The flight round trip from NYC to Boston is quick and really (really!) cheap, so I get up there a couple times a year. I love to stay in the Seaport because it’s only about 6 minutes from the airport but it’s also a perfect on the way to the airport stop if you’re staying in other areas of Boston.
Below is a little map of the area with all my favorite spots marked it…and here is why I picked them! Let me know if I’m missing anything in the Seaport area @beerswithmandy and I’ll be sure to check it out next time I’m there.
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Starting your afternoon here is a great move, the first tour is at 12pm. Don’t worry, this isn’t just a standard tour where you look at some stainless steel and smell some really…really dirty malt (Do NOT eat the tour malt people!). At Harpoon if you start a tour at 12pm you’ll end up in a private all-you-can-drink tasting room at 12:45pm. These samples aren’t just your UFOs and Harpoon IPAs but there is also Clown Shoes, seasonal and hard-to-find beers from Harpoon like their Dry Irish Stout, and, yes, their new hard seltzer.
If you feel like hanging around the Harpoon taproom later it’s a big space with nice views of the brewery and a bit of the Boston skyline. There are also giant and delicious pretzels in the beer hall, but I’m sending you out for lunch next so don’t fill up on pretzel!
Walk off all those samples on a little 15 minute walk to my favorite place in all of Boston: Row 34.
This restaurant focuses on a large and well crafted beer menu and a raw bar but their hot offerings and lobster rolls are not to be forgotten. Every time I’m in Boston I have to come in for the tuna crudo with black garlic sauce, truly a perfect dish, do not skip it. The other crudos are also good my other favorites being the scallop and halibut. Don’t waste your time on the fluke crudo, it’s like every other fluke crudo that every restaurant seems to inexplicably have on their menu. The oyster selection is excellent and the staff can help you pick the bivalves to your liking: briney, sweet, small, large…you get the point.
If raw isn’t your thing the fried seafood is also very good with a lot of seasoning in the breading but the fish and chips are my non-raw dish of choice.
But back to the beer, Row 34 has an ever-changing two sided list with everything from local selections like Trillium to classics like Orval and Schlenkerla. The list is divided by flavor profile so you have a pretty good idea of what the beer will be like before ordering. I always like to try something new when I come here and then end on an Orval because I just can’t resist it!
Trillium Brewing Company
The hype is real! Trillium used to be in a tiny closet-sized space in Fort Point but now they occupy a multi-level building with a bar on the lower level and a full restaurant on the upper level. The bar area is self seating and it definitely gets crowded but the space is large and the staff does a good job with crowd control. Even on a busy Saturday I’ve never felt uncomfortable here. The food is also good (but why eat it when you’re so close to Row 34??).
If you’re getting beers to go be sure to order something to sip at the bar on before getting in line. There is truly nothing worse than a stressed out person trying to rush through the line around a bunch of people enjoying themselves.
Speaking of beer to-go, the classics like Congress Street and Fort Point are always available in cans so spend your time at the bar enjoying some of Trillium\’s one-off beers or a style you don’t want a four pack of. When it’s slower the bartenders can help you out when it’s busy they’ll do their best but try to have an idea of what you’re looking for.
A Boston-based bakery with a mix of healthy and not-so-healthy breakfast and pastry items. Really great coffee and tea! If you’re looking for a morning stop before Harpoon this is walkable and a Boston staple.
Hopsters Brewing Company
A taproom with a brew-your-own option. If you’re looking to hang around the Seaport for more beer this place has some unique options because people are allowed to rent out the equipment and brew whatever they want! Drinker beware…but it has a fun vibe.
City Tap House
A good option if you have to wait for Row 34. Tons of beers on tap and clean lines. There is an outdoor area that is a great place to wait if it’s nice out. There is also prime people watching here.
Fort Point Market
If you want more than just Trillium to go this market is a great option. They have tons of local beer like Lord Hobo and Nightshift and it is never too crowded. Grab a few more six packs here before you catch a cab.