South Station commuters might be happy if their train is running late this summer thanks to Downeast’s Back Porch, a 5,000-square-foot space in Dewey Square run by the East Boston cider company.
Although the spot’s zoned for more people, marketing director Nick Lamothe says Downeast is keeping capacity at 400. “We didn’t want it to be super-crowded, and there should be elbow room for everyone to raise a toast or just play cornhole. We could make a bigger profit, but it just takes away part of the experience if it’s packed.”
Downeast will truly differentiate itself from the crowd by focusing on its unfiltered craft cider made with apples locally sourced from Stow. There’s also one tap dedicated to a rotating selection of local beer vendors, as well as canned wine and a Back Porch-exclusive mint lemonade cider. Customers can chill out by listening to local music and if they’re stuck in line, they can enjoy a complimentary popsicle on hot days.
But while you might put off your to-do list to sip some cider, Downeast organizers don’t have that luxury. Unlike the other beer gardens that are permanent fixtures from Memorial Day through October—including last year’s Greenway star Trillium, which reprises its glory again at a spot near the Aquarium—Downeast must set up and break down stools, cask barrels with umbrellas and tap lines within just a few hours to make way for the biweekly Dewey Square farmers markets and Boston Calling block parties.
HOURS: Mon., Wed. and Fri., 4-9 pm; Sat., noon–9 pm; Sun., noon–7 pm
BEER GARDEN VARIETY: CASTLE ISLAND | WACHUSETT BREWING COMPANY | DOWNEAST | LAMPLIGHTER BREWING CO. | AERONAUT