Boston Beer Works
61 Brookline Ave
Visited on February 16, 2008
During my second visit to Boston ever – this time being of drinking age – I managed to visit three brewpubs in the area. One of these must be pretty popular on Red Sox game days, as it’s right across the street from Fenway Park. Also, I thought it was pretty damn good.
I had a great time at Boston Beer Works. I found some lovely people to chat with at the bar to quickly pass the time. I also had some pretty solid beer. But more importantly, I had some pretty friggen’ fantastic beer. One in particular stood out then, now and always. It was an American strong ale aged on cherry wood and served only once per year on or near Valentine’s Day.
It was sublime.
I don’t recall much of anything about the food or the other beers, but having something that good stick out in my mind this many years later has got to be worth something.
You know how they say, “Location, Location, Location,” and “Location is everything?” Well this place is located directly across the street from the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park. Talk about a great setting! Inside the place is massive, as I’m sure it has to be during baseball season. There are plenty of televisions, two or three bars, lots of staff, and a lot of cool Red Sox paraphernalia. If it weren’t quite so trendy, I’d say it was perfect.
The menu is quite wide and has a lot of pub food and entrees. Under advisement from the great couple I met and talked to for my entire meal, I ordered a burger and sweet potato fries. The fries were superb, some of the best I’ve had, and came with raspberry vinegar, which accompanied them well. The burger squirted all over my hand when I bit into it, which to me is a great sign! My only complaint is that the burger didn’t have any type of sauce on it, which is a must in my book. I don’t mean for it to be swimming, but a dab of barbecue, catsup, or even mayo would be nice. I the end, I’ve had much better burgers, and would order something else next time.
They have an extensive selection of their own brews, and I don’t think they even sell anyone else’s beer. And they shouldn’t. Their beer is mild enough to appeal to the masses. But they do have some very interesting selections. How about a LoveFest brewed with rose petals? Or a nice blueberry ale served with real blueberries right in the glass? Or how about a strong ale called Hercules cask conditioned with cherry wood for over two years? Now don’t get me wrong, some of their beers were quite drinkable and quite pleasant session beers (Oatmeal Stout, Saisson, Kolsch, and Blond were all quite good) but the Hercules was the best beer I have ever, ever, EVER had. Period. I had three before I had to leave. I came back for more the next day. They only have it once a year, but holy shit is it good!
And they had great service. They were busy and crowded but still managed to get all of my beer selections correct. A flight consists of only 4, but you can choose whatever you want, and get multiple flights. They also took the time to write out which was which, and I appreciated that.