Boston Bachelor Party Trip Report
At the beginning of April, I was lucky enough to have my bachelor party in Boston, MA. Samuel Adams is my favorite brand of beer, so I thought it would be fun to tour the brewery, bar hop and sample craft beers, see some historical sites if we had time, and top off the night by seeing Blue Man Group. It was only a single weekend with all of the activities happening on Saturday.
To start the day off, we all had transportation issues. Thanks to airport security, two of us missed our flight up to Boston. Others had their road trip into the city take longer than expected, and our first few Uber drivers took us to the wrong locations. Due to all of this problems at the beginning, time ran tight and we didn’t get a chance to see historical sites, but we still managed to do quite a lot. We went to five different bars throughout the day, did the hour long Samuel Adams brewery tour, and saw Blue Man Group that night. The day was quite the experience and we all had a blast. Check out the photos below!
We arrived in Boston a little before 10am in the rain. After Ubering over to our hotel, we had a few problems finding our room reservations, which we learned 30 minutes later was because the last names were wildly spelled wrong. We were still missing four of the eight of us and once two more arrived, the two who drove down from Buffalo, we headed out to our first bar near the brewery so we would wait for my dad/best man and sister to arrive on their next flight. Bukowski Tavern is a small hole in the wall bar with some attitude built into the woodwork. It is a cash only tavern which has a very interesting list of craft beers. When we arrived, it was noon, so we had lunch. Overall, the food was pretty good and the bar was a fun way to start our day of bar hopping.
As we were finishing up at Bukowski Tavern, my father and sister had arrived in the city, so it was time to move on to Samuel Adams Brewery. We called an Uber who arrived shortly and began driving us to the brewery. But apparently, all he heard was brewery, not Samuel Adams. After ten minutes, I noticed we were on the East side of the city when I saw the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. We verified with the driver where he was taking us, to which he responded Harpoon Brewery. So, what should’ve been a 4 mile drive, ended up being almost a 30 minute tour of the city. Eventually we got to Samuel Adams, thankfully, and checked in for one of their tours.
When you think of Samuel Adams beer, you think of the many flavors of beer they produce throughout the year. They’re one of the more popular brands in the world, winning many awards. Thus, I pictured a HUGE brewery in Boston; I was very wrong. The Samuel Adams Boston Brewery is actually a tiny location hidden within a neighborhood. We literally had to go down small streets to get to it. It is only made up of a few small buildings and that’s it. This location is mainly for new recipe creations (which once perfect, are sent out to the major breweries) and production for Boston bars and stores. They also have two large breweries, located in PA and Cincinnati, OH. It is at these two locations where the beer for every other consumer is made, not only in America, but for the entire world.
The brewery tour is completely free, but it is first come first serve. They only operate from 10am-3pm. We got there around 1 and waited in the first room for my dad and sister to arrive. There is a lot to see in the main room. As you can tell from the pictures above, you could spend at least 30 minutes reading everything there is to offer before your tour even begins. They have jars of ingredients for you to smell and hops. There is also a collection of all of the beers they have produced over the years. It is quite extensive. When you check in for your tour, you’re given a ticket, which is just a beer bottle label. Then if you are 21 or over, you get your hand stamped so you can do the tasting. Eventually, it was time to begin!
The brewery tour is divided into three sections and is only an hour long. The first half hour is the first two sections with the details and explanations of brewing and Samuel Adams. The second half is the tasting room. Our tour guide was awesome and was one of the highlights of our tour. It begins with us in a room right next to the barrel room where the ingredients of beer are discussed. They are handed around for you to sample, whether be smell and/or taste. The process is reviewed and questions are answered. This room and the next only last 15 minutes each. Then you taken to the second room, which is right next door and is where they actually do the brewing. It is not large at all and on this day, they were brewing Rebel IPA and Norse Legend. The brewing process is explained in further detail with the machinery and how certain types of beers are brewed, whether they be light or dark, high ABV or low ABV, etc. It was very interesting. As mention, this portion is only 30 minutes long, so be sure to pay attention!
Now, it was time for the tasting! You’re taken into the sampling room and given a free 7 oz glass to keep. Pitchers of Boston Lager are passed out and it is explained how to properly test a Samuel Adams beer; you look for color, clearness, flavor, etc. Their Samuel Adams glass is also explained to you and how/why it was designed the way it was. After the Lager is finished, we then got the Summer Ale and the 26.2. I imagine the second and third are more seasonal flavors and are switched out depending on what time of the year you do the tour. The 26.2 is a beer they brew for the marathon runners so they can drink it after they complete the race. It is only available in Boston bars and only ones near the race course. It was very delicious and a shame we can’t buy it in stores. To top off the tasting, my bachelor party was toasted to! The tour was excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again! After the tour, you’re directed into the merchandise shop (It’s almost like Disney World!) where they have a LOT of excellent merchandise items. I could’ve gotten about five things, but I behaved and saved money. Maybe if I return, I’ll purchase something next time.
And of course, we got a great group photo at the end of our time at the Samuel Adams brewery. Next, we decided to head to a bar that wasn’t on our original list. It was one suggested to us by our tour guide, Doyle’s. It was a short walk away, they also have a trolley to take you back and forth. If you had just come from the Samuel Adams tour and order any Samuel Adams beer on draft, it’s served in a Samuel Adams glass which you then get to keep, so of course, most of us did just that!
Doyle’s had a very old time feel to it. A neighborhood bar everyone goes to, a dive, but it was one of the best locations we went to all day. We had a late lunch/early dinner there and the food was fantastic. Easily the best food all day. They had many Samuel Adams on draft, even some I never thought were ever on tap. We could’ve stayed longer, but had to leave to go bar hopping before our Blue Man Group show. So we traveled North!
Our third bar of the day was one I wanted to make sure we got to go to no matter what. Bell in Hand Tavern is considered America’s oldest tavern since 1795. The bar is awesome and has a very classic feel to it. They have a number of craft beers on draft and one in particular, the Bell in Hand Ale, which is actually brewed by Samuel Adams and can only be purchased at the Bell in Hand Ale. It was so good, I ordered two. I would come back to Boston just for that beer! Next we wandered into Saus, a segment on the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show on Food Network. It was very crowded and we were too full from Doyle’s so unfortunately, we didn’t get to sample anything, but it was a very neat location. Then we headed into The Tap Trailhouse for another round. We were running out of time so we didn’t spend much time in there.
It was time to head to the theater district and see Blue Man Group. We got to the Charles Playhouse just after they started letting people in, but not into the theater itself. We waited in the lounge and I grabbed another craft beer. It’s a great location to hang out before the show, so feel free to arrive early. Once we were able to go into the theater, we found our seats and put on our ponchos, which we thought we might need due to splatter on the chairs around us, but we got nothing on us for the entire show. The theater is incredibly small, only twelve seats across and probably about 30 rows back, with seating in a balcony above us surrounding the orchestra area.
The show was great as always. This was my fourth time seeing Blue Man Group. I have seen them twice on tour, once at Universal Orlando, and now in Boston. Besides my first viewing, which was How to be a Rock Megastar Live, most of the shows are all pretty similar with the same jokes/gags and performance numbers. In one aspect it’s a bit disappointing, thinking they would want each location to be unique, but at the same time, as a fan of musical theater, I shouldn’t be surprised by this as it can be considered one show, just like how Wicked has multiple permanent locations. After the show, you can meet the band members and the Blue Men themselves. They remain in character the whole time and won’t talk to you, but they do always seem infatuated with technology, so sometimes they are curious about your smart phones. The one I met talked to me a bit after I showed him my capstone project from college where I built their pipe instruments from scratch. It was a great experience.
Before we headed to our final bar of the night, we got another group photo outside of the Charles Playhouse. Everyone enjoyed the show, but the show wasn’t for everyone. It was time for some more drinks and snacks, so we walked around the corner to the Intermission Tavern, a popular bar themed around theater. They had a pretty good menu and some more craft beers for us to try. We hung out there for about an hour or so before we called it a night.
Overall, we had a great time in Boston. There are so many sights to see and things to do. We bar hopped to five different bars, did the brewery tour, and saw a 90 minute show all in one day with multiple transportation issues. It was an uphill battle from the start, but once we got to Samuel Adams, it really took off and never lost steam. Boston is a fun city and one I hope to return to in the future. Thanks for reading!