Beer Summit Harvest Fest: Beer Fest in Boston

Boston is no stranger to craft beer and craft beer festivals. Home to brewing legends and the closest major city to famed New England breweries, in Boston you’re never more than a stone’s throw away from great beer. Boston is also a neighborhood city with a unique community feel which, when it comes to beer, is embodied by Beer Summit.

beer fest boston

Beer Summit hosts beer fests in Boston with the mission of bringing together the best beer, hearty food, and live music to Boston beer lovers. I had the opportunity to attend Beer Summit’s 6th annual Harvest Fest in November at the Castle at Park Plaza. Curated by founders Mike Munnelly, Conor Brennan and Shawn Rich, Beer Summit’s Harvest Fest hosted some of the most celebrated and talked about breweries in the country. The event boasted three sessions on November 20th and 21st featuring 56 different breweries, and over 200 beers.

beer summit boston beer fest castle

Photo by Fest Pics

Carb-loaded and adorned with pretzel necklaces, my boyfriend and I enjoyed the Saturday evening session of Harvest Fest.  I had attended Beer Summit’s Winter Jubilee in 2014 but this was my first time at the November event. While 60 breweries in one place sounds like a lot, Harvest Fest was surprisingly easy to navigate thanks to the spacious floor plan and set up.

beer fest boston beer summit harvest fest

I enjoyed tasting the beers from some of my favorite local breweries like Backlash Beer and Two Roads, non-local favorites like Anderson Valley Brewing Company, and new-to-me brews from the craft beer curating 3 Beards Beer Company. A big supporter of drinking local, I was pleased to read 50 percent of the breweries in attendance were local breweries from Massachusetts and New England.

We stayed until the end of the night, tasting our way through the breweries, dancing to tunes from the two-man band CHOPVILLE, and snacking on the newly-launched and delicious Kalahari Biltong, a seasoned dried beef from South Africa.

boston beer fest mugs

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy to navigate beer fest in Boston, check out Beer Summit. The next event, Winter Jubilee, takes place in January so keep an eye out for tickets to go on sale at

Note: Tickets to Harvest Fest were provided courtesy of Beer Summit, but all opinions and love of beer are my own. 

A Local’s Guide to a Day in Boston

I’ve been traveling a lot lately and last weekend I was finally able to embrace fall in Boston. Fall is my favorite season and the crisp bright sunny days are perfect to enjoy this walkable city. While out and about last weekend I noticed that many of the people I passed on the street were tourists, presumably here for some New England leaf peeping before the harsh winter sets in.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to take a break from the textbook touristy stuff. I like to check out some places and events that locals love, so I thought I would come up with local’s guide to Boston.

Boston is a fun, young, vibrant city full of life and culture. On any given day you can find things to do. One of the best things about Boston is that if you’re not familiar with the city, you can still be in the know. When I’m looking for something to do in Boston, I check out Eventbrite, a website that gives you information and access to some of Boston’s best events and allows you to create your own.

shop small small business welcome mat

I’m a big lover of small businesses so first on the agenda for a day in Boston would be breakfast or brunch at the South End Buttery. One of my favorite brunch spots, the South End Buttery is nestled on a cobblestoned corner in Boston’s South End. I ate New Year’s Day brunch here last year and my world has been changed ever since.

brunch south end buttery restaurant boston

If you’re up for a walk, take a stroll from the South End to Copley Square, through Boston’s beautiful Public Garden and the Boston Common. The country’s oldest public gardens are immaculately kept, year round, and a great spot for taking pictures and enjoying the outdoors.

boston public garden

Continue your walk through Government Center to Haymarket where you’ll find the Boston Public Market.  The year-round public farmer’s market opened just this summer and is host to dozens of local small business. Here you’ll find everything from locally sourced honey and bath products to fresh produce and baked goods.

From there head to the North End, Boston’s “Little Italy” and the most historic neighborhood in Boston. It’s where Paul Revere lived (you can visit his house) and made his famous Midnight Ride warning the colonists of the British Invasion. Check out the Old North Church, the site of the lanterns that alerted Mr. Revere to the incoming Red Coats and take a tour of the historic site. I recommend touring the creepy yet informative crypts then visiting Captain Jackson’s Chocolate Shop for something sweet.

old north church boston

Photo Credit: Old North Church

If you’re thirsty from all of the walking, the next obvious stop is the Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall. Located in the Seaport, a trip to the child-friendly Harpoon Brewery and Beer Hall gives you the chance to ride the country’s oldest subway, called the “T”. There’s nothing more local to Boston than riding (and complaining about!) the T. In addition to beer, Harpoon’s serves up spelt grain pretzels made from the leftover beer grains and flights of their finest brews. If you’re into beer, you’ll appreciate that you can try Harpoon Leviathan IPA, an imperial IPA only on tap at the two Harpoon breweries. Harpoon hosts events throughout the year, so check to see what’s happening when you’re in town.

pretzel and beer harpoon brewery boston

For dinner I recommend venturing over to Harvard Square to Alden & Harlow, an American family-style restaurant with an eclectic menu that boasts a “secret” burger and some of the best cocktails in the city. Walk around Harvard Square as evening falls, perhaps grabbing a cup of coffee at Crema Cafe.

If you’re up for more walking, a haunted ghost tour is the perfect evening activity in the fall. Boston Intuitive offers a Spirits of Charlestown Ghost Tour that will leave you pondering the afterlife and maybe even afraid of the dark.

From there you’re on your own to relax after a long day of enjoying some of Boston’s finest small businesses and eating your way through town!

Summer in Boston So Far…

I’ve been telling myself for over a month that I was going to update my blog…and then life happened. More like, then summer happened. It’s crazy how time flies by in the summer. Summers in Boston are always busy—a combination of nice weather and a lack of college students makes it easier to do things. But this summer seems especially busy, likely because people are doing everything in their power to make up for a snowed-in winter.

So, where have I been and what have I been doing? The summer started with my boyfriend moving back to Boston from Los Angeles, which was pretty much the best thing ever. He moved in with me because we’re crazy, or crazy in love, and that’s what crazy people do.

Jamaica Vacation

We went to Jamaica, where we spent 5 too short but glorious days at Couples Negril stuffing ourselves with food and booze, laying on the beach, snorkeling, bearing it all on the nude beach (whatttt?!), getting couples massages, and taking selfies with the under appreciated but super useful selfie stick. The resort was great and the grounds were beautiful. Neither of us had ever been to Jamaica. which made it a memorable first vacation together.

couples negril jamaica

couples negril jamaica

Gratuitous kissing shot but it’s my blog so I do what I want!


Speaking of firsts, in June my blogger sister-from-another-mister, Caitlin, and I celebrated our first “friendiversary”. We met last year at the Boston State of Innovation convention, held at the Westin Boston Waterfront. I was networking for a new job in tech and she was pouring wine for her company and we hit it off immediately. We celebrated one year of friendship, bringing our antics back to the Westin for celebratory cocktails.


Top photo last year, bottom photo this year. Photo Credit: Cait Plus Ate

90+ Cellars Rosé Cruise

Speaking of Caitlin, in June I spent an awesome day with her and her mom (and about 200 other people) on the 90+ Cellars Rosé Cruise in Boston. The weather was iffy leading up to the weekend but the day of the event could not have been more perfect. I had a blast sipping Rosé and found a new favorite, Earthshaker Rosé de Pinot Noir. Try it, trust me, it’s a perfect dry Rosé for those of us who love pink wine but hate the super sweet stuff.

90+ cellars rose cruise boston

earthshaker wines rose de pinot noir

Shag Boston

Exciting to no one but me, I added some sombré highlights to my hair for the summer at Shag Boston. My hair is incredibly difficult to work with because I’m allergic to hair dye and I had colored my hair at home with henna—a lethal combination for a stylist. My allergy causes my skin to burn so I can only get dye on my hair, not my scalp, hence the sombré. The henna that I used for some color a year ago is a natural permanent dye that can turn green or blue or yellow when dyed over. My stylist Kristie Chirgwin is a master at her art and gave me this natural awesome look. She’s amazing!

christie chirgwin shag boston


The rest of my summer has been full of food and concerts and weekend trips that I will write about in other posts. Until then, enjoy your summer!

Wine Riot Boston

The past few weekends have been busy and, with Spring in full swing, are about to get a whole lot busier. I still have to post about my trip to visit El Boyfriendo in LA, but first let me tell you about Wine Riot.

Wine Riot, the epic wine event by Second Glass, came to Boston last weekend. The 3 session, 2-day event took place at the Castle at Park Plaza. Having never been to Wine Riot before, I was anticipating the long booth lines and over-crowded bathrooms that dominated my experience at the venue for a beer festival. Whether Wine Riot draws people with stronger bladder control or it was just better organized, I was pleasantly surprised not to have to wait at booths or bathrooms. In fact, Wine Riot was unlike any event at the Castle at Park Plaza.

wine riot boston castle

From Coachella-style cloth wristbands to the Bubbly Bar and photo booth, Wine Riot left little to be desired.  A seasoned veteran of booze fests, I prioritized non-wine activities before getting into the thick of tasting, knowing the that wine would always  be there but the other activities would fill up. I made a rookie mistake by not eating dinner before arriving, so before anything else, I made a beeline for food.

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, a Boston favorite, was serving up their legendary grilled cheese sandwiches. Somehow this was my first Roxy’s experience – it was nothing short of amazing. The crunchy, buttery, cheesy goodness was delicious and everything I could have wished for and more! I got the original sandwich but another option with bacon and avocado was available. As much as I love bacon and avocado, for some reason the combination of the two has never spoken to me.

roxy's grilled cheese bostonAfter getting some sustenance in my belly I linked up with my good friend Caitlin who was working the 90+ Cellars table and hit up the photo booth before it got too crowded. Is there anything more fun than a photo booth at a wine fest? No, the answer is no. We snapped some quick silly pics, highlighting my love of shopping (and drinking) local.

wine riot photobooth After the grilled cheesin’ and picture taking, I managed to do what I went for and tasted some vino. Aside from the deliciously refreshing Boston-based 90+ Cellars Lot 50 Prosecco, my favorite wines of the night included Willamette Valley Vineyards Pinot Noir, and Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses. How could you not love a wine whose bottle looks like a rose?

Speaking of pretty things, Wine Riot amped up the fun with a temporary tattoo stand. Caitlin and I got fancy with some gold flash tattoos that resembled bracelets and rings – nothing says classy wine drinking like fake gold tattoos, am I right?

wine riot flash tattoos

They say tattoos are addictive and if that night was any indication, it is certainly the truth. After my fast foray into flash tattoos, I went a little crazy and got just about every available temporary tattoo on my arm. I aimed high and by the end of the night had as close to a half sleeve of temporary tattoos as possible. The tattoos complimented the Sex, Wine, and Rock n Roll tank top I purchased at the event.

sex wine rock n roll

Tattoos aside, the night was a blast. There was a laid back fun vibe that I wasn’t expecting from a wine event which I found to be a welcome relief. It’s comforting to attend a wine event where you don’t feel uncomfortable not being an expert. The venue was great and suited for couples and friends as well as groups, as evidenced by the multiple bachelorette parties I saw on Friday night.

Two thumbs up for Wine Riot! While the event is over in Boston for now, if history repeats itself, there should be another event in the Fall.

Boston Yoga Mala

This weekend I did something insanely awesome – I went to a Yoga Mala. The first annual Boston Yoga Mala at the Boston Button Factory.

boston yoga mala

For those unfamiliar, a yoga mala is something crazy people do 108 sun salutations performed in a group. Yoga malas are done all over the world, often coinciding with the changing of the seasons. This yoga mala was for the Spring Equinox. While most normal people were getting their Easter baskets ready, I spent a casual 3 hours doing back bends, downward dogs, and yogi push ups. No biggie.

sun salutation a and b


Until a few months ago, I had never heard of a yoga mala. As far as I’m aware, Boston has never had a yoga mala before – at least not one independent from a yoga studio. Carrie Bresnick, a Boston area native, set out to change that.

Having spent a few years in hippy crunchy Los Angeles where she participated in yoga malas, Bresnick had a vision to host a yoga mala back in her hometown. An idea quickly turned into a Facebook page with invitations sent to friends, family, and anyone in town who had posted a selfie on a yoga mat on Facebook. Obviously, an invitation to the Boston Yoga Mala Facebook Page showed up in my notifications.

Likely caught after an inspiring yoga class or on a caffeine high, I signed up, blissfully ignorant to how strenuous yet transformative a yoga mala could be. Someone who puts 108% of herself into everything, I took the idea of a yoga mala in stride, assuming at best it would be awesome and at worst I’d get a good workout. So…how was it?

The Boston Yoga Mala was great! Despite the fact that my arms are so sore that I’m struggling to type, I would do it again. Set in the awesomely historic Boston Button Factory, Bresnick’s first hosted yoga mala was a success. The turnout was good for an inaugural event – about 20 participants.

boston yoga mala

Upon entering the Boston Button Factory, Bresnick greeted everyone with a warm smile, a bottle of water, and a small towel. The mala was co-led by Bresnick and Paula Passanisi, a forest yoga instructor from the The Yoga Joy Studio, in Gloucester. The 108 sun salutations were a mix of versions A and B, making the flow interesting and challenging.

Broken into 12 sets of 9 rounds of salutations, Bresnick and Passanisi gave participants an intention for each set. Intentions give you something to focus on during your practice – a friendly reminder of why you’re on your mat, what brought you to it, and what you hope to get out of the practice.

After almost 3 hours, we had completed 108 sun salutations at the Boston Yoga Mala and welcomed in the Spring…or at least the balmy 30 degree weather known as Spring in Boston. Although I’m sore, it was an amazing experience that I’m looking forward to doing again. Bresnick has plans to  host more yoga malas in the future – likely once a season. If you’re into yoga and challenging yourself, keep an eye out for events.