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Self guided drinking tour of Salem Massachusetts. History drinking tour

When Beer was Water

A self-guided drinking tour of Salem

Experience Salem exactly as the first settlers; with a buzz.

Nearly everyone in the 1600s were daily drinkers, and given their hard way of life on the frontier, it's no wonder. 

I created this historical drinking tour of Salem to offer a different perspective on how to experience the past. After all, there's no better way to understand than by doing. You'll leisurely drink through Salem's past, uncovering new perspectives on history and the frequent daily drinking habits of nearly everyone back then. This drinking and walking tour will stop at two local breweries. 

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."

When Beer was Water - Old Salem

"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!"


"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."

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