While states like Kentucky and Tennessee tend to dominate the conversation when it comes to spirits, the northeast is certainly no slouch in the distillation department either. For Massachusetts in particular, there’s no shortage of exemplary products scattered all across the commonwealth from the Berkshires to Cape Cod’s coastal islands. Whether you’re in search of peppery gins, spice-laden rums, or the state’s own answer to tequila, there’s no going wrong with these beloved Bay State distilleries.
Franklin may not be the most well-known city in Massachusetts, but when it comes to world-class Bay State spirits, GlenPharmer Distillery is a certified all-star. Launched in 2018, this refined venue is equipped with a vast array of distillates ranging from conventional—including Brookdale gin, reserve spiced rum, and GlenQuila agave spirit—to more experimental, with the chili-laden Ghost vodka and cranberry-infused Bog vodka serving as two particularly flavorful choices. And while GlenPharmer’s spirits are top-notch, the distillery comes complete with a full-service restaurant, allowing guests to enjoy freshly-crafted cocktails and decadent dishes like smoked chicken wings, brisket flatbread, and duck steamed buns during their visit.
Privateer Rum Distillery
Boston was home to a massive rum industry back in the 1700s, and in the modern era, Privateer Rum is keeping that legacy alive just north of downtown Ipswich. As you might guess from the name, rums reign supreme here—the property offers five distinct selections of sugarcane distillate, but for any New England history buffs out there, the Navy Yard is an absolute must-try. Double distilled and aged in new American oak, this complex spirit is produced using the same methods employed by sailors and artisans from the New England of yore, and it performs perfectly in a cocktail or all on its own.
Bully Boy Distillers
Located in the northeastern reaches of Roxbury, Boston’s first craft distillery has been wowing locals and tourists alike since 2010. While Bully Boy is stocked with all of the time-honored classics—Boston Rum, Estate Gin, and American Straight Whiskey, to name a few—the distillery really shines when it comes to the abundant flavors of Italy. Well-versed in the realm of digestifs, Bully Boy offers two distinct amari—the first of which is loaded with over 26 different types of botanicals including Citra hops, yarrow, and fig—while the Grapefruit Spritz and Italian Iced Tea are both perfectly crafted to provide some much-needed relief during the scorching New England summer.
Triple Eight Distillery
While Nantucket is best known for its sandy beaches and fresh seafood, this idyllic island is also home to a pretty spectacular drinks scene. Case in point—Triple Eight Distillery, a small-scale operation located ten minutes southwest of the island’s ferry terminal. From 15 year sherry cask-finished single malt to blended rum to five distinct flavored vodkas, there’s no shortage of flavorful spirits to encounter around here—but the options don’t end with just liquor. Triple Eight is a part of the Cisco Brewers family, operating in tandem with Nantucket Vineyard and the aforementioned brewery all in one convenient location, providing guests with a cornucopia of brews, wines, and cocktails all up for grabs at their picturesque outdoor garden venue.
Berkshire Mountain Distillers
In need of a refreshing drink after a long day of Appalachian hiking? Look no further than Berkshire Mountain Distillers, a Sheffield-based venue that’s been making waves in Western Mass since 2007. While rum, whiskey, and vodka are all available upon arrival at this pastoral property, Berkshire Mountain Distillers has achieved true mastery within the realm of gin, equipped with two distinct versions for your consideration. The limited edition Ethereal Gin is a veritable chameleon within the world of spirits, with tweaks to both recipe and label upon each release, while the distillery’s Greylock Gin has earned acclaim across the nation thanks to its bold botanicals and light body.