The hot summer sun is upon us, and just like the squirrels on the Common, the residents of Boston have emerged to take full advantage of the warm weather. However, unlike their rodent neighbors, local Bostonians are in search of a liquid form of refreshment—namely, refreshing craft beer. Whether you’re searching for a new favorite brewery or hoping to sample a few Bay State favorites like Wormtown, Jack’s Abby, or Exhibit A, Boston’s beer scene is sure to have something exciting in store for you.
If you’re in need of some accommodations while you explore the city, the Cambria Hotel Boston earns top marks for its lavish design, convenient location, and—above all—steadfast devotion to the world of craft beer. Not content with simply stocking up on America’s top-selling brews, each Cambria hotel is equipped with a beer menu personally crafted by Certified Cicerone Zach O’Haire. For those staying at the South Boston location, the on-property restaurant Six West offers visitors an opportunity to sample beers sourced from all across New England, all while soaking in a spectacular view of the skyline from the rooftop deck.
There’s no shortage of brewpubs and taprooms scattered all across Boston, but if you’re trying to take advantage of the balmy weather, Cisco Brewers Seaport is a league above the rest. For the fourth year in a row, this pop-up beer garden has returned to provide Bostonians with ample amounts of fresh craft beer, frosé, and 14,000 square feet of green space for you to stretch your legs and bask in the sun like a mighty lizard. If the midday sun gets a little too hot to handle, an uber-refreshing Shark Tracker lager (along with a hefty dose of sunscreen and water) serves as the perfect cure.
Beer tasting is an all-day task, and you’ll surely work up a hefty appetite after a while—but where to go? For a true smorgasbord of flavors and cuisines, Fenway’s Time Out Market is an essential stop. There are 15 distinct venues up for perusal, with options ranging from health-conscious (a Thai Pad Krapow bowl from Inchu) to hearty (a savory Cubano from BISq)—and that’s before mentioning the bar. Time Out Market offers a diverse array of beers sourced from all across the nation, and there’s also a sizable selection of cocktails and wine in case you’re in need of a short break from hops.
Of course, half the fun in drinking beer is seeing where it’s made—and fortunately, Boston is equipped with a laundry list of awesome breweries to check out. To start your crawl off right, head down to Boston’s largest neighborhood, where the incomparable Dorchester Brewing Company awaits thirsty travelers.
Measuring in at 9,000 square feet of brewing goodness, this local favorite comes equipped with a game room, a rooftop greenhouse, and the Hopservatory, an open-air patio that provides guests with a gorgeous view of downtown Boston. While the property itself is pretty spectacular, a brewery is only as great as its beer—and fortunately for Dorchester Brewing, their beer is pretty exceptional. From the Vietnamese Coffee Stout to the guava-laden Flamingose to the Punch Bowl kettle soured ale, there’s no shortage of fascinating brews to sample during a trip down to Dorchester.
Back up in the northern reaches of Boston, one Bay State favorite has just reopened its doors for the summer season. Perched in full view of TD Garden and the Zakim Bridge, Night Shift Brewing’s Lovejoy Wharf property is back in business with a wide range of tasty in-house brews and pub snacks up for grabs. Pair your wildflower honey-infused Buzz DIPA with a fiery Nashville hot chicken sandwich, or spring for a Detroit-style white pizza and add on a Lovejoy Wharf-exclusive Bock, Lock, and Drop It Doppelbock for good measure. It’s your world, and Night Shift is here to make all of your wildest beer-themed dreams come true.
It might get a little too hot and sticky for comfort during these next few months, but don’t take the summer for granted—before we know it the bone-chilling Boston winter will be back with a vengeance. In a few months, as the snow is coming down and the MBTA has shut down yet again, at least you’ll have your fond memories of Boston’s idyllic beer gardens and breweries to keep you going through the season.