If you like camping and craft beer, we have the perfect road trip for you. There are some fantastic breweries in the Northeast and we’ve laid out a pretty awesome brewery tour. Not only are you going to be sampling hand crafted brews, but you’ll also be staying in some of the best campgrounds the Northeast has to offer. We’ve done the planning, all you need to do is grab your buddies and hit the open road on this wicked Northeast craft beer camping road trip.
Northeast Craft Beer Camping Road Trip: East to West
Allagash Brewing Company started in 1995, by owner Rob Tod, as a one-man operation. Designing a small 15-barrel brewhouse, with the finest array of authentic raw materials, that began his quest towards the production of traditional Belgian style ales. Allagash is always striving to produce the finest Belgian inspired and experimental ales this side of the Atlantic. To see it, is to believe it, so take a tour of the Allagash Brewery. Open Monday-Saturday for tours, it lasts about 30 minutes and provides a behind the scenes look. Within their merchandise store you can also do a free tasting, consisting of four 3-ounce samples of their beers. If you get the chance to try the Allagash White, take it. We’d also recommend the Allagash Interlude.
Shipyard Brewing Company
Shipyard Brewing Company has been making award-winning, hand-crafted beer in Maine for 20 years and is now one of the largest craft breweries in the country. Shipyard prides itself on drinkability, consistency and balance. Producing 20 varieties of English style beer, each batch is brewed by hand in small batches giving it a taste you’ll remember. For a sneak peek behind the 14th largest craft brewery in the country, reserve your spot on a tour. Offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. you will see the brewery and sample their great beer. They also offer samples of their fine ales daily on the hour from 11:00am and 5:00pm. From their flagship beer, the Export Ale, to specialty offerings like Smashed Blueberry, every beer is worth it.
Wakeda Campground has spacious, shaded sites nestled among acres of towering pines and has a site for everyone from tenting, to pull-throughs, and even camping cabins. While at Wakeda, challenge your friends to a round of mini golf or a game of Air Hockey in the game room. With 400 sites in the campground there will definitely be a spot to camp in. The shaded trees, private sites and sheer beauty of your surroundings make this campground an excellent choice. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table allowing you to settle in for the evening. It also sets you up well for the next leg of the camping road trip.
3-4. Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Beer Company & Harpoon Brewery / Quinebaug Cove Campground
Boston Beer Company
The Boston Beer Company is America’s leading brewer of handcrafted, full-flavored beers. Founder, Jim Koch, brews the well known, and very popular Samuel Adams beers. There is no better way to experience Sam Adams than through a tour. It allows you to experience the entire craft brewing process, taste the special malts and smell the Hallertau hops used to brew Samuel Adams, and, of course, sample a few of the award winning beers. Tours are given Monday-Saturday at varying times and last about an hour. No reservations can be made so if you really want a tour, go early. You need to try the freshest Boston Lager you’ve ever tasted as well as one of their small batch brews such as Tasman Red.
Harpoon Brewery, was founded in 1986 by Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary, two beer loving, craft enthusiasts. What they lacked in experience they made up for in passion. That passion and sense of gratitude is reflected in both the quality of the beer and the spirit of fun and enjoyment surrounding Harpoon’s beer and breweries. Harpoon offers guided tours for $5 that also include a beer tasting. You will learn all about Harpoon and get an up close and personal view of the brewing process. Tours are given daily. You can also, visit the Beer Hall. Where beer lovers can sit at the bar or around long wooden tables and enjoy pints of freshly brewed Harpoon draft beer. The Beer Hall has great views of Boston as well as the brewery.
Quinebaug Cove Campground
After the brewery tours, if you are looking for somewhere to relax, sit by the pool or kayak along a 5 mile canoe/kayak trail, Quinebaug Cove Campground is a solid choice. There is a 420 acre reservoir for fishing along with a nice beach to sit by. Quinebaug Cove has shaded and open sites for RV’s, campers and tents. They also have camping cabins if you want to sleep in a bed for the night. If you get the opportunity to snag a beach site, definitely take advantage. There is just something about that experience that never gets old. Staying here will put you in a good position for the breweries you’ll want to hit the next day.
4-5. Bloomfield & Wolcott Connecticut: Thomas Hooker Brewery & Shebeen Brewing Company / Black Rock State Park
Thomas Hooker Brewery
Thomas Hooker Brewery gets its name from the great colonial leader, Rev. Thomas Hooker. Their known for making beer the way it’s meant to be made: hand-crafted from the finest malts, hops and essential ingredients and painstakingly true to style. One taste and you will recognize the superior taste. The ultimate beer lovers field trip is a tour of the brewery. Given every Saturday from 12-5 p.m., for just $5 you’ll get a guided tour of the Brewery and a full tasting of their brews. If you can’t make that, hit their Friday open house. It happens in their tasting room and is a rocking good time. For $10 you can grab drinks, take a guided tour and keep your pint glass. We’d recommend getting your hands on their Liberator Doppelbock.
Shebeen Brewing Company
Shebeen or Sibin is Irish Gaelic and means illegal brewhouse or better known in the States as a Speakeasy. Started in 2013, by Rich and Scott, Shebeen Brewing Company strives to create interesting and challenging beers for the true craft beer drinker. Shebeen has definitely been creative, coming out with a Canoli Beer. Pretty much a liquid dessert. Tours and a tap room are open Wednesday through Saturday with varying times. Just come in, taste a few of their beers and they will do tours throughout the day. While you are there you have to try another one of their concoctions, the Cucumber Wasabi beer.
Black Rock State Park
Black Rock State Park offers excellent swimming, hiking, and scenic views, all tucked into the scenic rolling hills of the Western Highlands. There are steep, wooded ledges covered with pine, hemlock and oak providing the setting for Black Rock Pond. There are 78 sites available in Black Rock Campground. Most sites can accommodate a tent or RV. Hiking is an excellent way to spend your time at the park with scenic trails and great views of the valley and forests. Staying in Black Rock will set you up well for the next, very busy leg, of the northeast craft beer camping road trip.
6-8. Stratford, Connecticut & Brooklyn, New York: Two Roads Brewing Co, Broken Bow Brewery & Brooklyn Brewery / Timberland Lake Campground
Two Roads isn’t just the logo on the brewery building, it’s their philosophy. Life always seems to offer up two ways to go and the owners at Two Roads prefer the one less traveled, sprinkling in some fun along the way. This philosophy is present in the beers that they make and how they make them. That state of mind started with an old manufacturing building that they tenderly cared for and turned in to a brewery. This great facility has everything from a large tasting room to enjoy their beers, to enough space for events and private parties. Two Roads does offer tours Friday-Sunday at varying times. It is a great little sneak peek behind the curtain. While there, check out their awesome tap room and try out beers like their Ol’ Factory Pils.
In the 19th Century, many of the German immigrants brought their taste for good beer and their tradition of brewing beer to the area. Prohibition stomped out these small breweries until Brooklyn Brewery came along in 1984. We’re glad they did because Brooklyn Brewery makes good beer. Really good beer. Taking a tour of the facility is a great way to see their brewing process. Tours are given everyday but Friday at varying times. A weekly tradition is their Friday taproom. Doors open at 6 and beer tokens are 5 for $20, feel free to order pizza, grab a table and hang out in their tasting room. Their known for their Brooklyn Lager but make other great specialties beers like their Black Chocolate Stout.
Broken Bow Brewery
Broken Bow Brewery is family owned and operated, with their first brews made for friends and family. They are committed to delivering every drop of their beer with special attention to detail as they feel people deserve. A newer brewery on the scene, Broken Bow has done everything right. They have a great taproom, open Wednesday through Sunday, for people to gather and enjoy a pint. The taproom is a must visit, as you not only can try their Marbledale APA or Broken Heart Stout, but you also get to see an entire family working together to fulfill their dream. If the taproom isn’t enough, they also offer tours of the facility on Friday and Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. which is always fun to see the behind the scenes brewing process.
Timberland Lake Campground
Timberland Lake Campground is located in Jackson, NJ, with 200 sites that are stretched out over 54 wooded acres. They have the perfect campsites for RV’s, tents, and pop up campers. They also offer camping cabins if that is more your style. The cabins sleep up to 4 and have a fire ring and picnic tables. The 5 acre lake is great for fishing and boating, with boat rentals available. There are few waterfront sites, so if you can snag one of those, we’d highly recommend it. If you’d rather just relax by the pool, you can do that next to their Olympic sized pool. This campground sets you up well, as you continue on the craft beer camping road trip.
9. Downingtown, Pennsylvania: Victory Brewing Co. / Lums Pond State Park
Victory Brewing Company
The makings of Victory Brewing Company start way back in 1973, when two 5th graders became fast friends. Fast forward to 1996 and owners, Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, are opening up Victory Brewing Company. Melding European ingredients and traditions with American creativity, their beers feature the finest ingredients to achieve exciting flavors. Serving up delicious food and drinks, you can easily enjoy a pint at their 70 foot bar in their 300 seat brewpub. You can also tour the facility, bringing you through the brewhouse and fermentation room. Lasting about 20 minutes, tours take place Fridays and Saturdays at varying times. While you’re there we’d recommend trying the HopDevil, or a specialty brew like Red Thunder.
Lums Pond State Park
Lums Pond State Park is built around the largest freshwater pond in Delaware. It is known for its excellent fishing, hiking trails, and an unforgettable Treetop Adventure Course. This thing is awesome and features rope ladders, treetop crossings, Tarzan swings and 5 zip lines, four of them over water! The 68-site campground, is nice for tenting or RV’s and offers modern showers, picnic tables and grills. The sites are all large and most have some shady covering. If you are getting sick of setting up the tent, you can also spend the night in a yurt. Sleep in style, in the round stationary structure with canvas walls that feature, a single and double bed bunked together, a double bed size futon, an outdoor seating area, and outdoor deck.
10. Milton, Delaware: Dogfish Head Brewery / Capitol KOA
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
The story of Dogfish Head began in June of 1995 when Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, the first state’s first brewpub, opened in Rehoboth Beach. Going from a 12 gallon brewing system to a full scale brewery, now located in Milton, Dogfish Head has continued to grow in size and popularity. If you have the chance to go to their brewpub in Rehoboth Beach, take it. But we chose to go to Milton where they offer brewery tours and a fantastic tasting room. Tours are given Monday-Saturday with a behind the scenes brewery look. If you don’t catch a tour, you can visit the tasting room where all patrons are allotted 4 free samples of Dogfish Head beer. We’d highly recommend tasting their, Aprihop or Sixty-One.
Capitol KOA, is set on 50 acres of rolling countryside, with RV sites, shaded tent sites, and camping cabins. They have a pool, outdoor billiards, outdoor chess/checkers, Ping-Pong, basketball and new Jumping Pillow. If you have some spare time, there is a shuttle that will bring you to Washington, DC to check out all the sites. The shuttle is pretty handy and allows you to easily get in to the city for a tour and come back to the campground. The tent sites are very well shaded and close to the restrooms and many of the activities that are on premise. This campground sets you up well for the final brewery on the northeast craft beer camping road trip.
768 Cecil Avenue North
Millersville, MD 21108
11. Frederick, Maryland: Flying Dog Brewery / The Treehouse Camp
Flying Dog Brewery
Flying Dog Brewery got its name from a painting in Pakistan, after George Stranahan and his crew successfully climbed the K2 Mountain. Flying Dog is a brewery with a keen sense of adventure, art and passion. Ralph Steadman, a prolific artist, has been drawing all the labels of Flying Dog beer since 1996. Flying Dog is a truly unique place to visit and a highly recommended stop. They give tours of the facility Thursday-Saturday at varying times. It is strongly urged that you reserve a spot, as it will fill up. All of their beers are excellent but we’d suggest trying a Bloodline’s Blood Orange Ale or if they have one of their seasonal beers such as Dead Rise Old Bay Summer Ale.
Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground
The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground, is located on twenty acres of beautiful wooded forest, backed up to the Appalachian Trail. It’s the ideal setting for camping, hiking and river rafting fun. The campground is unique with a Hobbit House, cozy Tree Cottages, rustic Tree Houses and tent camp sites. All are equipped with fire circles, picnic tables and charcoal grills. The tent sites are big, very shaded and private. They would make for a perfect place to camp. But since it’s the last night of the tour, we suggest the tree house camping. The 10 tree houses available, are enclosed structures seven feet off the ground with a small deck. None of the tree houses have mattresses or wood stoves and eight of them are just screened in.
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