Bring your group to the Berkshires for a fun afternoon of sipping local wines and craft brews while enjoying panoramic mountainscapes. Whether your itinerary is focused on culture, outdoor recreation, or farm-to-table eats, your Berkshire tour is not complete without a stop at a local winery, brewery, or distillery, where the flavors of the region influence makers and thrill enthusiasts.
Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, home of Furnace Brook Winery, is a group-friendly destination, perfect for apple picking, indulging in fresh cider donuts, and hiking trails around the farm. Afterward, take a seat by the fire in the tasting room where you can sip sweet apple ice wine. Also in Richmond is Balderdash Cellars, a boutique winery producing wines from grapes grown by California vineyards. Perfect for groups, the scenic setting and calendar of live music by local bands make a stop here a distinctly Berkshire experience. In rural New Marlborough, tastings at Les Trois Emme Vineyard & Winery are available indoors or outdoors, with views of the vineyards and the Berkshire hills beyond. Along with more traditional varietals, their trademark Stingy Jack’s Pumpkin Wine is a flavorful treat.
If your group consists of craft beer aficionados, head to the taproom at Bright Ideas Brewing, located in the front courtyard of the MASS MoCA. (Visit during September 25-27, 2020 and book tickets for FreshGrass, a popular music festival where you can sample a variety of local brews.) At the other end of the county in Sheffield, Big Elm Brewing offers weekend tastings and sells their tasty ales and lagers in to-go growlers, which you’ll also find in restaurants and beverage shops across southern New England. With names like 413 Farmhouse Ale and Lion’s Ale—the latter brewed in partnership with The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge—this is a truly Berkshire endeavor popular with locals and visitors alike.
Just down the road from Big Elm is a distillery garnering national attention for its small-batch spirits and creative collaborations. You could easily miss the unassuming façade of Berkshire Mountain Distillers on RT. 7 in Sheffield, but when the flag that says ‘open’ is out front, you can take your group for a tour of the distillery followed by a taste of their aptly named Ethereal Gin, a spirit The New York Times calls the number-one craft gin in the country. They also make and bottle bourbons, rums, and whiskeys—all available to taste and take home.
The Berkshires may not be top-of-mind when dreaming of great wines, beers, and spirits, but visiting our brewers, distillers, and winemakers will forever change your mind. Come sip, discern, and bring home bottles of new-found favorites for friends, for the holidays, and for that next dinner party. Bring your group to taste the Berkshires and enjoy!