Exhibit A Brewing is the Cat's Meow of Framingham, MA


Just half a mile down the road from Jack’s Abby, Framingham’s EXHIBIT A BREWING COMPANY was established by entrepreneurial brewmaster Matthew Steinberg during 2016. A highly experienced, well known Massachusetts zymurgist, Steinberg enjoys crafting a wide variety of brews utilizing mostly locally sourced ingredients.

Exhibit A’s large outdoor community-tabled beergarden leads patrons to the black aluminum warehouse currently staging storage but marked for a future beer hall. Across the parking lot lies the current brew room where large brew tanks sit across from the quaint epoxy-floored tannish barroom (with 12-plus taps, bronze ceiling tiles, casual high chair seating and countertop stands).

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, June ’21, my wife and I drag Roscoe the dog to an empty outdoor table to consume a few durable Exhibit A products.

Look Inside Exhibit 'A' Brewing in Framingham

One of Exhibit A’s most popular offerings, The Cat’s Meow, a zesty NEIPA, let lightly embittered yellow grapefruit zesting and spiced navel orange pickup grassy herbal-tinged pine lacquering over mildly vanilla-creamed oated wheat bottom.

Dry lemony orange-rotted fizziness gained a slight sour-candied glaze for wispily herb-spiced Goody Two Shoes, a mild clear yellowed kolsch with crisp bread crust bottom.

Light-roast coffee nuttiness consumed Briefcase Porter, overwhelming black chocolate-embittered Blackstrap molasses, burnt rye toasting, soured tobacco chaw and wispy blackberry tartness.

Creamily smooth Imperial Stout, Sunday Paper (a collaboration with nearby Barrington Coffee Factory), let milk-sugared coffee tones gain a bitterly tarred dark roast char swirling above caramelized chocolate molasses oats, picking up espresso, hazelnut and black pepper snips.

Vintage 2020 barleywine, Weights & Measures, stayed mildly caramel creamed as its brown-sugared bourbon licks gained dewy rye spicing to back its bittersweet cherry-bruised orange tang.



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Designing some of the most impressive lagers, dark ales and barrel-aged stouts in the entire country, Framingham’s JACK’S ABBY BREWING has tripled in size since opening in 2011, becoming a premier New England craft beer haven on a grander scale than the fabulous, less glorified Ipswich Ale Brewery. The pride of Jack, Eric and Sam Hendler, three Massachusetts-based brothers originally inspired by German beer culture, Jack’s Abby now encompasses an enormous red brick warehouse (with forest green aluminum siding).

Presently the largest microbrewery in the state, Jack’s Abby occupies a high black-ceilinged 1,300-barrel taproom with multiple barrels, brew tanks and canning operation connected to its community-tabled bar area. A food station with wood-fired pizza oven serves fine pub fare. A roomy side deck offers further capacity.


Entrance to Springdale Beer Co. pictured above

In 2016, the maverick Hendler brothers decided to expand their empire to include SPRINGDALE BEER COMPANY, an offshoot taproom and blendery experimenting with sour ales, tarts, cocktail-inspired knockoffs and barrel aged fare.

I’d already tried at least thirty Jack’s Abby and a dozen Springdale offerings before my initial June ’21 visit to purchase a few new brews, including stylishly enhanced Samoa Bourbon Barrel-Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter, semi-dark Czech lager Co-Pilot: Leopold, Pride and Parquet Hoppy Lager and Ray Catcher Lemongrass Lager (reviewed in Beer Index).



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.