I was able to make a quick trip to Boston a couple weeks ago to visit some very dear family and friends. While I was there, I made a smidgen of time to do some touristy things. Even though I was born in the Boston area and have been there countless times in my life, there are still many things I have never done that I have always wanted to do. One of those things was visiting the brewery of one of my all-time favorite beers; Sam Adams.
The brewery is in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, close to the Stony Brook Station T Stop (on the Orange Line). Tours are free, however a $2 donation is suggested. These donations go towards local charities, including Youth Enrichment Services, preservation of the historic Granary Burying Grounds in Boston (where the REAL Sam Adams is interred), and Brewing The American Dream, which offers assistance to small business owners and startups, mostly in the beverage industry.
While you are waiting for your tour to start, you can wander around the lobby and adjacent small exhibit space. You will find fun facts about the brewing process, information on the catalog of beer that Sam Adams has produced, and some fun photo ops. There is also a place where you can mail a free postcard to a friend or family member. You fill out your postcard, drop it in a mailbox, and they will post it for you free of charge. However, I mailed one here to Tadd and it has been 2 weeks and we have yet to receive it…
Most of the tour was your standard brewery tour. Once you have seen one tour, you quickly realize, large or small, they all pretty much cover the same stuff, and use very similar-looking machinery (just different sizes, depending on the brewery). But it’s still neat to see. And, we got to see the bearded guy from the Sam Adams commercials!
From that point is everyone’s favorite part, the tasting room. We got to try 3 different beers; Boston Lager (of course), Cold Snap (the current seasonal for late winter/early spring), and Noble Pils (our tour guide’s favorite). Cold Snap was my favorite of the three, which is an unfiltered white ale. If you enjoy light/bright, but still very flavorful beers, you should check it out before it stops production for the season in late March. They let us keep our sample glasses, which I thought was a really nice touch for a free tour.
After the tasting session, we stopped by the giftshop (where I went a little souvenir-crazy…good thing the prices were all rather shockingly reasonable), then took a free trolley from the brewery to Doyle’s Cafe, which was the very first bar to serve Sam Adams beer. If you show them your tour ticket and buy a Boston Lager (or any other Sam Adams beer), they will present it to you in a complimentary souvenir glass. More free glassware! This glass is special though. The shape, size, and style was specifically engineered to enhance the flavor of Boston Lager.
If beer is your thing and you find yourself with some free time in Boston, I highly recommend taking the tour and ending it with the excursion to Doyle’s Cafe. It was a really enjoyable afternoon, and while I was already a big fan of Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company, I now feel even better about my allegiance to this company. They are good people, creating a really good product, and doing great things for the Boston community as well.