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The craft-beer renaissance of recent years has garnered increased attention to the brewing process and philosophy amongst drinkers. No stranger to this elevated culture, Boston is one of America’s best beer cities, with the American Craft Beer Festival and internationally draught lists at restaurants and bars all over town, along with a sizeable collection of brewers large and small. To step into the backrooms of the city’s most iconic distributors, and catch a little buzz in the process, you should check out one of these reputable brewery tours in and around Boston.

Sam Adams

The Founding Father’s portrait (although not the right Founding Father—that’s actually Paul Revere)  adorning the dark-brown bottles of Samuel Adams is associated with upscale beer around the world. Visit the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston’s hip Jamaica Plain neighborhood for samples of their classic Boston Lager as well as various seasonal blends. Free tours with $2 suggested donations include lessons on the brand’s history, hops smelling, and a close look at the brewing process.

30 Germania St
Boston, MA 02130

Night Shift Brewing

One of the area’s most successful microbreweries, Night Shift attracts hops-lovers and aspiring aficionados with delightful-progressive beers (be sure to try the hoppy Santilli or citrusy Belafonte) and an inviting-industrial-style tasting room right outside the city in nearby Everett. Night Shift offers free tours with the suggested donation of a non-perishable food item or single dollar for the Greater Boston Food Bank, and all visitors can sample beers in flights, small tasters, and big, take-home growlers. Don’t worry about getting hungry, local food trucks near the property and a BYOF policy leaves you with plenty of options to keep full.

87 Santilli Hwy
Everett, MA 02149

Harpoon

Next to Sam Adams, Harpoon is Boston’s most wide-reaching and well-known brewery. For just $5, visitors can take guided tours of the factory in the salt-air Seaport District. These visits include intimate looks at the brewing process and tastings of fresh Harpoon and partner-brand UFO beers. Guests also tend to enjoy keeping the party going at wooden picnic tables in their onsite Beer Hall where full pints and fresh-baked pretzels are popular treats.

306 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210