Best East Coast Craft Brewery?

TheFullPint.comUpdate:  More additions were added in less than 24 hours of this poll starting. Write in one you don’t see on the list.

This poll is the beginning of a fact finding mission for We would love to know what the best craft brewery in the country is according to you, the readers.  We are going to start by polling all of you on what the Best Craft Brewery is on the East Coast.

Of course, we realize this poll doesn’t list every craft brewery on the east coast, we do think we did a good job picking the most famous ones up and down the line.  Pick one between now and February 26, and keep an eye out for the leader. We encourage that you comment on this poll, especially if we left out YOUR favorite East Coast Craft Brewery.

Best East Coast Craft Brewery?

  • Flying Dog (37%, 1,502 Votes)
  • Dogfish Head (26%, 1,029 Votes)
  • Smuttynose Brewing (8%, 304 Votes)
  • Erie Brewing (5%, 194 Votes)
  • Victory Brewing (4%, 162 Votes)
  • Tröegs (3%, 124 Votes)
  • Clipper City (3%, 123 Votes)
  • Southern Tier (2%, 93 Votes)
  • Ommegang (2%, 90 Votes)
  • Allagash (2%, 80 Votes)
  • Duck Rabbit (2%, 78 Votes)
  • Brooklyn Brewing (2%, 75 Votes)
  • Magic Hat (1%, 49 Votes)
  • Harpoon (1%, 34 Votes)
  • Iron City (1%, 24 Votes)
  • Flying Fish (0%, 19 Votes)
  • Stoudts (0%, 16 Votes)
  • Long Trail (0%, 15 Votes)
  • Iron Hill (0%, 12 Votes)
  • Otter Creek (0%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,033

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  1. Ryan says

    How is Cigar City not on this list. Easily the top brewery on the east coast. This list is awful. Top 2 is cigar city and hill farmstead. Not sure flying dog is top 10.

  2. says

    I work for Erie Brewing and we appreciate all of your votes. However I feel like there were quite a few that have been left out. To name a few… First I’d like to mention our friend Matt Allyn at Voo Doo Brewery in, Meadville Penn. North Country in Slippery Rock, Pa. Full Pint, East End, along with Church Brew works. All the last three that were mentioned are located in the Pittsburgh area. And how could I forget Penn Brewery also located in the Pittsburgh area.

  3. Gordon says

    How can you leave Six Point off the list?

    To me, the top three on this coast are (alphabetically) Dogfish Head, Six Point, and Southern Tier. Then I think its a drop down to the next contenders, like Flying Dog, Troegs, Pretty Things, etc…

  4. Brian says

    1) Victory
    2) Southern Tier
    3) DogFish Head

    I’ve only had Allagash Black, but it was outstanding, so they’ve got to be up there too.

    I didn’t see them listed, but the Schmaltz Brewing Company, possibly also known as HeBrew (the chosen beer!!) actually makes some outstanding stuff. Lenny Bruce’,s R.I.P.A is awesome, as was Celebration 11, no longer in production.

  5. bellaboo says

    is there a “bad” east coast craft brewery? i don’t think so.

    so many of those listed have great offerings. making us choose is just plain mean 😉

    why no mention of the craft brewers in north carolina? according to a different online poll from charlie papazian, asheville is tied with portland OR as “beer city”. :)

  6. Dana Petersen says

    My votes for best NH brews go to:
    Smuttynose for their “Really Old Brown Dog”
    Portsmouth Brewery for their “Kate the Great”
    Redhook for their seasonal “Sunrye”

  7. Tom D says

    This one is tough.. Dogfish Head and Smuttynose have to be at the top though… Depends on the day as to which kind I will reach for, but these two are the best on East I must say!

  8. Peter Cain says

    I agree with Nicole (2/5/09): Haverhill Brewing Company puts out some wonderful ales. 3 of them are available on the market, and several more are on tap at the Tap in Haverhill, MA. They offer an ale for every palate, and deserve mention. Also, I don’t see Ipswich Ale on the list of favorites. It’s one of MY favorites.

  9. Don says

    I pretty much stick to IPAs. Looking at the top two, snake dog is superior to 60 min., hands down. Flying Dog gets the vote.

  10. gwen says

    Flying Dog has been brewed out of Maryland for the past couple of years and hasn’t been brewed in Colorado for over a year now………….It is definately an East Coast Brewery!

  11. says

    Not sure Flying Dog should be in this one. They are only recently an East Coast Brewery being from Colorado originally. In fact there headquarters is still there, some brew as well.

  12. George says

    I totally love Troegs and DFH does nice work as well but now that the Dog is in the East my vote has to go to them. Super solid line up with their “pack” beers and of course Double Dog and Gonzo absolutely rule. I can’t find a better double IPA… anywhere!

  13. virginia says

    I was trying to vote for Flying Dog in the Best East Coast craft Brewery but could not find the link on your webpage

  14. Carl says

    Please add Cape Cod Beer to the list. These guys really care about QUALITY beer. The best well balanced IPA I’ve had.

  15. Martha says

    Puhleeze. Smuttynose all the way. Not discounting their excellent all around beer, but the wonderful diversity of all of their beers is extraordinary. Their whole big beer series offers people of varying tastes something different every season. While an individual may not care for every offering, I love that they are always trying new things and putting out different tastes for different palates. Probably a minority in this forum, I am not a hop head, so truly appreciate all of my options when it comes to Smutty.

  16. Jeff Pettenati says

    Clipper City Pale Ale has been my staple for a long time. I retalied beer for 30 years and tasted everything I sold. As Sierra Nevada got thinner (opening of new brewery) I needed something with a bit more body. I started drinking CC Pale Ale and New Amsterdam Pale Ale. Well N. A. PA is gone and C.C. PA turned into my #1. And now if I need to step it up I can jump on the loose Cannon & the Winter Storm. The Storm does need a bit moe Hops. Hop to it, Jeff

  17. justin says

    Hmmmm…. I just now discovered that Flying Dog is now brewing out of Maryland, which calms my confusion over them being included in this list. But still, though I do in fact enjoy their beer, I still would never classify them as East Coast. Plus the East Coast already has a Flying Dog called Magic Hat. Which is not to dismiss either breweries but I feel they cancel each other out a little…
    So while Harpoon IPA is my old stand-by back in Boston and Dogfish Head gets my vote for most innovative, Smuttynose gets my all around vote.
    I am so stoked to be heading back east in May (I hope the Summer Weizen is available by then) and I will certainly be bringing back some good old Smutty when I head back to Chicago.

    Also Cisco Brewers has some damn fine beers as well…

  18. says

    My vote goes to Allagash… Rob Tod brews some truly amazing beers. Dogfish and Flying Dog are excellent choices, but due to the “Gonzo” refrences I will always imagine Flying Dog as a Colorado brewery; they may not produce the beers there anymore, but the spirit of the Rockies and Hunter S. Thompson will always remain.

  19. Rick says

    Since I can’t vote for Selin’s Grove Brewing
    I’ll have another St Fillian’s Barleywine
    and forget you left out the East Coast’s
    BIG winner !

  20. Matty says

    Flying Dog?? They just bought the brewery (Fredrick Brewing company)and transfered the recipe from Colorado. Here are some more breweries left off your list: Rock Art, Long Trail, Switchback, and there are many brew pubs that have no distribution but make some of the best beer around.

  21. says

    As far as East coast breweries go Flying Dog is my go to choice this year.. maybe its the availability of their CPA on tap in annapolis, having double dog @ local liquor stores, or the brewery tours and marketing … culminating a quick run to the top of the ladder.

    I round out the EC top 5 with: Troges, Dogfish, Brewers Art in Baltimore, and Oliver.

    I see no way that Fordham is brewing better beer than Clipper City, espically now that Fordham is a Anhiser-Bush product or whatever it is they did.

  22. Beerking1 says

    Noddin’ Head, Starr Hill, Clipper City, Devil’s backbone, Blue Mtn, Legend, Richbrau, Fordham, Appalachian, Bar Harbor, Bavarian Barbarian, Blue Point, Capt Lawrence, Dock Street, Watch City, Flying Fish, Harpoon, Gritty McDuff’s, Paper City, Selin’s Grove, Sea Dog, Sam Adams, South Hampton, Sly Fox, Stewart’s, Triumph, Yards, Weyerbacher, Vermont, District Chop House, St. George, Blue & Gray, Brewer’s Art, Cally’s, DuClaw, Coast, Capital City, Extra Billy’s, Foothill, Cottonwood, Gordon Biersch, McGuire’s, Moon River, Palmetto, R J Rockers, Shenandoah, Rock Bottom, River City, Sweetwater, Terrapin, Vintage 50, Weeping Radish, Wharf Rat, Williamsburg…

    Umm, I think you left a few out.

  23. mdesdale says

    my vote is for CAPE COD BEER ! Talk about a migty mouse , small family brewery with 2!! gold medals 2008 for red ale , and dunkel wiezen !
    congradulations Todd Marcus , his crew and family!

  24. Katahdin says

    Why did you leave breweries out??? I would have voted for Seadog a million times over any of these other choices and Sly Fox certainly is better than many of the choices you gave. It is a rigged poll if you are not putting all choices down for voting .. some afficinadoes you guys are sitting back and swilling your Bud and Miller!!!!!

  25. says

    Flying Dog is definitely mastering the art of viral marketing. They have decent beer but in terms of quality do not match up with many of these breweries (Dogfish Head, Allagash, Southern Tier, Troegs, etc).

  26. Chris says

    It’s really a toss-up between Flying Dog and Clipper City’s Heavy Seas line, but I’m giving the edge to FD, since their entire line is more consistently good.

  27. says

    Definitely Dogfish Head or Allagash. They both make excellent brews. I’d pick DH because of their 90 min IPA, 120 min, Palo San Marron, Immort Ale, and World Wide Stout. These are awesome brews. The only complaint I have with DH is their Alehouse, where their beers are way too high in price. $10 for a 10 oz glass of Theobroma? No thank you.

  28. says

    OK I wouldn’t normally be all about adding Virginia breweries like Blue & Gray Brewing, Blue Mountain Brewery, Williamsburg Alewerks, Legends Brewery, Star Hill Brewery and St. George Brewer. However, considering the list you have now has a wide distribution range and these on my list do not, makes sense to keep them off. However, what about Terrapin Brewery?

  29. bobby says

    The Smuttynose brews are far greater than the rest of these options, and a true New England Brewery…. go try an Old Brown Dog or a Smutty IPA if you dont believe me… and if you can get a hold of any of their Big Beer series…. do it!

  30. Frank says

    If Erie Brewing is on there then Great Lakes has to be too. Same goes for Lancaster. Lancaster is so good.

  31. Jeff says

    Oh and Dave, FLYING DOG isnt centrally located out of Denver anymore, they are centrally located in Frederick, Maryland.. thats why they are on this list, and thats why they are the BEST EAST COAST BREWERY

  32. says

    Captain Lawrence, Weyerbacher, Cape Anne Brewing, Shipyard, Southhampton. You’ve missed some important breweries here.

    Of all of them, Captain Lawrence in particular, but the list you have could be expanded easily.
    Interesting poll, though!

  33. Nicole says

    Haverill Brewing company and Mayflower Brewing Company should have been on this list .. I would have liked to Vote for Haverill Brewing Company . If you havent tried it you really are missing out

  34. Dave says

    How does Flying Dog qualify for an “East Coast” Beer when they’re centrally located out of Denver Colorado. I love Flying Dog, I think they have one of the most aggressive selections available in the states, but I can’t vote for them as an EAST COAST brewery.

  35. Heather says

    Flying Dog, although I was pretty upset that they moved from D-Town to Fredneck, Toeknee does a good job there!

  36. says

    -full disclosure, Flying Dog Local Beer Guy, here-
    Thanks to ALL the people who have voted thus far, especially those coming thru for the FD! Come to the brewery on Saturdays and see what ALL the buzz is about!

  37. Scott says

    Flying Dog! They’ve transitioned from the Rockies to central Maryland, and improved the
    entire pack! Great people, too!

  38. jim says

    There are so many good breweries on the east coast, but I have to go with Flying Dog. Great tours on Saturday!

  39. says

    I love Flying Dog’s Horn Dog barleywine, and I like all of their other beers.

    That said–I’ve never had an IPA better than Dogfish Head’s 90-minute. Who’s the better brewery? I don’t know, but top beer to top beer, I’d say DH.

    Too bad we can’t get them in OK, so I’ll be drinking FD.

  40. Ran-bot says

    Iron City makes this list? Give me a break…they don’t even rank among good adjunct breweries, much less with the craft brewers.

    And how about some more southern representation….Sweetwater, maybe? Where’s Weyerbacher or Saranac? Where’s Sly Fox? (who won a ton of GABF medals last year)

    I gave Long Trail some representation for their solid across the board quality. They might not have many, if any, amazing stand-out brews, but I’ve never disappointed with any offering from Long Trail.

  41. Adam says

    What no Captain Lawrence? That place has so many cult brews like Cuvee amd Smoke in the Oak along with a monster Double IPA. a few golds in the GABF. What about Bluepoint, Cisco, Portsmouth brewing (Kate the Great alone should get it on the list!) Victory is also lacking if your putting Troegs on. Coastal Extreme in Newport is deserving also with their Storm of the year. Anyone who does an Imperial Wee Heavy should get a nod (’06). Clipper City in Baltimore is another one. I think the list is definitely too thin. Weyerbacher’s not their either?!?

  42. huey newtron says

    I can’t believe Magic Hat is losing. I’ll have to drown my sorrows in a #9. Ah, sweet sorrow.

  43. Kiddok says

    dogfish head babay!!!
    also a lot of good brewsters on the list, flying dog being a close second!

  44. Shawn says

    Chad Bollard, yes Flying Dog USED to be based out of CO, but they transplanted their brewing operations to good ol’ Frederick, MD and last I checked that was the east coast! =0) Seriously though, Good people drink good beer. And Flying Dog makes some good beer, no shit.

  45. Little__Cee says

    Voodoo in Meadville is awesome.

    Also, nearby Sprague’s Brew Works in Venango has wonderful beers – love that place!!!

  46. says

    Lots of great choices here, but I’d love to cast a vote for East End Brewing, Pittsburgh’s micro-est craft brewer. If you’ve ever had a taste of Black Strap Stout, you understand.

  47. Steve says

    What about Heavy Seas in Baltimore. Their Peg Leg Russian Imperial Stout is delicious and probably my favorite beer at the moment. I need to go visit the Flying Dog Brewery sometime next month.

  48. Steve Parkes says

    A contract brewery producing thousands of barrels in a regional brewer but that also makes small batches of specialty beers in their own facility is on the list. But a larger brewery that does exactly the same thing isn’t.

  49. Joe says

    Well if these are the options and I cant pick Captain Lawrence then I would definetly go with Iron Hill. There special releases are absolutely fantastic and they are constently doing new brews with very unique outcomes. DFH are just the most popular and I think thats why everyone is picking them, they got solid brews but nothing that blows me away.

  50. says

    You guys aren’t including Southampton? Come on! They don’t have the range of the great Flying Dog, but they Double White. Trappist Pale. Alt. Ect.

  51. admin says

    No more additions will be added. Furthermore, this poll will be opened for 30 days, so there is still plenty of time to have an unexpected outcome.

    Dan –

  52. says

    I guess Flying Dog is technically an East Coast brewery now. My vote goes to them. Probably only because I haven’t had any Dogfish Head yet. I think it’s only recently that DfH has been in my area so I have a good excuse. 😉

  53. Matt says

    Foothills Brewing Company has to top my list:
    Hoppyum IPA
    People’s Porter
    Sexual Chocolate
    Seein Double IPA

  54. Steve Parkes says

    Otter Creek anyone? Copper Ale is a GABF gold winner and BJCP standard alt. Stovepipe porter one of All about Beer’s 100 best ever and then there’s the world tour series and Wolavers brands. Is this a poll to find the “best” or the most experimental or extreme? Consistent quality, reliable on the shelf, and well executed styles or the best art work, pr department or viral web marketers?
    Long trail have been quietly making delicious beer for years. Shipyard’s Old Thumper is the most authentic English ale on the market.
    Plus you get comments like “Fordham is better than Clipper City”. By what measure? If that’s the case then sales figure will bear that out or its nothing more than a personal opinion. Clipper City are superb at what they do and are likely operating with a different philosophy to making beer than Fordham are.

  55. Dan says

    Hey, I am from DC and we have an up and coming brewery here called Hook & Ladder Brewing Co. They have good beer and they donate a portion back to burn foundations. You might want to add a brewery with a commitment to doing good.

  56. says

    Full disclosure: I am the Prime Minister of Marketing at Flying Dog Brewery.

    So, I gotta ask the question: why isn’t Flying Dog on your list?

    The People’s Republic of Flying Dog wants to know.


  57. says

    They have very limited distro, but Blue Point Brewing Company on Long Island makes some amazing stuff. Their Toasted Lager and Hoptical Illusion have won some awards at GABF and other competitions.

    I had to go with Brooklyn, but Allagash, Dogfish Head, etc. are all extremely good brewers. Beer is great.

  58. admin says

    Southern Tier was just now added.

    As for Steve’s comment…I enjoy the spirited comments. I want to hear more of it from everyone.

  59. says

    On that list? Dogfish Head. I’d put Southern Tier above them, however. And, in full disclosure, I haven’t had the barrel-aged series from Allagash, so they probably are right up there. Fordham is better than Clipper City.

  60. says

    Otter Creek isn’t on the list….. No Shipyard……… No Smuttynose……….. No Long Trail……. No Starr Hill……… No Redhook….. No Southern Tier…. No Captain Lawrence. You have Iron City but no FX Matt. If Brooklyn then why not Sam Adams? Certainly some of those brewers have their marketing down and I’m not saying they’re not all great brewers but……..
    I find this kind of who’s the best thing to be unhelpful in marketing craft beer

  61. says

    Portsmouth Brewery – home of Shoals Pale Ale
    Tuckerman Brewery – 6288 stout
    Woodstock Station Brewery – Pig’s Ear Brown Ale
    Pennichuck Brewing Co – Bagpiper’s Scottish Ale

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