Opened 1997, Manchester’s JOHN HARVARD’S BREWHOUSE may’ve been the best franchise brewpub in the Northeast chain. But it closed in the summer of 2011 and was replaced by Tullycross Tavern & Microbrewery in November. 

Visited May ’10, this freestanding mustard-hued maroon-trimmed pub was located across Manchester’s Plaza at Buckland Hills. Typical pub fare such as appetizers-pizza-burgers and expanded Americana dinner menu went fine with brewer Frank Fermino’s well-crafted stylistic libations emanating from rear glass-encased brew tanks. Rectangular center bar with opposing TV’s served wood-furnished side dining booths, pews, and roundtables.

I enjoyed ‘Pick-A-Pair’ clam chowder and Cuban half sandwich with lighter fare such as snappy Saaz-hopped corn-dried vegetal-soured Harvard Light, funky earthen-grained grape-soured bourbon-burgundy-whirred Black Lager, and pallid spice-hopped red-fruited tea-like John Harvard Pale Ale.

Better were hand-pumped cask-conditioned water-softened fungi-wafted coffee-creamed butter-nutty English Brown Ale, resinous bark-dried pine-needled lemon-seeded peach-toned pekoe tea-like C n C IPA, and chocolate-soured walnut-charred ESB.

Creamy cascade-headed caramel-malted yellow-fruited green-hopped English Pub Ale stayed milder than ESB. Dark ale fans will enjoy hop-charred grain-roasted peat-malted Shovel-Head Porter, with its cedar-burnt hazelnut, walnut, and Baker’s chocolate illusions adjoining port-burgundy wining.

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