How do you stop 13 million people in their tracks? To Jim Koch, co-founder of Boston Beer Co. and owner of the new Sam Adams Tap Room at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the answer is simple: world-class beer and constant innovation.
With 20 beers on tap at its new tap room, patrons will find the expected staples like Boston Lager, Boston Brick Red, Sam ‘76 but also a dozen brews unique to the new Faneuil Hall location. There is also a twist on the standard brewery tour design where, instead of walking through the brewhouse, guests can reserve the “Innovation Group Table” and have a guided tasting with a Sam Adams brewer, after which the guests can complete a survey to help determine the future lineup of beers. Also in development is a system where guests can order beer and food using their cell-phones.
The tap room is focused on hospitality more than bringing another food stop to the Faneuil Hall area. “There are roughly 13-14 million people that walk through this area yearly,” said assistant manager Brian on site when we visited this week. “Our goal is to be a sort of portal where guests can fuel up here and then go to the other local restaurants to get their fill. For about four years,” he continues, “there was a vacancy here where there wasn’t really a place where tourists could get a welcoming presence that invited them to try the local restaurants.” The location is where the former Houston’s and Hillstone restaurants were located near the Congress Street side of Faneuil Hall, but the new building has been completely reconstructed from the ground up.
Melding into Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market’s 18th-century architecture, the new taproom is capable of holding 400 people, with circumscribing floor to ceiling windows and a second-floor outdoor deck overlooking Boston City Hall and of course, the Sam Adams statue itself.
The new taproom will have a constant rotation of beers that Megan Parisi, veteran brewer at the Sam Adams brewery at Jamaica Plain and head brewer at the new Faneuil hall taproom, plans to change roughly every couple of months. In addition to a rotating menu of beers, the new taproom carries–by the blessings of Jim Koch–locally baked Top Shelf Cookies, weekly hostings of local musicians and bands, trivia nights, and cheese pairing events.
Another new curious experiment: should anyone, any company, want a more personal experience, the new tap room offers what they call the “1984 room”. Isolated, quiet, fit to hold roughly 18 people, and with a personal bartender managing the draft beer system, guests and private companies/businesses can reserve the 1984 room to carry out whichever small meeting or event they choose.
The new Fanueil hall tap room has been on Jim Koch’s agenda for a while and helps keep the maturing brewery in a competitive element. Koch is known for his “Brewing the American Dream” philanthropic program, started in 2008, helping American craft brewers pursue and develop their budding businesses providing nearly $1 million in loans to help 40 small craft brewers.
The new Sam Adams tap room is soft opening this weekend and offering the first 50 people in line for Friday 1/31, Saturday 2/1 and Sunday 2/2 Sam Adams Taproom “swag” and a certificate signed by Mr. Jim Koch himself.
The Sam Adams Taproom Opening Weekend Hours are Thurs 1/30: 5-9pm
Fri & Sat 1/31-2/1: 12-8pm Sun 2/2: 12-6pm; Regular hours begin Monday, Feb. 3, and from then it is open daily from 11am-10pm Sunday-Wednesday, and from 11am-11pm Thursday-Saturday. Additional information can be found on samueladams.com.