John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House Reopens in Harvard Square

Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by Jason, Sep 12, 2012.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    CAMBRIDGE, MA (September 12, 2012) – After closing its doors for the summer for a complete renovation, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House will reopen to the public today in Harvard Square. At the new John Harvard’s, history will meet modernity with a fresh take on décor, comfort cuisine and an unparalleled in-house brewing program. True to its mission, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House will continue to draw on the story and fabled recipes from John Harvard and William Shakespeare and push forward the tradition of craft beer as the center of life and community.

    Located in the heart of Harvard Square, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House first opened its doors at the Dunster Street flagship location in 1992. Décor pieced together from an eclectic history frame the expansive bar, pub and dining room that greets guests who descend below street level to the Brewery. After excavating the original walls within John Harvard’s, artifacts from years past were reclaimed in the form of stained glass windows bearing the faces of prominent figures (including Bobby Orr, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Joe Namath, and Humphrey Bogart), original wood pilings, stonework and exposed brick. Having worked with Shawmut Design and Construction, the updated space boasts a fully visible brewery overlooking a 20-seat bar with two state-of-the-art tanks responsible for producing John Harvard’s famous standard and seasonal brews. The main and private dining spaces are outfitted with solid mahogany wood tables and chairs. For a walk on the modern side, John Harvard’s will now offer an updated sound and lighting system, an elevated stage for live entertainment and eleven oversized flat-screen TVs.

    With its brewery helmed by Head Brewer Walker Modic, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House offers eight craft beers – available in 10 oz and 16 oz servings as well as most by the pitcher – that are custom-brewed onsite and unavailable for distribution. Favorites include: Demon DPA (a big IPA bordering on a double IPA – 10 oz: $5; 16 oz: $7; pitcher: N/A); Provision Ale (a brown ale brewed with smoked malt to impart complexity and contrast the sweet malt profile – 10 oz: $4; 16 oz: $5.50; pitcher: $18); and, Pilgrims Porter (a very accessible – albeit a dark – full-flavored and bodied beer - $10 oz: $4.50; 16 oz: $6; pitcher: $20). In addition to the mainstay options, John Harvard’s offers an ever-rotating selection of unique and seasonal blends. For those looking to get into the spirit, John Harvard’s offers a vast array of specialty cocktails and martinis ($10 each) such as: Boston Hop Head (Nor’Easter Bourbon, St. Germain, blue agave, mint, topped with pale ale); Manhattan in Cambridge (black cherry & orange zest-infused Nor’Easter bourbon, Vermouth Rosso, angostura bitters); and, Margarita Diablo Pequeño (house-infused Zapopan Blanco Tequila with mango, cucumber and hot peppers, organic blue agave nectar, Clément Creole Shrubb, Theia Organic Jasmine Liqueur, fresh lime juice, sugar). True to its brewing mission, the mixologists will also serve up house-made infused liquors such as cherry-infused bourbon and jalapeño-infused tequila.

    Leading the kitchen in dishing out comfort classics with modern twists is Executive Chef Stacy Blount. John Harvard’s menu playfully pays homage to its brewery roots by incorporating beer into its American fare, including a selection of Spent Grain Pizzas made from the ingredients reclaimed after the brewing process. John Harvard’s new spent grain pizzas come in four favorites, including Chicken & Fontina (grilled chicken, spinach, fontina cheese, garlic cream - $11.99) and Butcher’s (capicola, salami, pepperoncini, tomato sauce - $12.99). Highlights from the appetizer portion of the menu include: Harvard Ale Steamed Clams (tomato, smoked bacon, fresh herbs - $11.99); Charcuterie (capicola, salami, chicken liver pate with violet mustard and pickled vegetables - $13.99); and, Chicken Wings (BBQ, hot pepper or parmesan sauces - $9.99). Shareable options include Brewery Nachos (tortilla chips, cheddar & jack cheeses, black olives, jalapeño, scallions, salsa fresca, sour cream, guacamole - $8.99) and Charred Poblano & Corn Quesadilla (grilled corn, charred poblano pepper, cheddar cheese, sour cream, salsa fresca - $8.99). For main courses, John Harvard’s serves up a variety of hearty comfort dishes including: Bourbon & Ale Salmon (flame-grilled, French green beans, roasted red peppers, English peas tendrils, chili glaze - $17.99); Yankee Pot Roast (red wine braised boneless chuck with parsnip, baby carrots, peeled pearl onion, chive-whipped potatoes - $11.99); and, Ale House Steak Frites (strip steak with shallot butter, roasted tomatoes, red wine sauce, truffle oil fries - $25.99). John Harvard’s also offers four classic dishes (from $12.99), seven types of sandwiches (from $9.99), five savory burgers (from $9.49) and nine sides ($4.99 each). To end this taste of history on a sweet note, John Harvard’s offers house-made desserts ($5.99 each).

    John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Wednesday from 11:00am to 10:00pm, Thursday through Saturday from 11:00am to 11:00pm and Sunday from 11:00am to 9:00pm. Late night bites are offered Monday through Thursday from 10:00pm to 12:00am, Friday and Saturday from 11:00pm to 1:30am and Sunday from 10:00pm through 11:00pm. Brunch is available on weekends from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

    John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House is located at 33 Dunster Street in Cambridge’s Harvard Square. For more information, please call 617.868.3585 or visit:
  2. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,354) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts

    I wonder if there is any seating away from the eleven oversized flat-screen TVs ...
    braineater and FrankLloydMike like this.
  3. socon67

    socon67 Poo-Bah (2,512) Jun 18, 2010 New York

    I haven't been to this location in years. I'll have to stop by the next rip to Boston. The one location by me on Long Island is, well, average at best.
  4. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,948) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    I used to work at Harvard Business School and I would walk over to John Harvard's for lunch as often as possible. Wish I had reviewed their beers, it was before I found this site...

  5. soze47

    soze47 Savant (917) May 22, 2010 Massachusetts

    Stopped in here on Monday night on a whim when I was in the area. Beers were as they always were, mediocre to maybe slightly above average. The only noteworthy thing is that they had a sour saison (lacto saison) on tap, which was more experimental than I remembered there usual beers being, even there rotating taps. It was just OK and very tart for a sour saison, but I applaud the effort and may be more willing to duck in there every once in a while when I'm in the neighborhood if they keep up the creativity.
  6. jbertsch

    jbertsch Poo-Bah (1,583) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts
    Society Trader

    "John Harvard’s will now offer an updated sound and lighting system, an elevated stage for live entertainment"

    That's unfortunate. If I walk in one evening and see there's some random band overpowering the ability for good conversation, I move on to the next establishment.

    That being said, I have fond memories of meeting my buddies there every Monday night for pints of Milk Stout. The waitresses always treated us so well. Probably 10 years ago? Man that was a tasty Milk Stout...wish it would come back. I don't make it back as often anymore, but I always try stop in when I'm back in Harvard Square. I hope to be pleasantly surprised when I next visit.
  7. luwak

    luwak Initiate (0) Mar 2, 2010 Arizona

    wow i was there in 1997....weird to even think of it now
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