This is an unscientific survey with a limited sample, anecdotal evidence supplied by informal expeditions. For all the so-called gentrification underway in Dorchester, this part of Boston is still home to cheap suds. If we measure gentrification by the price of a pint, the Dot has a ways to go before it hits South End levels of snootiness.
I just spent a lovely hour and a half at Tom English's and spent five dollars on two pints of Pabst not including the tips. Tom English's has recently undergone a makeover, it is as fashionable as anyplace in Boston city limits, but the same roughnecks were there who have been coming since they had fake IDs. Before you tag me as a hipster for ordering a Pabst, I could have ordered a Budweiser, but Bud is an extra 50 cents. I could have ordered a Guinness, of course, but I wanted something light. The point is cheap beer is on tap in the Dot.
The Harp and Bard also recently underwent renovations. It's a bit roomier and a tad swankier than Tom English's Cottage. No Pabst here. I had a pint of Blue Moon and it set me back a fiver. A six pack of Blue Moon probably costs eight bucks but then I'm drinking in my living room in my underwear with the cats. I don't mind parting with a Lincoln to watch the games on six televisions, trade gossip around the bar and enjoy the eye candy.
How much is a beer in other parts of Boston? I parted with nine bucks last week in Charlestown (!). I had a seven dollar draft in the South End at one joint and I shed $7.50 at the Beehive. You can purchase a can, a can, of Pabst at Jacob Wirth for, I believe three greenbacks, maybe $3.50. I don't begrudge J. Wirth the markup, its worth it. The price is worth it for the other places too because I am buying more than a beer. For my money though, the best beer/atmosphere dollar is spent in the Dot.