The region that defined Yankee ingenuity has a beer heritage in keeping with its character. Brewing in New England goes back four centuries, beginning with the Pilgrims who dropped anchor in Plymouth because their supply of beer was running low. (They survived the winter, planted a crop of barley, and promptly brewed their first ale.) Making beer in New England hasn’t always been easy. Puritan housewives, industrial era beer moguls, and contemporary craft brewers alike have concocted humankind’s oldest beverage in the face of scarce ingredients, legal hurdles, and public indifference. But despite these challenges, beer has always been and continues to be a staple of New England life.