Hello Beer Friends Nation! Beer is a beautiful thing - often times the Beer Friends are caught up in how great it is and the far reaching effects of good beer and the industries it supports. If you're laughing you haven't drank enough craft beer because this is a conversation I overhear more and more as people are moving from the Sam Adams and Harpoon's (the most popular craft breweries) to the Bear Republics and Oskar Blues (up and coming breweries). There are more choices today then ten years ago and 1,700 more then 30 years ago, and the number of new breweries applying for licenses is growing daily. The spirit of American entrepreneurial-ism is alive and well in craft beer. While some are growing, some are just fine doing what they do and enjoying the craft. An example of one such place I stumbled upon on my recent Boston Area Brewery tour is John Harvard's Brew House.
Growing up in Colorado (I know you've heard this one before...) I was used to the brewery and brew pub culture, seems to be tougher to find the space and resources on the East Coast but when I do come across them I always hop in for a pint. On the Colorado Brewery tour we came across two (of many) where you can see the kettles behind the bar and you know it's a fresh beer. The beers aren't always amazing but you find that diamond in the rough that you want to go back for the next night, for me it was the Belgian Pale Ale from John Harvard's.
I went to Boston as a tourist with a few goals in mind; 1.) Harpoon 2.) Sam Adams 3.) Boston Cannons game and a 4.) Red Sox game. Saturday night was the Boston Cannons game at Harvard Stadium and the public transportation system sucks (hard to get places without going into the heart of the city and it stops running, yes STOPS at 12:30a), so my party and I took the red line to Harvard Square to walk down (15 minutes and over a bridge). During the Colorado brewery tour we found Equinox Brewing by typing "brewery" into the Google Maps on our phone. Well, Google Maps - you're two for two.
When you walk into John Harvard's you walk down a flight of stairs and the room is completely open. There is family dinning on the right and the bar with visible kettles on the left. Like a un-conquerable magnetic force, I was pulled to the bar. They had four drafts and one cask that night (see awful iPhone picture in slideshow below) and I had my to-do list.
Pilsner Falscher - was a typical pilsner in my mind. Light and somewhat airy - it didn't grab me like I want a pilsner too.
Muswell Mild - was a surprising taste, it was mild (hence the name) but with a full flavor, it's been a while since I had a mild that kept me coming back for more.
Le Bleu - was a pale ale with Maine blueberries. In the first Beer Friends Brewery Trip, we visited 5 or so Maine breweries and they each proudly pushed their Blueberry ale's. This was one of the better fruit beers I've had.
Belgian Pale Ale - was the beer I had to come back for on the second night. This was a delicious mixture of a not-to0-sweet belgian beer and a hopped pale ale, much like the one I enjoyed at Harpoon, but better.
Cask Pull - Summer - was a beer that I was confused by. Typically I think of summer beers to be wheats and served colder, but this pulled from the cask was delicious, in all honesty I came back for this beer the second night too, but it was gone.
All in all John Harvard's Brew House would be my local bar if I lived close to one. With quality beers that you can only find at the brew house, it's something right up my alley, or from my childhood in Colorado.
Open Mon- Thurs: 11:30a - 12:30a Fri-Sat: 11:30a - 2:00a Sun: 11:30 - 12a