Massachusetts has a long pastime with alcohol. The history of beer and bars is intertwined in Massachusetts state history so much so that  Boston Magazine says the first bar in the country opened in Boston on March 4, 1634.

While the alcohol industry has certainly changed since then, Massachusetts is still home to a multitude of microbreweries that have exploded in popularity throughout the country in the past two decades.

Once thought of as an industry created exclusively by beer geeks for a niche clientele of homebrewers, craft beer consumption has erupted to become one of the fastest-growing parts of alcoholic beverage sales in the United States.

Since 2005, revenue from microbreweries has grown by more than 300%. For the better part of the past few decades, thousands of new, independent breweries and brewpubs have opened and employment in the industry has more than tripled.

While the popularity of these craft breweries has grown everywhere, specific pockets of the country have earned a reputation of having an abundance of choices for beer enthusiasts and New England is certainly one of those hotspots.

According to mass.gov, Massachusetts is home to over 130 microbreweries spreading from the Cape to the Berkshire Hills. We put together a list of 20 of the most popular craft breweries located in Western Massachusetts. Is your favorite on the list?

 

 

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.