By Richard Campbell
Since mid-summer I’ve been surveying the Boston beer gardens that occur from the pop-up Down East Brewery Garden near South Station, to the Trillium Beer Garden near the Bostonian Hotel on Atlantic Avenue, and the newer Cisco Brewery Beer Garden in the Seaport near District Hall, on Northern Avenue.
It would be hard to say that any of them are much more than a pleasant diversion, and particularly in the case of the Greenway gardens, the interference of cars takes the edge off the pleasantries. The Down East Brewery wins the music award, but the clear overall winner of the contest is hands down The Cisco Beer Garden.
The most important quality that makes the Cisco Brewery Garden the Top Dog is because of its location set back off Northern Avenue away from cars. When I use the term Top Dog, you can see from my pictures, this is not an exaggeration. As a person who likes clever design, Cisco also takes the charming environment prize with the best bling and cool set-ups. The beer is excellent, we had their Pumple Drumkin, albeit a little pricy, but that is a given in these sorts of things. The tasty tacos (6 bucks each), from Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar were fresh, though served in a paper bowl that needed a little more rigidity to make it comfortable. The staff here gets a Very Friendly rating, as they truly know they are in the hospitality business.
The crowd this past Saturday was pretty young, but a good mix of locals and people from away. It is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. You can’t get into this place on Friday nights, it’s a mob scene! Cisco Brewers is from Nantucket, an enterprise that started with Nantucket Vineyard in the 1980’s and Cisco Brewery has been a staple since 1995, famous for their Whale’s Tail IPA. In 1997 Nantucket Vineyard and Cisco Brewers collaborated to found Triple Eight Distillery on Nantucket Island. A portion of the sales goes to the Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund that maintains the memorial in the Seaport to Fallen Heroes of Iraq and Afghanistan, which gives this beer garden a little edge of thoughtfulness some others don’t possess. Most of the beer gardens shut down after Columbus Day, so time’s a wasting!