John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House
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Active Beers: 178
Beer Ratings: 800
Beer Avg: 3.62
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 23
3.55/5 rDev +0.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Although they have a sweet happy hour consisting of $3 pints and half price aps, their beers, and their food just aren't that good. Their pride and joy, their Pumpkin Spice Ale is pretty good, including cinnamon and sugar around the edge of the glass, and they have a decent stout from time to time, but other than that it's usually nothing special. On the upside the servers are all nice, and there are a bunch of TV's by the bar if you're big into sports. If not there is a normal restaurant feel on the other side where you can grab a meal, a brew, and just relax, just remember that meal/brew will only be decent.
03-17-2012 15:25:56 | More by vfgccp
3.85/5 rDev +9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went here on Friday at 4pm. The atmosphere was solid. We were seated in the bar area and the happy hour crowd was filling up. Our waitress was prompt with service and I tried the sampler which she correctly mentioned which beers were included and the preferred order to drink them. Beers were interesting though not exciting. food was good and the price was fair; one appetizer, 2 entrees, a beer sampler and a soda was under $50.
I'd go back again for the experience and hope for a good mix of beer choices.
04-16-2011 03:28:15 | More by socon67
3.63/5 rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
My husband and I live about 5 minutes away from this restaurant and order takeout a couple of times a month. The food is usually decent but I hadn't tried their beer since hubby didn't know if they sold growlers. (They do, he just didn't ask because - gasp - he doesn't like to drink!)
We finally went in last week for my brother's birthday and overall were happy with the experience. I have worked in restaurants for many years and thought the service and kitchen were both slow, but the waitress was friendly and competent, and the food was good (I had salmon topped with a pistachio mango salsa, hubby had the pulled pork sandwich) so that made up for it in my mind.
We had a party of 8 people and our bill, including an 18% added gratuity (which we added to for a 20% tip), was only $225. Considering we had apps, dinners, 4 of us each had two drinks and my brother had two brew samplers, it was pretty inexpensive. That same meal in the restaurant I work at would have cost at least $10 more per person.
After dinner, hubby and I went back to the bar while we waited to go see a movie at the nearby theater. I had had the Abbey Dubble with dinner, then at the bar I ordered an Altbier and the Crystal Ship. Bar service was much faster than dining room service, but the bartender was kind of at a loss for words when I asked him what the Crystal Ship was like - he was pouring a few beers (we sat in front of the taps) and all he said was that it was a "pretty good ale." I guess for a place that brews, I expected more of a description, but it was pretty busy so maybe he just had his mind elsewhere. I liked the Altbier best, then the Abbey Dubble a close second. The Crystal Ship was okay but probably not one I'd order again, it was a little lighter than I prefer.
Overall I would definitely like to go back, I think this would be a good place to just sit down at the bar, have a burger and a few pints.
02-21-2011 23:49:17 | More by cakeums
3.55/5 rDev +0.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I live five minutes from this establishment yet never seem to have the time to go. Went there during a day of shopping over Christmas break, rather empty. Service was fine, attentive but on the whole, average. Food was good but did take a bit even though it was empty. Had a Milk/sweet stout that while thin was a tasty and enjoyable brew to have on a cold day. The place had 5 other beers available and none sounded as good as my stout. All in all, this seems to be a solid place to go and look forward to going again.
01-27-2011 19:49:08 | More by gskitt
3.1/5 rDev -12.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$$
This is one of my favorite places to go around here. The atmosphere is great. It feels to kinda like a dive bar but with class. The food is great bar food. I love their hamburgers and fries. They also make a mean steak if you go that route.There are also always new beers coming and going. The beer tends to be on the flat side but there's usually a winner on the menu. I am generally a big fan of their red ales. It can be pretty slow at times and that's a big downside but from time to time they give you free deserts to apologize for their slowness if you're on the restaurant side. They also have a great happy hour deal... half priced beers and appetizers is hard to beat when its local beer. Worth checking out.
Edited Friday October 1, 2010.
Reduced the service to 1 because the hostesses lately have been absolutely terrible. They take forever to seat you even when its empty, they ignore you when you're waiting to be seated, and take forever to just take your name down when there's a wait.
10-20-2009 07:49:40 | More by SkunkWorks
3.1/5 rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
John Harvard's Brew Pub is a place near SmithHaven Mall around the Stony Brook University area.
Here, you really get what you'd expect. A decent selection of their own beers which sometimes will include something interesting like their own take on the Belgian dubbel and tripel. Otherwise, the food is decent and reasonably priced. Good nachos and bar food for the most part and they make a mean burger if you're into that kind of food.
Also, on Wednesday nights, there's trivia, where the winning table gets a prize, sometimes a t-shirt, other times a growler filled with John Harvard's beer.
Make no mistake... there's nothing super exciting about this brew pud, but at the same time, there's nothing to really complain about. At times, service is a little slow and unattentive, but then again, when its busy, what place isn't?
08-31-2009 01:30:33 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.6/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
I have been to John Harvard's a few times now and have really enjoy it every time I have come. I really like the atmosphere, because you can choose to either sit in the bar section or the restaurant section, which are pretty well separated so the restaurant section isn't too loud. The service was fast and I was immediately seated every time I have come to John Harvard's.
The beer selection is not bad considering it is all John Harvard's beer and they rotate the selection often enough to keep it fresh. The beer is decent and so is the food, but for the local it really is one of the better bars. Both the pale ale and IPA are pretty good, but I am not sure if the quality of some of their other beers warrants getting a sampler. Overall, I had an enjoyable time every time I have gone there, but at the same time I have never gone to John Harvard's expecting very much from the place.
01-03-2009 07:10:54 | More by OnThenIn
3.48/5 rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
This is my local brewpub and I really like it because the beer is decent, constantly rotating, and they have 1/2 price pints and 1/2 price appetizers on weekdays from 4-7. So it's worth it to go to the pub at those times especially.
Atmosphere: Very nice, casual place. Usually there's music in the background. They have several TVs and usually some sports event is on. When I go there, it's usually not very crowded and you can get a seat at the bar. But there are always people around and I've never seen it dead.
Quality: The beer is decent. It's not world-class beer but they usually have a few good options to choose from.
Service: Service is one of the low points of JH. Bar service is pretty good. But JH does not seem to do well with large parties and some of the servers have been terrible--ignoring the table, getting orders wrong, getting the bill wrong. So, sit at the bar and don't come in large groups!
Selection: Usually there are 5 or so beers on tap. They are constantly rotating, even if you go once a week there will probably be something new.
Food: The food's good. I wish they had a larger menu but I've always found something to order! The entrees are a touch pricey so I usually stick with the appetizers. Good portions, on the large side I would say.
Value: During happy hour (4-7 M-F), a pint is $3 and appetizers are probably $3-5. This deal makes it quite worth the money. So I would recommend going during those hours because you will be getting the best bang for your buck.
Overall: I love JH! I love trying their new beers and lately the quality of theirs beers has really been improving.
12-29-2008 21:04:18 | More by LilBeerDoctor
2.95/5 rDev -16.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $
This is one of those places that I really wanted to like but just can't say that I do. Let's rate it like I would do a beer...
A (Atmosphere) - A bit generic since it is a chain place, but honestly it is pretty good. Huge doors when you enter, lots of dark wood, glass windows to show of the brewing equipment. The bar has TVs to so you can catch "the game(s)" and lots of seating. Honestly, I like the look of the place.
Q (Quality) - Damn...this is where things go a bit downhill. I am going to lump the quality of everything in here, including the food. I don't want to nitpick, but if you go you will understand, there is just nothing special about the place and that feeling rubbed off on me on the first visit. You are a customer and nothing more, please order a beer, some food, and leave so we can seat the next person. No better than a Chili's or Applebees...maybe worse.
S (service) - No complaint here, it is what I would expect at a chain establishment. They do their job...some go a little above and beyond, others are there to collect a paycheck. For a chain place...not gonna knock it.
S - I was happy with their selection of beers. This is not a huge joint, but they do manage to offer a good number of beers, a good number of menu items, and all at a good price. They also switch up the offerings during the year.
F - Would you like a worm crawling around in your salad? No? Neither did my wife! Please wash the produce, at least get the worms out. The food is palatable but nothing special. "Well this is a chain!" you might say, well...there are chains that offer better food for the same price. This is in fact that point that kills the place for me. If they just offered really good burgers or a great sandwich that would draw me back...well...I would come back but that is not the case.
Overall, I really, REALLY wanted to like this place. In fact, I thought I did after my first visit. I soon came to realize that my sub par food was not simply a bad choice off the menu, but that all of their food was sub par. The beer is not great, but it is good and they do have a really good selection. They NEED to improve their food and they would have a winner. Who I am to judge too harshly though...I have lived here for 6 years and they still are around!
12-03-2008 01:49:23 | More by steelerguy
3.25/5 rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
Came here twice over the course of a conference, and I would call it a solid OK. Has some 8 or so beers on tap, all brewed on premises. The sampler set if 5 of the less aggressive styles.
The beers themselves were all somewhat similar in some respects despite stylistic differences. All seems a high fruitiness and breadiness. Overall though, the beers are uninspired.
Being a chain restaurant, it has a faux feel to it, from the stale foccacia bread service to the restaurant/bar division. Menu is uninspiring and the food is only OK.
Servers didn't have a lot of beer knowledge, describing a honey ale as budweiser with honey. (Which incidentally, was nasty...) Small samples were volunteered so it's not quite a crapshoot. Not overly expensive either. No complaints about the service though, but I think the overall averageness of the establishment as a whole drags down the impression.
06-05-2008 23:36:13 | More by allergictomacros
John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House in Lake Grove, NY
83 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.