A guide to Boston’s best breweries with beer expert Chad Brodsky

In 1984, Jim Koch perfected his great-grandfather’s lager recipe and created The Boston Beer Company. His signature beer, Samuel Adams, was named after one of the leaders of the American Revolution, and would soon sweep across the US and pioneer the market for craft beer.

Today, there are more than 130 breweries in Massachusetts alone, with many of those operations in or around Boston. Some, like Trillium, which was named the fourth-best brewer in the world by the global craft beer site Rate Beer in 2020, have reaped accolades for their potent New England-style IPAs. Other establishments, like Bone Up Brewing Company in the nearby town of Everett’s burgeoning Fermentation District, are a must-stop for lovers of malt and barley.

According to Chad Brodsky, founder of City Brew Tours, Boston’s storied beer history runs deep. “Prior to Prohibition [1920-1933], there were 30-plus breweries solely in [Boston’s] Jamaica Plain, including the historic Haffenreffer Brewery, down the block from Sam Adams,” he explained.

Brodsky knows a thing or two about the beverage, having started his company in 2008 in Burlington, Vermont. City Brew Tours now operates in 21 cities, including Boston. On Brodsky’s tours that take in three or four Boston-area breweries, expert guides show you behind the scenes of each operation, where you learn about the craft of brewing, and – of course – taste their wares.

Here are Brodsky’s favourite breweries in the Boston area:

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