John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House, Framingham

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entrance from the large parking lot (strip mall side)

“Where good people gather for great brews

For twenty years, John Harvard’s has brewed and served great craft beers alongside hearty meals at several permanent and seasonal destinations throughout the Northeast.

In 1992, John Harvard’s brewery was opened in Cambridge, drawing on the story and fabled recipes from Harvard and Shakespeare and pushing forward the tradition of craft beer as the center of life and community. We’re proud to serve in the storied legacy of John Harvard, the scholar and brewer; and invite you to continue new chapters in good company right here.”

We recently went to the Framingham location of John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House. The largest of their breweries by capacity, John Harvard’s Framingham offers up to 10 beers on tap in a family-friendly setting. If you are going here, it is located in the back left corner of the strip mall, we had a little trouble finding it, that’s why we are letting you know. It is a large restaurant with a long bar where you can see all the barrel’s brewing the beer.

They have locations in Harvard Square, Framingham MA, Providence RI, Lake Grove NY, Holiday Valley Resort NY, and Jiminy Peak in Hancock MA. From looking at their website it looks like each location has a head brewer who makes the decisions about what styles of beer to make.IMG_1804

We visited John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House for dinner with Jason and Maureen, after Jason had gone with us to Jack’s Abby and Angry Ham’s (a mini brewery/bar crawl if you will).

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delicious bread and oil

We started with two samplers, with the ladies picking four and the guys picking the other four.

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Maureen & Megan’s sampler

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Jason & Mark’s sampler

Strawberry
Good balance, not too fruity but still good strawberry flavor. Mark thought the strawberry was a little light or subtle. Megan thought it was much sweeter the 2nd time.

 

American Gold
Good light beer, similar to Bud heavy but with a little something extra, maybe a little sweeter.

 

Cool as a Cucumber Ale
Megan did not like it, even though she eats a cucumber every. single. day. Maureen thought it was ok, but probably wouldn’t get it again. Jason didn’t taste the cucumber, thought it was sweet and lemony. Mark thought it sweet then tart. The menu had the quote from ‘The Other Guys’, remarkably refreshing, and we expected it but didn’t really get it.

 

Super Secret Pale Ale|
Good beer, slightly lighter than some other pale’s we’ve had, and a little sweet.

 

Raisin Hell (Barrel Aged)
Megan and Maureen didn’t like this either. One that we all weren’t quite sure why Megan choose it (she doesn’t like raisins)… Maureen likes raisins though. Megan thought it tasted too much like the barrel it was in. Mark liked it, it was heavy, he got the cabernet taste, reminded us of barley wine.

 

Framingham Rogue
Megan liked the malt base with added spices. Mark and Jason both liked it.

 

Chile Con Cacao Porter
Maureen didn’t like it, too heavy and flavorful. Megan expected it to be spicer, tasted the serrano, cayenne and chipotle. Mark liked it, good balance, not too spicey, not too heavy.

 

Hop Chronic
Good flavor, Mark and Jason both liked it. Not just hoppy and not too plain. A little sweet, maybe a ‘subtle caramel sweet flavor’. Best beer so far, said Mark and Jason.

 

We appreciate that they tried making some unique beers. Some just weren’t our style, but instead of playing it safe it seems like they were experimenting and trying to have fun with their beers, which ranked them high.

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brew tanks behind the bar

Our dinners:

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Grilled Cheese with House Salad

 

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Quesadilla

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Pastrami

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Texas Burge

Really good, what Mark was expecting

 

 

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Jason & Maureen

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Megan & Mark

 

On Tap Now

Kolsch, Half Wit, Cool as a Cucumber, Super Secret Pale Ale, Half in the Bagels, Octoberfest, Harvest Spice, California Daze, Raisin Hell (Barrel Aged), Rio Negro Coffee Stout

 

Want to visit? Hours vary by location

 

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