Get Another Round at the Best Beer Bars in Boston

By Jacqueline Cain
THE PUBLICK HOUSE | Best Beer Bars in Boston
Credit: Brian Samuels Photography

Cocktails and wine certainly compete for our beer money these days, but in Greater Boston, a good beer bar will never truly go out of style. Cozy pubs are what we do, and our region is home to some of the top craft beer-makers in the U.S. Next time you’re looking for a comfortable place to toss back a pint or three, head to one of these five spots for the best beer bars in Boston.

Interior of the The Publick House in Boston

This Brookline classic has set a high standard for beer bars since debuting in 2002, becoming the Boston area’s first gastropub. Inspired by Belgian beer traditions, The Publick House offers a deep cellar of aromatic, herbaceous, and unique bottled imports like Orval and Trappistes Rochefort; but it also features an unparalleled selection of American craft beer on tap. (When Trillium brews a hazy IPA in a bar’s honor, beer lovers know they’re in the right place.) Beyond the bar, the beloved PHouse dishes up delicious mac and cheese, frites, and enticing daily specials. For warm days (and nights), it has covered outdoor seating on Beacon Street as well as an idyllic beer garden-patio out back.

Brewer's Fork

Brewer’s Fork in Boston

Brewer’s Fork is a lot of things to a lot of people: Top pizza shop and crudo bar, go-to for outdoor dining in Charlestown, and a weekend brunch favorite, to name just a few. This no-reservations spot in Boston’s oldest neighborhood also curates a gleaming 30-tap draft system to serve up the full range of beer styles to match its food and friendly vibe. Expect to find plenty of popular hoppy selections from regional breweries, of course. But folks excited by elusive sour beers from world-renowned makers like Jester King and Allagash, or smoky dark beers imported from Germany, will not be disappointed at the Fork.

Lulu's Allston

Lulu's Allston | Best Beer Bars in Boston
Credit: Sam Knollmyer

If a dirty pint glass of stale Peeber in a dingy college dive comes to mind when you think of ordering draft beer in Allston, it’s really time to visit Lulu’s. (This is when we pour one out for bygone Allston beer bars, Sunset Grill and Tap and Deep Ellum.) This Cambridge Street barroom has been around since 2014, with a large covered patio joining the party a couple years in. All the while, Lulu’s has offered up a huge selection of craft beer paired with comfort food creations. Hopheads are particularly well-served, but stout fans shouldn’t skip the Mast Landing Gunner’s Daughter Milk Stout, poured on a nitro draft line to enhance the low-proof Maine beer’s creamy, peanut buttery texture. PBR fans, try the Zero Gravity Green State Lager and thank us later.

people dining in Interior of Row 34 | The 10 Best Seafood Restaurants In Boston

This Fort Point-based restaurant group has an exclusive Island Creek Oyster variety named for it, yet Row 34 is as well-known for its craft beer selection as it is for bivalves. That’s because the talented team running the place—which also has locations in Burlington, Portsmouth, N.H., and soon, in Cambridge—takes their pairing job seriously, sourcing light and lively brews from the top producers around the world to complement those clean and briny Row 34s. This is a beer bar guide, though, so it’s not all about dinner—and the scene at Row 34 hits the spot, too. Snag a seat at the large, L-shaped bar or one of the standing-room tables and start sipping: Beer lovers are sure to find something they’ve never tried before.

The Independent

The Independent | Best Beer Bars in Boston

Established in 2001, this low-key pub and restaurant predates most of the attractions in Somerville’s super-cool Union Square; one could argue The Independent put the neighborhood on Boston’s bar map. The Indo does original cocktails worth exploring, but the beer list is an impressive sight for local beer lovers. The 20-strong draft lineup is locally sourced, always highlighting gems from New England and regional breweries such as an Idle Hands lager, Notch IPA, or Shacksbury Cider. It’s the friendly, cozy atmosphere, however—particularly on the pub side with its warming fireplace in the wintertime—that really keeps us coming ’round.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Sign up for our weekly newsletters for curated guides, can't-miss dishes, restaurant recommendations, and more.

Enter Email