Honeymoon in Boston...

Discussion in 'New England' started by RBlaszak, Nov 11, 2012.

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  1. RBlaszak

    RBlaszak Initiate (146) Jul 6, 2009 Michigan

    More of a mini-moon, since we are looking to go to Hawaii in February,

    But we've got tickets out to Boston next Tuesday, and we are staying in the Cambridge area til Sunday morning.

    We will have a rental car for the week, and are probably not opposed to headed up to Maine perhaps?

    What are the must-stop experiences in the Boston area? Great beer bars, breweries (tours?)

    We took a trip to southern California earlier this year, and had a great time at Pizza Port, Stone, etc.

    And what should we try to get to bring home? I loved Troegs when I tried the Flying Moufflan... Don't know where any of that is ever available out east.
  2. jomobono

    jomobono Disciple (348) Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Jack's Abby Kiwi Rising should be hitting stores soon, but if you can't find it get their Hoponious Union. You can also visit them in Framingham and try their offerings and purchase bottles.

    If you have a rental car, I say do it up big and do a Vermont Day Trip: Three and a half hours to Hill Farmstead, then swing down to Waterbury and hit up The Alchemist Cannery where MAYBE you can get some Heady Topper. I would do this trip on a Thursday if you can because they can on Thursday and Hill Farmstead will also be open. And get lunch at Prohibition Pig and then walk across the street to the Blackback Pub and then head back home. Possibly you could hit up the Warren Store or Hunger Mt. Co-op for Lawsons, call ahead to see what they have in stock. I did that trip on Saturday, left at 9am was back home a bit after 9. It is a lot of driving but seeing that you are making a special trip to the area, might as well go big and make a Vermont day. I can go into further details about this if you want.

    Bars: Since you will be in Cambridge you won't have to go far, hit up Kendall Square and go to Lord Hobo and Cambridge Brewing Company, a brew pub. You can also head across the Charles River to The Publick House in Brookline.

    Flying Moufflan I have seen in stores. You'll want to go to Craft Beer Cellars in Belmont, they will hook up with stuff to bring home and guide you to local offerings.
    kgoyette likes this.
  3. BleepBloopBlap

    BleepBloopBlap Initiate (59) Aug 19, 2011 Massachusetts

    If you're in Cambridge def. hit cambridge brewing company (which now has their terrific sour 'Cerisse Cassee' on tap), meadhall and lord hobo. All within walking distance from each other.
  4. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Devotee (495) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    There's a ton of info on Boston bars and such if you search the New England forum, but the number one place you shouldn't miss is the CBC (Cambridge Brewing Company). They brew some of the best beer in New England and make some very good food, and the place has a very laid-back, beer hall feel. And now that it's getting colder, they have a chiminea out on the patio on Friday and Saturday evenings. It's not quite romantic, but it is very nice.

    As others have mentioned, you can easily walk to Lord Hobo and Meadhall from there. Personally I'd prioritize Lord Hobo and CBC in the area, and would also mention Atwood's Tavern, a short walk from Lord Hobo. It's a very cozy space with a very solid, largely local tap list.

    I'd also recommend the Publick House in Brookline. You can drive (and park) there fairly easily from Cambridge, and it's one of my favorite beer bars anywhere--great beer list in a wonderful, dark, possibly even romantic space.

    As far as road trips, you could make it all the way up to Portland, but that's a 2 hour drive each way and really deserves to be an overnight trip, if you ask me. Instead, if you hit the road, I'd recommend a trip to Portsmouth, NH. It's a great little town with a lot of shops, restaurants and galleries. You can hit the Portsmouth Brewery and some of the bars and restaurants in the area (I'd recommend the Black Birch just over the river in Kittery, the Press Room, Black Trumpet, Flatbread, Blue Mermaid, depending on your preference for food, beer and vibe). If you go on a Friday or Saturday, you can also do the Smuttynose tour, which is probably the best I've been on yet--the place is bursting at the seems and the tour is very intimate. The Redhbook tour is less interesting, but they usually have some good one-offs in the brewpub. And depending on the day of the week, you could also check out some of the new breweries in the area--Earth Eagle right downtown in Portsmouth, Throwback in North Hampton, and Blue Lobster in Hampton.

    Enjoy the trip!
    Auror likes this.
  5. omniscientcause

    omniscientcause Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2010 District of Columbia

    I went to publickhouse friday and someone got clams or something...man did it smell terrible. Kind of ruined it for me honestly. It had been my 3rd time there and loved it the two previous times. And I mean the entire place smelled like this one tables food.
  6. FrankLloydMike

    FrankLloydMike Devotee (495) Aug 16, 2006 Massachusetts

    Probably the mussels, which they're known for. In my experience (including tonight), the food has always been great there, and the mussels have always been fresh. If you don't like the smell of seafood, I guess you might not want to sit next to someone eating mussels, but honestly I've never really smelled them from afar and hopefully they shouldn't smell bad if they're fresh. Of course, everyone's taste for different aromas is different, and bad seafood sure does stink. Just keep your nose in your beer, I guess.
  7. omniscientcause

    omniscientcause Initiate (0) Jun 4, 2010 District of Columbia

    I love seafood I grew up on the cape, there had to be something wrong with that order...that and it was right next to the door so every time someone came in the wind would push the smell further in the bar. I wouldnt have made a comment if it was that bad.

    I wanted to get food there but I grabbed a burger at thortons beforehand because its down the block from me and didnt know my plans yet.

    Next time for sure, because I have only heard good things. And I am not going to let friday night keep me from going there in the future not to worry. Its the best beer bar I have been to in the area. Kind of like deep ellums vibe better though, but less taps.

    If your looking for a really nice meal there are a decent amount of stake houses...I went to davios last weekend and probably had the best steak I've ever eaten. Their beer selection is poor but they do have SNPA.
  8. Auror

    Auror Defender (634) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Some slight insomnia led to this post. Enjoy.

    Boston/Cambridge Highlights:
    • Cambridge Brewing Company- Really solid all-around. Best brewpub in Boston by a mile.
    • Lord Hobo/Mead Hall, Cambridge- LH is the best beer bar in Cambridge, possibly Boston. Mead Hall a little more lively and larger tap selection.
    • Jack's Abby Brewing, Framingham (tastes/growlers Thurs 3-7, Sat 12-5)- Best up-and-coming Boston-area brewery. Free tastes, modest-priced growlers. Great lagers.
    • Deep Ellum/Sunset Grill, Allston- Similar to the Cambridge bars. Deep Ellum with a "cooler" vibe, better food, and more curated tap list, but Sunset has an enormous selection.
    • Publick House, Brookline- Probably my favorite beer bar in Boston. Very good food, great everything else. Also only 1.5 miles from Allston bars.
    • Sam Adams and Harpoon are omnipresent at pretty much every bar in Boston and both offer tours at the brewery.
    New England Highlights:
    • Portland, ME- See this thread here. There's a bunch of great B&B's within walking distance of the main downtown action. Novare Res would me be my must-hit spot, followed by a trip to the Allagash/Maine Beer/Rising Tide breweries, which are in the same complex.
    • Ebenezer's- I've never been, but from what everyone says it's worth a trip way out of the way for the incredible cellar tour.
    • Stowe, VT- Grab some Heady Topper (you may have heard of it) at the Cannery. Prohibition Pig and Blackback have amazing draft lists as well.
    • Hill Farmstead- Just check out the brewery and load up on bottles/growlers to make the drive worth it. Once you've drank said bottles/growlers, you'll have realized it was.
    • Portsmouth, NH- Portsmouth Brewery leads the way with pretty good food and very good brewpub beer. It's owned by Smuttynose Brewery, which has Saturday tours. However, because of some odd beer laws, better selection is usually found across the river in Kittery, ME at the Black Birch or When Pigs Fly for example.
    mathematizer and FrankLloydMike like this.
  9. PaulB

    PaulB Initiate (0) Sep 3, 2002 Massachusetts

    I would like to add the obligatory Julios Liquors (Framingham) to the list to complete the Beer Advocate holy trinity that includes HF and Ebs. Congratulations and enjoy your trip to Boston and beyond, post back your experience in the forum if you wish. cheers, pb
  10. jomobono

    jomobono Disciple (348) Mar 12, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Waterbury, get some sleep :)
  11. Auror

    Auror Defender (634) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Ha thanks. They're all listed under the Stowe, VT area listing in beerfly so I just used that for some reason even though they're all in Waterbury.
  12. RBlaszak

    RBlaszak Initiate (146) Jul 6, 2009 Michigan

    Thanks guys! We got in last night and will hit CBC and the surrounding area tonight, and will head up to Portsmouth and/or Maine on Friday potentially.
    Jacks Abby is probably a must stop also. We grabbed the Hoponious Union and Session Lager last night and were pleased with both.
    FrankLloydMike likes this.
  13. Brez07

    Brez07 Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2009 Maine

    FYI Rising Tide is no longer on Industrial Way. They are in town now, on Fox Street (just down the way from Whole Foods if you were crossing over Franklin Art)
    Auror likes this.
  14. RBlaszak

    RBlaszak Initiate (146) Jul 6, 2009 Michigan

    Well it was a great trip.
    Tried some locals (tours at Sam, Harpoon and Smutty... Highly recommend going to Portsmouth!) and am bringing back some good stuff. Wish I'd grabbed some CBC Great Pumpkin bottles... Easily best pumpkin beer for the non-spiced pie enthusiast I've ever had... And I've had maybe two dozen.
    Only really low spots were the dive where I had Hooker Pale (switched to Allagash after that) and the Shipyard Pumpkinhead. Tasted awful... Not sure if it was just bad tap at the restaurant we were at.

    The local Sam Brick Red and the two specialties at Legal Harborside (Harpoon red and a Sam hefeweizen that was actually really tasty) were nice. We stuffed maybe 20 bottles in our suitcases to take back home.
    Oh... The current coffee beer at Harpoon was pretty stellar too..l liked it quite a bit more than our local coffee beers at Founders.

    Well done New England. Thanks!

    Ps- we made it to Portland and the Allagash facility was closed. Bummer. Hot Suppa was not all that.. Good hash but bloody Mary quite overrated I'd say. Same for Mac and cheese.
  15. tehzachatak

    tehzachatak Initiate (0) Sep 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    can't speak for the Hooker Pale, but Pumpkinhead would probably be improved by a dirty tap line.
    Brez07 and Fluke828 like this.
  16. Fluke828

    Fluke828 Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2011 Massachusetts

    Julio's is in Westborough...
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