It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the crazy amount of things to do in Boston: food, shopping, the Freedom Trail…Duck Tours. I know you must also be considering brewery tours but with the increasing amount of craft breweries in the Boston area, how can you possibly make sure that you see all the best ones? It’s tough! That’s where our Boston brewery tours come in. With a few different tours to chose from (or you can even customize your own), all you have to do is find the day that suits your best then, sit back and relax as one of our knowledgeable tour guides takes you around to all the best breweries, bars, and taprooms that Beantown has to offer.
We figured it might be helpful if you knew a little bit about the stops on our tours so you’re not heading out there blind (well, it couldn’t hurt, right). Every brewery is a different experience so we want to give you a little sampler of what you might be getting yourself into. Let’s get you started with some info about three of the fine breweries that we have partnered with. A flight of brewery knowledge, if you will.
First up we have Mystic Brewery. Located in an idyllic warehouse by the sea, Mystic’s taproom has an old world feel as it’s features are constructed from reclaimed wood and metal. While most breweries are heavily focused on IPA’s and more “traditional” styles of beer, Mystic specializes in farmhouse-style ales or, saisons. Saisons were an almost extinct beer style until fairly recently, as brewers began to experiment with it again and there was a resurgence. The rustic beer style originated with farmers who would brew these ales in the winter months, basically using whatever was left over from the harvest, to be enjoyed in the summertime. Nothing like a cold one after a day of plowing the fields. Mystic’s keystone saison is their Saison Renaud which is fermented with their longest continuously cultured strain of yeast. If you’ve never had one, saison’s are typically tart and earthy with a medium bitterness and dryness. Much of their flavor comes from the fermentation process with the introduction of wild yeast and bacteria (but good bacteria, beer making bacteria). You’ll be able to see their large square fermenters where all the magic happens while you’re on the tour. A brewery tour of Mystic Brewing would give you a insider’s look at their unique brewing process. Besides their outstanding saisons, Mystic has a seasonal porter offering, as well as an IPA, a double IPA, and more.
Established in 2011, Mystic Brewery has a warm, welcoming atmosphere. The dog friendly taproom has several rotating beers on tap and offers flights, bottles, and growler fills. Flights are served one by one so you cash in a bottle cap for each new pour which can come in handy if you’re like me and always mix up the flight glasses and lose track of what you’re drinking. For even more fun, on Friday’s you can find local food pop up’s offering up anything from donuts to corned beef. Funky food with funky beer is a winning combination.
Winter Hill Brewing Company
Next up we have Winter Hill Brewing Company. This Boston beer tour stop is located in Somerville’s Winter Hill neighborhood (whodathunk?). While the brewery itself is just barely one year old, their founder came at this project with plenty of experience under his belt. He brewed at Cape Cod Beer for a couple of years and was also the head brewer at Harpoon for 8 years. Winter Hill Brewing Company is his passion project that he’s always had in the back of his mind. The brewery has been an important part of it’s up and coming neighborhood, serving both craft beer and coffee to its locals and visitors alike. Winter Hill does small batch brewing and it is only available in house and their coffee comes from Counter Culture, which sources handmade coffee directly from farmers and co-ops. They have five barrels and five fermenters for brewing their approximated 500 barrels of beer this past year that will all be a part of your grand tour. The cafe portion of the brewery, open until 1pm most days, gives the space a “your friendly neighborhood coffee shop” vibe even when the focus turns from coffee to beer later in the day. Their menu is trendy, with vegetarian and vegan options; it includes Spicy Korean Brussels Sprouts, a Bratwurst Plate, and rotating tacos as appetizers and a variety of sandwiches and salads for a little more oomph. Winter Hill has three rotating tap lines and two year-round staples. Always available is their cream ale and an IPA. They put out a variety of beer styles to round out the other three taps, from black IPAs to rustic French ales and barleywines to wheat IPAs. One of their highest rated beers is the Hourglass Double IPA. Clocking in at 7.7% ABV, this brew tastes of tropical fruit and is full-bodied and creamy like a true New England style IPA should be.
Dorchester Brewing Company
Last but certainly not least, on this quick brewery overview, we have Dorchester Brewing Company. If Dorchester Brewing ends up on your tour schedule, you will be perusing Boston’s first contract brewery. Dorchester Brewing is a well-equipped brewing facility and so they offer production support and partner with regional brewing companies in their beer making endeavors; not only that but they brew their own beer too! This means that in Dorchester Brewing Company’s tap room you can find their own house beers as well as rotating beers brewed in house, by other breweries from the region. The house beers include but are in no way limited to, an Irish dry stout, cream ale, and an ESB. With so many breweries contributing to the beer flowing through the draft lines, everyone is bound to find something they love. Evil Twin Brewing, Radiant Pig Craft Beer, and Down The Road Beer Co, are just three of the many craft brewers partnered with Dorchester Brewing Company and making good use of their facility.
The taproom has a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. It’s the kind of place you would feel comfortable bringing the family or bringing your laptop (they have WIFI!) to do some work and enjoy a beer while you’re at it (the best and only way to work, in my opinion). There are plenty of games to play, even Rock Em Sock Em Robots, food in the form of appetizers or take out and delivery menus, and at special events they bring in the food trucks. Dorchester Brewing makes it possible for some small brewery’s beer to get more exposure than it otherwise might have and a tour of the place where it all happens will give you a glimpse into that collaborative effort.
These are just three of the many, many breweries that you can visit on your own Boston brewery tour. As you can see with just this selection alone, each one is as unique as all of the different styles of beer that we love. Make sure you check back to learn more about the rest of our libation destinations.