The Best Beer Gardens from Local Breweries to Visit Around Boston

By Jacqueline Cain
Trillium Garden | The Best Beer Gardens from Local Breweries Around Boston
Credit: Trillium Brewing Company

Boston is a year-round beer destination, but there's no better time to say "cheers!" than when beer gardens pop up around the city. Whether the vibe is a tap trailer docked along the Charles River or an urban patio bedecked in string lights, these breweries around Boston tap into the right vibe for outdoor drinking. Here are seven local beer gardens to check out around Boston this summer.

Trillium Garden on the Greenway

Trillium Garden | Best Beer Gardens Boston
Credit: Trillium Brewing Company

Boston-born craft beer darling Trillium Brewing Company has several idyllic outdoor areas for enjoying pints like Fort Point Pale Ale and Soak Seltzer. A glass-walled taproom in the Fenway neighborhood feels close to nature no matter the season; and the main brewery in Canton boasts a rolling lawn overlooking the Blue Hills. But Trillium’s downtown Boston beer garden is hard to beat. Seasonally located on a brick patio across from the Boston Harbor Hotel, in the middle of the Rose Kennedy Greenway—a blooming public park populated with public art—Trillium Garden on the Greenway overlooks Boston Harbor through the Rowes Wharf arch. The pop-up beer garden is first-come, first-served, with a rotation of food trucks throughout the season.

Notch Brewing | Best Beer Gardens Boston
Credit: Rob Hughes

More than a decade before non-alcs and Dry January started trending, Notch was the first U.S. brewery to make exclusively “session” beer, or craft beer that’s less than 5 percent alcohol. Such easy-to-day drink beers inspired by classic European styles fit right in on any Notch biergarten: The original Salem location abuts a river and has a laid-back vibe with loud music and Skee-Ball. The new Brighton biergarten is at the Charles River Speedway, a marketplace that’s also home to The Koji Club sake bar, Super Bien by Buenas, and Tipping Cow Ice Cream. Both taprooms and serve up bar snacks like Jaju Pierogi, Liège Waffles with whipped honey butter, and a rotating selection of sausages. Notch also operates a seasonal Mobile Biergarten. If you catch one of these pop-up beer gardens in a scenic Massachusetts location, you’ll certainly want to stay a while.

Night Shift Owl’s Nest-Esplanade

owls nest Boston
Credit: Night Shift Brewing

Since becoming one of Boston’s first craft breweries in 2012, these one-time homebrewers behind have spread their wings in several ways. Night Shift Brewing now makes hard seltzer, cider, coffee, and more at two taprooms in Everett and Boston, which both boast patios for outdoor drinking. Night Shift has also hatched seasonal Owl’s Nest Beer Gardens around Boston and Cambridge, with six locations in the flock. The Esplanade Owl’s Nest has a particularly lively atmosphere thanks to its central and beautiful Back Bay location along the Charles River. The Herter Park pop-up in Allston also has riverfront views and frequent food trucks, with additional Owl’s Nest beer gardens popping up in Kendall Square, Charlestown, and other neighborhoods. 

Aeronaut Brewing Co. | Beer Gardens from Local Breweries in Boston
Credit: Aeronaut Brewing Co.

After introducing Greater Boston’s original offsite beer garden in 2016 with   Aeronaut Allston, Somerville-based Aeronaut Brewing Company has grown with several outdoor drinking options come summertime. (Stay tuned for news about a return to Zone 3 for a eighth season of local beers, food trucks, and an impressive live music lineup.) At Aeronaut’s Somerville HQ, a parking lot-patio is complete with a cool mural and plenty of shade. There’s also a beer garden at Aeronaut’s Everett Cannery taproom and live-music venue. Resident restaurant Carolicious provides tasty, gluten-free arepas and other Argentinian fare at both locations.

Idle Hands Craft Ales

Idle Hands Craft Ales
Credit: Idle Hands Craft Ales

One of the Boston area’s original craft breweries (and still one of the best), Idle Hands Craft Ales has a small but stellar beer garden outside its Malden taproom—and whether you love lagers, saisons, pale ales, or sours, you won’t be disappointed. Idle Hands started in 2011 and has been producing exemplary German-style pilsners, barrel-aged sour beers, and American IPAs ever since. Just a few minutes’ walk from the Malden Center T stop on the Orange Line, the Idle Hands beer garden is a dog-friendly patio where you can unwind with friends beneath twinkling lights. Enjoy a mug of your favorite style in the open air with snacks like pretzels and grilled cheese, or plan to catch a visit by one of the many exciting food pop-ups that are regulars here.

Dorchester Brewing Company

Dorchester Brewing Company
Credit: Nat Rea Photography/RODE

Dorchester Brewing Company became the first brewery in Boston’s largest neighborhood when it opened six years ago. These days, a roof deck with views of the city skyline awaits for you to pull up a stool and enjoy the local flavor. Along with house brews, beers from partner brands, wines, cider, and hard seltzer on tap, some of Boston’s best barbecue is also available, thanks to M&M BBQ in residence at DBCo. Grab a rooftop table (you can make a reservation) and order food and drink to be brought right over. There’s also a street-level patio at this Mass. Ave. destination,

Jack’s Abby

Jack’s Abby beer garden
Credit: Jordan Griffin

Beer lovers in Boston’s Metrowest already know this lager utopia: Jack’s Abby is one of the best dining and drinking options in Framingham. In season, it also boasts a huge beer garden on which to enjoy house lagers and sister brewery Springdale Beer offerings with a full menu of wood-fired pizzas and beer-friendly bites. Underneath shade sails and string lights, bedecked with pretty potted plants, the former parking lot is a convenient and comfortable place to meet friends—and it takes reservations. 

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