My Favorite Places to Drink Beer in Boston

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

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I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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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?

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105 Comments

  1. I am actually not a beer drinker at all, never have been. I’ll try anything, and I do enjoy Blue Moon with a big hunk of orange every once in a while, but I go with wine or the hard stuff over beer any time I have the choice.

  2. My boyfriend and I are the same way. We have a couple of good places in Orlando that have a decent selection of beers. And going to local breweries is always a good time. Craft beers are amazing!

    But don’t get me wrong..if we’re at a hole in the wall with a few choices, Yuengling is the only one I go for 🙂

  3. A new place JUST opened yesterday in Kendal, called Meadhalls– it has 100 beers on tap, and more bottled (and serves pork rinds!). It’s right by Cambridge Brewing Company and within walking distance to Lord Hobo… I’m suddenly perusing housing there… haha

    Also, the Asgard in Central Sq has a surprisingly good selection (smaller than those you listed, but very good), and the Squealing Pig at Brigham Circle has a GREAT selection.

    Yummm.

  4. Though Stoddard’s doesn’t have a HUGE selection… they have Five Cask-Conditioned Ales and a good selection of American Craft beers. The food is tasty too! (I also love the Moscow Mules there… served in copper cups with ice chipped from a giant ice block.)

  5. I can’t say i’ve ever had beer in Boston, but this past week I was in Bend Oregon visiting tons of craft breweries. My love for good beer just keeps growing now, especially afting taking a beginners beer brewing class. Makes me excited to brew!

    If you’re ever in Bend you’ve got to check out Boneyard brewing. Seriously the best beer i’ve ever had. All 8 were out of this world.

  6. Union Street in Newton Centre has a surprisingly good on tap beer selection. I watched the Bruins game there last night and was pleasantly surprised!! I love their veggie burgers too…yum 🙂

  7. I know nothing about “good” beer, but I’ve always liked getting the minis to sample. Have you tried the Beer Works at the Hingham Shipyard?

  8. I love that you love beer!
    I’m a beer gal as well and it’s so refreshing to read your blogs that involve beer. I live in Southern California wine country and it’s packed full of wino’s! I like wine occasionally, but beer rules.
    It’s funny because the best place to grab food and a brew here in my town is also called The Public House.
    You mentioned that you don’t know what goes into making beer. I highly recommend that you try it at home! It’s something fun you could do with your husband or friends and it’s easy as pie. The best part is taste-testing, of course!

  9. I used to be all about light beers when I was in college, but now I love a well crafted beer.

    Where I used to live in Hudson, my husband and I loved going to the Horseshoe Pub & Grille. They had over 80 beers on tap. Now, I like going to the Thirsty Scholar for their Sea Dog hazelnut porter.

  10. I’m not a beer drinker at all, but I’ll take your word for it! Boston sounds like such a fun place and it’s definitely on my list of cities to see! 🙂

  11. I hear you on the PBR thing (same with Miller High Life). It seems like a total hipster thing! (I have that on good authority from my younger brothers, who are hipsters, themselves.) Don’t knock anything in a can though! A lot of microbrews and others (New Belgium comes to mind immediately) are switching to cans because it’s cheaper!

  12. I went to school in Boston, and hearing about all these places makes me so nostalgic – especially when I think about Bukowski’s. I actually used to work at a place on Newbury Street called Tapeo – have you been? It’s wonderful Spanish tapas and delicious sangria…My comment has nothing to do with beer, but I was just curious to hear if you had ever been there.

  13. I love good beer! I like going to bars that have a ton of different beers to choose from. It’s fun trying different beers and seeing which ones I like and don’t like. Unfortunately, I don’t live in Boston so I don’t have a favorite place. I haven’t been to Boston in several years but it is one of my favorite places. I must go back soon! 🙂

  14. Evan was right.. This post does make me want to come visit Boston! Definitely thinking sometime in 2012 since we just tapped out our 2011 travel budget on Europe!

    1. @Holly @ The Runny Egg: Yes! I love Honeyweiss. I can’t find it anywhere in Massachusetts, but when we visit my boyfriend’s family in Wisconsin we stop for a pack as soon as we get off the plane! We drove to Wisconsin from Mass last summer and actually stopped at the Leinie’s Brewery for the tour. It was so much fun.

  15. Every place you listed is somewhere I’ve gone and would go back to. Great choices. I’ve also been to Bukowski’s (both in Cambridge and Boston), Red Bones, and the Independent. My first every Pretty Things beer was from the Independent!

    I love bars like these. Great post!

  16. I’m moving to Boston this summer and this post just made my life!! Love good beer and can’t wait to try them all out.

  17. Fun fact I learned this past Summer: Beer in a can is actually the closest in flavor to what the brewer intended it to be than beer in a bottle. Meaning, beer in a can actually should have the best taste than in a bottle. This is because a can is dark and not affected by sunlight and it is not affected by the chemicals used to clean out bottles. This is another reason why when you poor beer out of a bottle into a glass you will so more fizz than you would if poured out of a can. Fizz= dirt (for the most part–and of course gas).

  18. Just wanted to point out that there are a lot of great “light” craft beers out there too! Blonds, Belgian wits, pales and cream ales…

    Also, more and more craft brewers are selling canned beer for the sake of convenience, we love to buy them when we go camping!

  19. Elephant & Castle in the financial district and Brendan Behan in JP! Bukowski’s was a favorite of mine too!

  20. i went to emerson, and my boyfriend went to berklee– we spent ALL of our time at the otherside! one of my favorite places. once, we asked if a new beer was any good, so our waiter went to the tap, poured a swig in a glass, came back to our table, chugged it, and then promised us it was really good. we ordered a few pitchers for sure!

  21. If you’re ever in the Central Mass area, you’ve gotta check out the Armsby Abbey in Worcester. Great selection of beer and amazing food. Over 200 different types of beer (22 on tap, over 180 bottled). I’m big of fan of Founder’s Breakfast Stout and Rare Vos. Mmmm… is it 5pm yet?

  22. If you’re talking South Shore, you have to check out Stars on Hingham Harbor. They’ve got a selection that can compete with Union Brewhouse and pretty good food too.

  23. Shea’s in Harvard Sq- cool vibe, good beers.
    Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Sq

    Mr. Dooleys or the Field for Guinness.

  24. I’ve actually started really like beer in the past year! I’ve always been more of a wine person, but I’m slowly but surely developing a taste for beer, too.

    Weirdly, I have to say that I’ve always kind of liked PBR. Mainly because I have good associations with it — not because I think it tastes fabulous. 🙂 It definitely got the job done when we were generally-unemployed grad students living in Manhattan…

  25. Love your reviews. I don’t trust people that go to bars with 100 different beers on tap and they order a Bud Light. Branch out people!

  26. Here is one place NOT to drink beer in Boston- The Pink Slipper. The first time I visited Boston, I somehow drank enough to think that going to a strip club with no visible sign was a good idea. Beers were $10 and teeny tiny (like 6 oz.) Plus we got kicked out like 30 minutes later.

  27. I am one of those annoying people who orders Miller Light. It’s cheap, easy, & I know I like it. It’s really only a couple times a year since I always opt for wine if I’m having a glass of something with dinner/after work… I also have this weird fear that any beer out of the ordinary will have 400 calories & a super high % of alcohol. But you are making me want to change my ways!

  28. This post brought back some fond (and some hazy…) memories from late nights as an undergrad at BC. We loved the Publick House and Big City and thought we were soooo cool for sipping something other than Bud Light. I definitely want to check out Lower Depths after reading Betsy’s post. 🙂 Cheeeers!

  29. Yay! I love pele who love good beer. Especially women. I’m really developing a beer passion I think. And Boston and Cambridge have such great options! Love the OtherSide and Lord Hobo and the Publick House.

  30. I went to both Publick House AND Otherside Cafe when I was in town last week, so awesome! And you’re right, those fries are dangerous. I tried out Sweet Cupcakes too (down the street from Otherside), also great!

  31. I love this post! I think a better term for beer snob is “beer appreciator”! I am from Portland, Oregon (more microbreweries per capita than any other city) so I have a serious affinity for good beer. Thanks for the suggestions!

    I love your suggestions for variety, PJ ryans in teele square in somerville is one of my favorites for ambiance. if you’re looking for a small, friendly neighborhood pub you should try this out.

  32. Good recommendations! You should also try Deep Ellum which is just around the corner from Big City. The draft selection is pretty big and always changes, but so unique. It also has the best cocktail list I’ve ever seen and the food and patio make it worth going back all the time.

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