The Best Beer Gardens from Local Breweries to Visit This Summer Around Boston

By Jacqueline Cain
Credit: Trillium Brewing Company

While Oktoberfest trips to Bavaria, the ancestral home of the beer garden, aren’t on tap again just yet, Greater Boston might just be the next-best place for beer lovers. Good thing, ’cause we’re thirsty. From European-inspired traditionalists to hop-driven innovators, here are seven local brewery beer gardens to check out around Boston this summer.

Trillium Garden on the Greenway

Credit: Trillium Brewing Company

Boston-born beer darling Trillium Brewing Company has several idyllic outdoor areas for enjoying pints like Fort Point Pale Ale and the new Soak Seltzer series, but their downtown spot is hard to beat. Located on a brick patio in the middle of a blooming public park populated with public art, Trillium Garden on the Greenway overlooks the harbor through the Rowes Wharf arch. This beer garden is first-come, first-served with picnic-style tables, benches, and high tops, plus barrels set up as standing areas, with a rotation of food trucks on deck.

Credit: Rob Hughes

Notch was the first U.S. brewing company to make exclusively session beer—which means you can post up all afternoon at their riverside biergarten in Salem and keep your wits about you. Like the sub-5% ABV beers they brew in German, Czech, English, and Belgian styles, the relaxed vibe at Notch Salem—and their brand-new Brighton biergarten, opening imminently—is inspired by Europe. (Hop heads won’t go thirsty: Notch makes full-flavored session IPAs and American pale ales, too.) Food options on site include bratwurst plates with local potatoes and sauerkraut, pretzels, and tinned fish.

Night Shift Owl’s Nest-Esplanade

Credit: Night Shift Brewing

Since filling a north-of-Boston warehouse with fresh beer and good times, the one-time homebrewers behind Night Shift Brewing have spread their wings with a distribution company; hard seltzer, cider, and wine labels; and several beer garden outposts around Boston. This scenic spot is our favorite, thanks to the lively atmosphere of its location along the Charles River Esplanade, and the exclusive on-site food menu by Brighton brewpub Brato Kitchen. From Night Shift libations to distributing partner taps, there’s always something new to drink, too.

Credit: Aeronaut Brewing Co.

This Somerville-based brewing company has three outdoor options this summer, including Greater Boston’s original offsite beer garden: Aeronaut Allston has returned to Zone 3 for its sixth 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. Resident restaurant Carolicious provides tasty arepas and other Argentinian fare in Somerville, as well as at Aeronaut’s new cannery location and patio in Everett.

Idle Hands Craft Ales

Credit: Idle Hands Craft Ales

One of Greater Boston’s original breweries has a small but stellar beer garden outside its Malden taproom. Idle Hands Craft Ales 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, the beer garden is a dog-friendly patio where you can unwind with friends beneath twinkling lights while enjoying a mug of your favorite style and snacks like pretzels and grilled cheese, or some local takeout.

Dorchester Brewing Company

Credit: Nat Rea Photography/RODE

A roof deck with views of the Boston skyline awaits at Dorchester Brewing Company. Along with house brews, beers from partner brands, wines, cider, and 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

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. Framingham is worth the drive, but Jack’s also has a foothold in the Boston beer scene with summer pop-ups in Cambridge and East Boston.

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