Buzz Words / Slider / April 8, 2021

Buzz Words: Boston’s Five Best Beers

by Evan Persons

It’s springtime in Boston, and that can only mean one thing: I’m drinking. A lot. With a polar vortex behind us and a blizzard “bomb” ahead, New Englanders are settling into what we collectively assume to be permanent winter. And as reluctant scholars of inclement weather, we know exactly how to ride it out: by abandoning all decency, cultivating majestic paunches, and white-knuckling it through the latest squall with a trusty horde of intoxicants – like beer, whose clouded effervescence roughly approximates the nor’easter brewing in our shattered souls. As a therapeutic bonus, I like to seek out breweries that understand the ruinous bouts of seasonal affective disorder I’m hoping to chase away with a good, old-fashioned bender - and in Boston, there are plenty of local options, so let’s get drunk started!


Name: Bannatyne’s Scotch Ale

Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company

Availability: Seasonal/Winter

ABV: 9.20%

Type: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Bannatyne’s Scotch ale pours a deep, brown ochre with flashes of red and iridescent copper when you raise your glass to the dying winter sun. The smell is malty, warmingly alcoholic, and redolent of sweet raisins, tart dried cherries, and toasted brown sugar. It sports a modest head with minimal carbonation, and each caramelly quaff leaves an elegant latticework of ivory foam that’s perfect for measuring your consumption with startling accuracy (until the 9.20% ABV kicks in and benevolently renders your calculations meaningless).

Name: Spring Training IPA

Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company

Availability: Seasonal/Spring

ABV: 6.00%

Type: India Pale Ale

I know this is a stretch for most Bostonians, but picture the sun - that blindingly magnanimous orb of cadmium yellow and tangerine flames - and imagine it radiating peace, light and the cessation of all things winter. Now, pour a bomber of Spring Training into a glass and hold it up to the nearest fluorescent bulb in your urban hovel. Same thing, except you can’t drink the sun; but if you could, it might taste something like the piney, citrusy, dankly herbal nectar that you hold in your pale and quaking palms.


Name: Babayaga

Brewery: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Availability: Seasonal/Winter

ABV: 7.00%

Type: Export Stout

This is one seriously bewitching brew that graciously lacks the chicken legs and matriarchal dementia of its mythical namesake. Dark toffee cascades into a coal-black pool with a tawny head and smoky bouquet. The mouthfeel is thick and the flavor is charred and yeasty with strong suggestions of molasses, anise, vanilla, and plum. Kindhearted benefactor or villainous necromancer? Only your liver can decide.


Name: Jack D’Or

Brewery: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Availability: Year-Round

ABV: 6.50%

Type: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Jack D’Or spills a translucent gold and sits placid and inviting beneath a mountain of delectably sour foam. The flavor is sweet, spicy, and grassy, with a lovable farmhouse funk that quickly gives way to a dense labyrinth of banana, citrus, pepper and clove. I drink this year-round, but it goes best with those decadently slothful summer afternoons that are nothing more than a distant memory in the subconscious tundra of my frostbitten mind.


Name: Harpoon Leviathan - Barleywine Style Ale

Brewery: Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Availability: Rotating

ABV: 10.00%

Type: English Barleywine

Pop the top off Leviathan’s Barleywine and make sure you’re somewhere warm enough for tears of joy to flow in unison with the waterfall of honey, burnt sienna and copper-brown ambrosia that’s tumbling into your goblet. Your nose will be greeted by waves of caramel, licorice, apple and pear while you gulp at this syrupy, earthy, and undeniably alcoholic masterpiece that, coincidentally, turns whiteouts into blackouts.

Honorable Mention: Jack’s Abby Brewing (Jabby Brau) and Mayflower Brewing Company (Porter).

Email Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Digg Delicious Reddit

Bookmark and Share

Previous Post
Chug Life Contest: Post a Pic for a Chance to Win SPY Sunglasses
Next Post
Ruroc RG-1 Ski Helmet System - Distinct Look, Solid Protection

Billy Brown
has a hard time standing still. A few years ago he combined his passion for the active lifestyle with his love of toys and somehow made a job out of it as a journalist specializing in outdoor sports and adventure travel. An avid runner, climber, crossfitter and snowboarder, he has tested gear around the world, from canyon running in Jordan to ice climbing in Chamonix. He writes for Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Wired, and Backpacker, as well as on websites like Gear Institute and Contact him at [email protected]


Apr 13, 2021

Mmmmm…Beer, the cause of…and the answer to all of life’s problems.

Apr 09, 2021

I just got so thirsty…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More Story
Chug Life Contest: Post a Pic for a Chance to Win SPY Sunglasses
by Billy Brown If you read this site, you've got some daredevil in you; you don't sip life, you CHUG it. We like that....