Since 2005, I’ve thrice revisited the Bay State’s greatest city. Founded by Puritans way back in 1630 and known for throwing a wild tea party, this early colonial settlement became a major seaport with narrow streets, brick sidewalks, stately Old World charm, and nowadays, two worthy small-chain brewpubs.
A li’l history: Post-Christmas ’98, enjoyed Samuel Adams samplers at Boston Commons during one snowy evening, then found a few Harpoon brews previously unobtainable in Jersey. Exactly four years later, visited Fanieul Hall’s Cheers pub replica for Guinness-soaked stew, then took one-mile walk to famed Bull & Finch before bringing family to Cambridge’s JOHN HARVARD BREWHOUSE (revisited April ’05, see Cambridge section) to quaff eight notable brewpub samples prior to taking pictures at nearby National Lampoon headquarters. I purchased Wachusetts and Concord brews along the way.
It took me ’til October ’07 to discover capacious BOSTON BEER WORKS near Fleet Center on Canal Street. Featuring neuvo-Industrial metal-welded wood chairs and tables with right side bar, its exposed ceiling ducts, rear brew tanks and upstairs loft (with billiards tables) gave this an adequate sportsbar feel.
Beer fare included light yellow-orange-fruited mineral-grained Golden Ale; Cascade-hopped quince-berry-peach-aided Back Bay IPA; medicinal banana-coriander-fronted Double Vision Belgian Double; loosely Trappist-styled orange-bruised lemon-aided Funky Monk-y and its mellow-fruited easy-grained Tripel Gold cousin; bittersweet barley-rich berry-bottomed Bunkerhill Blueberry Ale; palest red-fruited Victory Red; and coffee-stained Curley’s Irish Stout. Crimson Clover Irish Red had mild honeyed tea frontage and its cask-conditioned version added deeper alcohol warmth and soft-honeyed heather mystique.