You probably noticed that last week I was in Boston for a day, judging the Longshot Homebrew Contest finals at the Boston Beer Co. brewery there in Jamaica Plain. After we finished and had a late lunch, the rest of the day was open. My only plan was to try some more beer and, hopefully, some more frites. As we were waiting for judging to begin, several people in the Samuel Adams marketing department had suggestions of places around town with great frites. Armed with several names, I had a mission. And that’s how Thursday became a Fryday.
At lunch, Todd and Jason Alström, from Beer Advocate, mentioned they had to go to Boston Beerworks where they were being interviewed and then afterwards would be pleased to join me on my fry crawl. Bob Townsend, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (and my favorite new person from Georgia) also tagged along since he had time to kill until he was meeting a friend for dinner later. So the Frites Foursome hailed a cab and our adventure began.
Out first stop was Boston Beerworks, the one near Fenway Park. Todd and Jason had to meet Boston Globe reporter Joseph P. Kahn so he could interview them about Beer Advocate and their upcoming beer festival. The article was subsequently published yesterday, entitled The Beer Necessities.
The brewery is just inside the door.
New signs hang behind the bar announcing which beers they have on tap. Bob and I waited here while Todd & Jason were interviewed and had some beers and, of course, an order of frites. Here, you can see my review of their frites.
The unsubtle sign above the entrance door, in case you weren’t sure what you’d been drinking as you leave. Our next stop was the first recommendation, Eastern Standard. For some reason I only took a photo of the frites here, oh and their handmade chips, so here’s what it looked like inside.
After that, we stopped for a quick pint at The Other Side, a cool organic dive bar near my hotel.
No frites, but they had a pretty decent beer list, both on tap and in bottles.
The vibe was Toronado meets Santa Cruz Organic Cafe, with loft seating, local art on the walls and an impressive menu of unusual dishes all made with local and natural ingredients.
Our next stop was another recommendation, Brasserie Joe, a French bistro, also attached to a hotel, the Colonnade Hotel.
Another nice place, with a contract beer on tap made by Brooklyn Brewing (tasted like their Pilsner). The frites were appropriately Belgian-style, served in a silver cup lined with a checkerboard paper. After I took photos of the frites for their review, our bartender asked me what I was doing and then, bemused I suspect, brought us over some delicious hot bread and carrots in a horseradish-based sauce. Also, Dann Paquette, from Pretty Things, met us at Brasserie Jo and joined us on our crawl.
Our last stop on the fry crawl was Cambridge Brewing, where we were to meet up with Bob Townsend again and also where Andy Crouch would join us. Bob had ordered some frites, so I was able to try his. They were somewhat different than the ones I had the last time I was there. I had a great talk with Dann there, and he has some exciting things going on. I was dying to try some of his beers, so …
Our last stop of the evening was the nearby Hungry Mother, where I had an opportunity to try two of Dann’s beers. First, I sampled the Jack D’Or, a really wonderful beer. Pretty Things took a saison and really put their own stamp on it, Saison Americain indeed. I also tried the Baby Tree, his interpretation of quadruple. It was likewise outstanding. Between talking beer and philosophy with Dann and how good his beers are, I think Pretty Things may be my favorite new brewery. So far they’re only in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.
Dann Paquette, Andy Crouch and Todd Alström showing off Pretty Things’ Baby Tree at the Hungry Mother..