Review of John Harvard's Brew House

[John Harvard's logo]

Once you navigate the basement steps or the portable wheelchair ramp you'll find the atmosphere at John Harvard's Brew House very agreeable. Long wooden tables that seat 12 offered the perfect setting for meeting new people, and the roughly 50/50 crowded seemed to confirm this. From the dark brown 15 foot ceilings hung the air ducts and room lighting. Behind the dark wooden L-shaped bar the five storage tanks were clearly visible. A decent CD sound system kept up the background music and the TV over the bars produced no sound. The interior design set an interesting mood with its use of dark wood and copper. One wall contained a collection of stained-glass windows of notable non-saints. Numerous English-style hanging public house signs added to the color.

Brewing six times a week with a system barely larger than 7 BBLs keep the brewers very occupied with their copper Pub Brewing system. The owners have four years experience at this location and are looking at expansion to other sites around the U.S. Currently merchandising is doing very well in this university town.

The Crimson Wheat was a hazy dark gold with a clove aroma, medium body, smooth light clove flavor and aftertaste. The John Harvard Pale Ale appeared a clear dark amber and was accompanied by a medium body, hop and malt flavor, and hoppy finish. The Old Willy IPA was a dark amber with a medium body, hop over malt flavor balance, and hoppy aftertaste. The Nut Brown Ale gave a very dark brown appearance to match its medium body, slightly sweet malty flavor balance, and overall clean finish. The Stout offered a fine head with a creamy mouthfeel, smooth chocolate, malty flavor.

The mature-acting univresity crowd and the congenial atmosphere made this a comfortable setting for enjoying the custom-crafted brews that use English malts and a yeast strain developed at the nearby university. For such an upscale location, prices were reasonable; $2.50 - $3 for 10 ounces, $3.25 per pint, and $9.95 - $11.95 per pitcher.

John Harvard's Brew House
33 Dunster Street
[HP symbol] Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - July, 1996.

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