Boston Beer Works

by: BeerAdvocate on 08-23-2000
Somewhere between Beer Lubberland and a pit stop for ravenous Redsox fans is where you’ll find Boston Beer Works. Under the shadow of Fenway Park, the BBW has been pouring some of the freshest and finest beers around town. In 1991, Slesar brothers Joseph and Steven combined their extensive management and brewing expertise to create a brewing monster.

Boston Beer Works was established in the Spring of 1992, and since then has become a veteran New England brewpub and is renowned within the industry by comrades and enthusiasts alike. Brewing around 3,500 barrels a year (868,000 pints) they are also considered one of the largest brewpubs in the US … hell most American brewpubs are lucky enough to brew 2,000 bbls a year.

The Beer, is brewed true to style using only choice ingredients and filtering for clarity and to provide clean flavors, the exceptions being their cask ales and Hefeweizen which are left au natural. We’ve seen upwards of 16 different beer styles available, though 12-15 seems to be the average at any given time, with a steady rotation of roughly 20+ standard brews throughout the year with special and seasonal brews making up for the rest. With such a wide variety there seems to be a beer for every personal taste. Brewers Brian Allen and Jodi Andrews (head brewer as of 8/1) are always busting their asses to keep up with the demand, especially during baseball season which can quickly deplete their serving tanks. Fortunately if they start to run short their sister brewery, Salem Beer Works, is there to bail them out (Sox fans are thirsty whether they win or lose). Speaking of which, call to see if there is a game in town, because if there is you could have a very long wait ahead of you.

The List of Beers:
  • Boston Red
  • Fenway Pale Ale
  • Back Bay IPA
  • Beantown Nut Brown Ale
  • Kenmore Kölsch
  • Bambino Light (drink this if the Sox are having a losing streak)
  • Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale
  • Muddy River Porter
  • Haymarket Hefeweizen
  • Bay State ESB
  • Curley’s Irish Stout (reformulated to be better than Guinness and back in production in September)
  • Buckeye Oatmeal Stout
  • Allston Mild
  • Boston Red Ale
  • Climax Wheat
  • Boston Victory Bock
  • Centennial Alt
  • Independence Ale
  • Winter Works Holiday Ale
  • Eisbock
  • Watermelon Ale
  • Summer Works
  • Pumpkinhead Ale (available in September)

    The Food, considered eclectic pub food with reasonable pricing and restaurant fare quality/presentation, complements the beers and atmosphere … sweet potato fries with raspberry vinaigrette, pizzas with brewer’s grain dough, pesto chicken sandwiches and standard burgers to name a few. It’s all good here.

    The Atmosphere is somewhat industrial with high ceilings with fans, stamped sheet metal cladding all over the place and a nice long bar. In fact they have an upper main and lower sub bar, both of which serve food. The dining areas are spacious and they will sometimes accommodate large groups of people if you call ahead. The people are as diverse as the number of beers on tap. From pretentious students/grads to Redsox fans. From tourists to locals. From “the man” to yahoos. It’s all part of the atmosphere. Again, it’s all good here.

    Now Boston Beer Works is probably one of the best places in Boston to sit down and have several pints, over some good food, with a mixed crowd to entertain. If we had to critique them for anything it would be the cold temperature at which they serve their beers, which they acknowledge and must comply with as the general populace thinks beer has to be ice cold. And, don’t even start us on a rant about those damn fruity beers with their damn fruity garnishes! However, in saying this, everything sells, and they sell a lot, and you really have to give them kudos for that, because that’s a hard thing to do these days. So, why don’t you put your beer drinking head on and take a visit to the Boston Beer Works and see for yourself … the wonder of beer working in Boston.

    The Slesar brothers also own Salem Beer Works (Salem, MA), B. B. Wolf’s (a BBQ joint a block or so from BBW, see WD vol. 2 issue 29 for a review) and this Fall they are targeted to open yet another beer establishment in Boston, details to follow.

    Boston Beer Works (Fenway)
    61 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215
    (617) 536-2337
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