Springtime Suds: Eastern Standard Offers Up a New Season of Beer and Cider

Spring, as they say, has officially sprung. Which can only mean one thing: it’s time to emerge from our winter hibernation and take in the new-found sun with some suds. And for that, Eastern Standard, a staple of The Fenway, is ready to serve.

But don’t let the joint’s lack of tap handles fool you. Though Eastern Standard boasts only four draft lines, the iconic bar and restaurant has quietly curated one of the more eclectic beer and cider programs in the Boston, highlighting both local and international libations alike.

“It’s a ‘new era’ for the bar,” says Eastern Standard’s EmmyLou Taylor, as the staff is more beer-minded now than it has ever been.

“It's a new, more collaborative, iteration for the beverage program. After our recent bar manager's departure, it was time to re-attack and re-structure the way we approached beer and beer education. And the timing all made sense, we have these three incredibly passionate, smart and engaged people who all approach beer from a different set of skills and interests and they just wanted to take over the program and give it a point of view again. There's beer, and then there's beer in the context of Eastern Standard.”

And with spring now here, finally, the crew couldn’t have picked a better time to double down on refreshing suds and cider. So we caught up with the team—comprised of Ricky Czachor, Nate Biagetti, both service managers, and Felicia Grossi, Eastern’s bartender (with Taylor serving as a goal-setting field general of sorts)—to find out what we should be drinking now that another winter is finally behind us.

Session IPL – Calyptra, 4.9% ABV
Jack’s Abby Brewing Co., Framingham, MA
The Squad: “We love this one because of the amount of flavor it has. A lot of times with these sessions, they have the bitterness up front and kind of that resin. But it’s so hard to balance a beer when you’re doing it at that low alcohol. This one, we’re just psyched, because we think Jack’s Abby killed it. It’s delicious up front with a lot of traditional grapefruit, tropical notes, but it finishes dry.”

American IPA – Half Stack, 6.6% ABV
SingleCut Beersmiths, Astoria, New York
The Squad: “It’s a super fresh, clean kind of new school IPA, if you will. Bright citrus, grassy, tropical fruit notes. It has a moderate ABV, so it’s certainly easy to put a couple away on your way to the Red Sox or afterward.”

Doppelbock – Aventinus Cuvée Barrique, 9.5% ABV
Weisses Brauhaus, Germany
The Squad: “We’ve had a lot of European offerings over the years and a staple of our menu for years has been the Aventinus. It’s a stronger wheat German beer. A lot of banana. It’s still a light beer though and really complex. Brown sugar, a little bit of sourness, and goes really well with a lot of our food.”

Farmhouse Cider – Cidre DuPont Reserve, 7% ABV
Dupont, France
The Squad: “This one in particular is really special. It’s aged 6 months in calvados barrels, so you get kind of the funk and complexity of a dry Normandy cider with this kind of rounder, deeper sweetness that the barrel imparts. So it’s really food friendly. It’s thirst quenching. It’s good for spring.”

Cider – Full Nelson, 6.8% ABV
Citizen Cider, Vermont
The Squad: “It’s a dry cider, hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops, which get their name from bearing a remarkably similar aroma to grapefruit and grass to sauvignon blanc grapes. It has almost a nose of sauvignon blanc. It’s definitely a little bit more complex than your average cider.”

We’re looking forward to drinking our way through this list. Let us know what you’ll be sipping on this spring!

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