Massachusetts has a long pastime with alcohol. The history of beer and bars is long intertwined in Massachusetts state history, so much so that the first bar in the country opened in Boston on March 4, 1634.

While the business of booze has certainly changed since then, Massachusetts is still home to an abundance of microbreweries, an industry that has skyrocketed in popularity throughout the country over the past two decades.

Once thought of as an industry created exclusively by beer geeks for a niche clientele, craft beer consumption has become one of the fastest-growing parts of alcoholic beverage sales in the United States.

Since 2005, revenue from microbreweries has grown by more than 300%. Over the past 20 years, tens of thousands of new, independent breweries and brewpubs have opened and employment in the industry has more than tripled. According to, Massachusetts is home to over 130 microbreweries spreading from Cape Cod to the Berkshire Mountains.

While the popularity of these craft breweries has grown nationwide, specific pockets of the country have become hot spots for beer enthusiasts and New England is certainly one of those.

Hot Plate Brewery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts Makes List of Best New Breweries in the U.S.

VinePair recently compiled a list of The 19 Best New Breweries of the Year, According to Beer Pros, and Hot Plate Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, topped the list. Pretty impressive considering over 420 new breweries opened their doors in 2023.

Located in downtown Pittsfield, the heart of the beautiful Berkshires, Hot Plate is run by brewer and owner Sarah Real. She and her husband are pandemic transplants to the Berkshires from Brooklyn. On social media, the couple brilliantly documented the entire process of getting their beer baby up and running, bringing fans along for the storied ride that culminated in opening to the public in February of 2023.

Prior to their Pittsfield storefront, locals and visitors got a sampling of Hot Plates offerings at various pop-up events throughout the county and beyond. Between their captivating Instagram and special event tastings, the brewery had built a following before its doors even opened.

It's not just the Berkshires who have taken note of Hot Plate, craft beer industry experts have taken note as well.

"To find the most noteworthy newcomers of the moment, we asked beer professionals — production staff, writers, educators, bar owners, and more — about their favorite 2023 arrivals" - VinePair


One standout among my favorite new breweries of 2023 is Hot Plate, located in Pittsfield, Mass. I had an opportunity to try their beers at the Nashua River Brewers Festival in June, which I was excited about considering their taproom is a couple of hours away from us. Hot Plate caught my attention by offering a cream ale and a Belgian golden strong ale amid the hazies and fruited sours at the festival. It was refreshing to see, and the beers were super clean and true to their respective styles, with the golden capturing everything I love about Belgian beers. Still, it’s Hot Plate’s unwavering commitment to community, a value shared by us at Lost Shoe, that truly sets them apart. They consistently give back, advocate for positive changes locally and in the broader craft beer industry, all while serving as exceptional educators. Their dedication to both brewing classic styles and community engagement makes them a deserving addition to the list of 2023’s top new breweries. - JP Gallagher, co-owner and head brewer at Lost Shoe Brewing and Roasting Company, Marlborough,Mass. (via VinePair)


LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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