Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Boston beer gardens was growing by leaps and bounds, with area breweries consistently seeking new ways to get their tasty suds in customers’ hands. COVID-19 only hastened the expansion as customers sought to socialize in outdoor spaces with plenty of fresh air and cold beer.
That said, with all of the openings and closings over the last two-plus years, it’s been hard to keep track of where you can go for an open-air pint. The pop-up beer garden at Boston’s City Hall Plaza, for example, remained closed for the season in 2022, while new offerings like Mighty Squirrel’s biergarten in Watertown made their debut this year.
Here is a full list of all the outdoor beer gardens (and one wine garden) in the Boston area.
(Note: The precise definition of what constitutes a “beer garden” is a tricky one. Breweries with ample outdoor space at their taprooms — including Faces Brewing Co. in Malden, Lamplighter in Cambridge, and Lord Hobo’s Seaport location — are great. But for the most part, you’ll find those taprooms and patios on one of our other lists.)
Back for another season in Allston, Aeronaut Brewing has set up its seasonal beer garden four nights a week on Western Avenue. The brewery has an extensive live music lineup, a rotating cast of food trucks, and plenty of beers on tap. (Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m.)
With views of downtown across the water, the wine and beer garden at The Anchor in Charlestown’s Navy Yard is abutted by a gorgeous two-story public gathering spot. Selections on the beer and wine menu include selections from Winter Hill, Lone Pine, and Bentwater. (Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m-11 p.m.; Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Located in a typically unoccupied alley next to the Boston Harbor Hotel, Brewer’s Alley serves up craft ales to Rowes Wharf visitors during the summer and early fall. In the past, the brewery has had a rotating cast of breweries do month-long takeovers, but this summer is all about Maine Beer Co., which will serve up favorites like Lunch IPA and Peeper Pale Ale all season. (Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 2p.m.–10 p.m.)
After first opening in the Seaport in 2018, the Cisco Brewers beer garden has shifted locations slightly, moving a little further east on the tract of land between Northern Avenue and Seaport Boulevard. Along with brewery favorites like Grey Lady and Whale’s Tale, the beer garden also has canned cocktails and offerings featuring spirits from Triple 8 Distillery. (Tuesdays through Thursday from 4 p.m.–11 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m.-11 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m.–11 p.m.)
Now open as of early July, Fresh Pond Beer Garden proudly wears its low-maintenance approach on its sleeve. As it turns out, slapping down some artificial turf, picnic tables, a handful of cargo containers, and some lawn games in the parking lot of Fresh Pond Mall (in front of Apple Cinemas) is enough to transform the previously underutilized space into a thriving happy hour spot. The bar offers a long list of beers, wine, and a smaller list of specialty cocktails. (Monday through Wednesday from 1 p.m.–11 p.m., Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m.–midnight)
First opened in 2019, the West End wine spot and music venue City Winery brought back its open-air wine garden on the Greenway for another season. Take your pick of the winery’s Wicked Good Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Downtown Rosé, or choose from a local selection of beers and ciders. Fittingly for a wine-focused spot, you can snack on charcuterie, burrata, and hummus, among other items on the Mediterranean-inspired menu. (Wednesdays from 4 p.m.–9 p.m., Fridays from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m.–10 p.m., and Sundays from noon–7 p.m.)
Mighty Squirrel’s flagship taproom in Waltham has an enviable outdoor space of its own, but for the full beer garden experience, head to the brewery’s seasonal spot in the heart of Watertown’s burgeoning retail hub, Arsenal Yards. Grab a bite from one of the many food options (including Buttermilk & Bourbon, Frank Pepe’s, and Shake Shack) and sip on one of nine beers on tap, including Cloud Candy IPA and Mike Czech pilsner. (Thursday from 5 p.m.–10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday from 1 p.m.–10 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m.–9 p.m.)
Night Shift has spread its wings even farther this summer, opening five (and soon to be six) of its seasonal Owl’s Nest beer gardens. Joining the long-running beer gardens on the Esplanade and at Herter Park in Allston are Hood Park in Charlestown and two Cambridge locations, at University Park and Kendall Square. The brewery also plans to open a sixth Owl’s Nest in Somerville’s Assembly Row soon. To keep up-to-date on any new nesting grounds, check the brewery’s website. (Esplanade: Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturday from noon–10 p.m., Sunday from noon–8 p.m.; Herter Park: Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturdays from noon–8 p.m., Sundays from noon–6 p.m.; Canal District Kendall: Thursdays and Fridays from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Saturdays from noon–9 p.m.; Hood Park: Thursdays from 4 p.m–9 p.m)
After years of serving the North Shore in its Salem taproom, Notch Brewery has brought its crushable session ales, malty Czech beers, and unfiltered Bavarian beers to Brighton, opening a beer garden at the Charles River Speedway. With an outdoor area that seats 250 and access to all of the Speedway’s food vendors, the beer garden also has an adjoining indoor taproom space in case of inclement weather. (Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon–11 p.m., and Sunday from noon–8 p.m.)
Trillium’s beer garden on the Rose Kennedy Greenway (at the corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue) has been a staple since it first opened in 2017. The brewery hasn’t rested on its laurels since then, opening an expansive beer garden in the Fenway neighborhood in 2019, as well as revamped taprooms in Fort Point and Canton. The Greenway location offers a rotating lineup of food trucks, while the Fenway location is directly next to a plethora of options at Time Out Market Boston. Guests are also welcome to carry in their own food at both locations. (Greenway: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m.–9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from noon–10 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m.–7 p.m. Fenway: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m.–8 p.m.)
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