It’s been four days since our tour of the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston, Massachusetts and I am still on a high from the experience. It was our final destination of our seven day trip of New York City, Providence, and Boston. This was the perfect ending to our trip. Here's what we learned.
The Samuel Adams Brewery tour is free! Yup, that’s right you get beer for free.
I was happily surprised by this revelation, with all the excitement of planning this trip I forgot to actually research what to expect on the brewery tour. So, if you are like me and forgot the most important thing to do…here’s a few tips for your first Boston Samuel Adams Brewery Tour.
1. Days To Visit
I have to start by saying that the brewery tour was in our cards. We originally were set to go to the brewery on Sunday, the day we arrived, but didn’t really want to tackle the subway system. Instead, we decided to go Monday morning. Our first tourist sin was not looking at the days they were open. Thank the beer gods they were open on Mondays and closed Sundays. We definitely saved some subway fare! Also the brewery is only open from 10 am to 3 pm, except Fridays they stay open until 5:30 pm.
I do recommend checking out Samuel Adams Brewery website beyond just looking up the address like I did!
2. Getting There By Subway
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Samuel Adams Brewery, which is located 5 miles south of Boston, is probably the subway system. Now, let me first say we came from California where public transportation is pretty much a joke. So, when you stick us in a place where subways and buses are the main source of transportation, we tend to shut down a little. We’re like teenagers at a junior high dance standing next to the wall not making eye contact with anyone for the fear of rejection. HA!
After New York the subway system felt pretty easy to conquer, but there’s a few tips I wish we had prior to our fist attempt at the Boston T.
One, get a Charlie Card not only is each ride discounted, but it’s so easy to add more money to it as you go. We simply asked the attendant working at the terminal nearest to our hotel.
Two, know if you are going inbound or outbound, sometimes the subway entrances are located across the way from each other. We must have stood around staring at a subway map for at least 10 minutes before we sucked it up and asked someone. Gosh, we're dorks!
Three, you don’t have to exit onto street level to do a color line transfer. Be patient, and read the signs, you’ll save a few bucks this way. We took out our subway map probably 100 times! People were very kind and helpful along the way without even having to ask – both in New York and Boston.
3. Eat A Little Something Before You Go
This should really be a rule of thumb for just about any trip. Though I know this rule, I still have to learn it the hard way each and every time. During the beer tour my stomach was making some great music for all to hear, and not to mention the yummy beer at the end went straight to my head. There’s no food at the Samuel Adams Brewery facility and that was not something I was prepared for.
Our second tourist sin was that we just assumed they would have a restaurant like other breweries we’ve visited in the past.
So, when we arrived we stupidly asked to be seated for beer and food. The gentleman behind the counter could have rolled his eyes and shun us off as total idiotic tourists, but instead he said, “We might not have food, but we offer a free tour of the facility, a free tasting glass, and free beer to anyone over 21”.
Though our bellies were empty, we weren’t going to pass up free beer! Heck that's why we came here right? We got our stamps and in we went.
4. The Tour & Tasting
We didn’t have to wait long for the tour to begin, maybe 10-15 minutes. I would think on a weekend or holiday you'd have to make reservations.
The waiting hall has quite a bit of entertainment for you to enjoy before the tour begins. There’s touch screens with every label of beer brewed by Sam Adams, trivia boxes, and my favorite, you can send a postcard to someone wishing them they were here with you. And, Sam Adams provides the stamp for you. HOW COOL IS THAT!
When the tour begins you get a breakdown of the rules when entering the facility, which is just great entertainment. Our tour guide was Jameson who looked like Seth Rogan, which made the whole process even more entertaining and funny. The tour guide talks for about 20 minutes on how the beer is crafted, plus you get to taste some of the delicious beer ingredients. I was so hungry that I poured a few more barley seeds into my palm!
After the brief history we are shown into a tasting room where the tour guide pours himself a nice pint of stout and his assistant starts pouring four pitchers of beer. You are handed a 7 oz Sam Adams glasses to partake in the tasting. You get to keep these glasses too.
Hint: Our tour was on a Monday so our group was a little light, but if you can go to the row of tables with the least amount of people – you’ll get more beer!
What We Tasted
Samuel Adams Boston Lager - What a great lager and it definitely taste more refreshing from the tap! This is just a well rounded beer with the perfect balance of hops. I’m pretty sure I was in dream land.
Samuel Adams Summer Ale (Seasonal Brew) - I was drinking the Summer Ale for most of our trip, and again it was even more refreshing tasting it at the brewery. Our tour guide gave us some great hints about unfiltered and filtered beer, and how to taste the beer at the tip of your tongue versus the back of your tongue. It was very informative and again you get to taste FREE beer! How are you not booking your plane ride right now?
Samuel Adams Oyster Stout - This was pretty interesting beer that is only distributed within the Boston brewery walls. Like most stouts, this had a great chocolate and coffee taste, and it was nicely light bodied. I really savored each taste of Oyster Stout since I knew we wouldn't have it unless we traveled to Boston again. Though stout's are not typically my favorite, I enjoyed this one very much.
[Aside: I was sad that they didn't have other tasting samples like the Rebel IPA or Brick Red. That would be my only slight disappointment.]
5. Doyle’s Party Trolly
After the tasting tour, the brewery offers food suggestions to a pub near by called Doyle’s Cafe. This was the first bar that gave Samuel Adams Brewing a chance. They suggest taking the free Doyle's party trolly.
We almost walked to the pub instead of taking the trolly, until we heard the sweet music of YMCA blaring from a moving trolly coming our way.. Oh man, we were in like Donkey Kong. This was such a fun experience. I didn’t catch the guys name that ran the trolly, but he was enthusiastic, entertaining, and sold us the best lobstah rolls we’ve ever had! He wasn’t kidding when he said, “Its like a dumpstah truck dumped a ton of lobstah onto your sourdough bread. And don’t forget the chowdah”.
Note, if you keep your Samuel Adams Brewery tickets you get to keep the Sam Adams pint glasses from Doyle’s for a mere $6. These glasses will cost you about $9 in the gift shop and they don’t come with a beer.
Those who’ve been on the party trolly: “We’re going to Doyle’s” with a fist pump to the air!
The trolly only operates on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday so plan around those days for enhanced entertainment! Boston was such a great city to visit, even with hurricane Arthur at our heels, and the fierce humidity, there’s so much history to ingest. Plus there’s literally an Irish pub on every corner, like CVS’ in California. Who wouldn’t want to stop and enjoy a pint every corner with the heat we endured! Thank you Samuel Adams brewery for making our trip that much more awesome! Thank you Boston for being friendly and making this thirsty girl enjoy every sip.
When’s your Samuel Adams trip happening?
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