Boston’s Best Outdoor Bars
Summer is in full swing, and that means endless sunshine, long days, and more time spent outside. It’s the perfect time to catch up with friends on the patio of a trendy new restaurant, or just relax in the park after work. Over the past few years, outdoor bars have been popping up all over Boston, bringing craft brews from all over New England. With summer-friendly drinks, live entertainment, and food trucks galore, outdoor bars are the place to hang out in Boston this summer. Here are the must-try outdoor bars in and around the city.
Seaport: Cisco Brewers
The crowd favorite, Nantucket-based brewery, is back in the seaport for a second year, and they’ve expanded their footprint next to District Hall. You’ll find classic Cisco beers, like Whales Tale and Grey Lady, in addition to experimental brews from their Portsmouth outpost, like the Crantucket Brut IPA. If you’re not a beer drinker, treat yourself to a glass of wine, or a wine-based cocktail, from sister brand Nantucket Vineyard. If you’re coming hungry, check out one of the food trucks on-site, or indulge in small bites from Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, Luke’s Lobster and Flatbread Brighton.
Back Bay: Night Shift Owl’s Nest
The Everett-based brewing company was the first to bring an outdoor beer garden to Back Bay’s Esplanade. At the Owl’s Nest, you’ll find small-batch beers brewed at the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf locations, while you watch boaters sail the Charles River. You’ll also find beers on tap from Night Shift’s distributing partner brands. This outdoor bar offers non-alcoholic drink options, games, and popular food trucks, making it a perfect location for the whole family (and your dog!) And when you visit Owl’s Nest, a portion of every beer sold goes back to the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the Esplanade Association.
Financial District: Trillium on the Greenway
At Trillium Brewing Company’s outpost at High Street and Atlantic Avenue, you’ll find staple picks, like hoppy ales, New England IPAs, farmhouse styles, dark beers, and sours. For adventurous drinkers, we recommend the Fresh Press wild ale-shandies, with summer-friendly flavors like cucumber-pear and strawberry-watermelon. If you’re a wine drinker, glasses from Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery are also available. If you’re hungry, bring your own food from one of the many food trucks nearby at Dewey Square Plaza.
Government Center: The Patios
The Patios is returning to City Hall Plaza, with a wide lineup of brews from Westminster-based Wachusett Brewing Company. Find pints of popular picks, like Blueberry Wheat Ale and Wally New England IPAs, as well as eight beers on draught. In addition, The Patios is serving up drinks from Wachusett-owned brands, like a margarita-inspired sour beer, Fifty Trees Hard Cider, and Nauti Seltzer. Go for the craft beers, and stay for rotating food trucks, lawn games, and puppies!
Somerville-based Aeronaut Brewing Company is setting up shop at Allston’s Zone 3 for the fourth season. But you’ll find much more than good local brews at this beer garden. Open Wednesday through Friday, Aeronaut will also feature live music from acts like Los Goutos and Kotoko Brass. This year, popular festivities include bike nights, queer community meet-ups, and a Hamilton singalong, are back on the schedule.
Charlestown: Castle Island at Constitution Wharf
Norwood-based Castle Island Brewing Company is coming to Charlestown, and they’re bringing their local favorite beers with them. Enjoy popular ales like Keeper IPA, Candlepin Pale Ale, and American Lager, while you take in waterfront views of the Boston skyline. The beer garden also has a 20-tap draft trailer that will host a number of limited-release beers throughout the season, as well as various wine options. You won’t find any food trucks at this location, but there are light snacks for sale. Bring your own lawn chair and listen to live music, or check out vendor pop-ups from JA Patty, Tavitas, and Wahlburgers.
Beth Rivelli is a Boston-based contributor for JUGs. She's a full-time content marketer, part-time Netflix addict, and self-proclaimed ice cream expert. Follow her @elizabethrivelli on Instagram.