What's Brewing: Jack's Abby Brewery

The Hendler brothers cut the ribbon with members from the Chamber of Commerce on their opening day, August 4, 2011. Photo by Anne Vickman.

Good news, beer drinkers! A new brewery just opened in Framingham. Jack’s Abby — the only brewery between Worcester and Boston — is a relatively rare all-lager operation, run by Hendler brothers Jack, Eric, and Sam.

A quick lesson: all beer is either ale or lager. Lager brewing uses bottom-fermenting yeasts, which take twice as long to ferment and requires colder temperatures compared to ales. The brewery, which is named after Jack’s wife, Abby, and is a play on words referring to the monastic brewing tradition, has five tanks and the ability to churn out 5,000 gallons of beer a month.

Jack, the oldest of the three, attended the Siebel Institute in Chicago and Doemens in Munich after spending several years brewing at Boston Beer Works and tinkering with various ingredients (nettles) and techniques (wild fermentation). Now he serves as the head brewmaster and is committed to as much local sourcing as possible. All the hops come from the Hendler family farm in Vermont; they’re farmed using organic methods and consist mostly of Cascade, Centennial, and Willamette strains. Spent grains are fed to a resident farmer’s cow.

So far, the Hendlers have four beers under their lederhosen: Saxon Sons Pilsner (light, creamy), Hoponius Union IPL (citrusy, crisp), Smoke & Dagger (toasty, smooth), and Red Tape Lager (subtly sweet). While you won’t find Jack’s Abby in any Boston watering holes just yet, you can find it outside the city at the the Bone, the Horseshoe Pub, and Stone Hearth Pizza, among others.

81 Morton St., Framingham, 508-872-0900, jacksabbybrewing.com; visiting hours Thursday and Friday, 3–7 p.m.; Saturday 12–4 p.m.