Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Aug 13, 2014 / 0 comments

No Massachusetts summer vacation is complete without the taste of an ice-cold brew paired with the hot, crispy, fried seafood from one of the country’s best clam shacks. Many of these reside along the North Shore of MA, the ultimate seafood and beer destination. Here, some of the freshest seafood comes from the oldest of places. In fact, many of these historic seafood shacks are still cash-only. This region is home to the first fried clam, award-winning chowder and spectacular dining views of the sea.

The North Shore is often forgotten as the hub for under-the-radar breweries, when it is home to some of the most respected craftsmen in the business. These expert brewers focus all of their energy into producing top-notch ales, made famous by word of mouth and empty glasses rather than full ones.


Seafood Stops:

Woodman’s ~ Essex

Back in 1916, Laurence “Chubby” Woodman served the first fried clams to the public at the Essex 4th of July Parade, forever changing New England cuisine. 98 years later, Woodman’s of Essex continues to serve locally shucked fried clams to over five generations of seafood lovers. Open year-round, today’s restaurant features coastal views, gluten-free dishes and award-winning clam chowder.

Woodman's. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore


JT Farnham’s ~ Essex

This seafood shack encourages boaters to anchor up and order right from the Essex River. Idyllically situated along Eben Creek, JT Farnham’s offers views of both the creek and the river with outdoor seating. Their menu features four types of homemade chowders, award-winning fried clams and a long list of traditional New England fare. The restaurant reopened for the 2014 season this past March, serving until November.

JT Farnham's. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore


Lobster Pool ~ Rockport

Famous for serving great “seafood in the rough” and “no-nonsense lobster rolls” (without the celery and other filler ingredients), the Lobster Pool has been in business since 1954. With pet-friendly outdoor seating featuring unforgettable views of Ipswich Bay and the distant New Hampshire and Maine coasts, customers return for the atmosphere in addition to the freshly caught seafood. Open every weekend in April 2014, the Lobster Pool will extend its hours to 7 days a week in May 2014.

Lobster Pool. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore



Brewery Stops:

Night Shift Brewing ~ Everett

Night Shift Brewing is three friends who turned a passion for nocturnal brewing into a profession. Started in a Somerville kitchen, they now brew at an Everett, MA microbrewery. Fusing unique ingredients into an array of rich, complex flavors, Night Shift presents and pours small-batch creations throughout Greater Boston.

Night Shift Brewing. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore


Salem Beer Works ~ Salem

Located in historic downtown Salem since 1996, Salem Beer Works offers 15 freshly brewed beers on tap each day. Salem Beer Works is a spinoff of Boston Beer Works, the elder statesman in the Boston craft beer community, which opened in 1992. Salem Beer Works was the second location opened and has been creating craft beer for nearly 20 years. Various Beer Works locations have opened around MA since then.


Ipswich Ave ~ Ipswich

Since 1991, this microbrewery has proudly produced high-end craft beers featuring local ingredients, such as the five-ingredient 5-Mile. In fact, Ipswich Ale is the oldest running craft brewer in New England. Famous for brewing completely natural, unfiltered ales, brew aficionados keep track of events and their signature Tapmobiles throughout the North Shore area for tastings. While Ipswich Ale currently distributes to select retailers throughout New England, the brewery is expected to open a restaurant in Fall 2014.

Ipswich Ave. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore



Clown Shoes ~ Ipswich

Headquartered at Mercury Brewing Company’s brewing facility in Ipswich, Clown Shoes Beer has been in business since 2009. Notable fan favorites include the Clementine (a white ale), a double IPA, and a chocolate stout. But with drafts only available through select distributors across the country, Clown Shoes Beer is a rare find for the seasoned beer enthusiast. Connoisseurs in the area can get their hands on a draft at vendors such as Boston Wine Exchange (181-185 Devonshire St, Boston) and State Liquor Exchange (370 Park Ave, Worcester) and various tastings, bars and restaurants throughout the state.


Cape Ann Brewing Company ~ Gloucester

Tucked away in Gloucester’s classic downtown, the Cape Ann Brewing Company offers enthusiasts delicious pints of their specialty brews, ranging from seasonal to year-round. Enjoy a glass of their signature Fisherman’s beer, made in-house, paired with their highly rated pub faire. Guided tours are available Monday through Friday and on weekends upon request (call 978-282-7399 for reservations).

Cape Ann Brewing Company. From Breweries and Seafood Stops of Massachusett's North Shore



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All information contained herein and photos courtesy and copyright Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism