Food & Drink

5 Boston mug clubs you'll want to join

Published On 08/14/2014 Published On 08/14/2014

Boston Since you really don’t need to watch any more Red Sox games this season (too soon?), you’re going to need a new hobby. Or better yet, further indulge in one of your existing hobbies (drinking... we mean drinking). To make said imbibing less lonesome, join one of your local mug clubs -- don't worry, they aren't picky. Whether you’re a beer, tequila, or whiskey fanatic (or all three), these five boozy programs will occupy your newfound free time.

The Lower Depths

The Lower Depths
Kenmore
You’ve got to be one of the cool kids (i.e. a polite, friendly regular/good tipper) to be invited into the exclusive Lower Depths Mug Club. Once you’re in, you have six months to drink 150 delicious beers, which should be no problem if you already have a favorite bar stool there. Perks include a 26oz mug with your name on it and a discount on the draft brew du jour.

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Penguin Pizza

Penguin Pizza
Mission Hill/Fenway
Penguin Pizza packs a ton of moxie, suds, and good neighborhood vibes into a tiny package. Their tasty pies (like their duck confit) will make you thirsty enough to journey through the daunting "passport" of 335 brews (35 drafts with 20 rotating, 300+/- bottles). If you survive the arduous trek, you earn a personalized 22oz mug stored on their wall of fame and full mug pours for the price of a standard pint. Pro tip: good chance (100%) you will be "iced"… but that only means you’ve been accepted into the tribe.

Citizen Public House

Citizen Public House
Fenway
If you’re crazy for brown liquor, commit yourself to Citizen Public House’s Whiskey Club. Request a card and get cracking on their impressive globe-trotting 100-whiskey menu. Your efforts will be generously rewarded with a bottle of Citizen Public House Hand Selected Four Roses Single Barrel Whiskey, a fancy silver-banded crystal whiskey glass engraved with your name, and a complimentary ice sphere with every glass of whiskey… if you so choose. Yes, please.

Bukowski Tavern

Bukowski Tavern
Back Bay
Join the Dead Author’s Club (in honor of their grizzled eponymous scribe) and work your way through 150 "barley sandwiches" in half a year (again… no problem). Upon "graduation", you score a numbered 25oz glass mug (inscribed with your favorite long-gone writer’s name) and deals on drafts. And a dash of street cred. FYI: mugs are non-transferrable between the Boston and Cambridge locations.

Kristin Teig/The Painted Burro

The Painted Burro
Davis Square
For the truly brave, The Painted Burro recently launched their Agave Club... a veritable gauntlet of their ENTIRE mezcal and tequila list. And there are some serious prizes for those who make it through the catalog. Or even parts of it. Try 25 and receive a make-your-own margarita kit; 50 nets you a four-course dinner for two at the Burro with tequila and mezcal pairings; 100 puts you on a plane to Cancun. Seriously. Good luck remembering the trip.

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1. The Lower Depths 476 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (Back Bay)

Backed by a substantial food menu that includes five different kinds of tots (FIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF TOTS!), The Lower Depths' giant craft beer selection, both in bottles and on tap, makes sure that everyone in your party will find something they enjoy -- unless they don't like beer, in which case you're probably not hanging out with them, anyway.

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2. Penguin Pizza 735 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (Mission Hill)

This divey Brigham Circle pizza joint/bar features thin crust pies and a truly enormous beer selection. In addition to paninis, subs, and wraps, there are a number of specialty pizzas on the menu, including Pulled Pork and Tuscan Fig & Proscuitto.

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3. Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar 1310 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215 (Fenway Kenmore)

From the guys behind Tasty Burger/Franklin Cafe, this upscale neighborhood tavern's outfitted with vintage-esque black/grey damask print wallpaper, brown leather booths, exposed wood ceiling beams, and a 100-year-old fireplace.

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4. Bukowski Tavern 50 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02115 (Back Bay)

Ditch Newbury and the bastions of distraught twenty-something foreigners asking you what happened to Armani Cafe, and hit up this bastion of barley to take down a peanut butter burger while making a sizeable dent in your Dead Author's Card, a running tally of all the beers you have to drink within six months to earn a spot in their exclusive mug club.

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5. The Painted Burro 219 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144 (Davis)

Painted Burro's a 95-seat Mexican kitchen & tequileria described as a “farm chic hacienda” featuring a red-/white-walled dining room with weathered wood tables, plus a 14-seat hammered tin/ reclaimed beam bar lit by wire cage lamps and overlooked by a unicorn burro mural rocking a luchador mask and corncob horn.

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