A Day in the Bean

BY ERIN POWERS // MAY 8, 2012 // 

Yes, the title of my blog may be “Night in the Bean,” but summer is upon us and for many college students that can only mean one thing: day drinking. Sure, Boston at night is always a good time, but who doesn’t like an ice cold Harpoon by the Charles on a sunny day?

Hey, as long it’s after noon, it is considered socially acceptable in the summertime. Now, imagine spending an afternoon in June in the Bean without spending your entire paycheck. In this economy, it is hard to do, but I know a couple places that can make it possible.

One of my favorite daytime stops when traipsing through the streets of Boston is the Sam Adam’s brewery. Our city is the home of the best concoction of hops, barley, wheat and water (aka, beer) this side of the Atlantic and we should embrace this. The brewery, located in Jamaica Plain, is only a short drive from Curry. But regardless of its proximity, I would suggest public transportation or a designated driver for this trip, as your group will get to try a variety of the brews.

The tour is just long enough to keep you entertained until the free beer at the end, and with a good tour guide the energy is great. If you’ve ever wondered what dry hops taste like, (mildly disgusting, in my opinion) you can find out here, as well as the various grains that make up the beer’s classic taste. And the tour does a great job of sharing the history of the famous brewery without boring you to death. The best part: it’s always free. So, if you don’t like free beer then this isn’t the place for you.

Another great summer location is Boston’s famous Hatch Memorial Shell. The performance center is known for its history and more importantly it’s free concerts. One event in particular that I would recommend is Boston’s annual EarthFest. The radio station 92.9 FM sponsors the festival, and with bands like Eve 6, Third Eye Blind, and Spin Doctors set to perform, this year’s main stage is already looking stacked.

Aside from the good music, you can also be supporting our environment, as the festival will have numerous exhibits and environmental installations to check out. What could be better than enjoying a live performance while feeling “green” at the same time? Once again, the best part about this festival is that it is free. This year’s EarthFest is coming up on May 19 and performances on the main stage are set to begin at 11:30 a.m. Check out the Hatch Shell’s Web site for their full schedule of free shows this summer.

If you were just looking to take a stroll, then I would say head over to the Commons for a picnic or take a hike on one of the trails at Middlesex Fells. The Long Wharf is another beloved summer spot in the city. I would recommend The Landing restaurant to anyone who is looking for a cocktail by the harbor. Your drink will most likely be served in a plastic fish bowl the size of your head, though, so be prepared to literally “drink like a fish.” No, it’s not free to get one of these bowls of booze—that would be reality in a perfect world, but the prices are extremely low, the location makes up for the cost and, overall, it’s a worthwhile outing.

Many of us have caught spring fever by this time of the year, and although we will be heading out to the beach in just a few weeks, we must not forget about the city. Free does exist if you look close enough, and if you can’t find something free, there are places to go where you won’t spend more than $25 for a good time. The city is full of hidden gems for both the night crawler and the day drinker; you won’t be disappointed in what you find.

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