Early Americans put back the equivalent of about eight drinks a day. They enjoyed rum, cider, madeira, port and brandy combined in some truly tasty recipes you can still make today, and they especially loved beer.
If you’re looking for a pint during your visit to Salem, you’re in luck. These spots offer an impressive selection of craft and micro brewed beers, ales, stouts, and even local cider.
Salem Beer Works 278 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 745-2337
This outpost of Boston Beer Works brews its beer on the premises. Check out the brew kettles on your left as you walk in. They offer tasting “flights” of four beers each chosen by the brewer–or you can select your own. They come in adorable tiny glasses perfect for sampling. The pumpkin beer is a seasonal favorite and comes in a spiced-sugar-rimmed glass. There’s a Salem Pale Ale, a Witch City Red, Bunker Hill Blueberry (often with berries floating in your glass) and even a small selection of gluten free beers and ciders on tap.
Scratch Kitchen 245 Derby St, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 741-2442
Scratch’s selection of local Massachusetts beers can’t be beat, and this is your best choice if there are children in your party. The atmosphere is family friendly and the bacon dusted popcorn is always a hit. They smoke much of their meat in house, so fans of bacon and brisket should check these dishes out. Their hours vary seasonally, so definitely call ahead.
Gulu Gulu 247 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 740-8882
Their menu reads like an encyclopedia of well-chosen New England beers and they’ve got a respectable list of imports as well. If the food reminds you of the “creative cooking” of your favorite local semi-vegetarian spot in college, that’s probably because Salem is a college town and Gulu Gulu is a student favorite for their late night hours.
Far From the Tree 108 Jackson St, Salem, MA 01970 (978) 224-2904
Local cider served in their brand new tasting room. Food is bring your own or order from local restaurants. The Rind cider–flavored with orange ride and coriander–is a stand out.
Steve’s Quality Liquors 36 Margin Street, Salem, MA 01970 (978)744-4220
For an amazing selection of beer to take back to your hotel check out Steve’s Quality Liquors, part of the local family owned super market that’s served downtown Salem for more than 80 years. They carry lots of hard to find specialties including 17th century themed selections from Mystic Brewery like Spectral Evidence and Day of Doom.