Beer tap

The prevalence of craft beer in our society has increased significantly in recent years. Fortunately for beer connoisseurs in Beantown, the city is home to a growing number of breweries of different sizes and styles. Here are five spots to find local beer and cider in Boston.

Harpoon Brewery

Turning 30 years old this June, one of the largest attractions on our list, Harpoon Brewery is a staple of Boston beer culture. It features a huge beer hall that serves freshly baked pretzels and a variety of drafts, some exclusive to the brewery. A couple of the best are their newest summer ale, Camp Wanna Mango—a tropical pale ale brewed with mango—and the brewery exclusive, Harpoon Dark—a hearty malt and chocolate character balanced with a crisp hop bitterness. For those interested in learning more about the brewery itself, Harpoon offers tours throughout the week with hefty tastings.

306 Northern Ave, Boston (617) 456-2322

Night Shift Brewing

This small Everett brewery, located only a few miles from The Boxer, is known for its interesting and experimental, yet always tasty beers. Tours take place at 6 PM Monday-Thursday and a few times a day during the weekend, but the taproom, where guests can sample any of 12 draft beers, is almost always open. We highly recommend the Santilli, which is a crisp, tropical and delicious IPA with a massive hop profile. There is also a more quiet barrel room where guests can sit and drink in the presence of aging beer. For those that would like some solid food along with their brews, food trucks like Munch and Bonetown Burgers visit the brewery almost every day of the week!

87 Santilli Hwy, Everett (617) 294-4233

Downeast Cider House

The fourth brewery on our list is different than the rest in that it produces s cider instead of beer, as its name suggests. It is open on Saturday and Sunday for tours, and though it has a new, strict capacity limit inside the brewery, those waiting can hang out in a relaxing parking lot cider garden with tents, music, and games like corn hole. On Saturdays and Sundays there are five different ciders available for samples, pours, cans, and growlers. The Summer Blend, an apple cider blend with the tart and tang of lemon and ginger, is perfect for the warm weather to come.

200 Terminal St, Charlestown, MA  (857) 301-8881

Samuel Adams Brewing Company/ Boston Beer Company

Boston Beer Company’s flagship brand is named after Boston patriot and avid brewer Samuel Adams, and is the second-largest craft brewery in America. Taking place six days a week, tours allow visitors to learn about the brewery’s rich history, experience the craft brewing process, and of course sample some of its award-winning beers. Tours are first come, first serve, but it is possible to reserve the first tour of the day, labeled the “Morning Mash In Tour.” This option often features a specialty tasting that could include small batch beers like the Sam Adams Merry Maker, a dark gingerbread stout not available to the rest of the tours. For those waiting for tours or simply wanting to learn, there is a museum displaying artifacts and the history of the brewery available to guests.

30 Germania St, Boston (617) 368-5080

Mystic Brewery

The final brewery on our list is just three miles away from the Boxer in Chelsea. Mystic specializes in farmhouse-style ales and makes sure to use locally sourced ingredients. Unfortunately, tours are rarely offered, but the tap room offers six draft beers and a collection of bottled beers in a friendly environment. A recent must-try beer from Mystic is called Reko and is a collaboration with George Howell, an iconic local in the coffee industry.

174 Williams St, Chelsea, MA (617) 466-2079