While Ryan had been gulping down brews on his journey from the West coast to the East coast in a taco truck, I had been out in the beautiful west country of England. While Ryan had to combat an automobile wreaking of vomit and penis sweat, I was enduring a 7 hour first-leg flight in United’s Economy Plus to the anus of the northeast, Newark, New Jersey. Eventually, Ryan and aspiring Seagal stunt-double, Cheyne, picked me up from the Boston airport and I was stuffed in the truck bed, smothered by the stench of desperate masturbation. I hopelessly fished in my pockets for a cyanide pill or any quick fix to end this inhumane torture. Amnesty International’s whistles would have fallen out of their mouths while gaping in disbelief at the ongoing horrors in the back of that Toyota.
Well, enough, of my sad story. I am sure you are much more interested in what the great city of Boston has to offer. Normally a champion of spontaneity, I am not one to plan a trip, but there was a purpose for our visit to Boston. The reason for our visit, the 4th annual American Craft Beer Festival would be happening that weekend. Ryan and I had the opportunity to visit the festival in 2009, and had our eyes opened to the breadth of the craft beer community. The ACBF would be the perfect setting to jump start the rest of our craft beer journey through America.
Now, back to our first night in Boston. After many hours suffocating in the ass-truck, we finally booked what we thought was a moderately priced hotel room for three people. Unfortunately for us, it was about 10 miles outside of the city center. When we arrived to our closet for three, we realized there was only one bed. Eventually we were able to squeeze an air mattress into the room for the massive Cheyne, meaning once again, Ryan and I would be sharing a tiny bed on our beer travels. All in a day’s work for a single malt mate I suppose.
Now that you know how difficult it is to what we do, you’ll probably give up your own dreams of being a beer, whisky, and travel blogger (yeah right). So let me tell you what you are going to do when you come to Boston next year for the American Craft Beer Festival. Actually first off, I will tell you what you are not going to do. You are not going to visit the fake Cheers Bar in Feneuil Hall. You are not going to Cambridge for photo-ops in reference to The Social Network to post on that other social network. Do not even think about going to the Paul Revere House or blazing the Freedom Trail.
Okay, so what are you going to do? First, head to your favorite chain coffee house for a doppio to energize for the long day. After you feel invigorated, it’s time to head to BeerWorks for some delicious fruit beer. I am not talking about a kriek or lambic, I am talking about a dry, crisp ale with fruit in the beer damnit! Actually, only do this if you have a mate who drinks pussy blonds and blueberry wheat beers all of the time so that you can taunt him with mobile phone images.
I suppose you could always hit the farmers market if you feel so inclined and then pop into a few Boston bars. You are then going to head to the Sunset Grill and Tap to sample some of their 112 crafts on tap, hundreds of more microbrew bottles, and there surprising mead selection. You are going to enjoy the frat-party atmosphere but you are in no way to start off with one of Sunset’s famous Margaritas (this is a beer journey after all).
The beer festival usually has a Friday night session and two sessions on Saturday. You should learn to fully appreciate day drinking by attending the Saturday afternoon session. Afterward, you should join Bostonians at a sports event that weekend and if you are not a Sox/Celtics/Pats fan, then you can have even more fun heckling the crowd as you slam 14 dollar pints of SA Boston Lager. In our case, due to timing, we would be traveling to Foxboro to see the USMNT take on world-beaters, Spain.
(Shout out to Cheyne Bloch for being our cameraman at the festival)
Due to the timing of this world football event, it was necessary for us to take on the Friday night ACBF session, but you still have to go to the daytime session. When you finally get inside the Seaport World Trade Center, you must start with the lesser known breweries while the masses line up for the “big” craft breweries. You should start the festival off with a few beer samples over 8% ABV, of which there are plenty at the fest. Once full of liquid courage, your job is to antagonize breweries featuring fruit beer and attendees wearing pretzel necklaces. You then need to have a meet and greet with the Founder of the brewery with the busiest station, (John Hall of Goose Island). You must then ask leading questions about a recent controversy (the acquisition of Goose Island by AB-InBev) until John walks away from you mid sentence, effectively alienated in a matter of minutes.
If you decide you need to go out for a bit or one of your mates is chasing tail, then you are allowed to finally visit Feneuil Hall to rub elbows with the Boston nightlife. An interesting club to visit would be Ned Devine’s which essentially has three separate bars with the biggest one having live music and dancing. If you are as lucky as I was, you will have a fly in your Jameson and coke and your single friend will meet a girl or two. In fact, your single friend will eventually get into a cab with a female while you order dirty Boston street food, but after you take that first bite of food, he will call you to pick him up off the street only a few blocks away. American cities 4, Cheyne 0.
You should probably stay out all night until the bars shut down and then sleep in to your hearts content. The genius of this is that you will be able to get stuck in 3 hours of traffic for a 30 mile drive to Gillette Stadium, while slamming Magic Hat #9 out of cans. Your extreme tardiness will allow you to miss all of the tailgating, 20 minutes of the match and the first goal. In fact, the USMNT will have a rough day and get smashed by Spain 4-0. After Tim Howard fetches the third goal out of his net you will become embarrassed by the cost of the tickets and the much louder and represented Spain contingent. At this point you will begin to chant “Sta-ble Eco-nomy! Sta-ble eco-nomy!”
All and all, you can-post party the american way (despite being demolished) by shotgunning industrial, tasteless pilsner and heading to the nearest Toby Keith’s for some good old red meat and shitty country “music.”
Perfect weekend in Boston. Check.