After closing its doors for the summer for a complete renovation, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House reopened to the public September 12 in Harvard Square. At the new John Harvard’s, history will meet modernity with a fresh take on décor, comfort cuisine, and an in-house brewing program. True to its mission, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House will continue to draw on the story and fabled recipes from John Harvard and William Shakespeare and push forward the tradition of craft beer as the center of life and community.
Located in the heart of Harvard Square, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House first opened its doors at the Dunster Street flagship location in 1992. Décor pieced together from an eclectic history frame the expansive bar, pub, and dining room that greets guests who descend below street level to the Brewery. After excavating the original walls within John Harvard’s, artifacts from years past were reclaimed in the form of stained glass windows bearing the faces of prominent figures (including Bobby Orr, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Joe Namath, and Humphrey Bogart), original wood pilings, stonework and exposed brick. Having worked with Shawmut Design and Construction, the updated space boasts a fully visible brewery overlooking a 20-seat bar with two state-of-the-art tanks responsible for producing John Harvard’s famous standard and seasonal brews. The main and private dining spaces are outfitted with solid mahogany wood tables and chairs. John Harvard’s will now offer an updated sound and lighting system, an elevated stage for live entertainment and eleven oversized flat-screen TVs.
With its brewery helmed by head brewer Walker Modic, John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House offers eight craft beers – available in 10 oz and 16 oz servings as well as most by the pitcher – that are custom-brewed onsite and unavailable for distribution. In addition to the mainstay options, John Harvard’s offers an ever-rotating selection of unique and seasonal blends. For those looking to get into the spirit, John Harvard’s offers a vast array of specialty cocktails and martinis. True to its brewing mission, the mixologists will also serve up house-made infused liquors such as cherry-infused bourbon and jalapeño-infused tequila.
Leading the kitchen is executive chef Stacy Blount. John Harvard’s menu playfully pays homage to its brewery roots by incorporating beer into its American fare, including a selection of Spent Grain Pizzas made from the ingredients reclaimed after the brewing process.
John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House is located at 33 Dunster St. in Cambridge’s Harvard Square.