Are you looking for the best breweries in Boston? Well, look no further than Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge, MA! Some day we are going to build a Boston breweries map because you really can find the most incredible craft beer in Boston:
But first for a little history lesson!
- Boston has a strong brewing history in the past and into today!
- In 1634, Samuel Cole obtained the first official license for a tavern.
- By 1637 Robert Sedgewick obtained a license to brew beer.
- The early brewing industry was centered around maritime trade.
- Early taverns were located mostly near the docks, in what is now the Financial District.
- Beer brewed in Boston was often used as beverages on ships sailing from the colonies to Europe. Many ships captains opened taverns in Boston.
- Boston’s status as a port city meant that it was easy to import beer and liquor from other places, so most brewing for local consumption was small scale. Larger scale brewers mainly brewed beer intended to be used on ships during transAtlantic travel. It wasn’t until the mid 18th century, when revolution became a distinct possibility, that local brews started to become more popular.
- In 1789 the ‘Act to Encourage the Manufacture & Consumption of Strong Beer, Ale & Other Malt Liquors’ was passed, which exempted breweries from nearly all taxes. Boston’s officials were worried about the moral and healthy effects of all the whiskey that the citizens were drinking, so they wanted to encourage citizens drinking beer by making sure there was a healthy supply of it.
Best Craft Breweries in Boston, MA and Beyond
Remnant (Union Square, Somerville)
Located in Bow Market in Union Square, we actually visit Remnant on our Union Square Somerville Food Tour! Generous with samples, they also offer a cafe menu as well as yummy kombucha samples. They are always experimenting with new flavors and techniques. You’ll love the casual vibe, and you can even come for an event like trivia night or bring food in from another Bow Market stall.
Aeronaut (Union Square, Somerville)
One of our favorite spots ever, we visited Aeronaut Brewing first during a preview tour and were there on their opening day! Since then, they’ve grown quite a bit and have lots of brews on tap. My favorite is their collaboration with Eric from Somerville Chocolate, which is also within the Tyler Street complex — hops and chocolate, nothing is better.
Lamplighter Brewing Company (Inman Square, Cambridge and Lechemere)
We’ve been watching Lamplighter grow throughout the years, and now they have two tap rooms in the city. Their aesthetic is really charming and soothing. At the Broadway location, they’re now serving delicious eats and coffee at Pepita Coffee which has Broadsheet coffee and delicious snacks. They’re also known for having grilled cheese pop-ups.
Cambridge Brewing Company (Kendall Square, Cambridge)
Located right near our Kendall Square Food Tour, CBC really knows its beer and has been around since the late 80’s. My favorite is their infamous Cider Festival that happens annually in October. Some people don’t know that they have house beers as well that are yummy.
Winter Hill Brewing Company (Somerville)
Another great brewer to check out is Winter Hill Brewing which makes a variety of small batch beers from IPAs to pilsners. They have a lot of fresh labels, and their Somerville spot has a taproom and cafe.
Idle Hands (Malden)
A Belgian and Old World brewer, Grace and Christopher have been brewing small batches since 2010. We first found out about them when visiting their casual taproom in Everett, and their story has only evolved. You have to also check out their ever evolving event calendar!
Trillium (Fort Point, Canton, and Fenway)
This brewery has also grown a lot in the last few years. They call themselves “farmhouse-style” and now own a farm in Connecticut. Opened in 2013 by husband-wife team JC and Esther, they’ve grown to have hundreds of unique offerings each year. The farm is not yet open to the public, but it is located right near where they were married – they’re hoping in a few years that they’ll be able to offer tours and to provide food for their restaurants. Very cool!
Night Shift (Everett, Lovejoy Wharf)
Started by roommates in Somerville, Night Shift has grown as well. We also discovered them in Everett, and it’s nice to see that these three friends are happily brewing together today.
Jack’s Abby (Framingham – West of Boston)
It’s definitely worth a trip to the suburbs to check out Jack’s Abby. Started and still owned by three brothers, the Hendler family still owns the brewery and experimental taproom next door. They focus on craft lagers in the German style of brewing.
Sam Adams (the OG) and Harpoon (little OG)
Both Sam Adams and Harpoon offer brewery tours – it’s a fun experience for small groups and larger teams.
Lizzie and Sam