Jack’s Abby: House of Hop Worship

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Hidden away in a nondescript warehouse in a Framingham, MA neighborhood is Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers a fine purveyor of luscious liquids.  Having been founded in 2011 Jack’s Abby has made monumental strides in expansion both within types of beer and sheer volume.  It wasn’t too long ago that Jack’s Abby’s distinct bomber bottles were rare finds that had to be searched out.  No longer is that the case with their, now mostly aluminum operation, being available all over the Northeast.  The House Lager can be found in practically every liquor store and corner market from Portsmouth to Brooklyn.  Along side the distribution expansion so has their operation at their headquarters which now boasts a spacious beer hall and kitchen.

A large open and sweeping space has long communal tables that hearken back to Bavaria or your elementary school cafeteria.  More high top tables saddle up to the giant U shaped bar in the middle of the room that serves as the main focal point.  Also along the side is a giant copper pizza oven that churns out some phenomenal and interesting doughy delicacies.  The giant space is perfect for getting a big group together or simply just grabbing one of their numerous rare brews that you can only find on tap at the beer hall.

Having tried a variety of scarce offerings, the best of the best was a Pilot beer that Jack’s Abby was trying out for their upcoming sister brewery Springdale, which is currently being constructed in another portion of the building.  Springdale will focus more on barrel aged and rarer beers that are produced in smaller batches.  While being built out however, they are testing out some recipes solely available on tap at the beer hall.  That day they had what was called Springdale Pilot 2, which was a New England style IPA.  It was very herbaceous with the heavy addition of hops and had the haze one would associated with those IPA and Double IPA’s that New England is becoming renowned for.  Overall it was a great take on a style that is beginning to give the West Coast IPA’s a real run for their money.

While the craft lagers offered are the main draw, the food at Jack’s Abby is right up on par with the quality of the beer.  A must get is definitely the House Lager Pretzel.  The crispy brown exterior breaks way to the softest pillow interior.  Topped with some flake salt and saddled with beer cheese and horseradish mustard it is the ultimate accompaniment to a few pints.  The aforementioned pizza oven offers a variety of classic and experimental pies that are thin crusted and flavorful.  A special of the day during our visit was a jerk chicken pizza with an allspice flecked BBQ sauce base, topped with some spicy grilled chicken, peppers and onions, and a perfectly caramelized and bubbly cheese bonnet.  If you are trying to counter balance all the beers you most certainly are downing with something a little more healthy, the Baby Kale Salad is right up your alley.  While I would pass on getting chicken to top it off, the green goddess dressing was chalk full of the freshest herbs giving you the sense you are nose deep in a garden.  Being the star of the salad it coated the pickled onions, kale leaves, and chunks of Taleggio in the most succulent blanket of freshness.

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With the wide variety of beer and engaging culinary offerings, Jack’s Abby makes the perfect place for a weekend meetup or simply some snacks and drinks with friends after work.  I am waiting with baited breath in anticipation of some of the otherworldly creations that might be to store for us once they get Springdale up and running.  Go grab a lager, grab a pretzel, have a seat and enjoy yourself.

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