Fans of the Science Channel’s hit show, How It’s Made will be happy to know that there are several opportunities to learn all about the creation process behind some of Massachusetts’ most popular products. From potato chips to sweaters, these five companies welcome curious patrons to take behind-the-scenes tours of their operations.
1. Pairpoint Glass Works, Bourne
A visit to Pair Point Glass Works is like taking a trip back in time to the days before machinery put America’s true craftsmen out of work. Founded in 1837 in South Boston as the Mount Washington Glass Company, Pairpoint is the oldest operating glass company in the country. Although they do not offer traditional tours, the store displaying their gorgeous products is fitted with a massive window that overlooks all the action on the workroom floor.
Here’s a sneak peak of a talented crafstman at work!
2. Taza Chocolate Factory, Somerville
A trip to the Taza Chocolate Factory definitely has it’s perks ! Free tours and chocolate making demos are available 7 days a week with prior notice. Visitors will witness the unique Taza methods of creating their signature chocolate discs from Mexican cacao beans using hand-carved granite millstones. Best of all? A visit to Taza comes with tons of free samples!
Here’s one of the chocolate artists churning out fresh hazelnut butter!
3. Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory, Hyannis
The Hyannis-based factory is the area’s number one tourist destination with over 250,000 visitors annually. Self-guided tours of the facility – with windows overlooking the workfloor and massive machinery – are available Monday through Friday from 9 to 5. Be sure to stop by the quirky gift shop after you enjoy your complimentary Cape Cod chips!
4. Island Alpaca Company, Martha’s Vineyard
Tucked away on beautiful Martha’s Vineyard, this 19-acre farm welcomes guests to learn about their sustainable operation and visit with their herd of more than 50 colorful Huacaya alpaca. Tours run from 10 AM to 5 PM every day from May to October and are just $5 per person. Be sure to visit the gift shop for a handmade souvenir made on-site from genuine alpaca wool.
5. Sam Adams Brewery, Boston
No review of Massachusetts’ best product tours would be complete without a visit to the Sam Adams Brewery! Free one hour tours are available every 40 minutes from 10 AM to 3 PM for visitors 21 and up. The in-depth voyage through the birthplace of Boston’s best lager walks guests through the entire brewing process and provides samples of the speciality malts and hops. Patrons are also invited to sample some of the company’s signature and seasonal brews.
Featured Image via Facebook/Joyce Greene-LeBlanc