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Boston Beer Works - Fenway
Active Beers: 116
Beer Ratings: 1,328
Beer Avg: 3.63
Taps: 16 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
61 Brookline Avenue
phone: (617) 536-BEER
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 120 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 2.5 | $$
I agree with the last reviewer.. are people here beer-deprived, or can they not figure out the T to get to publick house?
18 plus bar seats in an expansive, well-located beer join slash restaurant.. im sure with the proximity to Fenway, this serves primarily as a drinking mecca for baseball fans. just look at the beer names.. hard to find one (out of 20 originals) that is not named for a baseball-related icon or facet.
food looked good watching some other guy eat it (he had a pizza) but i neglected to try any. was in the mood for a beer and that's what i had. IPA lacked flavor, watermelon ale was sugar-syrupy. besides a hefeweizen, the other 17 taps were all "ales". X ale, Y ale, Z ale.. with no descriptors. after asking the barmaid, she offered no info other than.. "that one's darker, this one is kinda light, and this one looks brown". thanks.
odd crowd but decent decor and a plethora of flat-screen tv's for those nutty sports types. tanks are in view and booths are isolated enough for quiet conversation.
big beer selection but almost nothing worthwhile. if you're going to the avalon or fenway and want to hop right on the highway after a quick one.. ok. otherwise, seek out anam cara.
07-03-2005 17:23:42 |
More by goodbyeohio
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
After reading many of the other BA's reviews, I was looking forward to visiting the Beer Works. Overall though, I was not impressed with the experience. Perhaps game days are different than other days?
The food was average pub grub (nachos, burgers, pizza, wings). Beer list consisted of 12-16 Beer Works beers on tap in addition to Woodchuck Cider (which seemed kind of random to me). The one bright star out of the 5 different beers that I tried was the Imperial Pilsner. I also tried the Back Bay IPA, Old Ironsides, a Hefeweizen, and the Bunker Hill Blueberry.
Staff were quite rude. You must order your beer at the end of the bar or they won't serve you. The bartender also felt the need to snidely inform me that the imperial pilsner is served in a "small glass" because it is a "strong beer". Thanks for that tip... When I asked about the beer in more detail, she didn't seem to know anything about the beer (except for the fact that it is served in a "small glass" because it is "strong").
Due to its close proximity to Fenway, I can see why this is a popular choice for many. I think I might give other establishments a try before going to the Beer Works next time I'm in the area.
05-24-2009 02:40:46 |
More by swierczt
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | $$$
Stopped in here an hour before a Fenway Park tour. Atmosphere was kind of sports barish with a fair amount of brewerania thrown in. It was 2 in the afternoon, crowd was pretty sparse I was looking to have an IPA and maybe another brew before the tour. Again sparse crowd but only 1 (and a half-some guy who would show up from time to time and sling a beer down the bar) server to take care of the people at the bar and the small group of tables behind us. I felt sorry for the young lady as she was busting her hump, staffing not really her fault. It took nearly 15 minutes to get my first pour. No chance for a second pint obviously, barely could get her long enough to settle up at 2:45.
Anyway, 10 house beers on tap, served Heineken and Corona too so kind of mixed. My IPA was not spectacular but tasty nonetheless. No food sampled. If this is what it is like on off night for the Sox, I can't imagine trying to get served in game nights. I hear better things about the Salem location, think I'll opt for that next time. Or maybe I'll be in Boston in the fall when the Publick House is open all afternoon. (sigh)
07-31-2005 22:36:36 |
More by ViveLaChouffe
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I've been going to BBW since the mid 90s; when I was in school in the greater fenway area, I was in attendance once to several times a week. Since then, Beer Works has improved in exactly one way: when the Commonwealth had the wisdom to ban smoking statewide, so that I can actually smell, and so better taste, my beer. In every other way, BBW has gone downhill.
(Much like the state of brewpubs in Boston, which has been on a steady decline since the late 90s. Oh, how I miss Commonwealth [the first incarnation, not that nasty "fish and beer co." nonsense], and Northeast, and the old BBW.) Here's to looking ahead to Purgatory and brighter days!
Oh, right, this is about Beer Works. The atmosphere is industrial themed, very large and impersonal, and LOUD with any kind of crowd. (It's absolutely intolerable immediately pre-Red Sox home games, and they used to slap the beer by serving it in plastic dixie cups during these times. I haven't been in several years during home games, this made me so sad.) The up-scaling they did about five years ago was a big, ugly mistake: they put in cloth napkins, a bunch of schmancy menu items, fancier, more fragile pint glasses (still getting about 14 ounces per pour in them), and used this as an excuse to jack all the prices up. Ugh. The place is big and deep, and you can usually get seated or find the bar, but avoid home games.
The quality of the beer: it used to be the best, or equal to the best, in Boston. (Then Cambridge Brewing started doing seasonals more consistently, and their beer was better.) It's been on a toilet style plunge for many years now, and is now often pretty mediocre. Examples: the Back Bay IPA used to be top notch: hoppy, brisk, full of florality and zing, and now is a dim shade of its former self. Same for the Fenway Pale. The specialties used to be much more plentiful, and now are few and far between: I will forever pine for Stout Month (Feb... 2001? 2000?). I miss the Hercules (strong ale) of old. I miss the cask ales before they started putting thin beers on, resulting in soapy, boring beers. Further, the cask ales seem to regularly come out WARM. No, not cellar, 52-55: warm, like 60-64. Warm like they should only be after I nurse them for a while.
The service has always been reasonably solid, though yo udo get the occasional vague, disinterested BU student who just needs any old hourly job, and doesn't know or care about good beer.
The selection is usually very solid, 12-16 things on, but three to six will just be weak and sad: light, thin, undistinguished beers like Acme light ale. Winter and colder months, as at many brewpubs, generally offer some more hope than warm months, when brewers seem to have decided we want to quench our thirst with watery beers. Me, I'll happily drink a good barleywine when it's 100 degrees, over a weak interpretation of a kolsch, or a golden, anytime.
The menu is long and varied, but mostly differing takes on standard brewpub fare. (The french fry choices are nice.) Since this is my overall review for BBW, it also mostly applies to Canal Street as well, though they don't usually have quite the selection, so it's even weaker. Like the pool tables, though.
For what you get, beer and food wise, it's a little bit expensive. Not that it's truly expensive, it's just that what comes out for that $4+ pint is a short pour of usually uninspiring beer. I usually end up going once or three times whenever I am in Boston, between four and eight times a year, and almost always leave disappointed, and pining for the good ol' days.
05-26-2005 05:15:59 |
More by warmstorage
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 5
I've been here quite a few times. My girlfriend used to live in the Fen, so we'd go to Beer Works to watch BoSoxers go to and from the games. The food is great, period. The beer on the otherhand is pretty spotty. Their pumpkin ale and the blueberry beer are classics. The kolsch left much to be desired. The lager is fairly watery. To me the best reason to go are the best nachos any brewpub on the planet has to offer. As long as you are not expecting a life changing beer it is a great place to go split a pitcher and have a meal.
10-18-2004 19:27:24 |
More by swamiswamu
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5
My wife and I visited the Fenway BBW during Baseball season and were
underimpressed. The beer quality was nothing to scream about, although I did enjoy the Back Bay IPA. A friend informed me that we needed to visit off-season when the beer quality was better, so we did. Again nothing to scream about. The atmosphere is good, but the beer is average, in fact at one point I ordered a Cask beer, and told the waiter that I thought it had turned, to which he replied "Yeah, a lot of people have told me that its bad". My question is, why is this still on tap? If a number of people are telling you the beer is bad, then take it offline, its not going to do you any good to serve a beer that has gone bad.
Selection is impressive number-wise, but I prefer fewer of higher quality rather than a large selection of so-so beers. The BBW has won some medals in the past, but I wonder if they got too big and sacrificed quality, because the medals are from the mid-nineties.
03-06-2005 19:44:04 |
More by ridedammit
vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The afternoon sun was warm, not hot, and yet I felt feverish. I struggled to keep up with Jim and Kumar as we made our meandering way from the Other Side to the Fenway location of Boston Beer Works. Instead of walking through the heart of Kenmore Square, we took a circuitous route through some cavernous apartment buildings and ended up on Landsdowne St., Kumar stating imperatively that we must pray at the altar of the Green Monster. As we shambled by the palaces of flesh on the right, DNC tents covering us in shade, I noted in quarter speed that Jim, as he punched Kumar in the shoulder and spewed some profanity in my general direction, laughing and pointing at me, had tiny shreds of carrot sticking to his greasy hair. Kumar, laughing and nodding, had a sliver of radish clinging to his bushy, left eyebrow.
We finally made it up to Brookline Av. Beer Works lay directly across from us. Kumar was shaking his fists and yelling at the back side of the Green Monster, while Jim was rappelling his hulk up and into the Cask & Flagon when I finally came to, if only for a little while.
Jim, we cant go in there, I croaked, you cant go in there. Jim looked up, examined the door of the Cask & Flagon, and apparently something registered. Jim pirouetted like the principle dancer in the local ballet company, and cried, Jesus, are we drinking today or what? Get that fucker and lets get drinking, he yelled and sloped across the street to Beer Works. I turned to see Kumar screaming silently up at the green wall, tears tracking over his dust-covered face, fists clenched to the sky.
Upon entering the Beer Works, I noted the small bar on the left, tables and chairs lining the small area, and Jim already hoisting a pint to us. Kumar and I continued on up the dark tile ramp to the main bar and restaurant area at the back, brewing equipment clearly visible through yards of glass on the whole right side of the building. The whole place was dark, and the tile and general layout of the place with the long bar on the right and raised restaurant seating on the left, with swallowing booths, brought to mind a skeletal image. Trying to shake off that chilling image, I immediately made for the bar and sat at one of the twenty-two or so stools that the slightly jagged bar offered. Kumar joined me with eyes staring pointedly at the bar top, searching for something to wipe his hands with; Kumar suffered from OC disorder, with his manifesting particularly in needing clean hands. Finding no napkins on the bar, he told me what to order for him and rushed off to the bathroom. Jim ambled up with eyes focused on the television immediately above us, a CSPAN telecast of the lead up to the DNC. I noticed that there were televisions festooning the place, giving off a pallid shade to the proceedings.
I examined the chalkboard above the bar and saw that they had fifteen draughts on, two cask-conditioned offerings, some wine, Mercury sodas, and some malternatives on hand. Among the draughts were their regulars, as well as the seasonals Handsome Devil and Double Vision. I ordered one of the latter and tried to settle down a bit. Matters did not improve when my pint arrived and I was confronted with the stark reality of what they passed off as pint glasses; cylindrical tubes tapered at both ends. I tried to recall at that very moment why it was that we had decided to make this our third stop, but, as luck would have it, Jim started shouting and I had to decide whether to sit and drink or run and hide. I decided that the former was more provident as I was actually enjoying my Double Vision.
Hey, do you make it a habit of berating your customers, Jim demanded of the bartender. Just because I support Kerry doesnt mean you can just break my balls and spout off some glorious shit about Bush, you know, Jim said and looked in my direction for some support. I buried myself in my ale. Hell, Im a paying customer here, Jim turned back to the barkeep and shoved his pint forward, and I sure as fuck arent paying to hear you extol the virtues of Bush! Kumar had suddenly reappeared, a few feet of paper towel gripped firmly in his hand. Jim continued to argue with the bartender, their volume ratcheting up slowly, while I motioned to Kumar to kindly drink up. He took a quick swallow of his Handsome Devil, and then examined his hands and the pint glass, back and forth, ghoulishly. Apparently, there had been some spillage on the glass. Kumar dunked the paper towel he was carrying into the glass of water the bartender had brought each of us when I had ordered our pints, and wiped his hands maniacally with the sodden towel. In the meantime, I finished up my pint and started edging off my chair while Jim went further down the spiral.
I want to talk to your fucking manager! Jim was well on his way to getting banned from this location too.
08-07-2004 03:18:05 |
More by Truh
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Every damn time I've been to this place, they're always out of a good chunk of the beers that they've got hanging on the menu. That, and I've never been thrilled with their beer. The food's ok, service has never been a problem, and the prices are pretty solid. However, given the desire for combining bar food and good beer, I never name this place first.
It is, however, and excellent gateway for neophytes and budding beer-enthusiasts, provided you can actually get a glass of what you're after.
02-16-2011 05:06:34 |
More by sjverla
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
The Beer Works on Brookline Avenue is less good in every way to the Beer Works on Canal Street. That doesn't mean that the place sucks. The beer is good, but the Canal Street beer usually tastes slightly better, and that goes for the food too. The biggest difference is in the crowd that hangs out there. A bunch of not nice people sometimes hang out at the Beer Works on Brookline Avenue, and while I am sure that there are some nice people there too, the preponderance of not nice people makes hanging out there unpleasant sometimes. I've had good service, and I have had poor service. They tend to be understaffed during crowded times. I see more of the light beers and less of the good beers than at Canal Street. They don't have any pool tables either. The place is inferior to its cousin on Canal Street.
05-27-2007 15:40:13 |
More by commie
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
For a brewpub with little or no distribution, Boston Beer Works has an extensive selection of draft beers. I've visited the Fenway location a couple times and haven't really found a beer that I thought was good to outstanding. Perhaps I gravitate to their more ambitious beers, which don't quite work, or styles that don't showcase the brewer's talents. I'd probably go back more often if I didn't find the food overly greasy and simply bland. I've tried a couple different appetizers,a burger or two, and wasn't impressed by very much. At best, my Beer Works experiences have been average beer and average food in a sterile, yet surprisingly loud, room with adequate but unimpressive service.
03-19-2004 03:36:10 |
More by AllThingsNinja
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Boston Beer Works - Fenway in Boston, MA
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