Within short proximity of Boston, at Shoppers World Mall in Framingham, lies arguably the best of many JOHN HARVARD’S brewpubs, visited April ‘05. A new red brick building in a commercial business area offering spacious front patio, wood-carved seating area, copper-kettle and stainless steel brew tanks encased behind bar (with dual tv’s), its stained-glass godly-posed Jerry Garcia, JFK, and Teddy Roosevelt murals truly define independence.

Brewmeister Brian Sanford’s nicely diversified fare included lemony wheat-dried prickly-hopped hay-straw-parched Helles; dry-fruited barley-toasted astringency Pale Ale; ethanol sour-fruited Marzen; and delicately-hopped fig-sugared green apple-backed Celtic Strong – on the lighter end. Wintry allspice-peppered orange-bruised resonation Belgian Style Ale; floral-perfumed berry-pureed cherry kirsch-y Kirley Q’s IPA; cappuccino-fronted brown chocolate-lingered burnt toasted Frostbite Black Lager; soft flowing nutty espresso Irish Stout; and incredibly boozy chocolate-cherry liqueur-like Russian Imperial Stout were sound medium-to-full-bodied samplings.

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