Jack’s Abby Doubles Its Framingham Footprint

The brothers in lager signed a lease on an adjacent building, but they are being vague about their plans for now.

Jack's Abby Beer Hall

Jack’s Abby Beer Hall. / Photo by MediaBoss TV, Provided for “What’s on the Menu at Jack’s Abby Beer Hall

Just about a year after moving into a facility nearly six times larger than its original home, Jack’s Abby is planning another huge expansion. The Framingham company just signed a lease for a two-story building next door, which will double the brewery’s footprint.

MetroWest Daily News found Jack’s Abby’s application to the Planning Board over the weekend, which prompted Jack’s Abby to share “the most vague announcement we’ve ever made,” says co-owner Sam Hendler. On Facebook, Jack’s Abby confirmed they’ve taken over another building, and have started renovations, including painting it green and laying a new roof.

“This new space will house some of our ideas that we never had the space, time or tools to pursue in full,” the post reads. “We will be bringing in equipment that will allow us to pursue some new ideas that we could not focus on with our current setup.”

The 63,000-square foot addition addition is actually connected to Jack’s Abby’s current, 67,000-square foot space, through a narrow hallway, Hendler says. In the Planning Board filing, Jack’s Abby requested to change the space’s use from manufacturing to a tasting room. According to the filing, roughly half the space will house a new tasting room, with 33,000 additional square feet for more production and warehouse space, the MetroWest Daily News reports.

Hendler says the team will continue to be vague about their plans for now.

“Some of our our ideas have proved unfeasible as we didn’t have the equipment to accomplish them the way they would have needed to be done or we simply didn’t have the space. Some just didn’t fit with what we were trying to accomplish with the brand. Plenty of our ideas were just plain silly, though Jack is still hopeful we will pull off his idea of an entire brand devoted to smoked lagers,” reads the Facebook post.

Well, with 63,000 more square feet to work with, surely Jack’s Abby could open the MetroWest’s answer to Schlenkerla?

Sorry, smoked beer fans. “The smoked lager idea is something we’d love to do, but is absolutely a terrible idea economically,” Hendler says, laughing. “You’re selling to a tiny segment of craft beer nerds, who in turn are a tiny segment of beer drinkers. You’d probably need a national distribution footprint to pull it off, so you can get the volume you need to stay in business, and we have no interest in building a national distribution footprint right now.”

Hendler is hopeful Jack’s Abby will have more concrete plans for the space to share by the end of September.

“We’re looking for [the board] to confirm the decision they made a year and a half ago is applicable to the current and new half of building,” he says. “Until we see the results of that process, it is a little too soon to finalize plans for us.”

The Planning Board meeting was originally scheduled for this Thursday, September 8, but Hendler found out this morning it’s postponed until next Wednesday. But work on the building has already started, and pending approval, it could finish up within three or four months, the MetroWest Daily News reports.

Jack’s Abby was on the cutting edge of lager-making when Sam and brothers Jack and Eric launched it in 2011. In five years, the company has earned our respect as the best brewery in the Boston area. These days, most local breweries are experimenting with traditional European styles.

The business, which received overwhelming voter support to expand, as well as a $6 million tax break from the town, was also on the forefront of creating a craft beer destination in Framingham. The town’s second brewery, Exhibit ‘A,’ just opened in the original Jack’s Abby brewery.

100 Clinton St., Framingham, 508-872-0900, jacksabby.com.