Top 7 Beer And Cider Brewery Tours In Boston


Samuel Adams Brewery Tour by Brandon Turner (CC BY 2.0)

There is a rich and lengthy history of beer brewing in Boston. The city was one of the earliest places in the USA to brew beer and is currently home to the biggest producer of beer in the country. While prohibition briefly put the brewing industry to a stop in the early 1900s, Boston has seen a resurfacing of the craft in recent decades. In the present day, there are a number of different breweries in the city that are home to some truly tasty beers and ciders. So if you’re a fan of either, and don’t mind chasing it with some history, here are seven great brewery tours to take in Boston.

1. Samuel Adams Brewery (30 Germania St, Boston)

Taking a tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery is something you should check out when visiting or living in Boston. Jim Koch founded the company back in 1984, following in his family’s footsteps.  In 1985, he debuted his “Boston Lager,” which went on to become the driving force behind the craft beer revolution in the states. Today, Samuel Adams offer numerous different seasonal beverages and are one of the biggest producers of beer in the country. Tours are free (although a $2 donation is encouraged) and they last about one hour. Their tours have become legendary and as a result can be fairly busy, so it is best to go early. This tour will let you experience everything in the brewing process from smelling the hops and tasting the malts, as well as sampling some beer of course. There is also a very cool “Morning Mash” Tour that runs every morning at 9.40 am.

2. Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Avenue, Boston)

Another well-known brand is Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon is an employee-owned company founded in 1986, which makes it one of the oldest breweries in the state. In the past few decades, they created over a dozen delicious and unique beer options. The company also prides themselves on being charitable and helping to sustain the environment, which is always a good sign from a company. You can take a tour of the Harpoon Brewery each and ever day, for only five dollars, which includes free beer tasting. These tours last about an hour and you will get an up close and personal look at the entire brewing process and see their beer like you never have before.

3. Somerville Brewing Company (15 Ward St, Somerville)

While this brewery has only been brewing since 2011, they have quickly expanded their operations and now produce more than 2,000 barrels annually. The brewery is a favorite among locals.  They offer over two dozen different kinds of beer and if you want to see how they craft these unique flavors, they offer a great tour that takes you behind the scenes. These free tours run for around 15 minutes (and come with free beer tasting) and are offered to the public on Saturday afternoons at 2 pm and 4 pm. Private and group tours can be arranged as well.

4. Downeast Cider House (200 Terminal St, Boston)

Downeast Cider House was started in 2011 after the founders graduated college and moved to the family orchard. They pride themselves in creating tasty cider from locally grown, freshly pressed fruit. While making cider differs a bit from the brewing process for beer, it’s still a process most people wouldn’t mind seeing.  So, the company began offering free tours that last about 25 minutes and show the process and allow for some time for sampling as well! They have a capacity of only 20 people for their tours and they must be reserved, so act quickly if you want to see this unique brewery. 

5. Night Shift Brewing (87 Santilli HWY, Everett)

This company was only created in 2012, but in four short years, they have managed to become a pretty successful brewery. They pride themselves on experimenting when it comes to flavor, including a coffee-flavored beer among others (yes, coffee-flavored..). The company welcome guests into their large taproom daily to sample their beers and hear their story. However, if you want a more in-depth tour of their facilities and crafting process, they offer free tours (but request that you donate to the Food Bank). These tours run each and every day of the week. 

6. The Mystic Brewery (174 Williams Street, Chelsea)

Of all the different breweries included in this list, The Mystic Brewery is arguably the most unique. This brewery specializes in farmhouse-style ales using local ingredients. The tasting room for this brewery is gorgeous and is the perfect atmosphere to taste one of their great and unique beers. The company can offer its visitors a wide range of different beers, something to fit even the pickiest of people. Tours take place at 1 pm and 2 pm on Saturdays. The tours are completely free and come with a free beer tasting. You can also book their taproom for events, all it takes is an email.

7. Bantam Cider Company (40 Merriam St, Somerville)

Bantam Cider Company has been making some of the best cider in the state for four years now. In addition to making what they call the best cider you can buy, they also pride themselves on serving the community. If you want to get a better understanding of the process of making their ciders, you’re in luck. They offer tours at 6:30 PM on Fridays, 1.30 pm on Saturdays and 1 pm on Sundays. These tours come with free tasting and are first come first serve, so arrive early. So head out to Somerville

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