Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Boston Beer Adventure & Shock Top Belgian White

So Brendan, the friend I’ve known the longest (we sat next to each other on the bus in elementary school) happened to be in Boston for the week instead of in Upstate NY per usual. I of course leaped at the opportunity to spend my day off in Boston with him, doing all sorts of fun Boston-ish things with him. While brainstorming for activities we thought about taking a tour of the Samuel Adams brewery – it’s accessible by the T (mass transit) and we both thought it would be a wicked fun time. And as a bonus we’d get to drink beer, which is never a bad thing!

Our day started off a little drizzly and we immediately made a mistake of trying to take an outbound instead of an inbound train to get into the city, and laughed about it as we got off, crossed the track and waited for another train. We boarded that one and so did a T maintenence guy, pushing buttons and testing the car which was making all kinds of upsettingly loud noises. After we got off in the center of Boston, the train was pulled out of service for having mechanical issues. So, we broke a train and we laughed about it.

We stopped at a Mexican food place near the theater district and got a little food into ourselves before heading off in the brewery direction – we figured that would be a sensible thing to do considering it was about noon. Then we boarded the orange line and went out almost as far as you can go, got off at the Stony Brook stop and walked about three blocks. The Sam Adams signs were out and it had stopped raining – joy!

Until… we saw this —>

On a random, sunny Tuesday afternoon, the tour had filled up. For the whole rest of the day. Brendan and I were really quite sad about this, and decided we didn’t want to just go in and get a beer but we really wanted to do the tour. Sadly, the Beer Babe was gypped out of a tour. Silly capacity! Silly missed trains that might have gotten us there earlier. Grr!

Brendan and I decided to do a few other things to fill the afternoon, and jokingly promised each other we wouldn’t have any Sam Adams beer tonight. We ended up going to the museum of science, seeing really neat stuff there. We saw a gigantic 42 lb lobster which could easily have fed 10 people, the brightest light bulb ever created, lightning created by a giant Van de graff generator, played with an infrared camera, and as an unexpected sight, two turtles getting it on.

We then ended up having dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, which had tons of Jethro Tull memorabilia – awesome!

With dinner, the choices were extremely limited for beer. I really thought that the Hard Rock Cafe would have some good beers on tap, but apparently, I was wrong. So if I didn’t want a Sam Adams Seasonal, I had to go for a Shock Top Belgian White. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. They’re made by AB! They’re one of the big guys trying to look like a craft brew. Both of those things are true.

But to be honest, after a long day of riding, walking, sitting, riding, walking, sitting and walking some more, it was a nice summer beer. It was cloudy, citrusy and light, it kind of reminded me of a hefeweizen with a orange dunked in it, but lighter tasting. By the end of dinner I had consumed two, and Brendan did too. I think that it was a nice end to a rather misadventurous summer’s day!

I swear at some point I will make it inside of the Sam Adams brewery for a review (and for fun, too!) but I guess it’ll have to wait.


Stone Coast Brewing Company – 1260 Triple India Pale Ale


Bar Harbor Brewing Company – True Blue


  1. Michael

    I was pleasantly surprised by the ShockTop myself. I’d probably buy it again…but now the pumpkin/spice beers are nudging it off the shelves so maybe next year. (Sorry you missed the tour…dare I say, “maybe next year.”) Great blog, as ever.

  2. Lew Bryson

    Wow. It’s tempting to go all sarcastic and fake screaming at you for “selling out to faux craft beer”, but your honesty is refreshing…as refreshing as a witbier on a hot day, apparently. I had a really crappy experience at the Hard Rock Cafe in Montreal (my only HRC visit ever), though, the beer wasn’t even as good as you got.


  3. Brew Dude John

    Sorry to see you weren’t able to tour the brewery. I think they opened a new space to hold the tour on August 1…maybe that is why it was filled up on a random Tuesday.

    I have never been on that tour either…

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