The Beer Nut: It’s New York vs. New England in the Battle of the Brews

Written by Norman Miller for GateHouse News Service and

It’s going to be a tough game Sunday when the New England Patriots and the New York Giants have a rematch in the Super Bowl. But who brews better beers, New England or New York?

Both have a lot going for them. New York is just huge. But New England is made up of six states, so that kind of equals out.

And, to make it a fairer competition, I’ll include the entire state of New York along with New Jersey (where the Giants play home games at MetLife Stadium), even though large portions of New York state do not root for the Giants. Some even root for the Buffalo Bills, for some reason.

OK, let’s start with which team has the best places to drink beer. We’ll do this sports section style, awarding checkmarks to which region gets the win.

Best places to drink beer

New York has some of the most well-known beer bars in the United States, like the Blind Tiger and Spuyten Duyvil. But New England also has some of the best bars in the country — Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine, the Armsby Abbey in Worcester, Mass., and the Publick House in Brookline, Mass.

I think the win goes to New England, and this is not me being a hometown fan — Draft Magazine recently named the 100 Best Bars in the United States. New York had five beers on the list while New England had 10. Check mark to New England.

Who brews the best beer?

Next up is who brews the best beer. Obviously, ìbestî is always subjective. Three of my favorite breweries — Brewery Ommegang, the Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint –– are all brewed in New York.

Again, New England can more than hold its own. We have Hill Farmstead in Vermont, Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project in Massachusetts, Allagash Brewing Company in Maine, Smuttynose Brewing Company in New Hampshire, and so on and so on.

According to Beer Advocate, the top 100 beers (based on user reviews) features eight beers from New England and only one from New York state. Check mark again goes to New England.

New beers

Want more numbers? Let’s take a look at new beers. According to Beer Advocate’s list of the top 100 new beers (beers reviewed for the first time within the past six months), there are 15 from New England and only one from New York.

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