Now that summer has officially arrived, and patio beer season along with it, we figured it was a good time to revisit one of our most popular blogs: Massachusetts Breweries With Awesome Outdoor Drinking Spots. With more and more breweries offering beer gardens, patios, and decks, this year’s edition is bigger and better than ever.
Metro Boston alone has more than a dozen breweries with outdoor drinking spots where you can enjoy a refreshing Berliner Weiss or a thirst-quenching Kolsch right from the source. And that doesn’t even include all the satellite pop-up beer gardens. We’ve listed all the options we know of below, and highlighted a few of our favorites. It should be enough to get you through the summer.
If you’r looking for “cool beer and crazy people, or vice versa,” then Cambridge Brewing Company is the place for you. Well known for their amazing beer and raucus festivals celebrating sour, barleywine, or pumpkin beers, they also have an extensive patio nestled in the heart of Kendall Square. Sample some unique brews, enjoy dinner, or just people watch (it is Cambridge after all). Regulars can work toward their #CBCBeerYear, while adventurous beer drinkers can try the latest concoction from award-winning brewmaster Will Meyers, right now it’s an experimental 14% ABV Sake/Beer hybrid. Dogs and their thirsty owners can always enjoy the patio together. They’re open until 10:00 Sunday to Thursday, 11:00 on Friday and Saturday, serve lunch everyday, and offer brunch on the weekends.
In Boston proper, several outdoor options have sprung up around the city in the last year or so. One worth checking out is the patio at Dorchester Brewing Company, whose two-year anniversary bash is July 21st. Their expanded patio space now has a standing area for crowded summer nights, in addition to the communal tables where you can sit and nosh on something from a food truck. Wash it down with one of 20 brews on tap, including offerings from partner brewers like Entitled Beer Co. or one of their many house beers.
Not far away is Turtle Swamp Brewing in Jamaica Plain, which opened last year and has a nice outdoor seating area that hosts food trucks on weekends. Like DBC, they’re a community-focused neighborhood brewery that serves pints on their patio, which includes evening hours Wednesday through Saturday.
Right around the corner is the Sam Adams pilot brewery, a good take if you’re looking for one of the better brewery tours in the area. Afterwards, you can grab a pint from their new taproom and wander out to the beer garden. They’re not open Sundays or evenings.
If you want to grab some patio beers before a Red Sox game then check out Cheeky Monkey’s sidewalk patio, conveniently located right next to Fenway Park on Landsdowne Street. Their high-top seating and full bar service is perfect for pre-gaming or grabbing a night cap. They also serve food. If you don’t have Sox tickets, or would rather watch the game on TV, the North Station/TD Garden Boston Beer Works location has a less crowded patio during the summer months, and they also serve food.
Head over to South Boston’s waterfront if you want to enjoy a brew and a breeze. That’s where Harpoon’s Keg Yard, a seasonal space for beer, pretzels, and fun, is open on weekends, whether permitting. In addition to dozens of their own flagship and experimental brews, they’ve also got Clown Shoes Beer and a line of seasonal house ciders on tap.
Trillium’s new Boston location (rumored to have plans for a roof deck) won’t be ready in time for patio beers this year, but their Beer Garden on the Greenway, a spacious patio across from the Rowe’s Wharf Arch on Atlantic Ave., is one of the many off-premesis brewery beer gardens scattered around the city. Another, Aeronaut Arlington, was just announced yesterday. Two more, both along the Charles River, are expected to be revealed Friday. Check out our map below to locate any one of them.
For outdoor drinking options in Somerville, Winter Hill Brewing has a limited amount of patio seating where you can sit and sip any of their half a dozen brews on tap, Slumbrew’s American Fresh Beer Garden at Assembly Row has cold beer and live entertainment all summer long, and Aeronaut’s musical pop-up beer garden in Allston is open on Wednesdays and Fridays at its revamped venue, Zone 3. You can eat at all three locations, so plan to stay for a few rounds.
The city’s newest outdoor beer garden is that of Remnant Brewing, which opened in Union Square just last month. The centerpiece of the new Bow Market, a former storage building that now houses some 30 food, art, and retail vendors, the roomy open air space is ideal for patio beers. You can even grab a bite from one of the regular pop-ups. “On a perfect night, someone is grabbing food from the marketplace, having a couple of beers, then an espresso, and heading up[stairs] to the comedy club to watch a show,” co-founder David Kushner told Eater Boston’s Alex Wilking in a recent interview. The marketplace and brewery are open seven days a week.
Other patio possibilities just north of the city include Night Shift, whose summer calendar of events has something for everyone (including Paws & Pints night for your 4-legged friends every Tuesday), their next door neighbor, Bone Up, whose cozy patio space is the perfect place for sipping their latest cask offering in the shade, and Down the Road, whose beer porch is getting a re-fresh and will re-open next week with new umbrellas. All three offer a plethora of intriguing beer styles, are dog-friendly, and offer views of what Bone Up’s co-founders refer to as “scenic Everett.”
Not to play favorites, but an argument can be made for Malden’s Idle Hands as the outdoor drinking gem of the north-of-Boston neighborhood. Just a short walk from the Orange Line’s Malden Center T stop, they welcome leashed and well-behaved dogs on their spatious patio, and are open for sunset beers every night but Sunday. Two upcoming events worth checking out are their Summer Patio Party series, they first of which is on Saturday, June 29, and their 2nd Anniversary Pig Roast happening Sunday, July 8.
* Photos courtesy of Night Shift Brewing, Cambridge Brewing Company, Remnant Brewing, and Idle Hands Craft Ales Facebook pages.