6 Destinations that Offer Craft Brews and Custom Cocktails in Boston and Cambridge

Bostonians are a demanding crowd, meaning they’re seldom content to settle for watered-down Mojitos and insipid pale ales. As a result, Beantown and nearby Cambridge offer some of the most varied nightlife options in the country. Whether you’re a microbrew devotee, a natural wine lover, or a mixology maestro, there’s a bar stool in the area that’s just right for you. To make sure you and your drinking buddies can all have fun and arrive home safely, give your designated driver a break and request an Uber at the end of the night.

The Cocktail Connoisseur

If bespoke cocktails made of rare ingredients—butterfly pea flowers, anyone?—and premium spirits sound like your idea of a perfect evening, head to Drink and ask the mixology wizards to conjure up something special. Every element in this place has been carefully considered, from the stylish industrial décor to small bites like steak tartare with pillowy brioche and umami-rich truffle aioli. Even the ice is hand-chipped from a gleaming 50-pound block.

The Wine Geek

Banish all thoughts of “Sideways”-style snobbery and stop by Beat Brasserie, an unabashedly fun-loving bistro with an emphasis on top-tier vino. In lieu of pretentious sommeliers, this buzzy joint sports a retro 70s-style aesthetic and several dozen artisanal American wines on tap. By eschewing the bottles, the restaurant minimizes waste and ensures that every glass is fresh from the barrel. Forgo your safe-bet Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays and let the friendly, knowledgable staff lead you to your new favorite.

The Tinder Date

Looking to break the ice? After you both swipe right, take an Uber over to the Druid, a cozy pub in Inman Square, and get to know one another over a pint or two. Traditional Irish music and a lively atmosphere will help get the conversation started. Tuesday night trivia here is legendary and gives you a chance to impress your date with your obscure knowledge. Should you fail to clinch the cash trophy, don’t sweat it because this is one of the few places that also offers a prize for finishing dead last.

The Cool College Kid

As soon as you turn 21, Saturday night means you’re joining your classmates at Grendel’s Den, a classic Harvard Square hangout. This subterranean watering hole has been catering to undergrads since 1971 with an unfussy menu of cocktails and comfort food. Classic drinks like a Dark & Stormy start at a reasonable $6.50, meaning students on a budget can order a couple rounds and still spring for an Uber back to campus.

The Craft Beer Aficionado

With a carefully curated, rotating selection of 100 beers on draft, Meadhall over in Cambridge can satisfy even the most discerning tastes. All the usual suspects are available, along with a number of lesser-known gems from indie microbreweries. A selection of hearty, rib-sticking pub grub will help fortify you for another round.

The Hipster

Too cool for school? You’re going to Brick & Mortar, a slick speakeasy behind an unmarked door in Central Square, for superb tipples like the Agave Old Fashioned or Under the Gun, with tequila and house-made chile bitters. You’ll have a great time, but probably still spend the evening telling anyone who will listen about how it was better back when it was called the Enormous Room.

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