Boston’s Brewery Scene

Whether it’s the beer or the experience you’re chasing – or both – you won’t have to go far to find them in Boston.

All across greater Boston, breweries are popping up on residential corners and sprouting from rustic, urban buildings, growing into warm gathering places. With new value propositions, such as Bring Your Own Food, Insta-worthy wall panels, trivia nights, and games for the hip millennial, people are flocking to them for a fun night out or casual Sunday Funday. From Somerville and Everett, across the river to Fort Point and winding through Fenway all the way down to Dorchester and Jamaica Plain, there’s quite a selection to choose from.


Best Boston Breweries

Samuel Adams Brewery

If you want to keep things simple, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Sam Adams Boston Brewery in Jamaica Plain or Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall in Seaport. Both have tours, so you can see what happens behind-the-scenes and enjoy a tasting as the tour concludes. I prefer the modern set-up at Harpoon with its long wooden tables, and I can’t resist the soft pretzels and dipping sauces. While Sam’s brewery facility doesn’t have a restaurant on-site, you can hop aboard the trolley that will take you to Doyle’s (also in JP), the first pub to serve Sam Adams in 1986.  

Let me get straight to the point: Lamplighter Brewing Co. near Central Square, Cambridge gives out cute jars of free snacks and I think that’s fantastic. And if you’re looking to ease into your weekend, Lamplighter has a café and barista bar that you can post up at until you decide It’s five o’clock somewhere. They have two bar rooms, games for the playing, and a few very chic spots to take photos.

Nearby at Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville you’ll find a less-refined but more open space to mingle and snack on food truck bites in between beers.

While Everett is a small trek outside the city, Nightshift Brewing is just one good reason to go. Nightshift brought itself into Boston with a pop-up on the Esplanade earlier this year. It’s closed for the season, but my fingers are crossed that they will surprise us with a winter pop-up somewhere near the city’s center.

In Fort Point, Trillium has three floors of fun: a taproom, dining area, and a rooftop patio. Its location is promising nearby an array of restaurants, bars, and shops that have sprung up around Fort Point and Seaport.

Dorchester Brewing Co. has perfected the posh refurbished look and makes for a nice choice in fair weather because they have indoor and outdoor seating. It’s unique advantage? DBco encourages beer-entrepreneurs to pursue their passion by providing the resources and facility for others to grow their business.

best boston breweriesOn The Way Up
Quickly gaining visibility, these other breweries certainly deserve a shout-out and a visit: Backlash Beer Company in Roxbury, Bone Up Brewing Co. in Everett, Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, and Turtle Swamp Brewing in JP.

Not quite breweries, not just bars, hybrids are being born out of the hype around breweries and have quickly grown in popularity. Aside from the beer, what Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co. in Fenway really has going for it is the Instagrammable background: large letters adorned in tiny lights, a room full of games (ping pong, pool, and shuffleboard), not to mention a staircase that connects you directly to Lucky Strike. Cheeky Monkey uses a SmartBrew system, which you can get the details on in this Eater article.

City Tap in Fort Point has an extensive list of beers on tap with the opportunity to create your own flight or order a 4.5 ounce pour before committing to the full beer.

Not a fan of beer? Get the full “brewery” experience without all the hops at Bantam Cider in Somerville or Downeast Cider House in East Boston. They have a variety of ciders that will surprise you and quench your palate.


Author: Becca Canavan