Monday, August 27, 2012

Sam Adams Brewery and Grass Fed - a Day in JP

For Nick's birthday this year we decided to do a bunch of random Boston activities, including a trip to the Sam Adams Brewery!  While Nick had already been there, I never had, and with the weather being a bit iffy we thought this would be a good rain-or-shine activity.  The brewery is just a quick walk from the Stony Brook stop on the Orange Line.  Luckily, we happened to beat the rush and only had to wait a half hour for our tour to start.

Awarding Beers!
When the Irish Red group was called (each tour time is assigned a beer type!) we gathered in front of an old-school barrel and readied ourselves to learn about making some beer!  Sam Adams doesn't charge you to tour and taste, but do suggest you make a donation to one of three different charities they support.  These charities include one that helps start-up companies, while another provides money for the preservation of the Granary Burying Ground (resting place of Sam Adams - yay, Boston local!).

Where the tour begins
Scenes from the tour
Hops! The scent of this stuff stays with you
Our lovely guide going over the beer making process
Turns out the beer brewed in the JP facility is generally only sold to some of the Boston end-drinkers and the people who come through for a tour.  The rest of the brewery is used for testing and playing around with new recipes.  After learning about making beer, we were lead into one of the two tasting rooms and sampled some beer, including the Boston Lager (of course), the Summer Ale and the Brick Red, all of which was delicious.  We actually bought some of the beer that isn't sold in the stores generally - when in Rome...

Pitchers for tasting
Special Beers
Since we were already in JP, a place we don't get to ofter, we decided to head over to Grass Fed for some burgers.  Grass Fed is brought to us diners by the brilliant people behind Ten Tables, so needless to say I was excited to see what it was all about.  I was surprised by how informal it was - I think we were both picturing something more along the lines of 5 Napkin Burger.  The space is very small (no public bathroom) with an open, industrial feel.  There was a bar (they do have a liquor license) and many long high tables for diners to eat at.  After looking at the menu on the chalkboard above the register, we went ahead and placed our order and grabbed some seats at the bar.

After a short wait the server brought us some delicious looking burgers.  Nick went with The Cali ($11), a 5-ounce grass fed beef burger (obviously) with avocado, pepper jack cheese, mesclun, shaved red onion and a cilantro and lime aoli.  Being sort of obsessed with oysters on burgers lately, I ordered the Oyster Burger ($12), which also has a 5-ounce grass fed beef patty with fried oysters and tarter sauce.

The Cali
The burgers were really tasty and the combination of toppings were creative and special.  I liked the slimmer buns that nicely supported the beef rather than overpower it.  The beef was flavorful and seasoned well - something you get from the grass fed beef!  All of the ingredients were of a high quality that you could taste in each bit.     

Oyster Burger
Nick and I both ordered a small side of fries, the parm-truffle and the spicy fries.  They were a nice dark golden brown with a good crisp to them, which we love.  The spicy fries definitely had a bit of heat to them, but were a delicious twist to a normal side of fries.  With the parm-truffle, there is really nothing not to enjoy!

Truffle Parm Fries
Spicy Fries
Overall Grass Fed has good burgers, but I was happy we fit the trip in with the brewery and did not head over as the only destination.  It is not as much of a must-see destination like its neighbor, Ten Tables.  However, I think the addition is great for the neighborhood.  With its fun menu, liquor service and adult milkshakes, Grass Fed has plenty to offer.  

Grass Fed on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been meaning to check out Grassfed (my client actually bought the owner's old place in Somerville). There was a review elsewhere that ripped it apart, did you see it?

  2. I have been thinking about stopping at Grass Fed on our way home one day and getting takeout burgers since they do that now... for a quick dinner because we are always so exhausted at the end of our commute. SOunds like a fun way to spend Nick's birthday. Jeff really likes the Brick Red but I think it's only available on tap usually.

  3. sounds like such a fun day! Both are great spots to venture to in JP!

  4. We just walked by Grassfed yesterday- my brothers lives in JP and now I have to stop there! The oyster burger caught my eye.

  5. I agree with you about the bun! I love when they are smaller and not overwhelming. Same owners are opening a new spot right next to us in Newton Centre and we can't wait to check it out!

  6. Looks like a great day! I'd love to do a tour of the Sam Adams Brewery.

  7. Grass fed looks awesome! I want to try their milkshakes and fries

  8. What a fun birthday celebration! The Cali burger sounds right up my alley -- cilantro lime aioli?! Yum!!

  9. I've been meaning to get to the Sam Adams brewery. I've lived here too long to have not been yet! Good to know that Grass Fed is worth a stop if I end up there.


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