Brewery tours: take a fun peek behind the curtain

One of the most interesting and enjoyable ways to sample beers is to tour the brewery. Mrs. Hunting and I always scout out breweries to tour when on vacation, and often gain all sorts of new brew wisdom on said tours. Beer enthusiasts who go on tours are usually interesting, friendly folks who become more interesting and friendly as the beer flows.

Locally, Buzzards Bay Brewing is open for tours on Thursdays and Fridays from 11 – 6, and Saturdays from 11-6. I haven’t done the tour in years, but they’re friendly people and their system is state-of-the-art. Learn more at

Newport Storm, in Newport, RI, is open every day except Tuesday from 12-5 for $7, and offers a free Friday night “All you can drink” at 6 if you sign up on their Facebook page. Free beer, then head down to Newport for the evening! What could  go wrong? Mrs. Hunting and I attend their Friday night festivities with some regularity.

Mayflower Brewing in Plymouth has regular tastings on Thursday and Friday from 4-6 PM, and Saturday from 11-3. We haven’t managed to make our way out there for a tasting yet, but their beers are excellent, so we’d expect their tours to be similarly top-notch.

If you’re making a trip to Cape Cod, make sure you stop by Cape Cod Brewery in Hyannis, right off Route 6 on exit 6. They have guided tours Monday through Saturday at 11, and offer free tastings until 6 on Monday through Friday and on Saturdays until 3.

Blue Hills, in Canton, offers tastings on Wednesdays from 5-8, Fridays from 3-7, and Saturdays from 1-7. Their beers are quite good, and I’m sure their tours are excellent.

After hitting Blue Hills, head further north to Jamaica Plain and take a Sam Adams tour. The tours are free, although they collect $ for charity, and are very informative. The tours are Monday-Thursday from 10-3, Friday from 10-5:30, and Saturday from 10-3.

If you’re able to drive safely after visiting Blue Hills and Sam Adams, work your way over to the waterfront of Southie and attend a Harpoon Brewery tour for $5. Probably the best tour I’ve been on, it includes an IPA at the start, a half-brewed IPA in the middle (worth checking out for non-homebrewers), and an open bar with at least 15 taps at the end of the tour. Their tours are Monday – Wednesday from 12-5, Thursday and Friday from 12-6, Saturday from 11:20 -6, and Sunday from 11-5:30.

Please note: Hours may have changed since this column was published. Please check with the brewery before you show up.

Originally published on July 18, 2013