Breweries north of Boston give beer lovers a reason to explore the North Shore. From Everett to Gloucester, you'll find breweries of all kinds. Visit small-scale craft breweries, large-scale bottling operations and even ale houses that incorporate their own restaurant brand into the mix. All of this is well within an hour north of Boston's downtown.
Casks of beer at Night Shift brewery — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
Craft Brewing at Its Best
For those who like all things small and local and want to keep the travel from Boston to a minimum, Everett has just the spot for you. Night Shift Brewing breaks beer basics in favor of producing a unique line-up of tasty drafts, brewing their beers using wild yeast, barrel aging and sours. You'll find that this small-scale, craft brewer turns out top-notch tastes that draw hoards of beer geeks for regular tastings.
Night Shift brewery's tasting room — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
Committed to sourcing local ingredients when possible, Night Shift has an always expanding, unique collection of rotating beers, utilizing ingredients from both land and sea. You'll find options like their seasonal specialty Gose. Aptly named, Harborside is brewed with local oysters. As strange as this may seem, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the lemony, slightly salty flavor devoid of any fishy aftertaste.
Enjoy your samples in their welcoming tasting room. The cool vibe of their industrial chic space has a large bar that sets you up for front and center tap viewing, while long picnic tables set off to the side. Plenty of standing room creates a pleasant space for congregating while sipping Night Shift's stellar brews.
Salem Beer Works — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
A Beer-Focused, Boston-Based Chain
Something is brewing in Salem, and it's not in the witch's cauldron. Salem Beer Works, part of the Boston-based Beer Works chain, is a booming spot to enjoy a bite and beer.
With a brewmaster on-site at each of the Beer Works locations, you'll be able to sample beer brewed on-site in Salem, as well as at the other Beer Works locations, allowing for an extensive selection of their specialty beers. You can score large portions of stellar pub grub to accompany the beer.
Large-Scale Contract Brewing
When you're looking to see how a large-scale brewer does it, make your way for a tour and tasting at Ipswich Ale's new location. This enlightening look into the world of contract brewing will have you seeing beer manufacturing from a different perspective.
Beer tasting — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti
In this space, Ipswich ale is born, but so is a line of soda pop. There's also beer that is the creation of small-scale brewers who contract use of the premises to get their beer out to the masses in an affordable way. Popular brand Clown Shoes, and their cult favorite Clementine, come to life within the walls of this mass producer of fantastic beers.
Gloucester's Waterfront Beer Spot
Right on Gloucester's waterfront, you'll find Cape Ann Brewing, where you can take a tour, hang in their pub and sample some of their beer.
This award-winning brewery has a lovely patio for outdoor harbor-side seating and an interior set-up with beer hall-style community tables, where along with your beer you can order from their extensive food menu. Enjoy a tasting board of their beers to check out the nuances of each before ordering a pint of your favorite or a growler to go.
Games at Cape Ann Brewing — Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti