In time for Oktoberfest, Massachusetts’ own lager brewery Jack’s Abby has debuted its new restaurant in Framingham. Called the Beer Hall & Kitchen, the space seats about 175 people at communal tables to take in 24 house drafts, pizza, and small plates from a wood-burning oven. The full restaurant is open for lunch and dinner six days a week.
Chef Gregg Bergeron’s opening menu is below. The 15-year, metrowest-area industry veteran joined the Jack’s Abby team, most recently, from Stone’s Public House in Ashland, the Boston Herald noted. Brewer and cofounder Jack Hendler told the MetroWest Daily News the upscale, comfort food menu has more than a little German influence. To wit: house bratwurst with Gruyere, sautéed onion, späetzle and sauerkraut; and a goulash with beef braised in the brewery’s black lager, Smoke & Dagger. There are also ample New England staples, like smoked cod and parsnip chowder; Bosc pear and goat cheese salad; and mussels with garlic and herbs, steamed in Leisure Time Lager. After next week, the beer hall will offer rotating, blackboard specials every weekend, as well, according to a company rep.
Oh, and the pizza. Specialty pies include wild mushroom with leeks and Gruyere; potato and bacon; and a cilantro-topped barbecue pork with pineapple and Serrano chili. Make-your-own toppings range from fresh mozzarella to autumn squash, clams, coppa and beyond.
Jack Hendler cofounded the brewery with brothers Eric and Sam in 2011. With crushable brews like Hoponious Union and Leisure Time Lager, Jack’s Abby outgrew its 12,000-square foot production space on Morton Street; late last year, the team announced plans to move into a space nearly six times as large. The new, 67,000-square foot facility was formerly a manufacturing warehouse, and Framingham voters instilled confidence in the Hendler brothers’ ambitions this spring by granting the company a seven-year tax break in a deal meant to revitalize the downtown building.
In addition to the cold-conditioned classics, the beer hall will also have specialty beers, including three-time dry-hopped Hoponious Union with various hop varieties, Jack’s Abby’s Baltic porter Framinghammer on nitro, barrel-aged sours, and more.
The restaurant takes up about 5,000 square feet. The remaining space will house all of Jack’s Abby’s brewing operations by early 2016, a company rep said. The new, 60-barrel brewhouse will start with about 50,000 barrels this year — at Morton Street, Jack’s Abby had a 20-barrel system and maxed out at about 20,000 barrels. There’s room to grow, too: The company could eventually produce 100,000 barrels a year, and plans to expand its barreled beer program and can products for wider distribution. Jack’s Abby has already started rolling out updated branding, Eater Boston reported.
Jack’s Abby Beer Hall & Kitchen is open Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. The company announced it will close to the public this Tuesday “to improve and make some necessary changes,” but after that, it’s full steam ahead, including a grand opening celebration on Thursday, Oct. 8.
100 Clinton St., Framingham; 508-872-0900 or jacksabby.com.
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