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Boston's Biggest Beer Lists

By Scott Kearnan
May 6, 2014

Boston knows its beer. We can't offer traditional happy hours (as we mentioned while sharing our picks for the 10 best food-driven deals), but when it comes to good brews, we know our stuff. For this list, we gathered up some of the best bets for BIG and thoughtful beer lists. There are plenty of other fantastic beer bars with carefully curated craft selections (Deep Ellum, anyone?), but we focused on sheer size: each of these bars features over 100 brews. Do the math; official or not, there are a whole lot of happy hours ahead right here.  

Sunset Grill & Tap

Approximate number of beers: 492

It's the stuff of local legend. This Allston restaurant may be a popular hangout for Allston college kids, thanks to its midpriced menu of tasty Tex-Mex. But the gargantuan beer list gives good reason to come back long after your undergrad days are over. We're talking 112 taps plus 380 bottles and cans of micro and exotic brews. (130 Brighton Ave., Allston; 617-254-1331)

The Lower Depths

Approximate number of beers: 240

Don't be fooled by the relatively limited number of tap lines (17). This subterranean (and cash-only!) Kenmore Square hangout has a much, much larger selection on hand when you consider its can and bottle selection. While you're there, chow down on a foot-long hot dog creation, like the "Boston Strangler," topped with mac 'n' cheese. (476 Commonwealth Ave.; 617-266-6662)

Five Horses Tavern

Approximate number of beers: 162

Head to the original Davis Square location for the largest selection of brews, comprised of 36 drafts, 125 bottles and a cask. But the newer South End spot has a pretty generous selection too: 96 varieties, with 40 of them on tap. What would you expect of a restaurant with chandeliers made out of old tap handles? (400 Highland Ave., Somerville; 617-764-1655)

Yard House

Approximate number of beers: 144

You know how it's sort of a turn-off when you get to a chain restaurant and find a menu the length of Ulysses? Well, it's sort of a turn-on when you're taking lengthy beer lists. Yard House might be a national chain, but we'll be damned if we're not going to saunter up to the 100+ taps that dominate the massive wraparound bar at this Fenway-side pub. (126 Brookline Ave.; 617-236-4083)

Estelle's Southern Cuisine

Approximate number of beers: 130

You thought your competitive drinking days were over? Think again. Estelle's has 30 beers on tap and over 100 in cans; consume all of them within 180 days, and you earn entry into the "Mug Club." (The computer keeps track.) The prize: an engraved 25-oz. mug awaiting your arrival, and going forward you'll pay only pint prices to fill it. Also a prize: being awesome. (782 Tremont St.; 857-250-2999) 

Parish Cafe

Approximate number of beers: 125

Both the Back Bay and South End locations of Parish Cafe have large beer lists, and they also feature a "Mug Club" program. You have six months to chug them all and earn your engraved mug. When you're not drinking, you can partake in a menu of sandwiches created by various chefs from all around town, like the "Eggplant Milanesa" from Coppa and Toro's Jamie Bissonnette, or the "Egg Sandwich Lyonaisse" from Craigie on Main's Tony Maws. (361 Boylston St., 617-247-4777; 493 Massachusetts Ave., 617-391-0501)

Meadhall

Approximate number of beers: 120

This Cambridge restaurant has two floors and two bars, but it's the massive, 100+ tap fixture downstairs where you'll find most of Kendall Square's after-work crowds talking shop while sipping craft brews and noshing on Belgian-American plates. (4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge; 617-714-4658)

Tip Tap Room

Approximate number of beers: 100

The big beer list is comprised of 65 bottles and cans, plus 35 taps. But don't forget the "tips" too. Chef Brian Poe offers an eclectic mix of meat tips at this Beacon Hill bar and eatery, from steak, swordfish and lamb to rotating game like elk and antelope. (138 Cambridge St.; 857-350-3344)

Places Mentioned

Parish Cafe

American • Back Bay

Food24 Decor18 Service21 Cost$23
 
 
 
Parish Café

Cafe • South End

Food24 Decor18 Service21 Cost$23
 
 
 
Estelle’s Southern Cuisine

Southern American • South End

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
The Lower Depths Tap Room

Bar • Fenway/Kenmore

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
 
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