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Gardner Ale House
Active Beers: 11
Beer Ratings: 59
Beer Avg: 3.94
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
74 Parker Street
phone: (978) 669-0122
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A good, potentially great brewpub.
We really liked the atmosphere of this place. A long bar on the right with a good sized dining room to the left and an exposed brick wall in between. Very cool and comfortable.
There were only 3 house beers on tap for our visit, which was quite disappointing. Guest tpas ranged from the nearly sublime (Mad Elf) to sports bar ridiculous (Coors Light AND Bud Light).
Service was just ok, falling just short of inattentive and well short of welcoming.
Food was really excellent. We had a tuna melt and mahi mahi sandwich, both well prepared as were the really tasty fries.
Glad we stopped for lunch, and glad it came fast so we could head out after one pint.
02-16-2009 20:32:57 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is a great find in the middle of a town down on its luck. There is a beautiful, brick-walled, warm interior, with a separate bar area (with plenty of widescreen TV's) and a general dining room area. I tend to take a small table in the bar area.
The beers tend to be more of German/Bavarian recipes, which generally aren't my favorite. Lots more lagers than ales. There are standards on tap, and a large selection of seasonals. You can always get a sampler. My personal favorite there is the Naked Stout. It's not the best stout I've had, but it goes down real easily.
Better than the beer is the pizza! They're huge, properly cooked, with a solid thin crust and toppings galore! Try the Kitchen Sink.
12-18-2008 21:23:23 |
More by MyMagicalPants
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Recently hit this place on my way back from Vermont a few weeks ago. Its easy to find and quite accessible from route 2 which is the road I was on. It is basically in the center of town and it looks like the town itself is undergoing a bit of a renaissance as everything was being repaved and fixed up around the center of town where the GAH is located.
You walk in and it is mostly finished woods and a standard look and feel to it. The place is pretty big and they were extremely busy on this Sunday afternoon. I gotta say that considering there was only one bartender and how busy they were--he did a fabulous job. Pretty friendly fellow as well and he was the only guy working back there. The bar itself is quite large as it probably seats about 50.
I had read about these guys in one of the beeriodicals in relation to session beers and how many brewers were starting to do more of them since the double this and imperial that thing has been done quite extensively over the last couple years.
I started out with a sampler and all the beers were quite good. I had a Summers end, a pilsener, the hef, the wit, the altbier, the chair city pale ale and a vienna lager. There may have been a couple others too that I am forgetting. Regardless, I thought all the beers were quite well done, clean, and to style. The head brewer had worked for Red Hook before i was informed and I gotta say that Redhook's loss is Gardner ale house's gain. Very nice beers--nothing that is gonna blow you away or knock your socks off but very sessionable.
I got one of these cajun blackened burgers and I was worried it was gonna be over the top spicey and it was not--it was fantastic and Id love to have another one right now. I definitely liked this place a lot and will stop by again for sure if I amj traveling out that way. A fine brewpub and one of the better ones I have found in Massachusetts.
09-11-2008 20:01:17 |
More by rousee
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My first trip to the Gardner Ale House was on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The restaurant is split up into two main sections, one side with a long bar, tv's and tables and the other side is only table seating for casual dining. On the bar side the mash tun and boiler sit in the back of the room. Overall the decor is much like a British pub with dark wood and bare brick walls. It feels very inviting.
Sitting at the bar, my wife and I were quickly met by the bartender and served a couple of beers. On tap were about 12 different beers from a pilsner, IPA and wit to a chocolate porter and dry stout. Between the two of us we tried 6 beers. All were quite tasty and true to style. Our favorites were the chocolate porter and Summer's End Koelsch. The bar also offers 3 different sampler trays in case you want to try the beers but not drink full pints. There are also mixed drinks, wine and macro beers to accommodate any customers taste.
The menu had plenty to choose from, including burgers, steak tips, pulled pork, chicken, pizzas, pasta and dinner specials. Most entrees were under $20. Sandwiches and appetizers were under $10. I had the pulled pork sandwich made with a sweet sauce and fries. Very well done. My wife got one of their brick oven pizzas which was has a thin crust and is very tasty.
For dessert I had the chocolate porter and my wife ordered the stout. Unfortunately the keg kicked as the bartender poured the stout so gave my wife a half glass on the house. That was a nice surprise!
I don't find myself in the Gardner area very often, but when I do I will definitely be visiting the Gardner Ale House again. Great beer, food and service plus close to Rt. 2 make this a must visit for any beer lover.
11-26-2007 00:26:14 |
More by WanderingFool
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
My beer buddy and I made this the first stop on our trip from Hartford to Portsmouth and Portland. I've been to around 200 brewpubs in North America in my business and personal travels.
I was a bit worried when we got to the point like we felt like we were in the middle of no place on our way to the Gardner Ale House. How good could it be in the middle of nowhere? Well, the answer is very good.
It's located on a historic old main drag in a wonderful old building that used to be a fancy Italian restaurant. The bartender informed us the previous Italian restaurant invested in a wood fired pizza oven they decided to keep. Good idea. We had a meatball sausage pizza for $10 that was huge and WICKED!!!! We had a beer sampler and they were all excellent and I followed up with a full pale ale. Nice and Pac NW hoppy. This place is well worth the effort given it's remote location. One of the best brewpubs in New England.
09-23-2007 03:11:49 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I finally made it back and I was not disappointed. They had an IPA on cask that was dry hopped with amarillo hops, it was outsanding.
The food was very good, and the appetizers were even better.
I was disappointed that they didn't have the porter on tap but you can't win them all.
The band was very good. The service was a bit slow but it was nice because I didn't feel rushed like in the chain restaurants. But I would have ended up having another beer or two had the server come by more frequently.
I highly reccomend the Gardner Ale house.
05-02-2007 18:47:51 |
More by notown
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Made the trip to the furniture capital of the world with a buddy for lunch today specifically to have lunch at the GAH. Located in the historic district of town, the red facing front sticks out like a sore thumb. Very easy to get to with parking across the street.
The place is extremely big. When you first walk in you're greeted by a long bar that sports about 18 chairs. 20 or so tables in the bar area with a large long dining hall adjacent to that with approx. 30-40 tables. Adjacent to that is another eating area and the kitchen. Very large to say the least--almost sports a "hall" like feel. Exposed brick walls with wood supports separate each area. An interesting touch to the walls. Bricks are removed systematically to make a window if you will, which opens the place up a bit more. The open brewhouse is located in the bar towards the back and next to the alcove where patrons can throw darts. Beamed ceilings also give the place some character and ambiance. Designer style lights hang from the ceilings. A couple of flat screen tv's in the bar are sure to be showing sports.
2 6 tap mushrooms (12 taps in all) dispense the pubs brew, plus a couple guest taps (bud and coors light is what I saw--gotta have something for the regulars...). On tap included an ipa, stout, hefe pils type deal, pale ale, and an alt. Chocolate porter had just kicked, which I was a bit unhappy about. Had the stout, ipa, and alt. All very tasty and fresh. Pints were relatively cheap clocking in at $3.75 with growler fills at $11 ($8 for a re-fill). Not a bad selection of brews on tap. Nothing "extreme", though I'd like to see one or two in the future. English style ales. Unfortunately headbrewer Dave was not around--great guy....chat with him awhile.
We sat at the bar and the waitress was friendly, talkative, attentive, and knowledgeable about the beers. Enjoyed nachos as an appetizer and the ale house steak sandwich for lunch, which was absolutely phenomenal. The other food the waitress was bringing patrons looked very well crafted too. Sandwiches were all well priced at about $8-10, with some more expensive entree options. There was also pizza on the menu--brick oven style.
A good place in north central Mass. to be a regular at. The area needed a good brewpub and they got it. I'll definitely be back at some point. Good food and good beer--a great combination.
04-14-2007 20:22:11 |
More by bjohnson
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Tried the Gardner Ale house for the first time today with my wife, my folks, and my brother and his girlfriend.
Surprisingly good food for a brewpub. Definitely not just pub grub. We had quesadillas for appetizer and split a couple of pizzas (recommend the mediterranean) for lunch.
Got to meet Dave, the brewer. Hell of a cool fellow. He gave us a tour and pulled us a pint of a new brew (Vienna Lager) he's working on. He even had Beer Advocate magazines near the bar!
Most importantly the beer is quite good. At the moment they've got a Kolsch (Summer's End), an American Pale Ale (Chair City Pale), an altbier (Oma's Altbier), an IPA (Facelift), a dry Irish stout (Naked Stout), and a Chocolate Porter. Standouts in my opinion are the Chocolate Porter which is a delicious roasted nuts and bitter chocolate beer and the Chair City Pale which is a well-hopped APA. Their Naked Stout is a crisp dry stout and a perfect session beer at 3.9% ABV.
If you're anywhere near Gardner definitely swing into the Ale House.
04-01-2007 03:50:04 |
More by sethmeister
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This brewery is only 16.5 miles from my girlfriends parent's house in New Ipswich New Hampshire. This Brewery has been open for less then a year.
Located in downtown Gardner, very easy to find and is easily one of the best looking buildings in the downtown area. Plenty of space inside, much bigger than I had imagined. It has three sections, the bar area which includes the two brewing tanks which are very visible from the large bar area which can easily seat 25 to 30 people not including the tables that are located within that area. Then there's the dining area, very spread-out and spacious; the third is the wide-open kitchen, you have total visible access to the kitchen which looks like a very orderly enviroment and very free-flowing, these sections are only divided by old-style brick walls that have windo's and seperations that allows the entire place to gel together.
They had six of their own beers on tap and a few "standard" beers and special guest beers you had to inquire about. My first sample was the newest beer on-tap, the Chocolate Porter. Very impressed with this Porter, I highly enjoyed this brew. I ordered the Coconut shrimp and crab cakes as appetizers and the Hawaiian Chicken sandwich as my main dish. The Hawaiian sandwich was excellent, maybe the best sandwich I've had in a while, the appetizer's were o.k. I washed this all down with the Facelift IPA, which was a really good, clean and fruity brew.
Overall, very impressed. It has a very professional yet comfotable atmoshere with plenty of space and good food with decent brews. Nice job Gardner.
03-29-2007 03:33:46 |
More by GratefulBeerGuy
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
After a great day of skiing at Wachusett decided to give Gardner a shot, and the only thing I have to say is I now have a new place to hit after I am done skiing. Hit this little spot with my buddy around 1:30 and there was no wait which is great but a travesty at the same time because I could see myself being a frequent visitor if I did not live 75 miles away. Atmosphere was great with great woods and brickwork. Brewhouse was right there on the side of the bar. Did the sample platter with the Kolsh, Alt, Ipa, Doppelbock, and Pale Ale. ALl were great but the Doppelbock came to me as the winner. Very reasonably priced especially when compared with the prices at the mountain. For two sample platter an order of chicken tenders(which were great) and a big ass burger(which my buddy said was the best he had ever had) the bill came to around $24. Great service and quality and the waitstaff consisted of great looking women(which i feel should be added to the overall scoring of an establishment). I cant wait to go back.
Great Job Gardner, all the best of Luck!!!!
02-22-2007 15:16:56 |
More by TrickKnee
Gardner Ale House in Gardner, MA