For those who love holiday cheer and a good beer, you can’t miss these wintery selections! Make way for spices and stouts to get you through the holiday season and snowy evenings.
1. UFO Winter Blonde
Made with vanilla cold brew, this light and refreshing wheat beer from Harpoon’s unfiltered offerings series tastes like a Christmas cookie in a glass. It's simply divine. And if you can resist not drinking it all, use it to make this curried beer and butternut squash soup for a heavenly pairing! Tasting notes: vanilla and wheat.
2. Riverwalk Storm Door Porter
Dark beer lovers rejoice! Winter brings a lot of porters, and we love this deep and complex brew from Riverwalk Brewing in Newburyport. We don’t have many storm doors in Massachusetts, but maybe stash a few in the pantry in case you need reinforcements for a snow day! Tasting notes: vanilla and cinnamon.
3. Jack’s Abby Red Tape
For those who aren’t quite ready to commit to porters or stouts, grab a Red Tape from Jack’s Abby. This dunkel style (dark German lager) is a nice malty, amber. Bonus: the can will match your Christmas sweater! Tasting notes: cocoa and caramel.
4. Secret Stairs Boston Stout
You might think of Trillium as a summer-time spot given its multiple beer garden and patio spaces, but they do winter as well! Their signature Boston stout is available at local craft beer stores and all of Trillium’s locations, but we recommend checking out the newest taproom at Fenway – there will be ice skating next door as soon as it freezes! Tasting notes: nuts and chocolate.
5. Harpoon Winter Warmer
We’re doubling up on Harpoon because they really get into the winter spirit! As one of Boston’s oldest breweries, Harpoon has been making this New England staple for over three decades and you can often find it on our tours! Tasting notes: cinnamon and nutmeg.
Looking for some unique gifts for the loved ones in your life? Whether they live in Boston or are planning an upcoming trip, we have you covered with some historical and fun-filled gift ideas!
1. Craft Beer Advent Calendar
Upgrade your childhood advent calendar to a 21+ box of fun! This Twelve Days of Christmas set comes fully loaded or you can make your own with a customizable 24-day box. If you're local to Boston, Boston Bottle in the North End will also be selling their own versions. Our tour guide Rachel is bestowing this present on a lucky friend!
2. Ye Olde Tavern Tours Gift Certificate
There’s always more to learn about Boston’s history! Whether someone is a life-long resident or new to the city, they’ll love Ye Olde Tavern Tours’s walk down the Freedom Trail. Our history-educated guides know their stuff and make history fun! Along the way, guests will try three different New England craft beers at historical taverns to round-out a great experience. Take 20% off all gift certificates now until Monday, December 2!
3. Gaining Ground
Brian, our tour guide interested in maps, recommends this coffee-table worthy book about Boston. From beautiful images to interesting history and engineering lessons, you’ll keep your friends and family learning about a city that is both historic and ever-changing.
4. Boston Tote
Walk the city in style – and never get lost – with this Boston map tote bag. Tour guide Brooke uses this bag for her groceries, but you can also stash snacks for a Freedom Trail walk, or bringing your favorite book to read in the Common. No matter how you use it, you’ll feel like a true Bostonian with this over your shoulder!
5. DIY Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes
We love beer, but we also love sweet treats too. Our tour guide Kelly is especially enthusiastic about Boston Creme Pie, so she recommends these DIY boxes from a New England company. It comes with instructions and pre-measured ingredients to pair with kitchen staples. Boston Cream Pie was first created at Boston’s Parker House hotel, so you can bring a little bit of Boston cheer to all your holiday celebrations.
6. Boston in the American Revolution
Books are making a comeback and this is THE Boston history book – for all ages! Boston in the American Revolution provides an interesting and accessible history, with a lot of fun along the way. It has a helpful guide that links present-day Boston with historical events and focuses on some key players that every American should know.
7. Boston Tea Party Candle
If the history lover in your life loves some self-care too, check out this candle of black tea, seaweed, and driftwood. Elizabeth, our tour guide who also works as an historical interpreter for the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, will be gifting these this year. Everyone can use a little R&R after the holidays – make their relaxation revolutionary.
8. Trident Booksellers Gift Certificate
Our tour guide Kristen loves this local bookstore! There’s truly something for everyone at Trident – from events, to delicious food and local beer, and fun gifts. Or just cozy up to the bar with a good book! This versatile gift card (digital or mailed) won’t disappoint.
9. Boston Sports Trivia Game
The city of champions has had an historic run in the past two decades. Do you know any die-hard fans who thinks they’ve followed it all? Test their knowledge with this entertaining sports trivia game. Trust us, they’ll learn something!
10. New England Snack Basket
Spice up the traditional holiday snack basket with this New England tailored fare. You’ll get some maple sugar candies, cranberry pepper jelly, gummy lobsters, and so much more… all locally made of course!
It's the most wonderful time of the year, for beer! We love pumpkin beers--we highlight our favorite below--but there's a bountiful harvest of other Autumn beers and wanted to share our favorites.
1. Jack's Abby Copper Legend
This seasonal beer is dangerously smooth in its taste. Jack's Abby only makes lagers and this one is malty and balanced. It's 5.7% ABV, but you wouldn't know it--like we said, it's smooth. It's only available until the end of the month, so grab it now!
2. Downeast Pumpkin Cider
Okay, so this one isn't a beer, but a cider. And it's delicious. On our tours we often serve Downeast Original Blend, but join us this time of year to try our favorite seasonal cider. This pumpkin cider is insanely delicious. It's hard to oversell it. It's not overly pumpkin-y--the most prevalent notes are chai spices.
3. Harpoon Flannel Friday
This is the beer equivalent of needing a flannel as the weather gets cooler. Hoppy and malty with a gorgeous amber color, we recommend drinking this beer while cozying at home or in Harpoon's beer hall in Boston's Seaport District.
4. Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
Pumpkin beers are ubiquitous these days, but Shipyard was making pumpkin beer before it was cool. This beer is a cult favorite in New England and bonus points if you put a cinnamon sugar rim on your glass.
5. Night Shift Awake
Porters are a wonderful beer to drink in the late fall. Appropriately named Awake, this porter is brewed with coffee and that'll be obvious before you even take a sip. It's a robust 6.7% and with its hints of chocolate, it's a delicious way to finish off a hearty dinner.
In the mood for some local craft beer and New England cuisine? Check out these Boston-area brewpubs! Hit up all five and you’ll have explored five different neighborhoods…sounds like the perfect combination of beer and history!
1. Democracy Brewing (Downtown Crossing)
This worker-owned brewpub opened in 2018, modeling itself after the public houses of yore and is the perfect place to visit for lunch before one of our tours. Sip on a “democratic” brew, like the Fighting 54th Saison, named after the first African-American regiment organized for the Union in the Civil War - Huzzah!
2. Cambridge Brewing Co. (Kendall Square)
CBC is one of the oldest brewpubs in the area, opening in 1989. Its claim to fame is being the first commercial brewery in America to produce a Belgian-style beer and it has continued experimenting with cellar aging and sake-beer hybrids…how fun! You can also get more typical beer styles, along with seasonal New England cuisine.
3. Dorchester Brewing Co. (Dorchester)
A community-oriented brewpub, Dorchester Brewing serves in-house-brewed beer in flights or pints. They don't prepare food in house, but there's often a food truck outside or you can get deals for delivery from local restaurants. Join the avid trivia teams on Tuesday nights or take a free tour on Saturdays.
4. Night Shift (Everett)
Easily accessible on the T, Night Shift has plenty of space (a two-bar taproom and outdoor patio) to go with its delicious beer. There are always snacks on hand, usually some food trucks, and sometimes live music. If you want to stay closer to home, you can check out their latest location at Lovejoy Wharf, which is an"experimental brewery," so there's usually something interesting on tap.
5. Trillium (Fort Point location in the Seaport)
When Trillium’s new industrial-style brewpub opened in 2018, this small hipster brewery became one of the most popular spots in town. You can grab a beer and casual bite on the first floor or make a reservation for the upstairs dining room that boasts New England farmhouse cuisine. On a sunny day (and if you beat the happy hour rush), head to the top floor for the outdoor patio!