A top-notch draught adds to game-day lineup

(Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
By Steve Greenlee
Globe Staff / April 7, 2011

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Getcha bee-yah, hee-yah? No thanks. I don’t buy beer at Fenway Park. The prices are too high, and the selection is too small. I’ll have my beer before or after the game, especially since some of the better bars in Boston sit mere steps from the ballpark. Here are five good spots in the neighborhood:

The Lower Depths

Just around the corner from Fenway is one of the city’s great gems. The Lower Depths has become a go-to spot for discerning beer drinkers. The 15 well-chosen taps feature some of the nation’s finest craft brewers, among them: Troeg’s, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, and Avery. The bottle list is just as impressive. But be warned: As more people have discovered the Lower Depths, it has become more difficult to squeeze inside on the day of a home game.

476 Commonwealth Ave. 617-266-6662. No website.

Bukowski Tavern

Bukowski is several blocks from Fenway, but it’s worth the walk. The bar sits in a narrow, cramped space next to the Dalton Street parking garage, but it has a strong selection of beers on tap and an outstanding bottle list. The 14 draughts tilt toward New England breweries (Gritty McDuff’s, Long Trail, Wachusett), and the bottle list includes the best from Belgium and beyond. One word of caution: The staff sometimes likes to play punk rock with the volume all the way up.

50 Dalton St. 617-437-9999.

Eastern Standard

Eastern Standard is known for cuisine and cocktails, but it’s also a good place to grab a beer, particularly if you arrive in Kenmore Square close to game time, when places like the Cask ’n Flagon are packed. The small tap list includes Allagash and Harpoon, and the bottle list is excellent, including an array of top-notch Belgian beers (Chimay, Duvel), American craft brewers (Clown Shoes, Bear Republic), and a full lineup from Cambridge’s outstanding Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project.

528 Commonwealth Ave. 617-532-9100.

Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar & Grille

It might be incongruous to think you can get a better-than-average pint at a sports bar, but Jerry Remy’s is not your average sports bar. The draught list features excellent American craft brewers such as Goose Island, Dogfish Head, and Mayflower, as well as some of the best beers to be had in Belgium (Delerium Tremens) and Germany (Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier). The superb bottle list includes one of the world’s greatest beers: St. Bernardus Abt 12.

1265 Boylston St. 617-236-7369.

Boston Beer Works

One of the better brewpubs in the Boston area is right across the street from Fenway. Boston Beer Works typically has 16 of its handcrafted beers on tap, and the selection rotates with the season (or the brewers’ whims). Red ales, brown ales, IPAs, stouts, Belgians — there’s something for every taste, including beers named for Fenway and the Bambino. Unless you get there a couple of hours before game time, be prepared to wait in line. If it’s on tap, we recommend the Double Pale Ale, which hits you in the mouth with a fistful of hops but goes down smooth.

61 Brookline Ave. 617-536-2337.

Steve Greenlee can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveGreenlee.