Cape Cod Winery
For more than a decade, Cape Cod Winery has been a destination on the Upper Cape for agricultural entertainment. The East Falmouth vineyard and outdoor wine bar is situated on farmland dating back to the early 1900s; today, it grows Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, and other grapes. The family-owned winery also brings in grapes from California and other areas of Massachusetts to meet demand for a wide variety of original wines like Rosé Mermaid Water, a Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, and Reel Red Blend. The scenic spot is leashed dog-friendly and furnished with picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, rockers, and fire pits as well as a big-top tent, and a stage that frequently hosts live music. Pick a date to visit when the pop-up Wolf Pizza is on the event schedule. Take me there.
Tree House Brewing
Until recently, folks interested in tasting some of Massachusetts’ most storied craft beer had to visit Charlton, a town southwest of Worcester. But Tree House Brewing Company grew several branches across the state in 2021, including a Cape Cod taproom right on the beach in Sandwich. Reservations are required Wednesday through Sunday to stay for pints and enjoy the view, but it’s worth planning ahead. Tree House Cape Cod is a destination for a selection of world-class beers, from hazy IPAs like Julius and Green which Tree House is best known for; to crisp lagers and imperial stouts flavored with coffee and chocolate. There’s a small selection of pre-made sandwiches and snacks for purchase, and Tree House also offers beer, canned cocktails, cider, seltzer, and coffee to-go for preorder every day of the week. Take me there.
Cape Cod Beer
Cape Cod Beer first put the peninsula on the microbrew map in 1992. Beach Blonde Ale and Cape Cod Red remain draft-list staples today at many of the area’s bars and restaurants. Despite many new breweries opening in the decades since, the original craft brewery on the Cape continues to draw convivial crowds to Hyannis for the classics as well as rotating, seasonal beers. The brewery itself has an industrial atmosphere, considering it debuted a full 20 years before the taproom trend: You’ll probably see the production crew in action if you’re seated inside. During the summer months, head to the parking-lot beer garden for live music every weekend, as well as local food options available for purchase every day it’s open. Cape Cod Beer offers brewery tours and tastings, which include a souvenir glass. Take me there.
The Mid-Cape region of Barnstable County is home to the original Cape Cod Beer, Euro-inspired favorite Devil’s Purse (more on that to come), and Barnstable Brewing, a family-owned operation that opened in 2017. Barnstable brews tasty versions of the craft beer styles most popular today, including balanced and juicy hazy IPAs like Jesuit Juice, pastry stouts that aren’t too boozy, like Sweet Night for S’mores; refreshing fruit beers, and an easy-drinking light lager called Cape Crusher. The small tasting room has games to play, plus a large and welcoming patio with Adirondack chairs pulled up to fire pits and shaded picnic tables. Often, local food trucks are parked on-site at this family-friendly spot during open hours. Take me there.
Devil’s Purse Brewing Company
Devil’s Purse changed the game when it opened in 2015. The small craft brewery brought small-batch, European-inspired beers to Cape Cod with the likes of Handline Kölsch and South Dennis-Style Table Beer. Today, the Dennis brewery makes a wide variety of pale ales, IPAs, and seasonal brews, including the pink and beach-ready Shiso + Berry Ale and the cozy Intertidal Oyster Stout. And that crisp, refreshing Kölsch? Look for it pretty much everywhere, including on draft at Cape Cod bars and restaurants. Visiting Devil’s Purse itself is a low-key endeavor: The tasting room and brewery is based in a nondescript industrial park. It’s open year-round, but during the warmer months, there’s additional outdoor seating with corn hole and comfy Cape Cod Beach Chairs (these are a thing you will love to discover). Take me there.
The landscape of the Outer Cape is rugged, with sandy soil—and optimal for growing grapes. Since 1992, Truro Vineyards has been out there managing five acres of Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, and producing wines with lush flavors. A state-of-the-art barrel room on-site ages red wines like Triumph Meritage, a bold and elegant Bordeaux-style wine; and a Chardonnay with notes of toasted oak, ripe apple, vanilla. Make a visit to this beautiful winery, located between Wellfleet and Provincetown, to savor a wine tasting or go on a free, guided tour of the vineyard and production facility. Truro Vineyards is also home to South Hollow Spirits (makers of Dry Line Cape Cod Gin and Twenty Boat Cape Cod Amber Rum), so you can also sip cocktails along with wines by the glass. Reservations are available beginning Memorial Day weekend. Take me there.
Provincetown Brewing Company
Provincetown boasts some of the best dining and nightlife on the Cape, but until fairly recently it didn’t have its own brewery. That changed in 2019 with the debut of Provincetown Brewing Co., a friendly and fabulous taproom known for numerous beer styles—and giving back to the community. The place donates 15% of all profits to local and LGBTQ+ organizations so every pint you put back goes to a good cause. Beer lovers don’t need the incentive to enjoy brews like Crandaddy Sour Ale and Bearded Mistress IPA, but we appreciate the effort. PBC has a fun vibe as well, with games inside and a patio offset from Bradford Street by blooming flowers. If you find yourself here hungry, you’ll be surprised by a tasty food menu—try the Jerk Chicken Sandwich. Take me there.
When in Edgartown, get your fresh craft beer from Bad Martha. The Martha’s Vineyard brewing company is based on the verdant Donaroma’s Nursery grounds, lush with beautiful flowers, mature trees, and native grasses. It’s a scenic setting for the seven-barrel brewery, which is modeled after wine tasting rooms in Napa Valley and frequently hosts live music and family-friendly games. The Edgartown taproom is open April through October with an often-changing selection of 10 beers, such as 508 IPA, Soulshine Pils, and MV Brown Ale. There’s a kitchen on-site, too, dishing up artisan pizza, charcuterie boards, and soft pretzels. In 2019, Bad Martha debuted a Falmouth taproom, but nothing beats the island original. Take me there.
Cisco Brewers has a few off-island locations, including Boston’s Seaport—but you really haven’t experienced the best of this beloved brand until you visit the Nantucket original. The experience starts at the visitor’s center downtown, when you hop on the free shuttle (the one blaring Grateful Dead from the speakers; you won’t miss it). The brewery itself is also home to Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard. Three covered bars surround an open courtyard with a healthy mix of locals, tourists, and friendly dogs and children, all lounging at communal tables or grooving to a local band. It’s worth noting that you don’t have to be a drinker to enjoy Cisco: Come for the live music or to indulge from the resident food trucks. Take me there.
Catherine Smart contributed reporting.