Yeast, malt, water and hops are just a few basic ingredients that go into the beer making process. If you have ever been curious to see the actual step-by-step process, it’s time to book a tour at a local brewery. It’s one of the best ways to participate in an up-close-and-personal look inside the brewing process. Here is a look at some of the best brewery tours around Boston.
Blue Hills Brewery
1020 Turnpike Street
Canton, MA 02021
One of the best excuses to visit the South Shore region of Massachusetts is Blue Hills Brewery. Located in Canton, about 20 minutes south of Boston, this brewery creates seasonal favorites like watermelon wheat, blueberry wheat and an imperial Oktoberfest. The imperial red IPA tastes great in the fall while the chocolate porter seems to get more flavorful with a cup of chili in hand. Beer tastings are held here Fridays and Saturdays. Tours are conducted upon request
Cape Cod Beer, Inc.
1336 Phinneys Lane
Hyannis, MA 02601
Cape Cod is well known for its beautiful sandy beaches, influx of summer tourists and their varied selection of beers Cape Cod Beer. The collection includes amber, blonde and India pale ales along with an imperial IPA, Hefeweizen and rich porter. Tours here are held Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. for no cost. There is an on-site retail shop where tastings are held for just $5, which includes five three-ounce samples along with a souvenir glass.
Mayflower Brewing Company
12 Resnick Rd.
Plymouth, MA 02360
One of the fastest growing breweries in Massachusetts is Mayflower Brewing Company. Favorites of the Plymouth based brewer include a Pale Ale, IPA and Golden Ale. Twenty-minute tours are held here on the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays only) between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. After the tour, be sure to visit the tasting room (which is even pet friendly) for a free taste of their famous brews. A larger “Mayflower Voyage” sampling is also available for tasting, as well as larger pints and a retail store that sells six-packs, growlers and apparel.
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174 William St.
Chelsea, MA 02150
Located just a few minutes north of Boston is a small brewery known as Mystic Brewery. From farmhouse ales to crisp saisons, they have created something for every taste bud, even a collection a reserve ales. Free tours here are held here each Saturday at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Here, you can see how one of their best creations, Entropy, is made through a four-stage fermentation process using four different types of yeast. The result is a complex fruity flavor that can mature on your shelf for up to 20 years.
306 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210
One of Boston’s favorite breweries is located right in the Seaport District. Harpoon Brewery offers daily tours for $5 that includes a beer tasting at the end of UFOs, IPAs, ciders and stouts. Tickets are available for purchase only on the day of the tour, but the brewery opens at 11 a.m. each day for sales. Weekend tours are very popular, so if you are looking to avoid the crowds, schedule a visit midweek. After the tour, head upstairs to the Beer Hall to enjoy some of the many local brews on tap that can be ordered up with a side of warm, soft pretzels.
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Kellie Speed is a Boston writer with more than 25 years of experience writing for local and national publications, including JustLuxe, Haute Living, The Boston Globe, Mohegan Sun’s Legends and Amtrak’s Arrive. She is the Boston restaurant writer for Gayot’s travel site and contributed to Moon Metro’s Boston guidebook, as well.