You could argue that the American craft beer explosion began in Boston, where Jim Koch introduced the world to Samuel Adams lager in 1985. Today, Boston boasts a great number of craft brew destinations, spots where beer geeks hunker down to sip, swirl, and taste beer as if it were wine. Walk into any of these establishments, and you’re apt to hear plenty of talk about original gravity and IBU content.
Photo by Eric Wilbur
They pay attention to detail at this Brookline pub, always sure to serve your beer in the proper glass, at the proper temperature. It’s this sort of service that has made The Publick House a frequent destination for Boston beer lovers. The staff will even suggest the perfect pairing for their lobster macaroni and cheese dinner. Address:
1648 Beacon St., BrooklinePhone:
The 112 beers on tap don’t even begin to complete the drink menu at this Allston hotspot. Hundreds more options are available via bottle, making this a beer snob heaven. To put the selection into some perspective, you could frequent the Sunset Grill every day, and have a different beer each day for almost two years. Address:
130 Brighton Ave., AllstonPhone:
Not even three years old yet, this Allston bar has quickly become a popular destination on the Boston bar scene. Located just blocks from the Sunset Grill, the beer selection isn’t as extensive, but it is as varied. Yet Deep Ellum goes one step further with a drink menu on compare with some of the city’s cocktail kings. It’s not all about the beer here, and that’s OK. Address:
477 Cambridge St., AllstonPhone:
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Whether it’s the Celtics, Bruins, or Red Sox, this Boston favorite - with two locations, one directly across the street from Fenway Park, the other just steps from the TD Garden - is a pre-game destination for sports fans. The Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale (including real blueberries) is always a popular favorite, but my personal favorites are the Back Bay IPA and the Buckeye Oatmeal Stout. You really can’t go wrong. Address:
61 Brookline Ave.Phone:
110 Canal St.Phone:
At the Cambridge Common, you’ll find 30 taps, a good number featuring New England microbrews. The comfortable Cambridge tavern also features a menu that Improper Bostonian Magazine dubbed as the best bar food in Boston. In fact a quarter-pound burger will run you all of $4.95. That leaves plenty in your wallet for the fried pickles appetizer. Address:
1667 Massachusetts Ave., CambridgePhone:
6. Bukowski’sNamed after famous writer Charles Bukowski, this Back Bay establishment (with another location in Cambridge’s Inman Square) is tucked off of Boylston St., almost anonymous next door to a parking garage. But Bukowski’s rotating selection of drafts packs beer lovers into its tiny quarters most every weekend. Drafts can get a bit pricey here, but there’s always the option of the Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap. Trust us, it’s ice cold.
Address: 50 Dalton St.
The selection of original craft brews here is limited compared to some other local breweries, but what the CBC lacks in selection, they make up for in quality. The food is good too, but don’t expect a cozy atmosphere. Perhaps the only complaint here is that you’ll feel like you’re hanging out in a hotel lobby instead of one of the area’s best beer bars. Address:
1 Kendall Sq # 100, CambridgePhone:
8. Lower Depths
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It’s a true beer bar when the number of selections on tap is almost as many as the number of seats in the building. This Kenmore Square bar features a fine selection of draft beers from across America, including some you’re not apt to find at many other craft brew establishments. A great pre or post-game stop when heading to Fenway Park.
Address: 476 Commonwealth Ave. # 1
Folks will get red in the face arguing whether or not the barbecue at this Davis Square restaurant is overrated. You won’t get any such arguments about the beer selection, which can get so daunting that Redbone’s features a wheel to help sort it all out. Can’t decide? Let the bartender give it a spin. What it lands on, you’ll be drinking in mere moments. Address:
55 Chester St., Somerville Phone:
All the beer at this Harvard Square establishment (another located in Framingham) is brewed in-house. About a half-dozen selections will be available at any given time, but the favorites here are the Nut Brown Ale and the Old Willy Pale Ale, a beer bursting with extra hops. Address:
33 Dunster St, CambridgePhone: