Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Second Brewpub Is On The Way

A few weeks ago I was reading the legal notices in the MetroWest Daily News when I saw that Slesar Bros. Brewing was going before the Board of Selectmen with their plan to convert the former Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse on Route 30 into a brewpub. It caught my eye not only because I'm a craft beer fanatic, but because I knew it was the business name behind the very successful Bay State brewpub chain Beer Works, which I was familiar with from their inception, in my former life as a beer writer.

They had the vision to open their first brewpub back then in Boston across the street from Fenway Park, called Boston Beer Works, and they've been booming ever since. Naysayers said Sox fans were more likely to drink Bud and frequent old-school bars like the Cask & Flagon across the street. Try getting into Boston Beer Works now on a game day - the line is frequently out the door. They now have six locations, ranging from Hingham on the South Shore to Salem on the North Shore. And now they're coming to Framingham, as the MetroWest Daily News duly reported after the Board of Selectmen meeting.

The new Framingham Beer Works, to be opened by the end of the year, should give their competitor down the street, John Harvard's Brewhouse, a run for their money. Beer Works offers high quality beer and food, nice decor, and a lively atmosphere. I think it will be a great new addition to the Framingham drinking and dining scene.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Framingham Makes Best Places To Live List

CNN Money recently announced what many of who live in Framingham already know; it's a great place live. Never mind that it was on a list of 100 of America's best small cities, and Framingham is actually a town - we'll take the positive press. Framingham, one of only four Massachusetts locations that made the list, came in at number 38, while Newton was number 4, Brookline number 31, and Weymouth number 87.

Ethnic diversity, low unemployment, and a wide variety of affordable housing options were some of the reasons cited for Framingham's inclusion on the list. To that list I would add wonderful recreational areas, such as Lake Cochituate and Callahan State Park, and a vibrant arts community, including the Danforth Museum, the artist studios at the Saxonville Mill and Fountain Street, and Amazing Things Arts Center, and a very good school system. All in a town that is much more affordable than most of its neighbors, a place where everyone from working class folks to millionaires can buy a home that meets their needs.

Not that Framingham doesn't have its share of problems, like any community of its size. At approximately 68,000 residents, it's larger than many communities designated as cities, yet at the same time its many neighborhoods evoke everything from an urban vibe - downtown - to a rural farming community in the northwest corner, to many traditional suburban developments throughout the town.

Interestingly enough, the long-debated issue of whether Framingham should switch to a city form of government has come up again this year. City or town, it's a place many of us are proud to call home.