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Gardner Ale House
Active Beers: 11
Beer Ratings: 65
Beer Avg: 3.93
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
74 Parker Street
phone: (978) 669-0122
(Place added by: Todd on 05-02-2006)
Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev
| Reviews: 26 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Nice larger room with a seperate dining are, bar with dining tables as well and the brewery area in the rear. Long light wooden bar with some tubes to watch the game or whatever. Quite impressed with the beers, enjoyed a nice hoppy IPA, and tried a solid dopplebock, less impressed with the food. The fish sandwedge I had was middle of the road, fries soggy and limp. The pizza a table mate had looked to be of higher quality. Try the pizza. All in all a nice, comfortable and worthy place for a visit if in the area. Service was decent and hardworking, h/e the bartenders seemed kind of clueless. Our waitress seemed to be just holding it together, but she was friendly and attentive. I'd be here on a regular if I was local. The Brewer Dave is a super friendly kind of guy. He was informative and full of brewing info. Hey the guy is a disc golfer, so you gotta love that. They are making real beer, they are expanding and got give em much respect.
02-18-2010 14:07:11 |
More by Billolick
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
My brother has been telling me for a long time about how good the Sunday brunch is at the Gardner Ale House. So this past Sunday, we took a drive out there. The place is divided in two, with the bar to the right and the restaurant to the left. There are brew kettles on display in the back of the bar. The brunch buffet was amazing. For $16 pp, it was all you could eat. Waffles, pancakes, bacon, eggs, and tons of breakfast food, plus prime rib, chicken, pasta, fish, potatoes, and tons of sides. There was also a pastry display and a chocolate dipping fountain. I had three plates of food. All very tasty. Our waitress was friendly and cleared off used plates quickly. They had 7 house beers on tap: Summer, Alt, IPA, Pale Ale, DIPA, Stout, and Chocolate Porter. They also have four guest taps: Bud Light, Coors Light, Wachusett Country Ale, and Harpoon 100 Barrel. I had a pint of the chocolate porter, which was good. For $50, we had two all-you-could-eats, a beer, and two sodas including tip. If this place was anywhere closer to Worcester or Boston, I could see us hanging out there more often. But for now, it will remain a great road-trip destination.
05-17-2010 20:22:27 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
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 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
A good, potentially great brewpub.
We really liked the atmosphere of this place. A long bar on the right with a good sized dining room to the left and an exposed brick wall in between. Very cool and comfortable.
There were only 3 house beers on tap for our visit, which was quite disappointing. Guest tpas ranged from the nearly sublime (Mad Elf) to sports bar ridiculous (Coors Light AND Bud Light).
Service was just ok, falling just short of inattentive and well short of welcoming.
Food was really excellent. We had a tuna melt and mahi mahi sandwich, both well prepared as were the really tasty fries.
Glad we stopped for lunch, and glad it came fast so we could head out after one pint.
02-16-2009 20:32:57 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped in again on 06MAR10 for a solo lunch... Solid service this time was had at the bar, and the Pulled Pork was top-shelf. The Imperial Stout was quite good. DBock was also on, but I was in an RIS mood... Gardner ALe House is a hidden gem in central MA! Prosit!
*** *** ***
Hit Gardner today (20JAN07) with Alewife for lunch.... Got there about 145pm... no wait. Long room straight ahead, with a cool bar on the right, with nice, light wood behind the bar. Tables on the left and brew-kettles to the rear. Went into a middle room towards the left, again long from front to back, with plenty of tables on each side and in the middle. Another room was to the far left, with the kitchen on the left side and more tables at the front of the room near the windows. Lots of exposed brickwork and old, worn, dark wood. Antique style lamps hang on all the walls, and there's a cool, tin-type ceiling above you. Nice looking place!! Our server was solid, though not exceptional. Took a powder for a bit between our 1st and 2nd biers.... but all-in-all, pretty good. They had the kolsch, alt, IPA, stout and apple-ale on. Just out of the Winter lager, and the DBock is about 3 weeks away. The Alt was decent, and the IPA solid in the English style. Food was quite plentiful. Nacho platter was enormous, with very tasty chips, gobs of oozing cheese and biting jalapenos. Our burger and chicken sammich were well put together, and the hand-cut fries were a nice touch, though they could have been crispier. We both concur, definitely worth another visit, especially when the DBock is on.
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
01-20-2007 22:54:49 |
More by Bierman9
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
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 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Columbus Day Weekend 2011:
A weekend excursion to the Monadnock region yielded a couple of visits to Gardner Ale House this past weekend.
I had the chance to check out the bar on Friday as well as a return visit for lunch on Saturday. The atmosphere here is northern New England casual and comfortable with a long bar on the right side as you enter. Ample seating awaits in the back area.
Local artists' work decorates the walls in the dining area with a sizable crowd enjoying their food and drink. I noticed a few dart boards in the back. A great place to hang out and enjoy some local beer.
The beer selection was good, but I think there is plenty of untapped potential. I like Guest Taps, but would appreciate more of their beer offerings with a total of 12 taps available.
Selection included Summer's End, Chair City Pale, Facelift IPA, Oma's Altbier, Oktoberfest Lager and Chocolate Porter. Expect about 12 Guest Taps that included Wormtown Pro Am Porter & Weizenbock, Shipyard Pumpkinhead and crusty beers like Coors Light and Bud Light.
I tried the Chocolate Porter & Facelift IPA, both were very good with quality malts and a smooth drinkability.
The food here is special, they offer some creative and tasty dishes. However, I honestly thought the Buffalo Wings were subpar with a disappointing "extra hot" sauce. Don't be misled though, the wings were only a minor hiccup, the rest of the dishes sampled were really good. The Eggplant Parm Baguette was awesome.
I enjoyed this place, worth stopping by if in the area.
10-10-2011 02:26:37 |
More by Hibernator
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
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: 3 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$
I really really wanted to like the Gardner Ale House. It is in a cute New England town. Nice brick outside, warm homestyle restaurant inside. It has local artists paintings on the along the restaurant walls. Plenty of huge tvs and dart boards adorn the bar area. Kudos to any microbrewery that contains dart boards. The lighting was warm and inviting. The biggest problem with the dining room layout is that there is a huge list of beers on the side wall chalkboard. However, from about half the seating area the chalkboard is hard if not impossible to see. Additionally unlike some breweries that print out a list of their beers for the table—Gardner does not. When I asked the waitress, she could only rattle off a handful but suggested to look at the board—uggh. She was helpful though in describing what certain beers tasted like and by getting free samples. Overall the service was marginally on the better side of ok.
I like the fact that Gardner has 12 taps and six are guest. I like that they tried some different styles. Kolsch, Alt-Bier, Imperial IPA were some of the beers represented. Great variety in styles. I always appreciate a microbrewery that offers more than the brown, stout, and ipa. I unfortunately was underwhelmed by each of the beers that I tried which also included a chocolate porter that I really had to search for the chocolate in. Some breweries seem to cater to my palette. Gardner does not.
The food menu looked glorious with several options from shrimp, the to steak tips, to veggie burgers. However much like the beer menu, it underwhelmed. I had a homemade soup with beer, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and pasta. That was amazing—Panera quality or better—and I really like Panera soups. The French fries were also fairly good. However, my chicken teriyaki sandwich was bone dry and overcooked-even with the teriyaki sauce. The most disappointing part of the menu was my daughter’s meal. She ordered the mac and cheese kids meal. It came with the good fries, but it was Kraft macaroni and cheese. I do not go out to eat to buy Kraft food that has nothing done to it. It should have been noted that it was just Kraft from a box—or more home made. It makes me suspicious if nothing else about the rest of their menu—especially their children’s menu.
I can see Gardner Ale House being a decent place to have a couple of homemade brews and watch a game. This certainly beats places that just serve BMC by a lot. If I was closer I could see myself playing darts there. However, as someone who lives a bit of a drive away, I just cannot see myself stopping there unless I was so famished that Gardner was the only place to get a non-McDonald’s meal. Perhaps it was an off day. I just was underwhelmed by the beer and a bit upset by the children’s menu. There are places that do small town brewery great—Edleweis in Alpine, Texas—Bear Brewing in Orono, Maine amongst countless others. I think Gardner could be great and has a lot of potential—it just is a miss for me.
10-17-2011 13:48:01 |
More by tigg924
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Stopped here for lunch on the way home from Stratton Mountain, VT today. First I have to say that I am really happy that I did make the stop and give this place another shot. About 6 months ago I was in Gardner on business and stopped by to consider picking up a growler. I tasted a few samples at the bar and decided not to pick up anything. Frankly, I must have been in a bad mood, as today the beers all tasted very good. Before deciding on a pint or two, I tried the sampler and was impressed with the consistency of their current line-up. I really enjoyed their Chair City Pale Ale & the Dave's Double (Doppelbock). These were the stand out beers in the selection. Also tried the Rocker Red, Chocolate Porter and Wicked Big Stout. All of these were also very nice.
Service was good, not great. When I called to see if they were open for lunch, the answer was very confusing. After asking several follow up questions, the answer given was that they were open (1pm) but on Sunday's you can only order off their dinner menu. Bottom line, they ARE open and the person on the phone should not have confused a customer.
We had the chicken nachos and also a Monterrey Chicken Sandwich. Both were very good. Standard pub fare with some classic New England selections. Decent selection.
If you are passing through the area, this is definitely worth a stop. The atmosphere was classic pub/brewery with lots of wood and the right lighting. Felt comfortable hanging around there. Beer was better than expected.. Well done folks.
03-27-2011 22:42:14 |
More by Reagan1984
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Gardner Ale House in Gardner, MA
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