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.
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!
Looking for things to do in Boston during the summer? There’s no better combo than sunshine and beer! From May through October, outdoor beer gardens are the place to be. Join one of our tours and then hit up one of our favorite spaces listed below.
1. Trillium Brewing Company
One of the hottest craft breweries in Boston merits a visit on a hot summer day! Situated on the lovely Greenway under a gorgeous, enormous tree, Trillium’s beer garden feels more like a friend’s backyard than downtown Boston. It’s dog-friendly with picnic tables and twinkly lights, but these aren’t your average homebrews! Get to the party early, this place fills up for post-work happy hour. Bonus: there's usually a food truck parked nearby.
Where: Rose Kennedy Greenway between Atlantic Avenue and High St.
When: Wednesday-Friday: 2-10pm
2. Wachusett Brew Yard
If you want to admire some historic Boston architecture while you sip, grab a Wachusett brew at “The Patios” directly across from Faneuil Hall. Better yet, check out the beer garden after coming on Ye Olde Tavern Tours so you can impress all your friends with your new knowledge of beer and Boston history! Wachusett blueberry beer is a favorite.
Where: “The Patios” in City Hall Plaza, across from Faneuil Hall
When: Monday-Wednesday: 4-9pm
3. Night Shift Owl’s Nest
The Esplanade might be Boston’s best-kept secret. With cherry blossoms in the spring, sail boats in the summer, and colorful foliage in the fall, all it needed was beer…and Night Shift came to the rescue! Whether you’re walking your dog, finishing up a run, or meeting some friends for sunset views, Owl’s Nest has you covered. Hallelujah.
Where: Charles River Esplanade near Fielder Field
When: Wednesday/Thursday: 4-10pm
.4. Cisco Brewing Company
If you can’t get to Nantucket, the Cisco beer garden might be the next best thing! The venue is expanding as fast as the Seaport, with room for over 1,000 beer drinkers. Start with the signature Whale’s Tale Pale Ale or refreshing Grey Lady Ale, both of which we like to drink on Ye Olde Tavern Tours! End with a glass of wine or a wine-based cocktail (yep, you read that right) from their sister company Nantucket Vineyard. They pair nicely with the lawn games and taco bar!
Where: Seaport, 65 Northern Ave.
When: Tuesday-Friday: 4-11pm
5. Brewer’s Alley
Directly across the street from the Trillium Beer Garden is the newest addition to the Boston Harbor Hotel’s stellar summer lineup. Each month a new brewery will take over the pop-up beer garden on the harbor – including some of our faves, including Jack’s Abby, Night Shift, and Lord Hobo. Pair it with a free concert Tuesday through Thursday or a movie on Friday nights. Hello date night.
Where: Boston Harbor Hotel, 70 Rowes Wharf
When: Monday-Friday: 2-10pm
Before your outdoor beer adventures, check out the one-minute video below. It's a brief history of the Greenway, which helps us appreciate all that this space has become. See you down there!