MMHO – Universal Studios Florida

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lotsA few weeks ago, we told you about the Drinking around the World bar crawl at Epcot in Orlando.  After that, we visited Universal Studios.  There wasn’t as much drinking involved, but it’s still a fun day, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan, like we clearly are at Crawl in Boston!  Here are some tips to get the most out of your single day, dual-park pass.

We started on the Universal Studios side. We got there fairly soon after park opening and hightailed it to Diagon Alley. It wasn’t too crowded then, and we got right on the Escape from Gringott’s ride. This was a really hogwartsfun ride, so I’d recommend getting on it early o you don’t have to wait very long! One thing to note, to go on this and the other Harry Potter ride, you can’t bring on bags, even small purses. They have lockers where you can check them (free for the first hour) so make sure you do this before you get in line (we learned the hard way). After the ride, we looked around for a while (there are lots of hidden things to see). Then we did the rest of that park. The Simpsons, Transformers and Minions ride were all fun. We got the Fast Pass, which allows you to go through an Express line, and I think was worth it. You can’t use them on the Harry Potter rides, but it saved a lot of time on the other ones.

On the drinks side, definitely try a Wizard Brew or a Firewhiskey  in Diagon Alley. In the Simpsons area of the park, you have to get a Duff!  It’s not a super amazing beer, but very novel and fun.  Taking the Hogwarts Express over to the Islands of Adventure was really fun.   At Islands of Adventure, we really only did the Harry Potter and Marvel stuff.  A lot of the other things over there, like the Jurassic Park ride, were water rides. It was a pretty chilly January day when we were there, so we didn’t feel like getting wet. If you go when it’s warmer, I’m sure they’re fun. If you want a poncho, you should bring them with you, they were expensive at the park. There are a lot of very touristy but fun restaurants both in the park and in an area between the parking garage and the park itself.  A little cheesy, but that’s what you’re signing up for when you go to a theme park.  Sometimes you just have to embrace the chains and have some fun.  All in all, Universal was a very fun day.

More stuff…

Harry Potter Trivia Night this Wednesday is sold out. We’ll be back on Tuesday April 26th. Just over half of our team slots for that are now full.

The Lucky Leprechaun Lap is March 12th. Your ticket includes: $3 or less drink option at each bar, Leprechaun Hat with Beard, Shamrock Shutter Glasses, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, Temporary Tattoos, Photo Booth, Limbo Contest with prizes for winners and No Covers at Scheduled Bars

Our friends at S3 Boston are doing a St. Patrick’s Day themed crawl: Green Eggs and Hammered on March 19th

Pirate Crawl tickets now on sale. Early bird already sold out. Our awesome booze cruise/bar crawl.


MMHO: Boston Brewery/Distillery tour

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the tour

To combat the winter blues, we recently rented a limo bus to drive us to local breweries/distilleries.  We had 12 people in a limo bus rented from JB Livery.  It was $45 per person (including tip) for a full day.  I’d definitely recommend JB Livery if you’re in the market for a limo/bus/town car.  They’re very nice to work with, and our driver James was amazing!

We started off at Boston Winery.  We paid $10 for three tastings.  It was okay, but the staff member pouring wasn’t really offering any information about the wine.  He was spending a lot of time with other patrons, so maybe it was because we were a big group, he didn’t think we wanted to hear about the wines?  It was a little strange, and we left pretty quickly.  After this we headed across the parking lot to Boston Harbor Distillery.  What a gorgeous space!  Lots of wood and brick with a super high ceiling, this space was amazingly beautiful.  We paid another $10 per person for a tour and tasting.  We sampled their malt and rye whiskeys, which were very delicious.  We then had their roasted coffee liqueur, and their Boston cream liqueur (think Bailey’s only much tastier!).  Many of our crew purchased these.  If you’re looking for brunch cocktails, these would make a good one! The staff at Boston Harbor Distillery were very nice and fun, and this was a great stop.  I’d definitely recommend checking them out.

After Boston Harbor Distillery, we headed to Everett to Short Path Distillery.  This is a fairly new spot, in another very gorgeous space.  We couldn’t do a tour that day, so we just had some cocktails at the bar.  These were very tasty.  The tasting room was fun, with games (some of our crew played possibly the quickest game of Connect Four ever), and most importantly a very fun dog!  Short Path was a good time with good drinks and atmosphere.

Next we headed to Woburn to Lord Hobo Distillery.  This is a very sprawling brewery with a large tasting room.  They have very hoppy beers, such as their Boom Sauce.  They don’t pour a big variety, so be cautious if you go and you’re hot a fan of a very hoppy beer.

From there (after a brief stop for beer at Kappy’s) we went to Slumbrew’s Taproom in Boyton yards in Somerville.  If you haven’t been here, but it on your list.  It’s a nice space with lots of taps and friendly staff.  (Their beer garden in Assembly Row is also a great time, look for our guide to Assembly Row in a future MMHO).  Our time with the limo bus was winding down, so we headed back to town and ended the night at Blackstone on Union Street.  Boston has so many fun distilleries and breweries, you can tour a lot without travelling far.  By renting a limo, you can visit a few in one day, and keep the party going between stops.  This would be fun for a birthday, a bachelor/ette party, or just to celebrate a Saturday!  You don’t need a reason to get fancy.  Give it a shot!

MMHO: Epcot drinking around the World

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We’re introducing a new feature on the website. We’ll use the Monday Morning epcotHangover to review places we’ve gone to or things we’ve done when we’re NOT crawling. Restaurants, bars, tastings, event, we’ll cover them here.

Last week was vacation time for Crawl in Boston.  We headed south to go on the most Magical Bar Crawl on Earth! We’ve gone to Epcot’s World Showcase a few times now, and it’s always a blast.  We normally go in September when the kids go back to school and it’s less crowded, but scheduling conflicts pushed our trip back to January.  Read on for our overview and tips and tricks.

We started in China.  We went to a stand which has several different slushy drinks.  chinaWe went with the Tipsy Ducks in Love, which was a mix of coffee, black tea, milk, and bourbon.  Caffeine seemed like a good way to start the day, and bourbon never hurts either. This was reminiscent of a Starbucks frap, pretty solid.  We were able to sit and take in the scenery since this is not a beverage you can drink quickly.

After China, we hopped over to Germany.  Here you can get such fare as sausages, pretzels and other German delicacies.  You can also get shots of Jager, which we passed on.  They have several beers, and we went with the Oktoberfest, which is always a safe bet.

From there, we headed to Italy, which is one of my personal favorites.  It seems like italythere’s always a fun show going on there, and the square is fun to sit in and watch. We always get a wine sampler.  I assume they have other things somewhere in Italy, but we always get the wine flight.

After Italy is the good old USA.  This always seemed like kind of a cheat to me, since EVERYTHING ELSE is America, but it’s there in all its star spangled glory.  We went for a classic Sam Adams and listened to an a capella group sing some Disney hits (which was better than it sounds, but we were already several drinks in).

After the USA, we headed over to Japan.  This is a good place for sake.  Normally we get a plain sake, but we decided to try something different and get a green tea sake slushy.  It was very sweet, and I think next time we’ll go back to regular sake.  We did get to watch a delightful drum show though.

moroccoNext stop was Morocco.  Here we got a red sangria that was tasty, if not super traditional.  Morocco is a fun area to explore, with neat little stores, and if you look around, you can find a building that looks like a….member of male anatomy.  Just find it.  It makes a great picture.

From Morocco, we headed to France.  Here they have some spectacular drinks, such as the Grey Goose Citron frozen lemonade.  It’s delicious, and they serve it in a (plastic) martini glass, so you feel extra classy.

From there we hit merry old England, which is where things got aggressive. Once we englandhit England, we were greeted with $15 Johnnie Walker flights, and a Imperial Beer tasting for $11, which included 5 generous samples (Bass, Harp, Guinness, Strongbow, and Boddington’s).  These are served in a friendly little faux pub that is pretty delightful and fun.  On our first trip around the (Epcot) world, we made the mistake of starting with England, and it set a strong tone for the day, so now we start at the other end.  On this particular trip, Mexico and Norway had really long lines, leading us to start in China.

From England, you go to Canada.  Here you can get something called a “Torontopolitan”, which is basically a vodka and cranberry, and they have all the normal Canadian beers as well.  mexico

We headed back to Mexico.  There’s a really fun little margarita bar in the big restaurant building here which we were trying to get into.  It still had a line on our second try, so we settled for a margarita from a stand.  They had Patron, though, so it wasn’t too bad at all.  We normally get to the park earlier, and I recommend you try to do the same and get into the bar.

Finally, we hit up Norway.  There you can get shots of aquavit, but luckily we had norwayenough bearings at this point to know that would be a terrible idea.  We split a Carlsburg, (which I am not positive is actually Norwegian).

After our excursion came to a close, we decided to forgo the light show and hop a cab back to our hotel.  There’s a back entrance to Epcot which leads out to the Disney Boardwalk where we were able get a cab (please don’t drink and drive at Disney, or anywhere!).  We highly recommend giving the Epcot crawl a try if you find yourself in Orlando.

sunset epcot

Pro tip:  If you go, and don’t stay at a Disney hotel, be careful if you take an Uber to the park.  We thought most Uber drivers would know how to get to the theme parks, but ours didn’t and followed his GPS, which takes you to the administration offices for Epcot.  Tell you Uber driver to follow the purple signs, not the GPS. There are actually signs for and Uber drop off area.

Design1 copyCalling all Muggles!  Hogwarts is coming to Boston. Crawl in Boston has teamed up with The Blackstone to host an epic Harry Potter trivia night based on the books and movies.  Grab a team of 2 – 4 and prepare to drop some HP knowledge like your name is Hermione.  There will be prizes, giveaways, and of course, a little bit of magic. And Butter Beer!

More details here

Valentine Gras is February 13th. Your ticket includes $3 or less drink at each bar, Crawl In Boston Scarf, Light Up LED Rose, Beverage Mitt, Wallet Ninja (18 in 1 Multitool), Beads, Candy Wristband, Temporary Tattoos, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, 2 Photo Booths, Limbo Contest and No Covers at Scheduled Bars.

Get yours soon


MMHO: SBN Local Craft Brewfest

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sbnThis past Friday, we attended the 6th SBN Local Craft Brewfest. The SBN (Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts) has a focus on local and sustainable businesses, so this is a festival you can feel good about attending.  All the vendors are local to New England, and you can taste beers and ciders, as well as locally distilled spirits.  They also have local musicians and food trucks, so it’s a great night out.  We’ve attended this event in the past, and they made a few changes this time around.  They moved the location from the relative splendor of the Moakley Courthouse to the slightly less aesthetically pleasing Cruiseport Boston, tucked further into the Seaport.  However, it was easy to get to by the Silver Line, made even more so by an especially helpful driver (who knew?) who realized a majority of the people on the bus were headed to the festival, and dropped us off directly in front of the building.  The space itself wasn’t bad, just not as nice a view as the courthouse has.  The set up was still nicely laid out, not too crowded and plenty of room. We splurged and went for the VIP tickets, which allowed for early access, vouchers for the food trucks, and a gift bag on the way out, which was filled with tchotchkes from various vendors, including Sam Adams pint glasses, bottle openers, and a ton of Kind Bars.   The event itself was amazing.  It was busy but not so crowded you had to wait in huge lines, and it was possible to actually chat with the vendors and learn about their products.  A word of warning, there are a lot of distilleries with liquor tastings, so we recommend eating something before you get there—you get small tastings, but they can add up!  Due to the relaxed nature, and getting to spend time with the vendors, we got a lot of ideas for some Thanksgiving and holiday cocktails.  For instance, we chatted with Lonnie from GrandTen Distillery about making a Cranberry Manhattan, which uses their Craneberry liquor as a float on the classic drink.  There were also samples of local food, and a few food trucks with food for purchase.  Overall, we would recommend checking out SBN’s next Local Craft Brewfest, and check out their website for their other upcoming events

Regular tickets now sold out for 12 Bars of X-Mas. We’re down to our Last Call batch. 12 Bars of X-Mas. Ticket includes $3 or less drink at each bar, Beverage Mitt, Winter Pom Hat, Santa Socks, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, Candy Cane, Temporary Tattoos, Photo Booth and No Covers at Scheduled Bars. 

MMHO: Charlesmark

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We’re introducing a new feature on the website. We’ll use the Monday Morning Hangover to review places we’ve gone to or things we’ve done when we’re NOT crawling. Restaurants, bars, tastings, event, we’ll cover them here.

The Charlesmark Hotel is nestled on a stretch of Newbury St across from the Library.  The Charlesmark Lounge is yes, cmtechnically, in a hotel, but it shouldn’t be written off as a “hotel bar”.  The staff is extremely friendly and make great cocktails.  The drink menu includes twists on classics like their Charlesmark Martini (which I like to call the “Bad Day Corrector”), and their take on a Manhattan, with bitters made by a bartender at Solas across the street.  Also check out the Dancing Bear Martini, decorated with a row of gummy bears. They also have a seasonal menu, with bright, refreshing drinks in the summer and, bolder, warming drinks for the winter. In the nicer weather they have a nice patio which is great for Newbury Street people watching, and they also have a nice lounge with comfy and chic couches, so it’s a great place to relax with friends.  Bar manager Jefferson and the rest of the staff are some of the greatest in town, and it’s always a good time to stop in.  Once a month, they host a wine tasting.  This is one of the best values for a great time in town.  It’s held on the third Wednesday of each month from 6-8. For $20, you get to sample 6 wines (3 white and 3 red…you can try one of each, or stick with either all whites or reds, it’s up to you).  They also have light apps (cheese and crackers, crudité and dip, cupcakes and cookies) and pass out samples of their cocktails as shots. Admission also includes a drink voucher for your next visit.  They give you a handout describing each wine, so you can learn a little something while you mingle and sample.  It’s always hopping and a great way to meet people, or hang out with your friends for a midweek break.  Overall, Charlesmark is classy but comfortable, and a great place for a drink.

Under 3 weeks until we’re back for the 12 Bars of X-Mas. Ticket includes $3 or less drink at each bar, Beverage Mitt, Winter Pom Hat, Santa Socks, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, Candy Cane, Temporary Tattoos, Photo Booth and No Covers at Scheduled Bars.

MMHO: Wine Riot

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wine riot

We’re introducing a new feature on the website. We’ll use the Monday Morning Hangover to review places we’ve gone to or things we’ve done when we’re NOT crawling. Restaurants, bars, tastings, event, we’ll cover them here.

Wine Riot

Started by Morgan First and Tyler Balliet, Second Glass’ mission is to “help people discover new wines, remember what they drink and share that info with their friends by bringing wineries and wine drinkers together through technology and in-person events.”  One way they do this is by hosting Wine Riot, a huge wine event which brings together wineries from all over the world in an unpretentious and fun atmosphere.  It began in Boston and is now in 6 other cities.  They have it twice a year in Boston, with three sessions for each (one Friday, and Saturday afternoon and night).  With a DJ spinning tunes, and photo and temporary tattoo booths, Wine Riot is a fun way to try new wines. Friendly pourers are happy to tell you about the wines you’re trying in layman’s terms, and you’re able to choose what you want to try (although they encourage you to try things outside your comfort zone).   With their handy app for rating the wines you like, you can remember which was your favorite the next day.  A majority of the wines are easily available for purchase locally and many are very affordable.  Throughout the night, there are 20  minute optional Crash Courses, where you can learn about a particular kind of wine.  They also have a Bubbly Bar, which features all sorts of the sparkly stuff, with knowledgeable pourers explaining the differences between the different regions.  In short, if you like wine, you should not miss the next Wine Riot.

MMHO: Corner Tavern

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We’re introducing a new feature on the website.  We’ll use the Monday Morning Hangover to  review places we’ve gone or things we’ve done when we’re NOT crawling.  Restaurants, bars, tastings, events, we’ll cover them here.

Corner Tavern is Sunday morning favorite for Team Crawl in Boston.  Small and unassuming in the basement of a Back Bay cornerbrownstone, Corner Tavern offers a relaxed atmosphere and good food, and is perfect for the morning after a crazy night out.  The staff are laid back friendly, always up for trading weekend stories or  comparing fantasy football teams. They make a mean Bloody Mary, and they have a small selection of interesting taps.  Food wise, they offer a small but good selection.  For brunch you can get a variety of egg based dishes.  The Eggs Benedict are served classically and always perfectly cooked, served with roasted potatoes.  The Duck Confit hash is hearty and delicious. They also offer a waffle sandwich and a breakfast sandwich.  You can also get regular sandwiches for lunch like the Rosalita (turkey, gouda, slaw, and chipotle mayo, pressed into gooey goodness), a pulled pork sandwich, and a Buffalo chicken wrap (sandwiches are served with choice of roasted potatoes, pasta salad, or mixed greens).  The star of the sandwich selection, however, is the meatloaf burger.  Huge and decadent, this is definitely a hangover helper. A tasty slice of meatloaf served on a sturdy brioche bun, with chipotle ketchup, bacon, and cheese, this is an epic sandwich experience that has to be tried at least once.  They have the Sunday Ticket during football season, albeit they show the games on very small screens throughout the bar.  So it’s good if you want to catch a game, but also hang out with your friends with football not dominating the whole experience.  They also lunch and dinner menus, including $2 Taco Tuesdays and weekly shot specials. Prices are decent, especially for Back Bay.  Corner Tavern is a hotspot on weekend nights, usually full and boisterous.  It’s a good for a quiet drink during the week, especially before a Sox Game if you want to avoid the crowds on Landsdowne.

The Halloween Crawl tickets are going strong. Ticket includes Drink specials at each bar, Beverage Mitt, Selfie Stick, Koozie, Drawstring Backpack, Photo booth, Candy and no covers at scheduled bars.

There are other Halloween themed bar crawls. Make sure you get your tickets via Eventbrite from Crawl In Boston. You won’t get the same goodies with the other events.

Some local places to pick up a costume include Dorothy’s Boutique, New Millennium Costumes, Party City and The Garment District. Just don’t wait until the last minute. You’ll probably be waiting in line.

Have a great week -C.I.B.