Lord Hobo

By Eric Twardzik · 06/05/2019    Cambridge · Bar · $$

Lord Hobo has achieved what we imagine to be the highest aspiration of any indie beer bar: the launch of its own brewery. Since that 2015 milestone, cans and taps emblazoned with the Lord Hobo logo have become a common sight throughout Massachusetts and beyond.

You might think that success would turn the neighborhood bar on a sleepy Cambridge corner into a slick, branded gift shop for its widely distributed product. But that’s not the case. Somehow, Lord Hobo has managed to carry on as before, the only difference being that eight of its 40 tap lines are now devoted to the house product.

Even the interior seems unchanged from the bar’s 2009 opening, defined by a tinned ceiling and walls painted an alarming shade of crimson. The U-shaped bar remains as good a place as ever to experience its flagship Boomsauce double IPA, whether you’re having it for the first time or the hundredth. Clocking in at 78 IBU, it’s a round, hop-forward brew with a remarkably long finish that’s fruity and bitter.

If you’re not as much of a hops fiend or are just seeking a mellower choice, you can spring for Hobo Life, a delightfully named session IPA. The hop funk is there, but it comes across more measured than aggressive (as does the 4.5 percent ABV).

Selecting a beer isn’t so easy when the other draft lines and considerable bottle list boast everything from West Coast craft makers to Belgian sours. Which brings us back to where we started: Lord Hobo is not just a Lord Hobo bar.

Trouble deciding? You can experience a flight of four five-ounce beers, priced at $12 for a classic flight or $13 for a seasonal selection.

Taste Lord Hobo at the source by visiting its Woburn brewery, which includes a taproom and restaurant.

Lord Hobo operates a secretive mug club. To qualify, you’ll have to drink 150 beers within a single year, receiving an engraved mug (and bragging rights) as a reward.

Must Haves

  • This is Lord Hobo’s calling card for a reason: a one-two punch of tropical fruit and citrus that’s in no hurry to leave the palate.

  • Think of this bright, refreshing session IPA as an easy-going break from hop overload.

  • One of the only non-Lord Hobo constants on the ever-changing draft list, this round, crisp lager brewed in Framingham drinks like a much better version of the macro stuff.

Fun Fact

Before Lord Hobo, 92 Hampshire Street was the site of the B-Side Lounge, a legendary dive bar credited with kick-starting Boston’s cocktail revival.

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