Boston Beer! Top 5 Wicked Holid-ales

Trying to find the perfect beer is like trying to find the best of anything in life!

Some prefer a clean, well-balanced pint. Some (like me) prefer a darker, maltier volume. Dry Irish malts or a crispy I.P.A.? No need to decide, we’ve got a selection of the best from one of the biggest beer cities in the United States – Boston!

BOSTON BEER
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

1. Harpoon Brewery

306 Northern Avenue. Boston, MA 02210 @harpoon_brewery 

“Good Beers for Everyone” is Harpoon’s motto. Chris Bonacci, Brand Manager, was kind enough to explain the philosophy behind Harpoon’s culture and history. Harpoon began with college classmates Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary, who shared a passion for beer but couldn’t really find “the perfect beer.” So they began brewing themselves with George Ligetti, a brewer. In 1986, Harpoon Brewery became official! In 1987, the first Harpoon Ale was introduced. Now, as the oldest and biggest brewery in the state of MA, Harpoon is famous for one of the best winter beers we’ve ever tasted: Winter Warmer – the first seasonal beer Harpoon ever brewed and the first seasonal beer in the country! It tastes like one of the most well-balanced seasonal beers we’ve ever tasted. Meaning, you know it has all the spices, cinnamon and nutmeg that make it “seasonal”, but the holiday spices and aroma are so meditative with just enough hints of sweetness that you’re not too overwhelmed with any of its fuming flavors.

BOSTON BEER
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

The Chocolate Stout is also another seasonal must-drink. What’s not to love when a beer is made with chocolate! Two of the best ingredients in the world! This particular one, however, is roasted for so long that the flavor is nothing but intensely chocolatey in taste and color. Malty in its aroma and volume, with so much body that it truly encompasses every aspect of a bonafide holiday stout…with a hint of sweetness. True to the Harpoon culture, one that’s famous for giving back and building connections with locals by hosting frequent tastings and festive events. We thank Chris for his time and tour of Harpoon in Boston!

BOSTON BEER
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

2. Boston Beer Works

(Opposite of Fenway Park since 1992) 61 Brookline Avenue. Boston, MA 02215. And, 112 Canal Street. Boston, MA 02114 @Beer_Works

“Happy Holid-ales!” BBW just celebrate their 20th anniversary last April. McLean Hart, BBW’s brewer sat down with Jetset Times in one of the most successful sports bars in Boston and explained that Bruins fans actually do generally prefer a different kind of beer than Celtics fans. “Bruins fans typically favor stronger beers, like double pale or deep pale, stouts. Basketball fans enjoy lighter beers. So over the years, we’ve figured that out and we really cater to our customers.”

When it comes to the holidays this winter, BBW is featuring four types of ales: Winter Solstice Ale, Winter Works, White Christmasale, and Winter Warmer. “The fall and winter beers are a lot bigger in body, a lot more bulky and sweeter. We’ll focus on beers that are malty, deep, ruby or brown and dark in color. You can see the bubbles slowly moving up. Flavors that really warm you up.” To us, BBW is one of the few breweries that served the best all-around tasting. Every type of beer had a memorable flavor with an aromatic aftertaste. What’s even better? Their food menu is also filled with Christmas cheer. How can you say no to: Christmas Calamari (toasted garlic with red peppers served with lemon aioli) and Holiday Drunken Turkey (basted with BBW’s very own White Christmas Ale) and Peppermint Cookiewich. We want to thank McLean and the team at Boston Beer Works for their time and candid explanation. We had a blast!

BOSTON BEER
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

3. Meadhall

4 Cambridge Center. Cambridge, MA 02142 @meadhall

Meadhall has got quite an impressive spread in Kendall Square. There are 110 different types of beers on tap. Yes, 110. The beer selection is not only seasonal but each beer has a great name that clutches well to your taste bud too. Whatever you want for the night: pale, light, nutty, dark, fruity, coffee, dry, rich, heavy-duty, cider…anything you crave for, they’ve got it! Since their selection is too large to list in this article, we’ll focus on their charity event on December 19th. Twelve days leading up to Dec. 19th, Meadhall is hosting an event that supports Toys for Tots. Each day, a keg from one of twelve featured breweries will be tapped open and every ounce of the proceed will be poured into charity. Stop by and drink for good!

4. John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House

Harvard Square. 33 Dunster Street. Cambridge, MA 02138 @JohnHarvards

As they say, “beer is life.” We especially loved the location in Cambridge, right beside Harvard University. John Harvard’s is a natural stop after a savoring dessert and a cup of satiating hot chocolate at L.A. Burdick nearby. There are two great beers that we adored at this particular location: Harvest Spiced Ale and the Espresso Stout. The Spiced Ale smells just like Christmas in a pin witht: cinnamon, citrus, ginger and cloves. It’s medium-dry and medium-body as well, while the color learns toward reddish, similar to the hint of caramel in taste. Although the Espresso Stout is a meal on its own, if you’re a coffee beer lover, this is THE choice of beer for you! This stout embraces a richly dark and voluminous pallet that leaves a bit of a nutty aftertaste. It’s thick and chocolatey, you may feel full afterwards but it may just be a great replacement for the real dessert!

BOSTON BEER
PHOTO WENDY HUNG

5. Cambridge Brewing Company

1 Kendall Square #100. Cambridge, MA 02139 @CambridgeBrewer

Does it get any better than “Beerunch”? We don’t think so! Combining a great brunch menu with local beers isn’t the only concept that showcases what CBC does best. Names that trickle down the beer menu is humorous and goes incredibly well with a cozy restaurant menu. Founded in 1989, CBC is Boston’s oldest brewery-restaurant. They craft their own original beers that pair well with chef’s personal selections of fresh meats, seafoods and produce. Some of their winter seasonal beers include: Big Man I.P.A., Cerise Cassee (barrel-fermented sour wild ale,) Kiwi Herman, and their most famous Great Pumpkin Ale (unfiltered ale brewed with fresh pumpkin and spices.) Really, how can you not experiment with a beer that’s been called: a tall, blonde and kinda goofy strong ale – The Larry Bird Haircut!

Wendy Hung

CEO, FOUNDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and Russia because they were all so different! St. Bart's was pretty amazing too (wink)!

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