It’s unclear why it took Boston 400 years to realize that drinking beer outside is fun. But give us credit: we’re making up for lost time in a big way. Keeping track of all the beer gardens that pop up all over the city each summer is kind of like trying to keep track of every case of mono in a high school cafeteria, so we made a directory to chronicle each and every one (the beer gardens, not the mono).
Update June 10th 2020: After months of being closed, Boston restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Check out the list of Boston Restaurants Reopened For Outdoor Dining for up-to-date info.
the Beer Gardens
Wed-Fri 2-10pm, Sat 11-10pm, Sunday noon-6pm
Trillium didn’t start the beer garden trend, but thanks to world-class beer and a location in the greenest part of Downtown, it’s the one that blew it up. You will have to wait in line with what seems like every single person who works within a two-mile radius, but it usually moves fairly quickly and it’s worth it for some of the best beers in Boston underneath the Greenway’s swaying branches.
Mon-Fri 2-10pm, Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-8pm
For a city built on the ocean, we have surprisingly few options for drinking beer anywhere you might get sprayed by sea water. You’re still not quite close enough to get wet at the new beer garden opening on Rowes Wharf, but it’s close. The breweries will rotate throughout the summer and early fall, starting with Devil’s Purse before moving onto Night Shift, Jack’s Abbey, and Lord Hobo.
Wed-Fri 3:30-10pm, Sat 1-9pm, Sun 11-7pm
No, it’s not beer, but as far as we know, the wine garden opening up in Dewey Square is the only one of its kind in the city, so it goes here until it’s joined by enough classy wine friends to get its own directory. In addition to the local wine, there will be some beer and cider from Harpoon, along with a small menu of finger food.
Mon-Thurs 4-10pm, Fri-Sat noon-10pm, Sun noon-6pm
Wachusett Brewing Co returns to City Hall Plaza. This year, they’re adding margaritas and grills available for public use to go along with the beer and food trucks. If you’re trying to get people to actually hang out in City Hall Plaza, that’s a pretty good way to do it.
Mon-Fri 4-11pm, Sat-Sun noon-11pm
Since this Seaport garden is run by Cisco Brewery, the island mood is more of the Nantucket/Vineyard variety than that of the Caribbean. They’ve added a second bar this year to go along with wine, regular food trucks, and tacos from Loco Taqueria.
Wed-Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
It’s possible that there’s a better place to drink beer in Boston than under the swaying trees and cafe lights on the Esplanade as sailboats glide by on the river, but only in the way that it’s also possible to consistently make your bed. It gets crowded here after work and on weekend afternoons, but it’s just about the happiest crowd you’ll ever be in.
Thurs-Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
Further up the Charles, this beer garden in Herter Park is still technically in Boston, but you’ll feel more like you’re on the grounds of a riverside manor in the English countryside - probably the only riverside manor with cornhole and Connect Four, but still.
Wed-Thurs 5-9:30pm, Fri 5-11pm
The beer garden that started them all four years ago is back, and it’s still featuring something that sets it apart from all the others: good local music. There will also be food trucks, a Hamilton sing-along, and beers you can’t get anywhere outside the garden.
Every Sunday there will be something different to drink at the South End market, including beers from Fiddlehead and rose from Urban Grape.
Thurs-Friday 3-9pm, Sat 12-9pm, Sun 12-7pm
If you’ve ever fantasized about being a pirate, you know that drinking is a big part of the lifestyle (along with, for some reason, dressing like an 18th century French dog trainer). Now, you can make the fantasy come to life by drinking Castle Island brews right next to our city’s most famous old wooden ship (though keep in mind that it’s still technically a US Navy commissioned ship, so maybe think twice before engaging in any real piracy).
Mon-Thurs 4-11pm, Fri-Sun 11-11pm
The Anchor is also in the Charlestown Navy Yard (Shipyard Park, to be specific). It has rotating cans of local beers, along with sangria and espresso. It also claims to be “more than just a beer garden,” which means it has public art or something. But, frankly, we’re fine with things being “just beer gardens.”