Brewer's Fork

By Jacqueline Cain · 09/10/2021    Charlestown · New American · Pizza · $$

Boston’s oldest neighborhood, Charlestown has a lot going for it: Incomparably cute houses on waterfront cobblestones for folks lucky enough to live there, and the Freedom Trail passing by its historic sites for the rest of us. When Brewer’s Fork debuted in 2015 in a Navy Yard-adjacent area called Hayes Square, the local restaurant became instantly indispensable for residents and visitors alike. 

Brewer’s Fork is at once Charlestown’s best weeknight pizza takeout, family-friendly dining destination, date-night wine bar with oysters and crudo, and a weekend brunch requisite when you need something hearty with the hair of the dog. The no-reservations spot has one of the deepest beer and wine cellars anywhere in Boston, and a gleaming 30-tap draft system serving up a range of beer styles curated to match the food and friendly vibe.

But it’s never a place that compromises quality in an effort to please everybody. The eclectic array of food and drink is the singular vision of a talented team of hospitality lifers: Michael and Kari Cooney, a married couple whose collective experience includes The Publick House and Neptune Oyster; and Moody’s Delicatessen alum chef John Paine.

A former dry cleaners, the brick space that’s now Brewer’s Fork is a perfectly Charlestown setting in timeless, utilitarian ways (imagine soaring ceilings slatted with wooden beams). A twinkling beer garden-patio offers a peek of the Bunker Hill Monument, and the garage door leading out to it lets in plenty of light at other times of year. A copper-clad Maine Wood Heat oven in the open kitchen cooks all hot food on the menu, from the charry pizzas to mussels roasted in white wine-tomato broth amped up with toasted garlic and fermented chilis. 

Fire and ice, beer and wine, locals and visitors—Brewer’s Fork brings it all together under one goal: Showing us a good time.

Plan a Boston history brunch complete with a walk up grassy Bunker Hill (the monument itself remains closed due to social distancing) and a free tour of the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides. Charlestown’s two stops along the Freedom Trail are both within walking distance.

Brewer’s Fork is not only a poetic moniker for a beer-drenched gastropub. It’s also a name for a slotted tool that brewers historically used to stir the grain-and-water mash that would become their beer. Pictured in the logo, it kind of resembles a pizza paddle, too. We stan a thoughtful brand.

One of the ways Brewer’s Fork is there for Charlestown is with food all day, every day. Between 3-5 p.m., however, expect to find a slightly slimmer “mid-day” menu of selected small plates, pizzas, and oysters.

Must Haves

  • A trio of tender meatballs arrive in a cute cast-iron skillet still sizzling in tangy marinara.

  • Built atop long-fermented sourdough crisped up to a charred chew at upwards of 1,000 degrees, you really can’t go wrong with any of the Fork’s pizzas. Pepperoni people in particular, however, shouldn’t miss this salty-sweet and spicy pie with marinara, mozzarella, genoa salami, and a drizzle of local hot honey.

  • It may seem strange to order up raw seafood as aromatic wood smoke gently swirls around, but that’s the pre-pizza move at the Fork. A streamlined raw bar program fits right in with the chef’s overall ethos of fresh ingredients, with daily globe-spanning combinations like Hamachi Crudo with local cherries, pickled ramps, cucumber, and lime vinaigrette; and local Oysters dressed with thin slices of raw tuna, soy vinaigrette, kewpie, tobiko, and chives.

Fun Fact

McCarthy Brothers Liquors, next-door neighbor and landlord of Brewer’s Fork, is Charlestown’s oldest family business, now led by the fifth generation since its founding in 1888.

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