We’re quite thankful 2020 is behind us, but there are some great beer highlights to look back on! We asked our team what some of their favorite beers and breweries of last year were, check it out!
What Were Your Favorite Breweries of 2020?
Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers – Framingham, MA
While so many breweries are focused on the next “big hit” IPA, the Hendler brothers’ main focus has been malty, full-bodied lagers. Jack’s Abby has a variety of lagers for whatever mood I’m in. Unwinding after work, I’m grabbing a House Lager or maybe a Red Tape. Weekend with friends and want something refreshing? Blood Orange Wheat, a delicious, fruity German-style radler. As I sip on a glass of Pride And Parquet, their Celtics collaboration lager, I commend the Hendler brothers for all their hard work and dedication! // Find it Online
Equilibrium Brewery – Middletown, NY
Equilibrium Brewery has been an outstanding addition to my fridge. Their double and single IPAs are rife with aromas of melon, stone fruit, and citrus, and are often named after scientific terms which I love. Many of them have lush flavors of tropical mango, cantaloupe, grapefruit, and melon, just to name a few tasting notes. The creamy, soft, pillowy malt bill provides the perfect drinking experience for anyone looking for a New England-style IPA that is both fresh and refreshing. // Find it Online
Small Change Brewing Company – Somerville, MA
Small Change may still be a humble operation based out of Somerville, but the husband-wife team has consistently churned out some of my favorite beers of the year. A Little Rain has remained my go-to, but every foray of theirs into English Mild, American Porter, and even New England IPA, has been so well-constructed and well done. I hope they continue to bolster their roster and push toward a (fingers crossed) local brewery/taproom once the pandemic subsides. // Find it Online
Night Shift Brewing – Everett, MA
Night Shift really came through in 2020. Both Nite Heavy and Nite Lite made frequent appearances in my fridge (and in my glass). I enjoy the unabashed take on the “macro lager” and find the execution admirable. Both beers are light, crisp, and snappy with Nite Heavy showing a touch more malt sweetness. My favorite way to drink either of these beers is an Everett Special, PB&J, and a Nite Lite/Heavy. // Find it Online
Schilling Beer Company – Littleton, NH
It was nice to be able to get back to some of the classics in 2020, and one of my favorite breweries creating those classic styles is Schilling. Beers like Alexandr ’10, Boniface, and Modernism are all amazing beers and represent the fantastic styles of Europe. Sitting down after a day at work with one of their great beers to either cool off in the summer heat or warm up after a cold winter day is something that always hit the spot and was truly enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the return of some of my favorite Schilling beers coming in the new year, as well as some of the new beers they have on the horizon. // Find it Online
Mighty Squirrel Brewing Company – Waltham, MA
The first time I had Mighty Squirrel was years ago in a bar in Allston (Remember bars?). I had no clue who they were but noticed they were from down the street in Waltham and had to try it. Cloud Candy was such a smooth, fruity, hazy surprise. The reason Mighty Squirrel in general sticks out as my favorite brewery is because of their range. I could take a bunch of people there and be sure that everyone (including the self-proclaimed “not much of a beer drinker” in the crowd) could find something they not only enjoyed but loved. Bonus points, the taproom is connected to a rock gym for the overachievers among us! IPAs are not the only game here, they have a whole range of styles from Belgian Witbier to Imperial Stout, all amazing for any occasion and every taste. My favorites are Mango Lassi, their sour IPA, and Sour Face, their session Berliner Weisse fermented with rotating fruit varieties. // Find it Online
Burlington Beer Company – Burlington, VT
Since joining Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, I have come across countless breweries that I could consider my favorite. However, one that sticks out to me is Burlington Beer Company, based in Vermont. What first brought my attention to Burlington Beer Co. was their can art. The style of the art is constant with each varietal yet each is unique in its own way, somehow tying into the beer inside. I tend to gravitate more towards their IPAs and whether they’re single, double, or triple, they always hit the spot after a long day. However, Burlington also has a solid selection of sours, porters, and stouts so if IPAs aren’t really your style, BBCO still has you covered. My favorites so far are Creatures of Magic, a delicious New England style IPA overflowing with grapefruit and stone fruit flavors. For those who fancy something other than an IPA, I really enjoyed their Mocaccino, a blonde milk stout with coffee, chocolate, vanilla, and milk sugar. I’m looking forward to trying more varietals from BBCO and visiting their taproom soon. // Find it Online
Beer is our middle name. We are a crew of passionate, driven, excitable and focused beer lovers & geeks. We work for and operate the busiest and flagship location for Craft Beer Cellar. Swing by for a visit soon and let’s talk haze, hop profile, what the depth of Brettanomyces can add to beer, and who some of our favorite artisans are.