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The historical drinking tour of Salem, Massachusetts


Experience Salem as the first settlers did; with a buzz! For the longest time, beer was one of the only safe and reliable refreshments of New Englanders. Following their example, we'll visit three Salem breweries* and reveal how this simple drink influenced the people and decisions that led to the foundation of Massachusetts, New England and America as we know it today.

After all, there's no better way to know than by doing!

*your first beer is included at each brewery


The important stuff

We'll stop by 3 local breweries (East Regiment, Couch Dog, and Notch) for a full pour of whatever beer you'd like. I'll be happy to give you suggestions that fit your personal taste and/or historical accuracy. 

Length: 2.5 - 3 hours

Total walking: Less than a mile, mostly flat. Sidewalks may be wonky, it's an old city. 


Adult, 21+ 

Includes First beer at each brewery and tips.


Designated Driver/Non-Drinker

Non-alcoholic drink at each brewery included. Most breweries in town have a house-made n/a seltzer or selection of local sodas available. 

Availability Calendar

There's also a self-guided version of the drinking tour...

There's no app to download, nothing to sign-in to. Once you purchase the guide, you'll receive an email with the guide attached. You can view and follow it on your phone, tablet or mobile device, or you can print it out at home, at your hotel, or at one of the local print shops in Salem.

what people think:


"I've been on, and taken visitors on, countless Salem tours over the years and this one outshines them all.

Vijay's knowledge and passion for history engaged every member of our group, which included local history buffs and people with only the vaguest knowledge of Salem's history. 

It was great fun visiting different pubs, trying new beers and learning how beer played an integral role in settling Salem and its role in daily life.

I would recommend this engaging and innovative tour to anyone visiting or living in the area and am looking forward to going on more tours in the future." 

-MLM, TripAdvisor

"Highly engaging Salem tour!"


"Vijay was our guide for the "When Beer Was Water" tour and extremely knowledgable about everything from the specific kinds of alcohol that were typical back in the early days of Salem to the greater trade routes that played a part in these fledgling economies. It was so fun because we were talking about history through the context of taverns and breweries! The best kind of lesson!

I also liked that our group of 6 was small enough to get to know one another around the table. It seemed everyone felt comfortable asking questions or taking the conversation into a bit of architecture q&a when some building was of interest while walking from place to place.

Look forward to trying his other tours when I am in Massachusetts again!"

-Jamie, Facebook

"Well that was fun!"


"Vijay gives a solid overview of what types of beers were brewed in the 16th century along with a number of other "spirits" that were often consumed. He explains why each was a local favorite, what was brewed/distilled where, and where it would most likely have been consumed.

All of this was just a backdrop for him sharing his impressive knowledge of 16th and 17th century Salem (and the North Shore in general). He discusses many aspects of the daily routine and society of the time. There wasn't a question I asked that he did not give a confident (and i suspect correct!) answer to!

Loved the tour and am likely to go on his others."

-BeerLover, TripAdvisor

"The history was even better than the beer!"

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