Drink Up: Boston Beer Company and Harpoon Brewery

8 Nov

While I was studying in London, my best friend and I traveled to another European country about twice a month. There were three things we looked to do in every city: visit the main church, find something tall to climb and find a brewery to tour. The last item did not happen in every country (okay, so it just happened in Ireland and Belgium) but it was one of the best part of our trips. So why should I let it just be a European thing?

Bruges Zot, the beer we tasted in Bruges, Belgium. Each Belgian beer has their own unique glass.

Boston is home to two breweries: Harpoon and The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams). My parents are obsessed with both. We own stock in Sam Adams and my dad is a friend of Harpoon. He will even pull out his membership card as soon as someone mentions Harpoon. Oh, and before we go any further, my parents are not alcoholics, they just like to drink. A little too much.

Now here is the bad news: I have actually never been on one of the tours. During my orientation for BU three years ago, my dad took my brother to Sam Adams for a tour while my mom and I were stuck in orientation meetings (not happy). My brother was only 15 at the time and couldn’t taste the beers but he loved it; my dad was even more enamored. Every time a commercial comes on TV both go off explaining how neat it was, how to pour the beer and what each label means. Honestly, it is kind of annoying. Okay, it’s really annoying. But they have reason to be excited- the hour-long tours are free (a $2 donation to local charities is suggested), you get to taste three beers and you get to keep the glass. Sounds like a win to me.

Sam Adam's Tour

Harpoon is very similar (and our first stop the next time my parents come to Boston, meaning December). For $5 you get a guided tour of the brewery (about 45 minutes), beer tasting, a souvenir tasting glass and the $5 includes a donation to Harpoon Helps, their charity. Harpoon’s tours only run on the weekends but from what I have heard from friends it is worth the trip. Even though I have never been, my dad has read up on it so much I know what goes on during the tours and it sounds fascinating. Most brewery tours are.

Harpoon Brewery

So how to get to Sam Adams: take the Orange Line to the Stony Brook station and it is a short walk from there.

How to get to Harpoon: take the Silver Line (SL2) to Harbor Street and the brewery is right across the street in South Boston. The Silver Line can be picked up from South Station on the Red Line, which is where I usually pick it up.

And, as always, I suggest that you explore the area as well if you have time/are waiting for a tour. Near Harpoon is the ICA, which is free. Stony Brook is more residential but can provide a peaceful walk. Either of these would be perfect for someone who is visiting from out of state or someone who has been to Boston numerous times and doesn’t want to do touristy stuff yet again (but how can you escape that in Boston?).

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One Response to “Drink Up: Boston Beer Company and Harpoon Brewery”

  1. Kristin Ward November 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I LOVE Sam Adams and have been wanting to take a tour forever. Have always been too lazy to actually look up the details, but I’m totally going to check it out now. Thanks!

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