Does anyone else get that feeling sometimes that you’re not “cool enough” to be in a certain place? Even when you’ve come prepared wearing your “coolest” clothes — you half-expect someone to point to the door and tell you to get out immediately. This is how I felt upon entering Bully Boy Distillers in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, though I’m happy to report that it was all in my head; it’s actually quite a welcoming place.
Bully Boy Distillers was founded in 2010 by the Willis brothers. The name pays homage to their grandfather — who first taught them how to make cider — and his horse, Bully Boy. The name “Bully Boy” was their grandfather’s nod to a close college friend, none other than future president Theodore Roosevelt, and his tendency to use “Bully!” as an expression of interest or excitement.
The distillery is located off the beaten track, so I’d recommend driving or taking a rideshare to get there. It’s easy to miss, with a simple non-descript door, and very little signage. Once inside, however, you’ll feel immersed in a whole new world. The Tasting Room has a dark, elegant, speakeasy vibe — and is separated from the distillation room by large windows that provide a view to all the action. Tours are fun and informative, and include four tastings (including perhaps their corn-based vodka, which is gluten free!). If you don’t want to take a tour, you can always just swing by the Tasting Room for some expertly crafted cocktails.