Where to go for cocktails
Best bars for beer
It’s the only Scottish bar in the city, and the only place you can get Kelpie with your Haggis. Kelpie blends seaweed and chocolate flavors, and is as dark as the blackest porter. But it’s got a brisk, light taste, tinged with ocean salt. Other Haven perks include Brew Dog on tap and deep-fried chocolate bars. The atmosphere is immersive: Belle & Sebastian on the soundtrack, tartan curtains, antler chandeliers and a bathroom plastered with obscure Scottish comics. Signature brew: Skull Splitter, a strong 8.5% wee heavy.
Enter through dark curtains and your attention is immediately drawn to the bar, with its 40 taps raised up in the center like an altar to the god of hops. Here, the bartenders are more than happy to introduce you to the delicious and obscure—such as a pale ale lovingly brewed by a Belgian father and son in their spare time away from their day job at a big brewery. Signature brew: Cantillon Vigneronne, aged with Italian Muscat grapes, smooth yet lightly bubbly.
Named for the booze-loving author, the Bukowski is all attitude. The style reflects the interests of the beer-slinging crew: Sex Pistols on the jukebox and a beer menu that lists “Ales,” “Lagers” and “Funky Shit”—which includes a Brooklyn Chocolate Stout and a Blanche De Bruxelles Wit from Belgium. The usual local suspects, such as Pretty Things and Magic Hat, are also on tap. Signature brew: Deus De Flanders, aged for 2 years, and clocking in at a hefty $45 a bottle.
Cambridge Brewing Company
CBC is a veteran of the Boston beer scene. It certainly has the merchandising down: hats, T-shirts and pint glasses are all for sale. Founded in 1989, it’s the oldest brewery-restaurant in the city, and the first in the country to produce a Belgian-style beer: the Triple Threat. The room itself is spacious and comfortable, with lots of long, shiny pine surfaces. The brewing tanks are visible from every seat in the house, but the best tables are to be found on the front patio. Signature brew: Cerise Cassee, a tart, barrel-fermented ale made from sour cherries.