My Favorite Places to Drink Beer in Boston

Slowly but surely, I’m becoming a beer snob. I won’t drink light beer in can or anything that is watery and flavorless. (Sorry, I don’t understand the obsession with PBR, and I never will.) I’m not a beer connoisseur by any means”” I don’t even know what goes into brewing beer”” but I know what I like and where to find it in the Boston area. Here are my favorite places to grab a quality brew.

The Publick House

1648 Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Green C Line – Washington Square

I love The Publick House. Love it. It’s probably my favorite restaurant in the Boston area. It has an insane number of amazing beers and really delicious food. (I’m obsessed with the French fries in the paper bag!) I always recommend The Publick House to CNC readers and take my out-of-town guests there. It’s the best! Check out my many blog reviews of The Publick House for even more of my praise.

Quick tip: The Publick House gets packed most nights of the week, so if you want to eat there, make sure you arrive no later than 6:00 pm or so. Otherwise, you will probably wait awhile for a table.

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American Craft

1700 Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Green C Line – Tappan Street

American Craft is owned by the same folks as The Publick House, so, in my mind, it is equally as awesome. It’s right down the street from The Publick House, so depending on your mood, you can enjoy American brews or international varieties. Both places are a great option for good, quality beer. American Craft, however, has more outdoor seating if you plan to visit in the warmer months. Check out my reviews of American Craft for more information.

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Big City

138 Brighton Avenue | Boston, MA 02134 | Green B Line – Harvard Avenue

Big City has a 80 beers on draft as well as an extensive menu, pool tables, and foosball, so it’s a fun place to hang out with friends. Also in the Big City family are Sunset Cantina and Sunset Grill. My favorite out of the three is Big City, but they’re all fairly similar with regard to beer selection, menu, and atmosphere.

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The Otherside Café

407 Newbury Street | Boston, MA 02115 | Green Line B, C, D – Hynes

The Otherside Café is a great place for beer lovers with its ever-rotating selection of draft brews. There’s something for everyone! Mal and I have pretty different tastes in beer, but we’re always happy with the selection and prices (just $5 per beer) at The Otherside Café.

The Other Side Café also has an interesting, mostly vegetarian menu that’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s my review of the Otherside Café. The last time I was there, I got a free mini beer tasting!

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Union Brewhouse

550 Washington Street | Weymouth, MA 02188-3425

Ok, the Union Brewhouse isn’t in Boston, but it’s one of my favorite places to drink beer, so I wanted to mention it. Plus, I’m sure I have some South Shore readers out there, right?

The Union Brewhouse is a laid-back, sort of dive-y brewhouse with a fantastic selection of draft and bottled beers”” it’s easily the best selection on the South Shore. Mal loves the Union Brewhouse so much, he actually refers it “his” bar since everything about it is perfect in his mind. We go there quite a bit– mostly because we’re trying to join the 99 Beer Club.

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Here are some additional establishments that are worth mentioning for their awesome beer selections:

Where do you like to drink beer in Boston?

105 Comments

  1. It’s nice to see another healthy lifestyle blogger that lovessss beer! What’s nice about craft brews is that many of the smaller breweries (and some bigger ones) use all natural, sometimes organic, ingredients! I’ve also become a beer snob as of late and have been getting into hoppier and hoppier beers.

  2. Such fun and well thought out picks! I’m all about drinking beer in Boston at The Lower Depths & Bukowskis & The Black Rose (something about a pint of Guinness!)

  3. Thanks for the tips – will have to check some of them out if I’m ever in Boston! I think our taste in beer is somewhat similar – I like pale ales and IPAs – but I still have a place in my heart for PBR! And that place is, the Buffalo, Kings, and Mulberry Rivers. Until somebody manages to brew a really good canned beer that I can get locally, PBR will do the trick and not set me back too much $$$!

  4. I just purchased your book in B&N in Freehold, NJ. 🙂 I’m already up to chapter 3! The book is great, I am going to definitely recommend it to friends/co-workers.

  5. I need to check out more places on this list! I like Redbones and Lord Hobo (they are nearby, that helps). Green Street is another hole-in-the-wall looking place in Cambridge that’s really nice inside and has a pretty small but good selection.

  6. Tina – I don’t drink beer around Boston because I don’t live there but if you and Mal ever take a trip to the Chicagoland area, I’ve got the place for you! It’s called Barley House in Algonquin and they have over 300 beers on the menu. They have maybe a dozen or two on tap but the majority of them are in bottles. They also have some really tasty pizza. Plus there are a bunch of beer places in Chicago that we love too. Ever thought about running the marathon here?

    PS – IF you want to know how to brew beer, I can tell you that too. My husband is an award winning home brewer, plus we’ve used the grains that he uses to brew to make bread. Holy Yum!!

  7. Tina, I just wanted to let you know that I can only get to your site from google. If I just type http://www.carrotsncake.com it doesn’t work! It’s been like this for two days, but it comes up in google. Maybe it is just my comp? I just wanted to let you know in case it’s affecting more than just me!

  8. Back in the early 90’s I was in a show in Brookline, and every night we’d go to a nearby pub, right on Comm Ave. I can’t remember the name of it (it was Irish), but there was always great live music and a nice crowd.

    Nowadays we visit a little place near Union Square in San Francisco called The Irish Bank. The owners are two young Irish guys, and they import their favorite brews from the old country. Unfortunately, I don’t have a very sophisticated palette, so I don’t drink a lot of beer or ale. Give me a Shirley Temple and some Fig Newtons and I’m good to go, lol!

  9. One of my absolute favorite bars: Lucky’s (right off Summer St…no sign). Food, drinks, music are all amazeballs. I also love Bukowskis (they also have killer sweet potato fries!). I lived in Back Bay for 5 years (first on corner of Mass and Comm Ave, then 1 block from the Pops). There’s a great, hilarious DIVE bar called TC’s Lounge a block from the corner of Boylston and Mass Ave (you’d never know on Newbury St that you’re so close to such a dive hehe)

    Oooh and there’s always Tia’s and the Sail Loft after work when it gets warm 🙂

  10. Ah I LOVE the Publick House! I used to live right near there. I work right across the street from Sunset Cantina, so I frequent that place…the nachos don’t hurt, either! I like Boston Beer Works and Deep Ellum!

  11. I love this post! I am a JP loyalist, so I love the Brendan Behan and the new bar Canary Square is pretty awesome. There is a new tapas and wine bar that people have been raving about – Tres Gatos…but I have not yet tried it. I totally agree with your love of the Publick House, and the person that loves Lucky’s! I cannot wait to have a beverage outside!!

  12. I forgot how much fun Boston was!!! When I was up there for the marathon a few weeks ago I remembered how much I loved Boston and wished I had more time to spend there…Great Post 🙂

  13. Love this! As a Boston area suburbanite, I appreciate the South Shore love too 🙂 Otherside Cafe is hands down one of my favorite places to eat in Boston; the food is interesting and healthy and the proximity-to-shopping factor doesn’t hurt either!

  14. I just went to the Sunset Grill when I was in Boston the other weekend for my cousin’s bridal shower and I was blown away. Their beer flights are fantastic and I particularly loved the fruity one. The food was amazing as well. I cannot wait to go back this summer.

  15. Hiya, I’m a Boston reader that has been lurking for awhile but has never commented…I stand by Matt Murphy’s in Brookline Village. It’s the only place around I know where you can get Dogfish Head’s Raison D’Etre on tap.

    FYI, since you’re into beer, this is happening tomorrow! I’ll be there:
    http://wheretoeat.in/calendar/63/16-2011-Boston-Bacon-and-Beer-Festival/

    I think it’s sold out–but I think you can get on a waiting list for next year!

  16. So many places have popped up since I lived there — can’t wait to come visit and try them out! I also love Franklin Cafe in the South End–great ambiance.

  17. Publick House is by far my favorite place. My last apartment in Boston was right next to what is now American Craft (when it was still a Vinny Ts and then closed). I love living in New York, but man I miss Publick House.

  18. Thanks for this post, Tina! A group of friends and I are heading up to Boston on Memorial Day weekend and I’m excited to try some restaurants you’ve featured on your blog. Random Q- any good recommendations a fro-yo place? There is none around where I live and I really want to try some!

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  20. Hi Tina – have you been to Local 149 in Southie? It’s new (where the old Farrugut house used to be on P street) and has a GREAT selection of beers… contrary to the rest of the traditional Southie sports bar… and amazing food too! It’s mine and my boyfriend’s new go-to since we’re only a few blocks from there. Totally worth checking out!

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