While you can certainly find a decent number of micro-brews on tap at the city’s better pubs, it’s safe to say you won’t see a selection like this anywhere else when the Massachusetts Brewers Guild holds the Mass Brewers Summerfest on Friday. The festival brings 80 local craft beers from more than 20 breweries all together in one place.
“We’ve still got a long way to go, as successful as craft beer has been,” says Guild president Drew Brosseau of Mayflower Brewing Company.
Bigger names like Sam Adams have obviously done very well, he says, but nationwide, craft beer still has less than 5 percent of the market share. Events like this, which will serve as a fundraiser for the Guild, are also designed to help educate people about the small breweries operating right in their own backyards. There is a rich drinking life outside of the hegemony of Budweiser, in other words. Who knew?
Most Boston drinkers are familiar with Harpoon, for example, but perhaps less so when it comes to smaller, quality names like Berkshire, Blue Hills, Cambridge and Cisco, to name a few.
“Events like this are important,” says Brosseau.
They’re partly about introducing people to new kinds of beer, but also about getting people to approach beer differently than they might have before.
“That means thinking about beer more like a complex beverage similar to wine, not just something that you knock back after you get done mowing the lawn,” he jokes.
He still wants you to do that, though.
“The variety now is so incredible that beer can be paired with all kinds of foods or just enjoyed on its own in the way people drink wine. A lot of these craft breweries in Massachusetts have more in common with wineries than with Budweiser.”