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New Opening: The Cambridge Taproom

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

A Wachusett Brewpub Is Headed for the Former John Harvard’s

Photo courtesy of Wachusett Brewing Company

A basement brewpub that went dark in May after nearly 30 years of fueling the Harvard Square community with house-made beer and pub grub won’t be dry for too long: Wachusett Brewing Company is taking over the former John Harvard’s Ale House location.


The Westminster-based brewery plans to open a 15-barrel brewery and taproom, complete with a pizza-focused food program, in Cambridge this fall. Wachusett, which is the brand offered at the Patios at City Hall Plaza’s outdoor beer garden since fall 2017, also recently announced plans to anchor a forthcoming food hall in downtown Worcester with a taproom and a version of its Brew Yard outdoor patio.


The Cambridge brewpub, situated in the basement of the Garage Mall just off of Harvard Square proper, is where the John Harvard’s brand was born in 1992. JH expanded with locations in Framingham and elsewhere, and was eventually bought by international hospitality corporation, Centerplate, Inc. The Harvard Square location hasn’t been a working brewery since the fall of 2015, but it will be brought back to life under Wachusett’s care. The new owners plan to make use of the old equipment, which was still on display after beer production ceased.


The Wachusett crew will also make use of the property’s full kitchen, with a menu centered on “creative flatbreads.” The forthcoming brewpub also plans to host live entertainment, which was a staple for many years at John Harvard’s.


Stay tuned for more details about Wachusett’s forthcoming Cambridge brewpub. If all goes according to plan, it could open as early as fall 2019. The Worcester location is targeting a September opening.


In the meantime, get acquainted with Wachusett’s new fruited beer styles, New England IPAs, and other brews at the Brew Yard at City Hall Plaza, which is open every day.



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