One of the hardest things about going to Boston is deciding what to see during your visit. There are tons of great historical sites, especially if you love old graveyards. Delicious restaurants and shopping areas are everywhere, and the Boston common is always a great idea. For my most recent trip, I decided to add something new to the list: Brewery.
As many of you know, I usually write about Virginia Wines (Go VA wine trail!). However, sometimes, it is good to break from the normal routine and expand into new venues. That was why I suggested visiting the Sam Adam’s brewery while Dan and I were in Boston.
What makes this a great event (apart from the free beer) is that it is easy to fit into any schedule. It is not an all-day event, and therefore, it can be a great stop for a long or short visit to the city.
Dan and I decided to visit the brewery with two of his cousins. We were lucky enough to grab a parking spot close to the entrance and wandered around the greeting area while we waited for our tour to start. The greeting area was full of fun displays about the brewery’s history, and you could smell some of the different hops that are used in the Sam Adams beer.
When our tour guides (Tod, Alice, and Stew) greeted our group of visitors, we were very sad to learn that the brewery itself was not open because of construction. The guides were quick to cheer us up by announcing that this simply meant that our tour would be free and that we would be skipping right to the free beer. Who could be upset after hearing that?!
In the tasting room, Tom and Alice walked us through the three important steps of beer tasting, giving us two full tasting glasses to test out the concepts:
- Look at the color, clarity, and head of the beer
- Inhale the aroma of the beer
- Taste the flavors within the beer
Next, Stew told us about how Sam Adams had its specialty glass designed to bring out the very best in their Boston Lager. He gave us a glass of Hop Citra Pale Ale (a new beer that they have just developed and is not in stores yet) to enjoy as he described the process. After his explanation, he demonstrated the glass’ perfection by downing a full glass of beer way faster than I could ever drink it. LOL
As our tour ended, our guides told us about a party trolley that takes visitors to and from the bar that first started carrying Sam Adams beer. Visitors to the brewery can bring their tickets to the bar, called Doyle’s, and get a specialty glass to take home if they purchase a beer. Since we had plenty of time before our next appointment for the day, we decided to take the trolley and check out Doyle’s.
When the trolley pulled up to the brewery, the music was cranking! We all piled on and were greeted by the trolley driver, who was hysterical. He was telling us all about the relationship of the bar owner and the brewery, and every time he said “Doyle’s”, he would do an overly exuberant air grab. If you don’t know what an “air grab” is, I was able to catch a snapshot of it:
Our drive over to the bar was funny and goofy with lots of music and air grabbing, and we arrived at Doyle’s just in time to grab the last two open seats at the bar.
Doyle’s is one of the oldest Irish bars in that area. It has a nice big bar and lots of tables and booths for customers who do not want to sit at the bar. We had heard a lot of their food was good, but since we just wanted a snack, we ordered their onion rings, which are marinated in Boston Lager. Mmm… were they ever good!
Our trip back on the party trolley was just as much fun as our first, and we had entirely too much fun. :)
If you are ever in Boston with a few hours to spare, I definitely recommend stopping at the Sam Adam’s brewery and Doyle’s bar. It’s a lot of fun; it’s great to experience with of-age family and friends; and how can anyone say no to free/discounted beer?!