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Dec 1, 2013 06:28 PM

Beer Garden/Day Drinking in Boston

I have friends visiting from New York and am looking for a fun/lively place to take them drinking Saturday afternoon. Are there any places in Boston that might have a similar atmosphere/vibe to Houston Hall or the Standard Biergarten in New York? It doesn't have to be trendy, just fun.

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  1. gonna be in the 30s probably don't want to be drinking outside. What about the Harpoon beer garden?

    It could also be a great day to do a little Kendall Square crawl... Lord Hobo, CBC, Meadhall

    4 Replies
    1. re: Beachowolfe

      Short walk from there up to atwoods as well, although its not on the same level as either of those 3

      1. re: Beachowolfe

        Meadhall has the 12 Brewers of Christmas thing that just started yesterday. Besides the fact that it benefits a very worthy cause (Toys for Tots), they're also going to have some incredibly rare beers available over the next couple weeks.

        1. re: mkfisher

          I'd look into special events wherever you go. I've been to all of these places when they've been dead in mid-day. Lord Hobo is smaller so the effect is less pronounced than at Meadhall or CBC.

          Sporting events bring crowds to the Garden bars, although none is particularly commendable. College football draws folks to some places. Allston has a little more daytime drinking activity than elsewhere. Maybe Deep Ellum and/or Sunset Grill?

          Irish pubs can be fun during the day. Maybe the Field or Plough or Burren or Black Rose or Mr. Dooley's or Doyle's/Sam Adams (not sure of tour hours) or lots of places in Southie.

          You could also hit Trillium Brewery to try a few things, maybe grab a growler for the road, on your way to Harpoon (and why not pop into Lucky's as well, maybe hit Drink when it opens at 4?).

        2. re: Beachowolfe

          Also, I believe Lord Hobo doesn't do lunch/brunch on Saturdays

        3. If you feel like taking a ride to Gloucester Cape Ann Brewing has a nice pub with a beer hall atmosphere.

          1. I've never been to either of the places you mentioned - but Harpoon's new beer hall is a lot of fun! I'd definitely recommend it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: addiez

              To the OP just beware that they only serve soft pretzels and no other food. Great atmosphere and beer though.

              1. re: viperlush

                I looked at the pictures and minus the food, I think Harpoon is definitely the closest thing Boston has to either place. Bronwyn might be the closest food- and philosophy-wise.

            2. Other than the aforementioned beer bars, the other really enjoyable day drinking I've experienced has always been at Flash's in the South End.

              2 Replies
              1. re: gini

                flash's has been closed at least 6 months.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I clearly haven't been out day drinking there in a while. Bummer.

              2. Fanueil Hall/Quincy market area has a sh!t ton of bars for bar hopping and good for day drinking.

                Boylston st is also pretty dang good with lots of bars lined up around pour house.

                The alley up by Emerson has some good bars to hang out at.

                The Salty Pig is an unbelievable beer bar with great pizza to go with it. This would be my pick for sure.

                Public House in Brookline is also pretty good for beer connoisseurs.

                16 Replies
                1. re: perlmonk

                  am pretty sure sweetwater is the only bar at boylston place open during the day.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    I wouldn't recommend sweetwater. I noted Black Rose/Mr. Dooley's as what I think are the best of the generally-not-so-great Faneuil Hall lot. I guess Green Dragon for the history maybe, or if anyone has entertainment during the day. Pour House will probably have some folks there, but pretty average bar. Very cheap bar food, though. The ugly sweater bar crawl is on Boylston this Sat., so that will draw lots of folks out around there.

                    1. re: CportJ

                      was in no way recommending sweetwater, only clarifying that the alley is otherwise only open at night. dooley's and the black rose are some of the worst of the worst of our scourge of fake irish pubs.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        I know you weren't. If you think those are some of the worst (I disagree), what are the best places around Quincy Market that will be fun on Sat. afternoon?

                        1. re: CportJ

                          i don't really think of quincy market as being all that busy in winter and even in summer it's not a place i hang. i've gotten slammed on this board before for dissing the place, but unless you have kids, i don't see the appeal.

                          also depends on the demographic into which the op fits. might have a fine time at the sevens and beacon hill pub or might prefer kendall square. the beer selection at mead hall is one of the biggest in the city, but the crowd is hit or miss on saturday afternoons. it's an easy walk to cbc, tommy doyle's and the west bridge and/or belly for food.

                          then again, they got the harpoon beer hall rec, which is a good one, and then an easy trip to chinatown or north end for food.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                            I can appreciate BH Pub since I used to go to the Bow, but a fair assessment, particularly in the light of day, is that it's pretty dingy and dive-y. The places referenced in NYC are big and modern. Meadhall and Harpoon are really the closest we can come for looks.

                  2. re: perlmonk

                    Salty Pig an unbelievable beer bar? Never heard that before but I haven't ever been.

                    What do they got?

                      1. re: jgg13

                        Wow! Can't say I've ever seen Westy 12 at a restaurant/bar in Boston. I haven't been to the Salty Pig in at least a year. Always struck me as a place with a good not great beer list. Will have to get back there.

                        1. re: mkfisher

                          I was being completely facetious - please don't go there on account of this message :)

                          1. re: jgg13

                            Don't do that to me before I drink my coffee!

                            I only found it plausible because I have seen a random bottle of Westy 12 and (more often 8) on some store shelves over the years. Probably should have figured the beer nerds would have drank it all in about a day were this true.

                            1. re: mkfisher

                              Somewhere around 1500 westy 12 six packs were legitimately distributed in the US over a year ago. The monestary did a one time release in order to pay for renovations. Shelton brothers was the importer and they sold many of them at The Festival in worcester to fest attendees. The rest were sold at retail and scooped up within hours.

                      2. re: Beachowolfe

                        We go to the Salty Pig a lot and would very much not describe it as a "beer bar"

                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          Salty Pig is the only place that I can think of a beer bar that resembles anything like a beer garden from NYC. Its not a beer nerd paradise, but it definitely has a lot of great beers and is a ton of fun. Add to that the excellent service, great food and atmosphere, good location and you have yourself a prime spot for hanging out and having a few brews.

                          1. re: perlmonk

                            I took a look at the places in the OP, and it's much smaller than either of them. Harpoon or maybe Meadhall when packed for a special occasion look closer to me. The only other place that big that might be busy would be somewhere like Sacco's Bowl Haven/Flatbread Co. in Davis.

                            1. re: CportJ

                              While it's nothing like the NYC beer gardens mentioned in the original post, I agree that Flatbread / Sacco's is a good, fun place for day drinking. The bar area usually has plenty of space, and you can have some drinks while you wait to bowl.

                              Also, my NYC friends love it because they mainly carry local beer, cider, and spirits - mostly stuff they can't get in New York.

                              The only negative is that there are a ton of kids there on weekend days.