Boston is home of the finest line of American Beer, Samuel Adams. There are several variations (octoberfest being my favorite) and the tour is very interesting. The company was started in 1984 by Jim Koch, a lover of fine beer. Sam Adams has since won a variety of awards. The European crowd might be pleasantly surprised at the number of fine lagers and stouts out of this and several other micro breweries in the States. plus the price is right, the tour is free.
Although it's relatively far from the rest of the attractions and in a bit of a weird neighborhood, the free Sam Adams Brewery Tour is very much worth the trip, if you really like your beer.
Sam Adams actually has several breweries around the country, but this is their original one and serves as a sort of test facility, where new varieties are tried.
When you come in and get your pass for the next tour (tours do fill up, so you may get there and find that you have to wait an hour or so to the next one), you're given samples of two beers and asked which one you prefer. When I went, the beers were a sort of coffee stout and a blueberry wit. I've never been much of a Sam Adams fan, but I could appreciate the uniqueness and experience that this was.
After the short tour, you're given more beer to try, usually the famous lager as well as something else (Summer Ale when I went). You leave with souvenir glasses and
Note that there is very little in the way of retail and restaurants in the neighborhood around the brewery, and it would be best to eat somewhere else. I found a Spanish restaurant run by Dominicans that we ate at (where no one spoke English, so I got to practice my Spanish), and there is a little cafe serving sandwiches at the brewery site itself.
Also note that, like a lot of places in Boston, there doesn't seem to be much air-conditioning at the site and, being a brewery, it's hot. If you're bothered by the heat, don't come in the summer because it gets very hot here.
This tour can be entertaining for those who like beer and those who don't. The tour guides give a history of the brewery and the Sam Adams label along with a detailed description of the brewing process. We were lucky enough to get a tour guide (not sure if they have more than just this one guy) who was very entertaining and kept our attention throughout the entire tour. He also looked just like Tobey McGuire (scary!).
After the tour, over 21's are served samples of beer from a bar featuring the Sam Adams staples as well as seasonals and unreleased varieties. There is a gift store at the end of the tour for all of the Sam Adams merchandise you need. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
As long as you're in Boston, you might as well visit the birthplace of what is probably the best mass produced brew made this side of the Atlantic (many a fine microbrewery are, of course, excluded). See how it's made, and you'll even get a taste at the end.