Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brewery Tour Stop 1: Jack's Abby Brewing

My wife and I recently declared a mission for ourselves; visit every brewery in New England. I will record/rate our experiences here. I've been to a bunch of them already, but for some of those, it’s been some time. So I'll start over. 

This may take a while. Unfortunately some highly desirable breweries are in the middle of nowhere and require long, pain-in-the-ass drives (Hill Farmstead, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, etc.). But we’ll get there eventually, probably by combining the trip with skiing, hiking, or leaf peeping.  

To start our mission, we recently hit 2 local breweries. One being the brand new Jack’s Abby Brewing in Framingham, and Blue Hills Brewery just down the street in Canton (the closest brewery to our home in Dedham). This post will focus on Jack’s Abby.

No, that’s not a typo of “Abbey”. I’ve learned that “Abby” pays homage to Jack’s wife, Abby. That gives me the warm fuzzies. Run by 3 brothers, this place launched in January of 2011 and only makes lagers. Kudos to that. Lagers are sometimes overlooked by beer geeks and don’t get as much attention as ales. They should.

When you visit, you walk right into a tasting room and saddle up at the small bar. The inside has an office feel, but you can see through a window into the brew house. There are shirts and growlers for sale, and they were refilling growlers from others who strolled in while I was there. They also have a few hop vines outside to look at if you’ve never seen one.

Side Note. The family runs a hop farm in Vermont, and if you like smelling super fresh hops, help them pick it as part of their Hop Picking Event on Sunday, August 21st.  Sounds like food, drinks, contests, and prizes are expected.  

We tasted 4 beers. First, the Red Tape lager which is a Munich dunkel.  Its bready notes and hop spiciness make it a winner in my book.  

Next was their pilsner. I mumbled to my wife that this one was “classic euro style”. It was tied for my wife’s favorite.  Their “Smoke & Dagger” rauchbier was probably my favorite. It offered sweet smokiness and dry, roasty malts that can do no wrong in my eyes. Lastly, their “IPL” (India Pale Lager) Hoponius Union was delicious and would please any hop head.

All the beers were solid and the guys were very nice. I enjoyed Smoke & Dagger and Red Tape the best. I would have walked away with a growler if I wasn’t for the fact that we were on our way north with no way to keep it cold for quite a while. I’ll definitely be back to make a purchase.

All in all a pleasant experience. I don’t believe they offer tours, though they will probably give you one if you’d like. Know that this is more of a tasting room and outlet to buy beer directly from the source. It’s worth a visit if you simply want to sample their beers, which I recommend you do. Don’t expect a grand tour with song and dance. There are other breweries for that.

Jack's Abby
81 Morton Street
Framingham MA 01702

Thursday & Friday: 3:00 – 7:00PM
Saturday: 12:00 – 4:00PM

Live in or near Cambridge, MA? Cambridge Common will host a Jack’s Abby tap takeover and pour their four core beers from 6:00 – 9:00PM on August 26.  

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