Photo Credit: Holly Rike
Samuel Adams unveiled its Boston Brewery Tap Room in November, allowing some 80 drinkers to check out at least a dozen taps featuring seasonal favorites, experimental brews from the nano brewery—like the currently flowing Double IPA test run—and beers about to hit shelves, including the New England IPA that features pineapple and grapefruit hops and which visitors can take home in 22-ounce canned “crowlers” ahead of next year’s national release. Plus, get a taste of limited barrel-aged beers from the newly debuted Bier Keller space that’s taken over the pre-Prohibition Haffenreffer Brewery’s aging cellar. It’s now stocked with beers maturing in Utopia, Buffalo Trace bourbon and wine barrels, and visitors can regularly tour the cellar on Mondays and Fridays at 3:30 pm; through December, sample barrel-aged Vixen, Double Bock and Black Harbor Stout paired with Bon Pere cheese.
30 Germania St., Boston (617-368-5080) samueladams.com
Opened in November, the Cocktail Lab at Earls hosts 40 seats for guests to try out an exclusive menu separate from the upper level of the Prudential eatery, including six classic Boston-centric cocktails—think Backbar cocktail slinger Sam Treadway’s Agony & Ecstasy, a mix of mezcal, St-Germain, grapefruit, ginger and a customizable amount of chipotle Tabasco to drinkers’ liking. That’s in addition to originals from a roster of guest bartenders who pop in Mondays through Thursdays from 5 to 11 pm to get their hands on fancy equipment like a refrigerated circulator, which hits extreme enough temperatures to freeze alcohol. In December, the space adds Monday night cocktail classes to the calendar, as well as ticketed tasting parties on third Thursdays; Dec. 21 features manager Melinda Maddox, Deep Ellum’s Sabrina Kershaw and Highball Lounge’s Clairessa Chaput.
Shops at Prudential Center, 800 Boylston St., Boston (857-957-0949) earls.ca
Up and running through January, the Champagne Lounge at OAK Long Bar + Kitchen transforms the Red Room into a pop-up on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 5 pm. Up to 14 guests can cozy up alongside the fireplace, glassed-wall wine vault and stained glass windows to sample a curated beverage list. By the half- and full-glass, there’s 2006 Dom Perignon to be had, plus by-the-bottle options, such as Lieb Cellars’ Blanc de Blanc “Reserve” from Long Island, New York, a favorite of assistant general manager Daniel Loperfido. The bar’s also uncorking select wines normally reserved for bottle service, including glass pours of the violet-and pepper-flecked 2013 Cheval des Andes—in December, they’ll decant one of the vineyard’s beloved vintages. Those who like the hard stuff can sample nearly 50 premium whiskeys, like Yamazaki Sherry’s 2016 cask edition, of which only 5,000 bottles were produced.
Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Ave., Boston (617-585-7222) oaklongbarkitchen.com