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Folks enjoying some Trillium beer on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
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Visit Three of Boston’s Many Beer Gardens on a Boozy Outdoor Crawl

Summer is fading fast — drink outside while you still can

Welcome back to Food Crawls (or in this case, Booze Crawls), a series in which Eater Boston staffers guide you (virtually) on various food and booze crawls in the Boston area.

When we go out, we often find ourselves wanting to try more than one restaurant (or bar) at a time — a drink and a snack here, another drink and perhaps a dessert there — and want to share our favorite multi-stop combinations with you. These crawls are meant to be relatively walkable, and the amount of food and drink is meant to correspond roughly to a couple of average appetites (so bring a friend), although your mileage may vary. Email us if there’s a particular theme, specific dish or drink, or neighborhood you’d like to see covered in a future installment.


Drinking beer is almost always a good idea; drinking an ice cold beer after slogging through an oppressively hot and humid Boston summer day is the best version of drinking beer. Unfortunately for most Americans, their country doesn’t like to allow them the pleasure of drinking beer — or any other adult libations — outside in public spaces. (By contrast: If you’re in Naples, Italy, and you’re not drinking outside, you’re probably doing something wrong.)

Fortunately for Bostonians, there’s been a spate of outdoor beer gardens popping up across the city, some on heavily trafficked public spaces. Sure, there are boundaries — one can’t take his pint of IPA from Nightshift’s Owl’s Nest beer garden on the Esplanade and walk with it to Beacon Hill, for example — but at least adults have been afforded some small semblance of trust by the powers that be.

The best stretch of summer is about to commence, so take advantage of the city’s beer gardens — and their exquisite elixirs — before it gets too cold, and before they close for the season. Here’s a convenient crawl that incorporates three of them (but there are plenty of others to check out as well).

  • Total stops: 3
  • Beers swilled: Depends on mode of transport. If bike: No more than three. If Uber/Lyft/cab/designated driver: As many as you can handle — you know yourself.
  • Drunk strangers mingled with, or at least stood next to, while drinking outside in kind of public spaces: So many!
  • Hours when all three of these spots are simultaneously operating: 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday; 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday

A Dr. Nandu and Some Live Music at Aeronaut Allston at Zone 3

267 Western Ave., Allston 02134

aeronaut allston zone 3
Catch some live music at Aeronaut Allston at Zone 3
Aeronaut/Facebook

Somerville’s Aeronaut has a couple satellite seasonal locations in Allston and Arlington. For this crawl, check out Aeronaut Allston at Zone 3, which has live music and food trucks and, most importantly, lots of beer. What’s not to love? It also just extended its schedule to include Thursday nights as well as Wednesdays and Fridays through the end of the season (September 28 is the last night.) Get the Dr. Nandu, which is a malty, floral, and fruity IPA.

An 87 at Night Shift’s Owl’s Nest on the Esplanade

West side of Fiedler Field, Esplanade, Boston 02116

Night Shift’s Esplanade beer garden, the Owl’s Nest
Heady IPAs all day
Dana Hatic/Eater

Night Shift has come a long, long way from the team’s humble roots as home brewers. This is one of two Owl’s Nest beer gardens Night Shift is operating (the other is at Herter Park, Brighton) in addition to the brewery in Everett (and a forthcoming massive Boston proper location). Get an 87 IPA — named for the brewery’s address at 87 Santilli Hwy. in Everett — which is a cloudy, heady, fruity New England-style IPA. Just have one, otherwise you might have to tap out before the third and final stop — at 8 percent ABV, these cats are dangerous.

A Sunshower at Trillium Garden on the Greenway

Atlantic Avenue and High Street, Boston 02110

Trillium Garden on the Greenway
Trillium Garden on the Greenway
Trillium [Official Photo]

Like the industry itself, it’s been all IPAs to this point. Buck the trend at Trillium Garden on the Greenway and try its excellent saison, Sunshower, which is peppery and malty and smooth. It’s more potent than even Nightshift’s 87 IPA (8.5 percent ABV), so again, maybe just have one of these things. If you decide to have another, hop into the car of that saintly friend who agreed to be the designated driver, or hail a ride.

And sure, why not: Crack another open when you get home and drink it outside somewhere.

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