weekends

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The beer scene in Massachusetts has become so great that we rarely drink beer that’s from outside the state! While we should expand our horizons outside of our beautiful home state, it’s hard to when we have places like Dorchester Brewing Co. right down the street.

Recently our travels took us to lovely Acton to visit friends. We met at True West and discovered even more great Massachusetts beer.

True West Acton

True West is a beautiful, airy space that was perfect for lunch with the most adorable baby. Who doesn’t love a kid-friendly brewery?!

beer flight  True West beer

I found it impossible to decide on a beer flight at True West and asked them to send out whatever they thought would be best. They did a great job of giving me a diverse lineup to taste. Being a fan of darker beers, I loved the Dubbel the most, but I really enjoyed all of the beers, including the Ruckus, which was a super balanced IPA. I am not always a fan of IPAs, so it says a lot when I like one! I also liked their pumpkin beer, which I haven’t been able to say in a while. Most pumpkin beers end up tasting like potpourri to me (not that I have ever eaten it), but this had a nice blend of spice with a touch of sweet.

True West beer

Tasty pub food paired well with the beer and chilly day. I went for the turkey BLT and the homemade tater tots.

BLT The BLT was on a great, hearty white bread and was well-stacked with bacon and turkey, and the tots. . . well just look at them! They were huge and homemade, served with a great house ketchup. I usually don’t like to veer away from Heinz, to be quite honest, but this was so flavorful and the perfect dip for their tater tots.

homemade tater tots

Everything from the space to the beer to the food at True West flowed together really well and made for a great drinking and dining experience. I hope we have more opportunities to visit in the future, and if you find yourself in Acton, definitely stop in.

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Tags: acton, beer, Boston blogger, brewery, Food, food blog, food blogger, local beer, Massachusetts, weekends

Do you make a summer bucket list? We’re working on ours lately and it involves lots of time outside and on the water, farm fresh produce, grilling, outdoor movies, concerts, and a lot more. It’s my favorite season by far. Being barefoot and salty makes me happy down to my soul. Unlike last summer where we traveled a ton, we only have one trip planned this summer. Otherwise I plan on soaking up the amazingness that New England dishes up in this season.

We kicked off summer as early as we could and despite some very rainy Sundays (Seriously, why has every Sunday been rainy? It’s my favorite boat day!) have some weekend favorites to share.

Scituate There’s so much to do and see near Boston. A few weeks ago we visited Scituate for a beach walk and brunch at Atlantica, which is fancy and a little pricey but totally incredible and great for a special occasion.

Atlantica A window seat, hot donut holes, and a fruit cocktail started brunch off perfectly.

donuts at brunch

A Blood Orange Old Fashioned. . . because it’s brunch!

blood orange old fashioned

Brunch at Atlantica is a giant buffet featuring all sorts of stations like prime rib, pasta, fish, omelets, salads, seafood, and a huge dessert table. I piled my plate high with grilled vegetables, shrimp, quiche, short ribs, bacon, and salad and ate every bite. It was heavenly.  Sometimes I steer clear of buffets because I assume the quality won’t be great, but that was not the case here. Everything was so good!  I decided I want to have brunch here again during one of my Chicago Marathon long run weekends so I can really try everything and not feel bad about it!

brunch at Atlantica

Lilly Pulitzer wine glasses

My sister got me these cute Lilly Pulitzer wine glasses; they’re plastic, making them perfect for boating! I plan to fill them with lots of pink wine this summer. While people have starting going bananas for rosé in recent years, we’ve been fans of dry rosé forever (one of my very first blog posts covers one of our favorites, from Travessia Urban Winery, right here in Massachusetts) way back when everyone thought White Zinfandel was the only rosé out there. We continue to find favorites; follow this space for tasting notes!

IMG_5548 Speaking of boating, we’ve been doing as much of it as we can. Saoirse is smaller than our last boat, making it easier for us to dock without help. As a result, we’ve had a few relaxing dates by boat, including one to Legal Harborside, a perfect place in Boston for sunning, sipping (and slurping) away a summer day.   

oysters Legal Harborside boating in Boston Getting outdoors has been a ton of fun, and we’ve been trying for more active evenings. Instead of just appetizers and cocktails, we add a walk in. Walking around Lower Mills in Dorchester is so pretty and gives us the ability to visit several bars and an ice cream shop all on foot. I love the small town feel of where we live and the access to water that we have so close by!

Milton Landing

I also love my garden. Having a yard so close to the city has been a game changer for me. My garden brings me so much joy and peace. The raspberries are on their way! Also planted: zucchini, acorn squash, hot peppers, tomatoes, string beans, arugula, peas, shallots, strawberries, and basil. Stepping outside into that space grounds me so much.

raspberries

Since we do live near so much green space, we finally bought a soccer ball to kick around. Neither of us are World Cup bound  anytime soon, but we get in some good exercise chasing each other around and dying laughing. It’s the perfect time of year to behave like a kid again, which is why soccer is followed by ice cream.

soccer in the park

We plan on lots of day trips from Boston to places like World’s End in Hingham, beaches in Ipswich, dockside dining in Portland, and so much more. What are your summer plans?

World's End

For some ideas on day trips from Boston, check out these posts:

Day Trip to New Bedford

Visiting Ipswich

Brunch and Beer in Newburyport

Wine and Beer Tasting in Southeast Massachusetts

Hingham and Cohasset

Spectacle Island

Chatham, Cape Cod

A Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard (a little more difficult, but do-able!)

World’s End State Park

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Tags: Boston, brunch, New England, summer, Travel, travel blog, weekends

Boston has become such a great beer city over the years that I have lived here. In my last job, I set up trips to Massachusetts for travel and food writers, and I would often have the opportunity to send them to some beautiful hotels, great restaurants, famous museums, and fun local food and beverage experiences. One place that I sent writers to but had never visited myself was Night Shift Brewing. The response was always so positive, yet I never made it up there. When getting ready to visit friends this weekend, we decided to go to Night Shift for a beer tasting.

 

Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift’s space in Everett, just outside of Boston, is open, bright, and industrial, with a tasting bar and plenty of seating. There were people hanging out tasting beer and reading, people with food they brought in, and a couple of large party type groups when we were there. It seemed like a great place to spend an afternoon, and many other people agreed!

Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift Beer tasting

I loved that Night Shift lets you do a flight one beer at a time rather than taking them all at once. It gave us time to sip and sample, review what was available at our leisure, and it meant our beers were always fresh.

I also loved all of Night Shift’s owls, which are everywhere.

Night Shift owl

We did two different flights so that we could taste through a bunch of beers without having too much. One of my favorites was the Cape Cod Cranberry Weisse, which was tart, bubbly, and a delightful pink.

Night Shift Beer On the lighter side, I also loved the Somer Weisse, which reminded me of a gingery, lemony kombucha.

 

Night Shift Brewing beer

On the darker side, I loved the Einbeck, which had notes of honey and the Hologram, which is chock full of coffee flavor. We picked up a growler of each, along with their Bean Porter, a heavenly dessert of a beer aged with vanilla and coffee beans. Yum.

We had such a great visit to Night Shift and could definitely see ourselves going back again and again to pick up beer for friends’ houses, the boat, and to enjoy at home.

Do you have a favorite local brewery?

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