Five Best Distilleries in Boston

By Jacqueline Cain
Five Best Distilleries In Boston
Bully Boy Distillery

Think Boston’s a beer town? Well, it is. But it also boasts a handful of craft distilleries, and a rich history of rum production dating back to the 1600s. No history lessons are required to appreciate the artisan spirits produced locally these days, however. From vodka and gin to whiskey and barrel-aged cordials—plus plenty of delicious rums—New England distilleries make a wide array of offerings. Whether you’re looking to learn about the distillation process on an informative tour, take a seat at a bar to indulge in some craft cocktails, or simply stock your at-home bar cart, check out the best distilleries in Boston.

Bully Boy Distillers - Five Best Distilleries in Boston

Boston’s first craft distillery since Prohibition, Bully Boy Distillers makes the full range of artisan spirits—from crystal-clear Vodka, Estate Gin, and White Whiskey to can’t-miss bottled and canned cocktails. Award-winning dark rums, such as Boston Rum and The Rum Cooperative blends, nod to New England’s rich history of rum production and involvement in the molasses trade. Find Bully Boy’s modern speakeasy-style Tasting Room in Roxbury and pull up to the bar for seasonal craft cocktails. Distillery tours can also be scheduled in advance.

Short Path Distillery

The “short path” in question refers to this spirit-maker’s technique of using a pot still, which shortens the distance between evaporation and condensing to concentrate flavors. But it could also refer to the short distance between Short Path Distillery and Everett breweries Night Shift and Bone Up, a three-stop itinerary which makes for a fun day for any craft food and drink fan. Short Path has a bar serving up snacks and seasonal cocktails made with an impressive range of spirits brewed in small batches. Try everything from various gins to Greek-style ouzo to a Scotch-like local peated whiskey.

GrandTen Distilling - Five Best Distilleries in Boston

GrandTen Distilling debuted nearly 10 years ago with Wire Works American Gin, a balanced botanical blend that’s versatile for any number of cocktail combinations. Since then, the craft-distilled repertoire has grown with numerous creative cordials and spirits, including Fire Puncher pepper vodka, South Boston Irish Whiskey, and the acclaimed Amandine barrel-aged almond liqueur, a bar cart essential for making a Mai Tai with all-local ingredients. Visit this South Boston distillery for tours, tastings, and a full-service bar that shakes up (and stirs) craft cocktails on-site and to-go

Boston Harbor Distillery
Photos provided by Boston Harbor Distillery

This beautiful venue on the harbor in Dorchester celebrates spirits and the city of Boston equally. Founded by Rhonda Kallman, a pioneering woman in the craft beverage industry (the cofounder of Boston Beer Company), Boston Harbor Distillery creates small-batch alcohol in honor of historic entrepreneurs, such as Putnam Rye Whiskey, named for the horseshoe-nail tycoon who originally built the waterfront factory. The tasting room gift shop also offers local food and drink, like rum- and whiskey-infused Goodnow Chocolate bars, and a line of 84-proof distilled Boston Beer.

Privateer Rum

Privateer Rum - Best Distilleries in Boston
Photo Credit: Privateer Rum

Unlike the Boston distilleries on this list that craft a wide selection of spirits, Privateer Rum is uniquely focused on molasses-derived alcohol. (Even their Tiki Gin begins as cane sugar.) That dedication has paid off: Offerings like Navy Yard and New England White Rum are literally world-renowned and beloved by bartenders locally. Based in Ipswich, Privateer has a destination-worthy tasting room, which plans to reopen this spring for monthly distillery tours led by Privateer founder Andrew Cabot. In the meantime, Privateer Rum is worth seeking out at your favorite bottle shops and bars.

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