Many parents enjoy a cold beer – and perhaps really need a brew after spending all day with their kids. As the weather warms up here in New England, let's cheer to these family-friendly choices for outdoor beer gardens and pubs.
All but one of the choices below offers food kids will eat, as opposed to small, fancy plates or gastropub fare. Family-friendly chow served as a deciding factor in whether an outdoor beer setting catered to young ones.
American Fresh Brewhouse
310 Canal St., Somerville, MA 02145 (Assembly Station, Orange Line)
Located in Assembly Row about two blocks from Legoland Discovery Center, American Fresh Brewhouse's website sets the right tone by welcoming families to its beer garden. Adults can try Slumbrew Porter Square Porter, while kids can munch on items such as mac and cheese or a Fluffernutter sandwich in honor of Somerville, where Marshmallow Fluff was invented.
88 Sleeper St., Boston, MA 02210 (South Station, Red Line)
This festive tent on the tip of the Seaport District offers a gritty, waterfront atmosphere – and plenty of crabs and other seafood. Kids may get a kick out smashing their meal's shell open with the occasional rocks provided at the community-style picnic tables. Meanwhile, moms and dads can toast the sea breeze with a Crabby Lager.
Cape Ann Brewing Company
11 Rogers St., Gloucester, MA 01930
Heading way up the North Shore, families can visit Cape Ann Brewing Company in Gloucester, which offers outdoor, harbor-side seating and an indoor beer hall. If you're over 21, it is appropriate to order Fisherman's Brew, which is an amber lager. The children's menu includes a kid's burger and mac and cheese.
Cape Cod Beer
1336 Phinneys Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601
This no-frills outdoor beer garden is basically picnic tables on the pavement, but it probably doesn't matter when parents are imbibing Cape Code Beach Blonde Ale. Families can bring their own food or order at the Cape Cod Dawgs hot dog truck, which is parked nearby and run by local teens.
Trillium Brewing Company
369 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210 (South Station, Red Line)
110 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021
This pair of beer gardens in Boston and Canton openly proclaims being kid- and dog-friendly. The Boston spot near Fort Point Channel spot encourage parents to visit the nearby Boston Children's Museum first. For beer, try Congress Street India Pale Ale. FYI, neither site sells any food.
Photo courtesy of the Barking Crab