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Cheers! 5 Boston-area bars for the beer connoisseur

Posted by Alex Pearlman  March 30, 2012 06:29 PM

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craft beer.jpgBy Lina Roque

A good beer (read: not a PBR or the like) at a fair price and served in a fun atmosphere can be hard to find if you only stick to the kind of places everyone thinks to look, like breweries, brewing companies, and liquor stores. Think outside the box (the bottle?); there are plenty of neighborhood joints whose specialty is serving up a unique brew.

Whether you’re a beer newbie or a beer connoisseur, if you’re looking for a quality cold one after a long day, get your drink on at one of these local bars.

Lord Hobo (92 Hampshire St., Inman Square). With 40 draughts and “new American” cuisine, Lord Hobo prides itself on being a beer bar bistro. Quietly located in Inman Square, Lord Hobo disguises itself as a dive bar, but once you walk through the heavy red curtains, you’re greeted with high ceilings, copper tiles, and all-around vintage pub elegance. The joint has a hipster sort of vibe, making it the perfect place to try some unconventional beers; you can’t pick up a Short’s Wizard 666 or a Mikkeller Boogoop down at your local packy.

Sunset Grill and Tap (130 Brighton Ave., Allston). Nestled in the Allston/Brighton area, Sunset Grill is a beer geek must-visit. Featuring everything from meads and ciders to rare imports and cask-conditioned ales, the beer menu at Sunset is more of a beer catalog; they’ve got 112 taps, 380 microbrews, and various imports. Lucky for you, Sunset makes sampling their legendary selection easy: They offer 4-ounce glasses that are small enough to allow you to try as many beers as you can stomach, and if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, their knowledgeable staff will help you navigate through the selection. Sunset also offers a beer-infused food menu that features, among other things, mouth-watering ribs marinated in a "beer-bacue" sauce and beer ice cream.

publick house beer selection.jpgPublick House (1648 Beacon St., Washington Square). A cozy, old-school pub and a great local spot, Publick House is the perfect place for a beer nerd -- especially a Belgian beer nerd. Their huge menu offers a plethora of specialty brews, including (among many, many others) Trappist Ale, Eisbock, and Schwarzbier. And even if you’re on a special diet, you can still partake: Publick House offers gluten-free beer, too.

Watch City Brewing Co. (256 Moody Street, Waltham). Waltham’s a bit of a hike if you’re in Boston proper (though this spot is pretty close for Bentley students), but Watch City Brewing Co. is well worth it. You won't find any major beers on tap; they brew everything themselves. Instead, you’ll find stouts and porters, lighter summer-style beers, and even some weird ones, like bacon- or spearmint-flavored brews. I recommend the Moody Street Stout, a foreign-style stout that’s rich and velvety, with aromas of coffee, chocolate, and roasted nuts -- and just the perfect amount of carbonation.

Flat Top Johnny’s (1 Kendall Sq.). With a laid-back vibe and giant pool hall, Flat Top Johnny’s is one of Boston's best places to play a game or two with your buddies and relax with a beer. The bar has a relationship with the nearby Cambridge Brewing Co., so they feature their brews, as well as those from local spots like Somerville Brewing Co., Wachusett Bewing Co., Smuttynose Brewing Co., and Long Trail Brewing Co. Every Tuesday is Low Tech Tuesday, so leave your smartphones at home.

What spots would you recommend for a unique, quality beer?

Photos by Drunken Monkey (top) and Travlr (bottom) (Flickr)

About Lina -- My life could be described as a cross between Eliza Thornberry's (hello '90s!) and 'Mean Girls,' having been home-schooled in the Amazon in my junior high years, then moving to Small Town, USA, and attending real high school. I attended and graduated business school with a hippie-meets-corporate-girl mentality and a passion for doing good and keeping it real. Now, I'm a hands-on media girl, tech-savvy, and have a desire to communicate news and trends from a multicultural perspective.

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