groups can enjoy a formal tour and tasting, and The Speakeasy Lab is available for rental.
Sagacious Suggestion: Hotel Salem Fora unique place to stay, check out the brand new Hotel Salem, a vibrant 44-room boutique hotel which soaks in much of contemporary Salem’s new hip yet elegant vibe. Housed in a former high-end clothing store space, Hotel Salem features mid-century modern décor with vintage, retail-inspired touches. Four event spaces provide flexibility and creativity for planners: the stunning rooftop, the lounge (perfect for small meetings up to 30), the counter, and the cellar which can fit up to 180 people and would suit a larger company meeting or conference.