Brew House Plans U.S. Expansion

Brewery-Restaurant Capitalizes on Demand For Better Beer

John Harvard: founder of a prestigious university or brewer of beers?

Although the only connection between the University and John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square is the name, diners nationwide may soon attach the name to tasty brews rather than to scholarly pursuits.

Restaurant co-owner Grenville Byford said yesterday that he plans to set up Brew Houses in cities around the country in an effort to capitalize on the growing demand in the U.S. for specialty foods and drinks.

"We are certainly looking at expanding the company," Byford said, adding that establishments such as his self-billed "brewery-restaurant" have become increasingly popular in the past decade.

In 1984, there were only half a dozen brewery-restaurants in the U.S., Byford said. Now, there are more than 200.


Despite the restaurant's unique brews, its competition comes primarily from other local restaurants, not from pubs or bars, according to co-owner Gary Gut said.

John Harvard's Brew House, which brews several varieties of ales and lagers on the premises, has been in operation for just more than one year.

"There is a growing body of customers who are interested in buying a better beer instead of the homogenized product of the big brands," Byford said.

Byford would not disclose, however, how far or how fast he thinks Harvard Brew House will spread across the country.

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