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Waterside Breweries & Distilleries in massachusetts

10 Locations along the Massachusetts Coastline

New England
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By
Alexa
Zizzi

The smooth gulp of a frothy beer on a spring day gives us a taste of seasonal transition. We dream of walks in the park to see flowers bloom, baseball games, backyard grills and cool cocktails that are as refreshing as seaside breezes.

Today's trendy IPAs and craft beers have come a long way since the 17th century when natives and early settlers began growing hops in Massachusetts. By the 1800s, Boston was known as one of the premiere beer-brewing cities in America. The state upholds its rich history today with breweries and distilleries along the coastal towns.

The following 10 locations are the best waterside breweries & distilleries, offer tasting rooms and carry-out at the finest brews and spirits in Massachusetts.

Ryan & Wood Distillery

Gloucester
Though it's not directly on the water, this family-owned distillery is less than three miles from the gorgeous coast of Good Harbor Beach and near Cape Ann attractions. Founders Bob Ryan and his nephew Dave Wood began producing small batch spirits in their coastal home on Cape Ann before establishing the distillery in 2006. Continuing the old-fashioned way in a copper pot and column still, this family- owned distillery produces gin, vodka, rum and a few variations of whiskey. Free tours and tastings are offered Monday to Wednesday and Friday to Saturday. ryanandwood.com
Where to Dock: Cape Ann's Marina Resort

Short Path Distillery

Everett
This old factory-turned-distillery near the Malden River was founded by three friends who specialize in handcrafting small batches of spirits with organic ingredients. Their process uses two distinct types of still for production: a gin still for botanical flavors and a Charentais still, which concocts a sweet toasted taste. Hang out on the patio on Fridays and Saturdays or schedule a 60-minute tour that features a complimentary cocktail and tasting. shortpathdistillery.com
Where to Dock: Charlestown Marina

Night Shift Brewing - waterside breweries - marinalife
Night Shift Brewing, Lovejoy Patio

Night Shift Brewing at Lovejoy Wharf

Boston
This independent business began with three friends brewing beers in a small kitchen in Somerville, MA. Now with multiple locations including the experimental brewery and scratch kitchen at Boston's Lovejoy Wharf, Night Shift Brewing distributes craft beer, hard seltzer, hard ciders, wine and even craft coffee. It's located steps away from the Freedom Trail, TD Garden arena and Boston Harbor, and visitors can try a variety of tap beers, a coffee bar, salads and other delicious fare to go. Be sure to also check out the Everett location. nightshiftbrewing.com/locations/lovejoy-wharf
Where to Dock:
Constitution Marina

Harpoon Brewery

Boston
Located in the Seaport District, this brewery was founded by two beer lovers in 1986. Harpoon's craft beer line features New England's Original IPA, along with a variety of year-round specialties and seasonal selections. The Harpoon Beer Hall proudly serves the freshest Harpoon products and hand-crafted food offerings, as well as our other brands: UFO Beer, Clown Shoes Beer, Arctic Chill Hard Seltzer and City Roots Craft Cider, says Jon London, CMO of Mass Bay Brewing Co. The Beer Hall is open year-round for indoor visitors, and the brewery operates outdoors at the Harpoon space for open-air drinks and food during the summer. harpoonbrewery.com
Where to Dock: Fan Pier Marina

GrandTen Distilling Tour - waterside breweries - marinalife
GrandTen Distilling Tour by Dale Cruse

GrandTen Distilling

Boston
Situated in the heart of South Boston, this distillery is located in a foundry whose walls hold memories of ironworkers during a developing nation. Every step from choosing raw ingredients to bottling and labeling is done by hand, says Kevin McLaughlin, GrandTen production manager. Taste favorites such as the botanical-rich, American-style gins include the original Wire Works, a bourbon barrel-aged Special Reserve, as well as Wire Works Rosé, a seasonal spring and summer offering. GrandTen also pays homage to the region's nautical past with traditional New England-style Medford Rum and to Southie's Celtic heritage with a South Boston Irish Whiskey. The cocktail bar is open on weekends and retail purchases are available seven days a week. grandten.com
Where to Dock: Fan Pier Marina

Boston Harbor Distillery

Dorchester
This woman-owned business was founded by Rhonda Kallman in 2012 and was inspired by her very first love whiskey. Located at The Port of Boston Harbor on the southernmost waterfront in the Neponset section of Dorchester, this distillery boasts various aged whiskies, liqueurs, small batch gin and rum, plus distilled beer from Sam Adams. The location is open for tastings and VIP tours with cocktails and light bites on Saturdays. Visit Monday to Friday to shop for bottles and gifts. shop.bostonharbordistillery.com
Where to Dock: Safe Harbor Marina Bay

Dirty Water Distillery

Plymouth
By the coast of Plymouth Harbor, this distillery offers artisanal spirits and craft cocktails in the taproom or to go. Full-sized batches use the 200-gallon copper still (Dr. Evil) while smaller batches use the 10-gallon scaled version (Mini Me). Craft spirits feature vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and several liqueurs including an authentic Italian Limoncello, plus their very own family recipe, Krupnikas, a Lithuanian style spiced honey liqueur. Visit the taproom Wednesday to Sunday. dirtywaterdistillery.com
Where to Dock: Safe Harbor Plymouth

Cape Cod Beer - waterside breweries - marinalife
Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beer

Hyannis
With walls covered in locally designed tap handles and a large brew house with 12,000 barrels, this brewery is a fun stop along the Hyannis Harbor. Cape Cod Beer distributes products from Plymouth to Provincetown and offers a Mug Club membership with exclusive benefits. In addition to food and craft beer, the company sells items ranging from hats and hoodies to dog collars and leashes. Sip on IPAs, porters, sours, blondes and many more uniquely crafted homemade brews. Open Monday to Thursday. capecodbeer.com
Where to Dock: Hyannis Marina

Bad Martha Farmer's Brewery

Martha's Vineyard
Surrounded by colorful flowers and mature trees, this farmer's brewery is located in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard. Enjoy the rustic vibe while sipping fresh brews in the taproom or kick back on the patio and admire the lovely landscape of the Donaroma's Nursery property. The brewery offers cheese and veggie plates, charcuterie and crudités to accompany a selection of craft beers including spiced ales, coffee porters and IPAs. badmarthabeer.com
Where to Dock: Vineyard Haven Marina

Cisco Brewers - waterside breweries - marinalife
Cisco Brewers in Nantucket by Carly Diaz

Cisco Brewers

Nantucket
On the way to Cisco Beach, stop and enjoy beer, wine and liquor at this rustic outdoor brewery on the island of Nantucket. Cisco Brewers Inc. features Triple Eight Distillery, Nantucket Vineyard and Bridge Liquors to produce a collection of New England's finest craft brews and spirits. Enjoy an afternoon sampling with specialties such as Shark Tracker, a golden and crisp light lager, or the Grey Lady wheat ale, named after Nantucket's often-foggy island. ciscobrewers.com
Where to Dock: Nantucket Boat Basin

Related Articles
Back to School Bucket List
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The days are growing shorter, and the final weeks of summer are upon us. So, before the school bell rings, Marinalife is wondering if you’ve checked off everything on your must-do list this season. If you’re looking for ways to wrap up summer, consider the following ideas for last-dash, fun activities.

- Learn how to do a back dive, canon ball or jump off the back of the boat into the water.  Rope swings are also an invigorating option.

- Have a tiki party on a boat and serve your guests tropical blender drinks. Bonus points for Hawaiian shirts and grilled pineapple or savory Polynesian snacks.

- Pick a dozen crabs on your boat or at a waterfront dock bar, along with all the classic fixins’ of corn on the cob, hushpuppies, coleslaw and a cold brew.  If crabs aren’t your preference, a lobster, clam or crawfish boil will do just fine.

- Ride down a giant slide, roller coaster or death-defying ride at a waterpark while letting out a mighty yell.

- Body surf in the Atlantic waves or build a sandcastle strong enough to withstand the tide.

- Explore a hidden cove or a dream destination that you’ve never visited before on your boat.

- Go fishing and catch something big enough for dinner.

- Get pulled on a raft or inflatable behind a boat or learn how to waterski.

- Catch lightening bugs in a jar to make a glowing lantern.  But be sure to poke holes in the lid and release them when the fun is done.

- Under the stars, go to an outdoor movie, music festival or seafood feast.

- Learn how to shuck an oyster, clean a fish or pick a crab, then invite friends over to taste dishes made from the fruits of your labor.

- Invent a nautical cocktail to commemorate the summer of 2022.

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Nauti Shopper: Identify your new discoveries with these apps and guides
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RESOURCEFUL APPS


FISHVERIFY

Available on Google Play, the Apple App Store and Galaxy Store

This fish finder app lets anglers discover saltwater and freshwater catches with the snap of a picture. Take a live shot or import photos and the AI technology works its magic. Learn about marine habitats and check weather conditions including winds, tides, water temperature and barometric pressure. (Free download; premium subscription is $29.99/year) fishverify.com

SHELL MUSEUM: IDENTIFY SHELLS

Available on Google Play and the Apple App Store
Take photos of your shoreline discoveries and this innovative app helps you figure out what they are and the sea creature that built it. Thanks to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum in Sanibel, FL, beachcombers can now identify most common shells found across Florida beaches in seconds. ($1.99 download) shellmuseum.org

ARGO: BOATING NAVIGATION

Available on Google Play and the Apple App Store

This navigation and social boating app offers satellite, terrain and NOAA map features, depth and contours, trip planning, voyage tracking and a captain’s log for itineraries. Find points of interest such as fuel docks, anchorages, marinas and restaurants. The social boating features helps you connect with the boating community (Free download) argonav.io

SPECIES GUIDEBOOKS

REEF FISH IDENTIFICATION — FLORIDA, CARIBBEAN, BAHAMAS

By Paul Humann and Ned Deloach

Whether you’re a southern angler or marine wildlife documenter, you’ll love combing through 1,000 photographs of more than 683 species in this book. Designed as a reference guide, this new 4th edition identifies fish and aquatic creatures throughout the waterways of Florida, the Caribbean and Bahamas. ($44.95) reef.org/products/reef-fish-identification-florida-caribbean-and-bahamas-4th-edition

KAUFMAN FIELD GUIDE TO BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA

by Kenn Kaufman Kaufman Field Guides

This guide has been a leading birdlife guidebook for decades. Vibrant photos, detailed descriptions and range maps illustrate a lively key for bird-watching excursions. The book is compact, easily portable and studies most species in North America. (Prices vary)
kaufmanfieldguides.com/birds.html

THE TRACKER’S HANDBOOK: HOW TO IDENTIFY AND TRAIL ANY ANIMAL

By Len McDougall

Whether you’re hunting for dinner, hiking or being an avid nature lover, this guide makes animal tracking easy. Discover North American species such as the American Elk and Whitetail Deer. Identify footprints, habitats and range. This book isn’t just for hunters; it’s for explorers of all kinds. ($34.56)

barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trackers-handbook-len-mcdougall/1118940778

JUNIOR EXPLORER

SKY GUIDE APP

Available on Google Play and the Apple App Store

Point a smartphone to the sky and suddenly you appear in your own planetarium with this stargazing app. Sky Guide locates your position and follows the stars in real time while superimposing constellations and figures interactively. Find planets in rotation, discover where Pisces is currently rising or catch the next meteor shower.($1.99 download) apps.apple.com/us/app/sky-guide/id576588894

OCEAN ANIMALS COLLECTION SERIES

National Geographic Kids
Children will become overnight marine biologists with this fun learning series. Young readers can spot sea otters, manatees, turtles and much more. Teach your kids about aquatic habitats with photography and unique fun facts on each species. ($17.99)

barnesandnoble.com/w/ocean-animals-collection-national-geographic-kids/1123056379

OUTDOOR SCIENCE LAB

SmartLab Toys

This outdoor set brings out kids’ inner scientific explorer. Examining bugs, plants, dirt, weather and more. Activities include testing various samples and tracking findings in a science log. Kids can enjoy after-dark exploration with the UV night scope. ($45)

shopsweetthreads.com/products/smartlab-toys-outdoor-science-lab-bugs-dirt-plants

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Top 10 New England Sailing Regattas
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What do a media mogul, movie maker and American President have in common? Taking part in yacht racing, one of our nation's oldest sports, and New England, the cradle of this sport in America. Ted Turner won the 1977 America's Cup in Newport. Roy Disney sailed from Newport to Bermuda with record-breaking speed in 2002. And in 1936, JFK earned a winner's cup racing Stars in the Hyannis Port Yacht Club race to Edgartown.

With more than 6,000 miles of shoreline, survival built on the sea from olden days of fishing and trading to today's seasonal tourist dollars, it's a natural that racing sailboats is a time-honored tradition and rite of passion for most New Englanders. Many sailors here boast blood as blue as the surrounding seas, yet everyone can find a home to race. Here's a sampling of some of the region's best-known regattas.

MAINE

Camden Classics Cup - new england regattas - marinalife
Camden Classics Cup | Alison Langle

Camden Classics Cup

July 28-30

Competition and camaraderie combine in this relative newcomer event sailed in Penobscot Bay and celebrated shoreside in downtown Camden. Over 100 sailboats, everything from vintage yachts to very fast one-designs like J/46s and J/42s, race. Classes are available for day sailors and cruising yachts, too. Dockage at Lyman-Morse is included in the race fee, so the party starts ashore when the racing ends, says organizer Mackenzie Lyman, who adds the marina operator and boat-builders have rebuilt the waterfront after a fire in 2020. Spectators can have just as much fun. Maine's Wind- jammers offer two-hour tours to view the racing, while landlubber's best bet is watching the parade of sail as dressed yachts with costumed crew parade through Camden harbor on the morning of July 30.

Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club Annual Regatta & Shipyard Cup Classics Challenge

July 23-24

A trend toward classic yacht racing and a nod to the area's deep sailing roots combined for the first time last year at the Shipyard Cup. This new addition to the nearly 50-year-old annual regatta put lots of eye-candy on the water. The 1926-built NY-40, Marilee and 1937-constructed 12-meter America's Cup contender, Gleam, plus classic Boothbay Harbor one-designs like the 21-foot, Geerd Hendel-designed, 1938-launched sloops, are expected back this year along with contemporary race yachts. We invited several America's Cup contenders to join Gleam this year on the start line, says co-chair Bob Scribner. Spectators can observe from Spruce Point, McKeown Point or Southport. A narrated parade of participants in the inner harbor starts at 10:00 a.m. on July 24.

MASSACHUSETTS

Marblehead Regatta - new england regattas - marinalife
NOOD Marblehead Regatta 2021 | Bruce

Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series - Marblehead

July 28-31

The 1889-founded Marblehead Race Week joined with National Offshore One-Design concept a few years back, and the result is close to 200 boats racing. We now have all our regular classes like J/70s, Rhodes 19s and Viper 640, plus there are usually one or two guest classes like RS21s, Skuds, 2.4's and J/24s, that hold regional championships as part of the week, says Leslie Rousseau, race committee chair for the host Boston Yacht Club. We expect to see the return of Jud Smith, two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and local J-70 favorite. Spectators on land can get a bird's eye view of the racing from Chandler Hovey Park on Marblehead Neck. Those with a fast center console can watch the boats line up to start off Turkey Point in Middle River or set their chutes at the windward mark in Middle River.

Edgartown Race Weekend

June 23-25

Since 1938, celebrity-studded Martha's Vineyard is home to this week of combo coastal, offshore and round-the-island racing hosted by Edgartown Yacht Club. The history, charm and summer activity on Martha's Vineyard is a meaningful draw, in addition to fantastic wind and ideal sailing conditions, says Alex Nugent, one of the event's co-chairs. Plus, we typically host a big welcome party that's sponsored by Mount Gay Rum. New is the ‘Round-the-Sound series of races, which features 20-some nautical mile coastal sprints around Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound and replaces the around-the-buoy series. There's monohull and multihull, racing and cruising, double-handed and many-handed entrants including teams from state and federal service and maritime academies.

Nantucket Race Week

August 13-21

Nine days of racing, parties and awards ceremonies take the concept of race week to the extreme. There's something afloat for everyone: kids in Optis and 420s, women in Rhodes 19s, kiteboarders, radio-controlled model boats and some of the country's top sailors competing in high-performance big boats and classic wooden yachts. This year we celebrate the 50th Opera House Cup Regatta, the grand dame of classic wooden boat regattas. The Cup, named after a legendary Nantucket restaurant, attracts some of the finest wooden boats on the East Coast and Europe. There is a big awards party on the beach after the race, says Diana Brown, chief executive of Nantucket Community Sailing. The Parade of Wooden Boats offers a brochure that describes each participating boat. The public can watch the parade from Brant Point Beach.

RHODE ISLAND

Annual Regatta

June 10-12

Hosted by the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) out of its facilities in Newport, this is North America's oldest continuously held sailing event going on its 168th year. The format features two days of buoy racing, prefaced by a race around Conanicut Island. The sight of 100-plus spinnakers running north in the West Passage of Narragansett Bay from Fort Adams, Castle Hill or Beavertail Light is breathtaking. Entries are invited to one-design classes, and boats more than 24 feet race under a variety of handicaps. The Annual Regatta is one of my perennial favorites, says Paul Zabetakis, NYYC commodore and a regular participant on his Swan 42, Impetuous. The race management is impeccable with multiple course configurations. Few other venues offer the perfect combination of offshore racing in Rhode Island Sound and inshore racing on Narragansett Bay. The Saturday night regatta party is one of the biggest occasions of the Newport regatta season with sailors converging on Harbour Court for cocktails and dinner.

Edgartown Race Weekend - new england regattas - marinalife
Edgartown Race Weekend | Daniel Fors

Newport to Bermuda Race

June 17

The lawn at Castle Hill Inn in Newport and Fort Wetherill in Jamestown are ringside seats to watch nearly 200 vessels start in the East Passage on a 635-mile passage south to Bermuda. Fort Adams State Park also provides close-up views of many of the boats as they depart from Newport Harbor. The fleet then sails past Brenton State Park as it clears Brenton Reef and turns to the southeast. Charter boats and private yachts assemble to watch the start from the water as well, says John Burnham. It's one of the oldest regularly scheduled ocean races, happening biennially since 1906. This year, three high-speed multihulls -- two MOD 70s, Argo and Snowflake, and the 78' trimaran Ultim'Emotion 2 -- are entered, and each has a good chance of breaking the elapsed time race record of 34h:42m:53s set in 2016 by the 100' maxi yacht, Comanche.

Ida Lewis Distance Race

August 18-20

The fleet goes where the wind blows. The Ida Lewis Distance Race is like no other in that the Race Committee chooses from among four different courses, based on the weather. Each course incorporates some of the most storied cruising grounds in New England and is just long enough for the fleet to be offshore overnight, yet not so long to prohibit inviting family and friends to join for a first-time adventure, says Anselm Richards, event chair. The goal: get about 60-some teams to compete on race boats 28-foot and longer in double-handed, youth, collegiate and different handicap classes back to the dock in under 24 hours. The start happens off Fort Adams and ends inside Newport Harbor, where each team is handed a congratulatory bottle of Prosecco.

CONNECTICUT

Block Island Race

May 27

Stamford is the start of this Memorial Day weekend regatta that for many sailors kicks New England's offshore racing season. The 186-nautical mile course down Long Island Sound and around Block Island and back also acts as a ‘warm up' for many teams that are racing some two weeks later in the Newport to Bermuda Race, says Kate Wilson Somers, who handles media for the event. The race marks its 75th anniversary this year and is organized by the Storm Trysail Club, based in Larchmont, NY.

Cedar Point One Design Regatta

June 4-5

A 20-year+ tradition on the first weekend in June, this one-design keelboat event hosted out of the Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport, CT, can draw as many as 800 competitors on over 100 boats. The key is that all the boats in a class are the same; no handicap scoring is needed. This makes it easy to watch, as first over the finish line is the winner. Currently, the event is open to J70, J88, J105 and J109, and Beneteau 36.7 fleets, but other fleets are welcome if they meet the requirements, says Joyce Oberdorf, who handles the club's communications.

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