The Best Brewery & Taproom Tours in Boston, Massachusetts
The local Massachusetts beer scene has taken off during the last decade, along with everywhere else in America. Here are some guided and self-guided tours you can take in The Hub, as well as the rest of the Bay State.
Written by CraftJack | Updated | 7 min read
Sometimes all you want is to casually tour a brewery on your own. Low key, accessible, highly informal, just showing up to a brewery at the tour time is always a fun time. The downside is that sometimes tours fill up. Here are a few Massachusetts breweries that offer in-person tours.
Tours Given By Boston Breweries
Ahh, the Sam Adams brewery tour, an hour long journey through the craft brewing process and the craft beer drinking experience. Sam offers private tours for 20 or more, and, they have private event space for rental, if you say, wanted to do a private tour straight into a birthday or engagement party.
Though the tour is free, they ask that you make a charitable donation to a local charity. Be generous. There are paid tours available if you're looking for something a bit more private. As for food, the brewery brings in food trucks to go along with the local eateries and food establishments nearby.
The pandemic has shut down the Sam Adams Brewery Tour for the foreseeable future. Check back with the brewery in the Spring/Summer of 2021 to see if things have changed.
Harpoon is currently hosting Virtual Tastings in lieu of in-person brewery tours, given the current state of the pandemic. Harpoon Virtual Tastings are 45-minute private sessions that cover Harpoon Brewing's history, a guided tasting, and a back-and-forth Q&A with the good folks at the brewery. This is available to Massachusetts residents only.
2pm tours are available at Slumbrew on Saturdays. They are free, which is great, but they are limited to 24 guests. The public tours run for approximately 15 minutes. If you want to arrange for a private tour, you should reach out to the brewery. Corporate outings and birthdays are a great excuse for a private tour.
Learn about Dot Brewing's history every Sunday from 12-2pm. First 10 people to sign up receive an educational tour around the facility where you learn about the brewing process, the ingredients, and the history of the DBco brewery.
ABC offers tours by appointment. Though, you may want a tour of how they make those world famous wings while you're there.
Cape Cod Beer offers tastings all day. Mini Tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 11am. Full, guided tours are given at 11am on Saturday (only). What's more, cider & wine tastings are available at the brewery.
Touring Greater Good and sampling the beer is akin to drinking full pints elsewhere, since everything is super boozy. Check in with them for tour times.
Sometimes you just want to be along for the ride. That's why it's best to sign up for a guided tour or contract a brew bus, as consuming multiple bevvies and getting behind the wheel is a mistake. Doubly true if Greater Good Imperial Brewing is part of your brewery tour.
Their high abv beers cut to the chase.
You drink, we drive. That's the motto of City Brew Tours (Boston). This multi-city business is interested in taking you on a craft beer journey where you will learn about the local craft scene while enjoying it's delicious beer. The breweries that they visit in Boston include Samuel Adams Boston Brewery in Jamaica Plain, Night Shift Brewing in Everett, Dorchester Brewing in Dorchester (makes sense, right?), and the Downeast Cider House in Eastie.
Beyond some of the top breweries of Boston mentioned prior, City Brew Tours is generally well reviewed Tripadvisor.com. And with 719 strong reviews, you can feel rather confident that they will take you to some of the best beer halls and taprooms in the Hub.
The Mass Brew Bus, in conjunction with the Maine Brew Bus (New England's Original Brew Bus), caters to Beer Lovers up and down the Northern New England coast. Covering ground from Providence, RI to the NH border, the Mass Brew Bus offers patrons a local snack/meal, craft beer trivia, and, experiences that get behind the scenes at breweries, cideries, and distilleries.
Not to be confused with Hops N' Scotch in Brookline, Hops and Stops toured the greater Boston area breweries and cideries. Starting in 2013, Hops and Stops was created by two guys who sought to create an inefficient and affordable way to tour and sample the local Boston beer scene, not to mention cider houses and distilleries.
It would be wild if you're brewery tour snack was some a handful of real hops.
NEBT has been serving the Greater Boston area since 2012. Their tours bring you to world-class breweries in and around the city, where you learn about beer styles, the brewing process, and craft beer history. You may just pick up a thing or two about how to pair beer with food. They do their best to keep the tour groups on the smaller side. This gives New England Brewery Tours a chance to have you connect with the brewmasters themselves. They also host corporate events.
Another brewery tour company that hosts tours beyond Boston, traveling across other New England craft beer scenes in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The owner of Craft Beer Lovers, Jeremy Schmidt, insists that CBL is, "built on a true passion for craft beer" and that they, "organized the brewery tours with high level of professionalism and high quality and world-class customer services". A strong amount of their business comes from referrals.
Conducting public and private tours on the North Shore of Massachusetts, this brew tours biz offers gluten-free and gluten-reduced tours, which is quite interesting. Those tours are private only, but it's still a strong nod toward accessibility. Their tours stretch from Salem to Newburyport.
The Brew Bus + Bites (tour) is put on by Mass Foodies. Attendees are treated to a wonderful night of pub crawling around the various Worcester breweries. Guests depart from Wormtown Brewery down on Shrewsbury Street and get immediately handed a can of beer from 3cross Fermentation Coop as they travel en route to destination 1: Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company. Redemption Rock Brewing (also Shrewsbury Street) is stop number two. After RRBC, attendees will be rounded up and whisked back down the street to Wormtown where they wll enjoy another pull off the tap. The tour concludes with a custom pop-up dinner from Chef Jay Powell.
This sounds like it's worth every dollar.
Brewery Tours in Western Massachusetts
Valley Transporter out of ___ offers tours around the Pioneer Valley to the more than 20 craft breweries that exist there. Some of the microbreweries, taprooms, and brewpubs include Amherst Brewing, BBC, Building 8, Lefty's, Northampton Brewery, Opa-Opa, and Vanished Valley.
Folks residing in Western Mass are welcome to schedule more custom brew trips eastward to Tree House, Wormtown in Worcester, Exhibit A in Framingham, and Trillium by contracting Valley Transporter.
Fantastic is what Brew Practitioners' Brew Bus is. Just a great idea for a brewery to put on their own craft beer tour. Brew Practitioners is a microbrewery that is moving form NoHo to Agawam shortly, so best to keep that in mind if you live in the Amherst/NoHo area and you want to schedule up a custom tour with them.
Brew tour details: $75-85 per person. 3 Breweries or Wineries (for the non beer folk). A casual lunch. One drink token per venue. And, most important, a driver. "Ale Aboard!"
Pioneer Valley Tours offers 4 hour group tours for 12-18 guests. All tours begin and end in Northampton. Brewery tour stops include Abandoned Building Brewery, Brew Practitioners, and Fort Hill Brewery (makers of Jigsaw Jazz). $40-$50 is a decent price for the ride.
However, no drink tickets are included. Don't sweat it, prices are all somewhat the same with local brewery tours.
Safe, reliable transportation door to door, brewery to brewery. Their tours include breweries like Weymouth's Barrel House Z and Vitamin Sea Brewing, Scituate's Untold Brewing, and Braintree's Widowmaker Brewing. If any time is a time to drink Widowmaker's Triple Ecstasy (Triple IPA), it's when someone else is driving.
What better way to kill 3.5 hours on a Wednesday than jumping on the Cape Cod Brew Bus. Stops along the way include Barnstable Brewing, Cape Cod Beer, and the Naukabout Brewery and Taproom in Mashpee. Throw in a picnic basket of fresh, Cape-made sandwiches for your travel group and your'e golden.
The Cape Cod Brew Tour is also available on Friday, a day you're more likely to attend anyway. Maximum of 12 people. Tickets are $89, $72 for non-drinkers.
Tap Tastings offers private tasting tours on Cape Cod. Furthermore, the Cape Cod Times ranks Tap Tastings as a 2020 Best of Cape Cod offering. Hop on Barley, their van, for a custom brew excursion. Tap Tastings offers a la carte options, like adding a guided beer tasting at a Cape brewery, a stop Father's Kitchen & Taphouse for a sandwich, or a wine and cheese tasting at Lo Adoro. Plus, Tap Tastings is a veteran owned business.
Hit up two of the best breweries on the North Shore, Newburyport Brewing and Riverwalk. Seek trip transportation and don't drive. Stay on Plum Island and take a cab/uber over to those two breweries. Get a Plum Island White @ Newburyport. Get something named after a video game at Riverwalk Brewing. Be your own tour guide.
Boston is no slouch when it comes to accommodating the denizens of the local craft beer scene. Though closed now, The Lower Depths in Kenmore, Sunset Grill & Tap in Allston, and Bukowski's Tavern in Cambridge were popular craft brew haunts. Meadhall in Kendall Sq. has an excellent selection of Massachusetts-brewed beer. Stoddard's near the Common and The Publick House in Brookline are a few other excellent bars with wide selections.