Beer Week Hits Bars Over St. Patrick's Day
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 23:03
Last Friday began the kickoff of Boston Beer Week, a weeklong celebration of brews throughout the Greater Boston area. The annual event highlights the people, places, and events that showcase the best of Boston’s beer scene. Now in its fourth year, Boston Beer Week 2013 will feature over 100 events over the course of 10 days. Liquor stores, breweries, and restaurants all across the state will be holding events and social gatherings. From casual tastings to rowdy bar crawls, there’s something for everyone in the weeklong celebration.
The greater Boston area has around 40 breweries and hundreds of bars, eateries, and stores, all offering craft beer at varying levels. From breweries to pubs, and from restaurants to bottle shops, the city’s thriving beer market draws both foreign and domestic brewers looking to tap its diverse palate, making Boston a truly great place to grab a brew.
Beer is an integral part of Boston culture, no doubt about it. Boston has been named the Drunkest City in America two years running by The Daily Beast. With its many universities, thriving sports culture, and young population, Boston has always had a lively bar scene. Boston Beer Week started last Friday with a kickoff party at the Publick House in Brookline. There were several social gatherings over the weekend, such as the Massachusetts Brewer’s Guild Takeover in Plymouth and the “We Like it in the Can” Beer Festival at the Kukowski Tavern. There were also a variety of tastings at different breweries and bars. A highlight of the weekend was the kick off of the Boston Brew Tour’s Pub Crawl. The weeklong pub-crawl combines a tour of Boston with visits to breweries and drinks along the way.
Boston Beer Week culminates on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, with many of the most noteworthy events to finish off an exciting week. On Saturday, there are many tastings and social gatherings downtown. Asgard Irish Pub, The Tap, The Urban Grape, and the Dockside Restaurant are just a few of the many places hosting Beer Week festivities.
Boston Beer Week is a not-for-profit campaign and free service founded four years ago. It is hosted by Beer Advocate, a global network powered by an independent community of beer enthusiasts and industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting and promoting beer. Beer Advocate is based in Boston and was founded by brothers Jason and Todd Alstrom in 1996. Operating from their website, beeradvocate.com, they seek to “wake the masses to better beer options, give beer consumers a voice, rally to support the beer industry and put the respect back into beer.”
The Alstrom brothers also publish a monthly beer magazine and organize many beer events throughout the year. Commenting on Boston Beer Week, Jason Alstrom said, “It is simply about bringing awareness to the industry and the beer culture we have in the area by supporting local and other ‘craft’ brewers from other parts of the country. It is about Boston and what beer it has to offer.” Some Boston residents believe that the plethora of options and events dilutes the Boston beer culture. Jason believes the contrary, “that the quality of beer will have to elevate as more and more competition is seen.”
The Alstrom brothers are an example of the thriving bar culture in Boston. This culture is recognized and appreciated by many. Many people, residents, and visitors alike, will be tasting beers that they’ve never tried before as well as returning to their old favorites this week.
“I’ve walked past popular bars with lines and covers and spent the last two St. Patrick’s Days in offbeat Southie Irish bars within walking distance of my house,” said Boston.com writer Gary Dzen, “I’ve returned to these places with friends on a quiet weeknight. There is genuine, neighborhood bar culture in Boston that should not be dismissed.” The extensiveness and richness of Boston Beer Week ensures that there is something for everyone.