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Aug 5, 2009 09:59 AM

Brew Pub - Fenway area


Going to be in Boston in late August for a few days. I am wondering if people can recommend any brewpubs in the Fenway Park area.


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  1. The brew pub is Boston Beerworks. Also the Lower Depths in Kenmore Sq. has quite a good choice of beer.

    1. Boston Beer Works is across the street. I cannot recommend it however. Cornwalls is in Kenmore and is an "English" pub. Eastern Standard has a small but excellent beer list.

      2 Replies
      1. re: uwebres

        I think the best 2 options are Boston Beer Works and Lower Depths too.

        If JD's looking for a "brew pub" I think Beer Works fits the bill - I actively enjoy their blueberry beer, and I like their fries. The menu is a bit underwhelming, but I remember having a pretty tasty grilled buffalo chicken sandwich there; good amount of char on the chicken, tangy blue cheese, decent bun.

        It's not a gastropub, but it'll do. (Incidentally, it will also be packed to the gills starting about 2-3 hours before the game, including lines out the door most likely. Approach accordingly)

        1. re: TroyOLeary

          i visit cbc often -- nearly everytime i go to the movies at kendall, but it's hardly convenient to fenway and while their food is "good", it's not much more than that.

          i visit the north station bbw when i'm down there too. surrounding options are pretty awful and i've never had anything i'd complain about to eat. i've had way worse, miles worse, at places like grafton st. which gets floated on this board often, because it does have a decent selection of brews and good bartending.

          beer works for a pint and a burger or nachos is perfectly fine, especially with what else is in spitting distance of fenway.

          supposedly, there is a "gastropub" opening in the new ames hotel. the city sorely lacks in that dining/drinking niche.

      2. Boston Beer Works is a brew pub but if you like's worth the cab fare to cross the river and go to Cambridge Brewing Company. If you go to BBW even a couple hours before a Sox game - get ready to hurry up and wait.

        The other places mentioned are bars with good beer but none of them brew their own, so if that's what you're looking for...CBC gets my vote, and it's only about 2 miles away.

        7 Replies
        1. re: rknrll

          Yeah, I'd go to the Cambridge Brewing Company too. Good beer is worth the extra time & cab fare. On my last visit, the CBC's offerings included a delicious smoked dark lager.

          BBW had some good beers in the early-to-mid 90s. They've dumbed themselves down, however.

          1. re: Kenji

            Has anyone had CBCs Sargeant Pepper?? WOW. I found it again at Otherside about a week later but never since. Do any beer places sell it?

            1. re: Kenji

              I haven't been to BBW in a while; how exactly have they "dumbed themselves down"? Do they make Bud Light taste-a-likes or something?

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                I think the one on Canal Street actually has half-decent food. Not a destination per se but definitely edible.

                The do, however, have a Bud Light substitute. It is called Hub Light.

                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                  Yeah...I mean, they probably brew an IPA, Pale Ale, Stout, Blonde, Hefe, etc - but it's just nothing unique or interesting.

                  CBC is doing some awesome stuff.

                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                    Well, yeah (with regard to the Bud Lite taste-a-likes). On my early visits to the BBW, they would always have a token light beer or two, "Acme Light" or "Bambino Light." Nothing wrong with that; the light brew was included among an extensive range which also included stouts, altbiers, barleywines, et cetera. But on my last several visits (during assorted times of the year), light beers dominated their list; there would be as many as four light beers available, and maybe one or two other things. Just as unfortunately, their once-excellent Buckeye Oatmeal Stout had become thin & bland.

                    1. re: Kenji

                      Kenji, thanks for the detailed reply. You certainly answered my question--yikes that stinks. I remember that oatmeal stout fondly too.

              2. Boston Beer Works isn't very good. As already stated, Lower Depths is the best beer selection within walking distance of the ballpark.

                Another easy option for good beer is to hit up Roadhouse BBQ (American craft beer) or Publick House (more of a Belgan bent) and take the Green Line C into Kenmore Square to get to the park.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JoeM

                  Good beer at Roadhouse and Publick House but the quality of the food at either is a topic of much debate. I for one am NOT a fan food wise. I would head to CBC where the food is pretty good, they brew the beer, and it is excellent.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    I agree; support your local brewer.

                    That being said, I'm trying to stick to the OP's original post, which was something near Fenway (presumably for a Sox game, although it could be for some other reason). The major downside to CBC is the location relative to Fenway Park, especially with game traffic. The food is passable at RH/PH although I haven't eaten at Roadhouse since they shut down their smoker. Can't imagine the quality dropping all that much given that it wasn't very high to begin with. Although I haven't eaten at either Lower Depths or Boston Beer Works, I'd predict RH/PH to be better than either.

                    1. re: JoeM

                      I'm all for supporting local beer as well. While I've always enjoyed CBC, I strongly suggest checking out another new local beer called Pretty Things (run by the former brewer at Rapscallion.) The Jack D'Or Saison is just so good.

                      And back on topic, the food at Lower Depth's actually has some wins. Nothing is super complicated, but if you are going for a beer and want a decent bite, I've never been let down by the tater tots, the rasta wings or the quesadilla (especially the mango chipotle special....) Again, they are not reinventing the wheel, but if I wanted a quality beer with decent food, it's worth a try.

                2. From someone who goes to A LOT of games (though I'm glad they are away tonight and I'm watching at home..egads!), here are some recommendations (sorry, there will be some over-lap with other posters). I also urge you to search for other posts on the Fenway area. There are a s%#tload of them. And that'll make CHers happy that you've done at least some research:

                  -Audubon Circle - I think it's the best upscale bar food in the area. Not a brewpub, but there are some respectable beers on tap, along with some tasty food, served up in sensible portion sizes.

                  -Cambridge1 - From the same small, trendy restaurant group as Audubon Circle, they share the same aesthetic - science lab counter tops, wood, metal, cool soundtrack, a fresh flower arrangement to throw you off a bit. The only thing to get here is cracker-crust pizza and tasty frou-frou salads (think arugula and shaved parmesan). Wonderful wines by the glass and clean beer lines. We are fans.

                  -Corner Tavern - Not your usual pub might be surprised by the choices here. We like it and they are offering 1/2 off apps and sandwiches lately in an effort to bring people in. Again, not a brewpub, but nice wine and beer selection.

                  -Lower Depths - We love this place for the patio and the wonderful service (we are way too friendly with those guys!). Food is ok when they are not too jammed. Go the simple route (tater tots, fish tacos, specials are usually pretty good). Fancy beers, but expensive.

                  -Regarding Boston Beer Works - We somehow ate at the one in Salem and in Lowell in the same month in July...We had some nice fish specials that month (fresh red snapper with salsa was really fantastic). I have to believe that the food is better at the other outlets.

                  -While I respect and like CBC's beers, I have never had great food there, except for pizza, and it is a haul from Fenway. I am also not a fan of the 1970's-esque decor there (think greenhouse-type setting...all that's missing are the ferns and brass railings...I'd rather eat outside...please update a little bit, woncha guys?!).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: digga

                    So eat outside, heh.
                    Also - 2 miles is hardly a "haul"...sure, on a night when there is a Sox game at rush hour - it's not going to be easy. The OP says they are here for a few days though, so if they are really looking for a brew pub, and can go maybe mid-day...I think CBC is the best option.

                    Agree about Salem Beer Works...had a grilled red snapper sandwich a couple months ago, and it was pretty good. Beers were still kind of eh like in Boston though.

                    1. re: rknrll

                      For a local, its within the realm of possibility to do CBC and the ballgame. Go there first and park on Memorial Drive before the Mass Ave bridge, walk across to see the game. Or for extra exercise its fairly quick to cut through MIT.

                      For someone visiting for a game only, unless they _really_ want a brewpub, they would need to leave extra time to take the T and full green line cars at Park or hop a cab to Kenmore. There are enough good beer options close to the park, with some local beers that I don't think the CBC makes that much sense. The CBC they could visit on a non game day during their visit. It sounds like the OP might be visiting for a few days and perhaps staying in the fenway area, so the CBC might actually be a decent option. Heck its not that far from there to the Duck boats and the Museum of Science so they could enjoy the patio during the daytime and do something else touristy, followed by dinner in the North End. Or for more of a beer tour walk towards Inman Sq for beer at Atwoods and dinner at Muqueca, Midwest Grill, Casa Portugal... followed by more beer at Bukowski.

                    2. re: digga

                      Hah, too funny, the decor, er lack of decor, at CBC really is atrocious. They might as well go the whole nine yards and buy some ferns. They have the brass railings.

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        The beer is great at CBC, but I think that their menu needs a huge makeover. There are like 5 appetizers on their menu??? Do they have a non-compete clause with Tommy Doyle's or something?

                        I will second Audubon Circle... great food there.

                        Did those restaurants on Peterborough St re-open yet? I know that they suffered a pretty severe fire a year ago.

                        1. re: Stellar D

                          I've seen on this site that El Pelon is planning to open in Washington SQ Brookline.