Boston Local Food Festival

Presented by Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts

Worth the Wait: Jack’s Abby Brewing at the Local Craft Brewfest

The Hendler brothers brew up local twists on the classic German lager.

 Jack Hendler and his brothers, Eric and Sam, are the founders of Jack’s Abby Brewing, named in honor of Jack’s wife, Abby, and also to the tradition of monastic groups in Europe who handcrafted beers in their abbeys. The Hendler brothers brew only lagers, which are distinguished from ales by their slower, cold-fermented process. It takes at least a month to brew a lager, and sometimes longer—Jack’s Abby has taken as long as two and half months to produce a brew—and is well worth the wait, for the resulting flavor, which is crisper, cleaner, and smoother than that of other beers, which are all called “ale.” Lagers provide a more neutral background for exciting flavor additions such as Ginger and Juice, an India pale lager with added pureed and juiced ginger and grapefruit.

 Jack’s Abby has three year-round brews, ranging from a “Session” lager, with a relatively low alcohol content, to a black lager, which uses a very dark roasted malt to give it a dark color and chocolatey, coffee-like aroma. There are currently five seasonal brews in production, and more new flavors being developed all the time, in keeping with their mission to create “truly distinctive lagers featuring locally grown hops, traditional German brewing standards, and American innovation.” The most popular Jack’s Abby brew is Hoponius Union, an India pale lager. According to Jack Hendler, “It’s the same idea as an India pale ale but with a different fermentation on a very hoppy beer.”

Jack’s Abby proudly uses locally grown grains from Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA in all of their year-round beers. At the Local Craft Brewfest, you can sample a new Jack’s Abby brew, Wet Hop Lager, brewed with only local ingredients, including grains from Massachusetts and hops grown on the Hendler family farm in Vermont.

 Asked his own preference, the crafty brewmaster proclaims that whatever has been brewed most recently is his favorite. Talking to Jack, his dedication to the craft is obvious: he speaks quickly and with evident pleasure about his brews. When I mentioned a tasting held last month in western Massachusetts and expressed regret at the missed opportunity to meet, he said bashfully, “Oh, that was my brother. He usually does the tastings.” However, Jack is looking forward to being at the Local Craft Brewfest on Friday, October 5, and seeing what the growing trends are among his locally brewing peers, an opportunity likely to be appreciated by all of the brewmasters at the Brewfest. “It’s tough to get out of the brewery sometimes,” says Jack.

This post was written by Justin Cascio of Justin Wants to Feed You, go check him out!

Posted by: Nicola on October 2, 2012 @ 7:18 pm
Filed under: Blog,Local Craft Brewfest