Yes, two beer gardens are coming to the Charles River this summer

The Esplanade is not the only place getting a boozy upgrade.

Night Shift's Whirlpool beer on their patio.
Night Shift's Whirlpool beer on their patio. –Tim Oxton / Night Shift Brewing

If you’ve ever dreamed of drinking an ice-cold beer while taking in the scenic views of the Charles River, you’re in luck.

Everett-based Night Shift Brewing recently landed a contract with the state to open a beer garden on Boston’s Esplanade — and doors will open as soon as the end of the month, said Michael Oxton, co-founder of the local brewery.

“I really think this whole thing is really about bringing beer to where the people are,” Oxton told in a phone interview. “People are engaging with beer in different ways than traditionally.”

The hangout spot is slated to set up specifically in Storrow Memorial Embankment Park at Fiedler Field, according to a press release from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).


However, the Esplanade, which will show off the company’s 24-tap beer trailer, is not the only place getting a boozy upgrade.

Night Shift Brewing is also opening a beer garden at Christian A. Herter Park, down the river off of Soldiers Field Road in Brighton, potentially in early August, Oxton said, adding that each garden will be called an “Owl’s Nest” location.

Oxton, who co-founded the beer company in 2012, said patrons will be able to sip on Night Shift’s flagship beers as well as a few of its experimental-style brews at both locations in the pilot program.

Taps will also feature craft beers from other local and out-of-state brewers the company distributes, alongside wine and nonalcoholic beverages, he said.

“We’re thrilled,” Oxton said.

Food trucks are set to roll into both locations, according to Oxton, who said visitors will also find outdoor seating and games to play.

Night Shift’s Esplanade proposal was submitted as a joint effort with the Esplanade Association, a non-profit group that works to maintain and better the waterfront park.

“We are delighted to partner with Night Shift to produce a one-of-a-kind beer garden on the Esplanade,” Michael Nichols, executive director of the Esplanade Association, said in a statement. “We share DCR’s vision for enhanced concession offerings on the Esplanade and believe there will be no better place to gather in Boston this summer than along the Charles River at sunset enjoying one of Night Shift’s high-quality offerings.”


A portion of sales at that garden will go to the organization for park restoration, Oxton said.

“There’s so much green space for people to picnic and play games,” he said. “We’re pretty pumped because it’s a gorgeous place to be and, if you’re drinking a beer, even better.”

The Esplanade location will open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. through late October, according to the press release.

The Brighton location will open starting in early August and close in late October on Saturdays from noon to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m., the release said. 

Both locations still need to go through licensing.

“Basically the plan is give it a go this year and see how it goes. … I think both parties hope to continue it,” Oxton said.

Night Shift’s beer garden news follows its announcement earlier this year of plans to open a second, 12,000-square-foot location on Boston’s Lovejoy Wharf near TD Garden and North Station this winter.