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Beer Travel Pages
|BOSTON BEER WORKS
61 Brookline Ave., near Fenway Park
112 Canal Street
T: North Station
No visit to Boston would be complete for the beer lover without a stop
at this legendary Beantown brewpub. The Beer Works locations are
big, open, and have a steely, industrial feel to them. There is a
big menu here with over 90 items including salads, seafood, sandwiches,
pastas, burgers, and pizzas. If you have a huge hunger, you won't
do better than Boston Beer Works. Jody Andrews is head brewer at
the Fenway location. Here are some quick notes on some of her
beers we tasted in December 2005:
- Bambino Ale -
The beer that helped break the curse! This is a golden ale with a
slight floral hop finish and a toasty malt flavor.
- Fenway Park Ale
- An American Pale Ale with lots of Cascade hops - very dry and
- Special Pale Ale
- Dry-hopped with Kent Goldings, it has a grassy, herbal note.
- Back Bay IPA
- A nice brew that is made with copious amounts of resiny American hops.
- Boston Red -
Crystal / caramel malt flavors with good hop balance.
- Centennial Alt
- Light Munich malt notes - mild and nutty.
- Beantown Nut Brown
- Nutty aroma with a dry, mineraly malt flavor.
- Buckeye Oatmeal Stout
- Dry and grainy with notes of roasted malt.
- Blueberry Ale
- Nice golden ale with good fruit flavor - served with a few real
berries floating in the glass.
- Hercules Strong Ale
- Dark copper with sweet, fruity malt and resiny hops - 10% alcohol.
Dunster Street, Cambridge
T: Harvard Square
This is the original John Harvard's brewpub. It is
located in the basement of a shopping building just a stone's throw
from the oldest university in the USA. The pub has an "antique"
feel about it with dark wood, rock walls, murals, and stained
glass. The food here is absolutely wonderful with appetizers,
pizzas, sandwiches, and really delicious entrees. The house beers
are a bit inconsistent at times, but in December of 2005 we were
- Colonial Kolsch
- Clean, light, and true to form.
- Pale Ale - A
bit weak in the hop department. Dry and a bit herbal.
- Old Willy's IPA
- Clean malt - light in hop bitterness and flavor.
- Oatmeal Stout
- Malty and oaty with a background of roasted and chocolate
malts. Nitrogen dispensed.
- Seasonals are
also rotated that include a Trippel, Christmas Ale, Harvest Spiced Ale,
and tasty cask ales that are
Beacon Street, Brookline
T: Washington Square
This is a very worthwhile and attractive pub on Beacon Street.
The bar is to the left of the main entrance and there are quaint
seating areas to the right and rear of the pub. They offer a
staggering array of draft and bottled beers from around the world (with
nice food items to match). Check the long chalkboards for the
current draft selections. The walls are adorned with old photos
and beer signs. Don't miss Anam Cara (it is just a short taxi
ride from Sunset Grill listed below).
Cambridge Street, Cambridge
T: Central Square (red line)
Dalton Street (behind Hynes Convention Center)
T: Hynes Convention Center
Pictured to the right is the Bukowski's Cambridge manager, Max Toste
(who looks like Elvis Costello). These bars are fantastic and
beer-focused. Opened in 2002, Bukowski's offers a very
interesting selection of microbrews, craft beers, imports, and some
rare and unusual beers from around the world. There are around
100 bottled beers and 15 drafts from which to choose. The decor
is like a diner from the 1950s, and the pub menu is unique and eclectic.
Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Christopher's is a slightly upscale bar and restaurant in north
Cambridge that usually has one or more of the beers from Cambridge
Brewing Company on tap. There is cool folk art adorning the
walls, and 24 decent draft beers and around 20 bottles. The
restaurant is to the left and the bar to the right. Check out the
quaint Scottish shop next door run by an old couple from the UK.
Washington St., Jamaica Plain
T: Forest Hills
Doyle's has as much history and personality as any pub in Boston.
Established in 1882, Doyle's has been visited by JFK (Sr. and Jr.) and
a multitude of other notable Boston natives. The antique phone
booths found throughout the pub are remarkable, and you could spend
hours just looking at the old wall photos and newspaper
Take the T orange line south to Forest Hills (go during the daytime as
the neighborhood is a bit suspect at night) and walk out of the station
left under the bridge. Head down Washington about three blocks
and you'll spot the pub on your right. You'll be able to partake
of old-style pub meals here along with about 30 draft beers (Harpoon,
Sam Adams, Smuttynose, etc.) and some notable bottles like
Chimay. Ask for a sample of a draft beer before you order a pint,
as sometimes a beer can go a bit stale here. Doyle's only accepts
cash money. The pub is only a 20 minute walk or a five minute
taxi ride to the Samuel Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain (see bottom).
T: State Street
Pictured to the right is the manager of Elephant and Castle pub, Bob
Dougherty. Bob was born in Georgia and moved to Boston because of
his love for the city. He is a friendly manager and bartender who
can help you choose a beer from the pub's 15 taps or 30 bottles.
As you can see from the photo, the pub is one of the few in Boston to
carry the excellent line of ales from Fuller's (London Pride, ESB, and
London Porter). Bottled beers include Chimay, Sam Smiths, Flying
Dog, McEwans Scotch Ale, and regional craft brews. This is part
of a chain of pubs that are very well run and attractive, and they
serve breakfast, lunch and dinner! Try the fish and chips, Irish
stew with Guinness, and excellent burgers.
Winthrop St. at JFK, Cambridge
T: Harvard Square
Grendel's is a basement bar and restaurant two blocks from John
Harvard's brewpub that is a
favorite with students and faculty. The cozy restaurant serves
hot pub meals, and the bar always has a dozen draft beers with two or
three nice regional beers. A sign behind the bar proclaims, "No
Bud, No Coors, No Miller." Try the mulled cider too in the colder
months! There is a central bar with small dining areas off to the
|PORTERS BAR &
Portland St. near the Fleet Center
T: North Station
The Zagat guidebook says that Porters is "upscale for a bar, sporty for
a grill." It is one big rectangular room with a wide-open feel
it. There is a large projection TV up front and a good beer
selection with the
likes of Harpoon, Mercury Brewing Company, Chimay, and
Hoegaarden. Try the "Porters Classic Sandwiches," pizzas, and BBQ
Chester St., Somerville
T: Davis Square on the red line
Don't go to Boston without making it to Redbones. Where else in
the Boston area can you find brews, barbecue, margaritas, and "southern
hospitality?" This place is known for its cool artwork that
covers almost every inch of wall space. The beer selection is
excellent with 25 bottles and 25 drafts, and you'll find a nice group
of seldom seen beers here as well. Choose from five ounce samples
or half or full pints -- be sure to try LOTS of samples while you are
here. Pictured to the bottom right is bartender Bryce in front of
the organized chaos that is the keg room at Redbones. There is
seating upstairs and downstairs, and the BBQ ribs and chicken are
|SUNSET GRILL &
Brighton Ave., Allston
T: Harvard Ave. Station - green B train
Our FAVORITE place in Boston has to be Sunset. This beer mecca is
like a beer festival every day of the week -- customers can purchase
draft beers in 2 oz., 5 oz., half pints, and full pints. Try 20
or so 2 oz. samples and then order pints of your favorites -- it's like
heaven! The draft and bottle beer list runs into the hundreds,
and the beers are very well cared for and served properly. The
food at Sunset is also extremely good. Pictured to the right is
manager Joe Rowland who will gladly talk about beer all day. Get
off the T and walk right on Harvard Avenue one block. Turn right
on Brighton and you'll see Sunset on your right. Tell Joe we said
T: Haymarket (orange) or Gov't Center (blue/green).
The Tap is a casual pub located near the famous Faneuil Hall.
There are two dozen taps at The Tap that encompass a fair range of nice
beers. You'll also find dart boards and pub munchies (seafood,
Beacon Street, Somerville
T: Harvard or Central Square (red line).
There are 25 draft beers available at the Thirsty Scholar pub near
Cambridge. There are some microbrews and regional beers in the
crop. 25 mostly uninspiring bottled beers are also
available. The place has an English pub feel about it, and the
menu is made up of some nice sandwiches, burgers, and steamed mussels.
T: Aquarium (blue line)
This is a friendly Irish-type pub located very near the Aquarium T
stop. There are 20 draft beers here with Anchor Steam, various
Sam Adams brands, Pilsner Urquell, Harpoon, and Guinness being the
standouts. They also offer Tiernan's IPA which is made for the
pub by Harpoon (it tasted like Harpoon IPA pushed with nitrogen).
There is live music on some nights (not usually Irish) and great food
items like Guinness mussels, calamari, buffalo tenders, shepherd's pie,
meatloaf, liver and onions, and steak tips. Pictured to the right
are bartenders Ron and Kevin at Christmas time.
|UNION OYSTER HOUSE
T: Haymarket (orange) or Gov't Center (blue/green).
The Union Oyster House claims to be America's oldest restaurant -- a
point that is often debated. It is located near historic Faneuil
Hall and is famous for its location and great Boston seafood. Be
sure to try their awesome clam chowder and steamed oysters. They
have a small selection of beers on draft, but often include a very
interested brew like Harpoon Munich Dark. The small dining room
off to one side of the bar has beautiful 3-D art models of historic
Boston locations (see the picture of Old Ironside).
(Boston Beer Company)
T: Stony Brook (orange line south).
If you really love good beer, go to the trouble of taking the one hour
Sam Adams brewery tour. From the Stony Brook T stop, take a left
onto Boylston Street and then your first right onto Amory Street.
Then take your first left onto Porter Street to the brewery gate.
The brewery is at the end of Porter Street on your right. The
brewery is also a five minute cab ride from Doyle's Pub (listed
above). Boston Beer Company contract brews most of its products,
but this small brewery serves as an interested experimental facility
where new products are brewed and evaluated. The tour will allow
you see the lovely oak barrels where the high-gravity Utopias beer is
stored, and you will be invited to taste some experimental beers in the
tasting room. In December of 2004, we sampled:
- Black Lager -
a Schwarzbier-style beer - much like a
mild Stout that has been made with German malt and lager yeast.
- Pumpkin Ale -
a pleasant beer with mild pumpkin
flavors and subtle spices (nutmeg and cinnamon).
- Oak Aged Cider
- a New England style cider made with
culinary apples - dry and oaky with a bit of vanilla character.
- Utopias -
champagne and ale yeast help produce this
huge beer that is 25.5% alcohol and made with big additions of maple
syrup and 2-row Harrington malt.
- Holiday Porter
- a robust Porter with caramel,
Munich, and chocolate malts. It has a rich, dark malt
The Boston Beer Company and its founder, Jim Koch, have done so much
for craft beer in the USA. Their devotion to quality brewing
methods and ingredients really shows during the brewery tour.
Owen and the Utopias Barrels
Jennifer Glanville was our wonderful guide through
the Samuel Adams Brewery.
The tour includes photos that outline the history of
brewery and its founder, Jim Koch.
Beer Bastions in Beantown:
Brewing Company (brewpub), One Kendall Square #100,
Cambridge. (617) 494-1994.
Bay Brewing Company (Harpoon
microbrewery), 306 Northern Ave. (617) 574-9551 -
call about brewery tours!.
Bottom Brewery, 115 Stuart Street, Theater District. (617)
- Druid Pub,
1357 Cambridge Street, Cambridge. (617) 497-0965.
Beer Garden, 732 East Broadway, South Boston. (617)
Corner, 307A-309 Harvard Street, Brookline. (617) 566-4948.
510 Commonwealth Ave. (617) 262-3749.
Wirth, 31 Stuart Street. (617) 338-8586.
Tree, 256 Elm Street, Somerville. (617) 623-9910.
Cafe, 361 Boylston Street. (617) 247-4777.
- Tir na nog,
366A Somerville Ave., Somerville. (617) 628-4300.