Review of Boston Beer Works

[Boston Beer Works logo]

In a quiet old Boston industrial district and barely out of the shadow of Fenway Park lies Boston Beer Works.From the main entrance the copper-clad brewhouse is easily visible while inside the Grundy-style storage tanks and 20 BBL stainless steel vessels can be seen behind the long J-shaped wooden bar. Four rows of empty beer bottles tint the light entering the room above the dining area. The 20 foot ceiling appeared a textured gray and held drop-down lights, fans, and large air ducts. Two TVs provided video with no audio. The impressive 14 taps offered quite a selection with available brews displayed on hanging chalkboard signs. Regulars and specials were clearly marked and medals won at previous Great American Beer Festivals were on display. The dozen booths on the main level combined with two dozen more tables on the second level offered ample seating. A cozy front bar provided even more space for eating and drinking as well as a street view. The menu featured Sandwiches, Salads, Deserts, and Pasta.

All beers were obviously filtered for extreme clarity. The Acme Light was gold with a very light body and slight hop flavor and aftertaste. The Bambion was a light gold color with a very light body, hoppy balance and a subtle malty finish. The Independence Ale had a gold color, light body and pleasant hoppy flavor. The cask-conditioned IPA appeared hazy gold with a nice head and hoppy aroma. The Fenway Pale Ale was amber witha malty flavor and light hop finish. The Centennial Alt was a dark amber with a creamy head, smooth body, dry malty flavor, and clean finish. The Summerworks Rye Ale was amber in color, yielding a malty aroma, malty flavor and short finish. The Haymarket Hefeweizenwas a hazy gold with a clove aroma, medium body and phenolic flavor. On the darker side was the opaque Buckeye Oatmeal Stout with its medium body and roasted malt flavor. The Raspberry Ale was an expected hazy gold color with a nice head, very light fruity aroma and flavor, slightly sweet balance and dry finish. The Back Bay IPA appeared amber with a pronounced hop aroma, medium body, and a good balanced flavor of light malt and hops. Also on hand were the Big League Rootbeer and the Turnpike Lemonade

Open seven days a week, food is available through 12:45 AM. Lunch runs Monday through Friday from 11:30 through 3 PM and the Sunday brunch is also 11:30 to 3. Cashing in on their name recognition and popularity, abundant merchandise is displayed and for sale; T-shirts, caps, glasses, and sweatshirts. Even without a game at Fenway, the crowd during happyhour was about 75% male. Speaking of happyhour, it's illegal in Massachusetts. Can you say "Big Brother"? Standard prices range form $3 for 12 ounces, $3.50 for pints, and $11.95 for pitchers. A sampler of four tastes cost $5.95. Of course you'll need a few to experience the full line of brews here. With the tasty food, wide range of beers and no shortage of patrons from tourists, locals and the nearby college housing district, it's easy to see what make Boston Beer Works so popular.

Boston Beer Works
61 Brookline Avenue
[HP symbol] Boston, Massachusetts

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - July, 1996

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