Moon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale House

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Moon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale HouseMoon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale House
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51 Ratings
Moon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale HouseMoon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale House

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

74 Parker St
Gardner, Massachusetts, 01440
United States

(978) 669-0122 | map

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Added by Todd on 05-02-2006

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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of KMcGrath
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of AndrewKiser
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of thedaveofbeer
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of Resuin
3.99/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of Phillip13
4.81/5  rDev +18.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

A great brew pub in Central Mass. A fun place to hang out and drink good beer and eat good food. If you are in the area make sure you go you will enjoy yourself.

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Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
3.46/5  rDev -15%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of Dicers
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of Rideguy64
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of kettleandcask
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ricknelson
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Attended the Gardner Ale House Festival today and was not impressed with the beer selection. Plus in the street fest area you are confined to such a small area in which to drink your beer. They did not have enough servers. Lines though short, took too long to serve people. The beer prices and food prices however were very reasonable. Rude security people. If bought a growler they forced you walk a half a mile around the "No beer beyond this point" to get back to your car 100 yards away. This pissed us all off. Will not be going back or suggesting anyone else go.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of JohnofUpton
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of bcgeiman
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of JKV96
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Ferris32
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

First time there it was packed, but I got to drink a beer off tap while waiting to be seated and talked with a lovely old couple in there sixties waiting for a table and another growler re-fill. Pizza was great and the waitress was nice. The beer was good too.Definitely will go back.

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Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -26.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2

I really really wanted to like the Gardner Ale House. It is in a cute New England town. Nice brick outside, warm homestyle restaurant inside. It has local artists paintings on the along the restaurant walls. Plenty of huge tvs and dart boards adorn the bar area. Kudos to any microbrewery that contains dart boards. The lighting was warm and inviting. The biggest problem with the dining room layout is that there is a huge list of beers on the side wall chalkboard. However, from about half the seating area the chalkboard is hard if not impossible to see. Additionally unlike some breweries that print out a list of their beers for the table—Gardner does not. When I asked the waitress, she could only rattle off a handful but suggested to look at the board—uggh. She was helpful though in describing what certain beers tasted like and by getting free samples. Overall the service was marginally on the better side of ok.

I like the fact that Gardner has 12 taps and six are guest. I like that they tried some different styles. Kolsch, Alt-Bier, Imperial IPA were some of the beers represented. Great variety in styles. I always appreciate a microbrewery that offers more than the brown, stout, and ipa. I unfortunately was underwhelmed by each of the beers that I tried which also included a chocolate porter that I really had to search for the chocolate in. Some breweries seem to cater to my palette. Gardner does not.

The food menu looked glorious with several options from shrimp, the to steak tips, to veggie burgers. However much like the beer menu, it underwhelmed. I had a homemade soup with beer, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and pasta. That was amazing—Panera quality or better—and I really like Panera soups. The French fries were also fairly good. However, my chicken teriyaki sandwich was bone dry and overcooked-even with the teriyaki sauce. The most disappointing part of the menu was my daughter’s meal. She ordered the mac and cheese kids meal. It came with the good fries, but it was Kraft macaroni and cheese. I do not go out to eat to buy Kraft food that has nothing done to it. It should have been noted that it was just Kraft from a box—or more home made. It makes me suspicious if nothing else about the rest of their menu—especially their children’s menu.

I can see Gardner Ale House being a decent place to have a couple of homemade brews and watch a game. This certainly beats places that just serve BMC by a lot. If I was closer I could see myself playing darts there. However, as someone who lives a bit of a drive away, I just cannot see myself stopping there unless I was so famished that Gardner was the only place to get a non-McDonald’s meal. Perhaps it was an off day. I just was underwhelmed by the beer and a bit upset by the children’s menu. There are places that do small town brewery great—Edleweis in Alpine, Texas—Bear Brewing in Orono, Maine amongst countless others. I think Gardner could be great and has a lot of potential—it just is a miss for me.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Columbus Day Weekend 2011:

A weekend excursion to the Monadnock region yielded a couple of visits to Gardner Ale House this past weekend.

I had the chance to check out the bar on Friday as well as a return visit for lunch on Saturday. The atmosphere here is northern New England casual and comfortable with a long bar on the right side as you enter. Ample seating awaits in the back area.

Local artists' work decorates the walls in the dining area with a sizable crowd enjoying their food and drink. I noticed a few dart boards in the back. A great place to hang out and enjoy some local beer.

The beer selection was good, but I think there is plenty of untapped potential. I like Guest Taps, but would appreciate more of their beer offerings with a total of 12 taps available.

Selection included Summer's End, Chair City Pale, Facelift IPA, Oma's Altbier, Oktoberfest Lager and Chocolate Porter. Expect about 12 Guest Taps that included Wormtown Pro Am Porter & Weizenbock, Shipyard Pumpkinhead and crusty beers like Coors Light and Bud Light.

I tried the Chocolate Porter & Facelift IPA, both were very good with quality malts and a smooth drinkability.

The food here is special, they offer some creative and tasty dishes. However, I honestly thought the Buffalo Wings were subpar with a disappointing "extra hot" sauce. Don't be misled though, the wings were only a minor hiccup, the rest of the dishes sampled were really good. The Eggplant Parm Baguette was awesome.

I enjoyed this place, worth stopping by if in the area.

 1,538 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
4.15/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I found out about this brewpub when I went to Wormtown Brewery. Ben told me about his collaboration he did with Gardner Ale and Steakhouse, which is the Dark Day Black IPA. When I went back to Wormtown, on their door they have the names of the brews with beer-ready-growlers on it, it mentions Gardner's Ale and Steakhouse under the Dark Day Black IPA.

I decided that is where I'm going to go for dinner with my girlfriend. It's only a half hour drive from Wormtown Brewery.

Gardner's Ale and Steak House doesn't have their own parking, we had to park on a metered parking street.

We walked up to the entrance and a bar greets you on the right side. Nice looking place for sure. We got seated at a table and our waitress came over relatively quick. She seemed real nice and didn't rush us in anyway.

The beer names were located on a chalk board on the wall instead of a menu; I found that a little odd. I think a menu with beer names is a good idea to have as well as the chalkboard. My first beer I ordered was the Facelift IPA which was really tasty.

I used the restroom and what a craphole (no pun intended); wires hanging from the ceiling, old looking beat up doors, it just didn't seem well kept at all. No big deal since the atmosphere makes up for it.

My food was really tasty. I got a steak sandwhich with sour dough bread with grilled mushrooms, onions, peppers and Swiss cheese. The steak wasn't rough or hard, cooked the way I asked. My girlfriend got a turkey burger which she didn't like too much. I thought hers tasted fine. Did it taste like a turkey burger? Not exactly; more like a BBQ pork and chicken flavor. Oh, well...

I ordered another beer, Face Off Double IPA; I liked it but I thought their Facelift IPA was better and more balanced. These were the only two beers I tried and both were really good.

I was definitely happy with my experience and even more happy about the bill, it was not expensive at all. I thought the bill was going to be closer to sixty and it was actually under fifty dollars. Cheap in cost but quality food; same with the beers. A lot of brewpubs jack up their beer prices and they don't even have quality beer. I'm glad this is not the case with Gardner Ale and Steakhouse.

 2,237 characters

Photo of DrunkPagan
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Holy carp, how have I never been to this place before? Seriously, I'm literally stunned. Just as a restaurant, this place is great. But the beer... This beer stunned me. I am not easily rendered speechless, just ask anyone I hang out with, but this beer... I think it was the Alt that had me so stunned that I couldn't think straight. It was so amazingly good, perfectly balanced, delicious, holding perfectly true to style and knocking all other contenders out of the way.

When I got to the Doppelbock, that was it, it was decided. It was the best flight of beer I've ever had. I knew these guys made good beer, I didn't know it was THAT good! If only it weren't two hours from where I live, I'd stop in all the time.

Honestly, I think the beer might be too good. The food's pretty good, and I'm totally NOT dissing the food, but it pales in comparison to the love and attention that went into the beer.

 906 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.15/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped here for lunch on the way home from Stratton Mountain, VT today. First I have to say that I am really happy that I did make the stop and give this place another shot. About 6 months ago I was in Gardner on business and stopped by to consider picking up a growler. I tasted a few samples at the bar and decided not to pick up anything. Frankly, I must have been in a bad mood, as today the beers all tasted very good. Before deciding on a pint or two, I tried the sampler and was impressed with the consistency of their current line-up. I really enjoyed their Chair City Pale Ale & the Dave's Double (Doppelbock). These were the stand out beers in the selection. Also tried the Rocker Red, Chocolate Porter and Wicked Big Stout. All of these were also very nice.

Service was good, not great. When I called to see if they were open for lunch, the answer was very confusing. After asking several follow up questions, the answer given was that they were open (1pm) but on Sunday's you can only order off their dinner menu. Bottom line, they ARE open and the person on the phone should not have confused a customer.

We had the chicken nachos and also a Monterrey Chicken Sandwich. Both were very good. Standard pub fare with some classic New England selections. Decent selection.

If you are passing through the area, this is definitely worth a stop. The atmosphere was classic pub/brewery with lots of wood and the right lighting. Felt comfortable hanging around there. Beer was better than expected.. Well done folks.

 1,524 characters

Photo of BumpkinBrewer
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The wife and I took a ride to Gardner for our Valentines Day dinner (Saturday night). There is plenty of parking out back. The atmosphere was quite quaint. There is alot of stained glass windows and the copper kettles out back looked great. We were seated in small somewhat isolated room towards the front, made for a nice quiet dinner. The service wasn't prompt but I wasn't in any rush. The beer selection was pretty vast for a brewpub, all kinds of styles. Plus they had guest taps from Goose Island, Narragansett, and Wachusett I believe. I had their DIPA and Imperial stout. Not overly impressive but they went well with my surf n' turf, a new york strip with baked scallops. The wife had the filet mignon and was very pleased. We will check this place out again in the future for sure.

 791 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

My brother has been telling me for a long time about how good the Sunday brunch is at the Gardner Ale House. So this past Sunday, we took a drive out there. The place is divided in two, with the bar to the right and the restaurant to the left. There are brew kettles on display in the back of the bar. The brunch buffet was amazing. For $16 pp, it was all you could eat. Waffles, pancakes, bacon, eggs, and tons of breakfast food, plus prime rib, chicken, pasta, fish, potatoes, and tons of sides. There was also a pastry display and a chocolate dipping fountain. I had three plates of food. All very tasty. Our waitress was friendly and cleared off used plates quickly. They had 7 house beers on tap: Summer, Alt, IPA, Pale Ale, DIPA, Stout, and Chocolate Porter. They also have four guest taps: Bud Light, Coors Light, Wachusett Country Ale, and Harpoon 100 Barrel. I had a pint of the chocolate porter, which was good. For $50, we had two all-you-could-eats, a beer, and two sodas including tip. If this place was anywhere closer to Worcester or Boston, I could see us hanging out there more often. But for now, it will remain a great road-trip destination.

 1,160 characters

Photo of steviec
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

This is a cool little brew pub not far from my home. This place has a nice laid back atmosphere. The waitstaff isn't the fastest Ive seen but they're certainly friendly enough. Your best bet for getting served quickly is to sit at the bar. Although they don't have a giant selection of house brews, what they do have is pretty good stuff. My personal favorites were tha Naked Stout and The Chocolate Porter. The Face lift IPA is good too, nice and hoppy. They also have the best pizza in the area. If you're in the nieghborhood give this place a try.

 550 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Nice larger room with a seperate dining are, bar with dining tables as well and the brewery area in the rear. Long light wooden bar with some tubes to watch the game or whatever. Quite impressed with the beers, enjoyed a nice hoppy IPA, and tried a solid dopplebock, less impressed with the food. The fish sandwedge I had was middle of the road, fries soggy and limp. The pizza a table mate had looked to be of higher quality. Try the pizza. All in all a nice, comfortable and worthy place for a visit if in the area. Service was decent and hardworking, h/e the bartenders seemed kind of clueless. Our waitress seemed to be just holding it together, but she was friendly and attentive. I'd be here on a regular if I was local. The Brewer Dave is a super friendly kind of guy. He was informative and full of brewing info. Hey the guy is a disc golfer, so you gotta love that. They are making real beer, they are expanding and got give em much respect.

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Moon Hill Brewing Co. / Gardner Ale House in Gardner, MA
Brewery rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 51 ratings
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