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General Category => Beer Travel => Topic started by: jim on August 26, 2010, 01:35:28 AM

Title: Boston
Post by: jim on August 26, 2010, 01:35:28 AM
I'll be in Cambridge/Boston for a conference next week.  Any suggestions for bars/brewpubs to visit?  I'll have a couple of free days and don't mind renting a car or taking public transportation.  I'm particularly interested in trying beers that we don't see in the Seattle area.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: goybar on August 26, 2010, 01:45:58 AM
There is the Harpoon Brewery...


Samuel Adams

I've heard the Cambridge Brewing Company is good as well
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: dbohn on August 26, 2010, 02:34:34 AM
I will second Harpoon! Take there tour. I heard they have a new 100 barel system.There is also Beerworks across from Fenway and don't miss the Boston Beer Co.

Have a great time Boston is a great city!
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: BrewArk on August 26, 2010, 04:40:55 PM
One of my favorite quotes (I just wish I could remember who said it!):

I've just returned from Boston.  It seems the thing to do when you find yourself up there.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: kramerog on August 26, 2010, 04:50:23 PM
Sam Adams was still selling Utopias at their Boston brewery in the early summer. 
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: malzig on August 26, 2010, 06:41:49 PM
There's a lot of great beer to be found in Boston/Cambridge.  Here's some of my favorites, sort of in order of my preference with a note on the approximate travel time from downtown...

Cambridge Brewing Company, a renowned brewpub, one of the oldest with a highly developed Belgian-style and cellaring program.  Masterful Barleywines.  Focus on their specialty list, but the house beers are nice, too.  Cask ale on Tuesday evenings for the couple hours it usually lasts.
Cambridge, about 10 minutes by Redline subway.

The Tap, very fine brewpub with a very nice Alt and nice German lagers when they have one on tap.  Popular low gravity IPA.
Haverhill, about 45-60' north of Boston by the Commuter Rail (the station is right across the street from the pub) or by car.

John Harvard, decent choice if you visit Harvard square, about 15' on the Red Line subway.

Boston Beer Works, decent to excellent, depending on the particular beer. 
Boston, very close to either Fenway or the Garden, and Salem, a pretty old town about 45'-60' north of Boston by Commuter Rail or car.

Redbones, a BBQ place with a great rotating beer list of mostly New England and West Coast beers, with some Belgians, Germans and Brits.  Always 1 cask ale on.
Davis Square Somerville, 15' by Redline subway.

I'm really fond of The Independent, in Union Square Somerville, too.  It's a bit on the quiet side during the week, which I like sometimes, and it has a great beer list and most of the bartenders are happy to talk about beer, but you can really only get there by cab, maybe 10'.

Deep Ellum, interesting rotating beer list often with interesting Belgians, Belgian influenced local beers and IPAs.
Allston, about 15' by cab or Green Line subway with a little walking.

Lord Hobo, a beer focused pub.  I have mixed feelings about it, but some people love it and it has a great beer list.
Inman Square Cambridge, about 5-10' walk from the Cambridge Brewing Company.

Bukowski's, good draft list, great bottle list, a bit expensive.
Near the Prudential Center and another very close to Lord Hobo and the CBC.

You can get in to Harpoon in about 15' on the Silver Line, and the Sam Adams experimental brewery is about as far on the Orange line.

There's more Brewpubs and pubs, but those are some of my favorites.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: jim on August 27, 2010, 04:10:24 AM
Thanks for the recommendations.  This helps a lot.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: malzig on August 28, 2010, 11:51:38 AM
Those are just the first that come to mind. Not that I spend a lot of time in bars or anything...

I didn't even mention any of the great Irish pubs around town.

I had lunch at the CBC, yesterday.  They have an excellent Cream Ale on tap at the moment, as well as a nice Belgian Pale Ale and one of their award winning Barleywines.

If you know where your staying, I can probably recommend some places in the neighborhood.  If you're looking for directions I can probably point you in the right way.  If you're looking for a drinking buddy, I might be able to meet for a drink or two at lunch or in the evening, but I always seem to meet someone interesting at the upstairs bar at Redbones, and the CBC crowd is pretty friendly.  I spend more time on the Cambridge side of the river, so I know that side better.

They're both great cities, have a good time!
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: jim on August 29, 2010, 01:31:14 AM
I'm staying at the Charles Hotel
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: malzig on August 29, 2010, 07:42:11 PM
So, you're in Harvard Square Cambridge.  I don't visit there as much as I did when I was young, because it's become almost impossible to park there, so I don't know that many places in the square itself.

While I think the Cambridge Brewing Company is the Brewpub to go to around there, and it's only about 10-15' away by subway... You're within a stone's throw of the John Harvard Brewpub.  I was there last month and they had a really nice Bitter on tap.

You're just down the street from a Redline T-stop, so any of the places I mentioned near a Redline stop are within about a 5 minute ride.  They're actually close enough to walk to, with a little ambition.

There's another good beer bar really close, maybe a 10 minute walk north on Mass Ave.  It's called the Cambridge Common (http://www.cambridgecommonrestaurant.com/main.html).  It's on the right side.  It has somewhat typical pub fare and a good rotating beer list.  Pay special attention to beers from Pretty things and Berkshire Brewing, in my opinion, but there's usually a lot of good beers there, like Allagash.  My wife and I go to the music club downstairs, The Lizard Lounge, a lot to see bands and it has the same beer list.

The other way on Mass Ave, perhaps a bit further but around a 5' walk, there's a famous Irish bar called Plough and Stars.  It's often said that Bonnie Raitt got her start there.  It's changed hands a couple times in the last couple decades, and it's not as much of a dive as it used to be.  Nothing much for a beer list, but a lot of people would claim it's the best place west of Ireland to buy a Guiness, which is pretty much the national drink of Cambridge.

I don't think I mentioned anything in Central Square, one stop south of Harvard Square on the Redline, or about a 5' walk past the Plough.  There's a couple fantastic dive bars there and a few good places to go for a $8 Indian buffet at lunchtime.  There's a really atmospheric Irish Pub called The Field right in the center of Central Square, right where Mass Ave crosses Prospect Street.  It's just behind the Starbucks, on Prospect Street.  That's where I go when I want a Murphy's.

If you continue down Mass Ave another few minutes, maybe about 3 blocks, is a big pub on the right called Asgard.  It's in the first floor of what's probably an office building.  It's vaguely Irish in theme, but it's atmosphere is pretty fake.  It's got a good list of beers, though.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: malzig on September 05, 2010, 05:09:21 PM
Jim, if you get a chance, I'd be curious to hear where you ended up going and what you liked. 
It would be interesting to get the perspective of an out-of-towner.
Title: Re: Boston
Post by: jim on September 24, 2010, 02:23:21 AM
I didn't have as much time to explore beer and breweries as I would have liked, my employer had this expectatioin that I do what they sent me to Boston for.  The one thing I noticed was that, although craft beers were readily available, the number and variety were far less than what I see in Seattle.  However, that wasn't unexpected.

Cambridge Brewing was the high point of the visit.  I tried the Tall Tale Pale, Amber, Belgian Pale and Cream Ale.  All were good and well made.

John Harvard's was a take it or leave it brewpub as far as I'm concerned.  Their Pale Ale was good, nicely hopped with Cascades.  The Helles was a DMS bomb.  The dry stout OK, and the Nut Brown had far too much chocolate malt for my taste.

I didn't make it to Harpoon, but had several of their beer at various pubs.  Pottsland Beer is a nice vienna style lager.  The Belgian Pale was my favorite of the Harpoon beers that I had.  I liked their yeast selection better that that which Cambridge used.  The IPA was not up to the level of the Norhtwest IPAs, but this is hop country.  The Munich dark was also very good.

Thanks for the advice on where to go.