Notch Brewery Opening Worcester Beer Garden At Mercantile Center

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By Neal McNamara

The Notch Worcester Biergarten will open where Harpoon has been operating a beer garden over the last two summers.

WORCESTER, MA — The Salem-based Notch Brewery is planning a move into Worcester this summer, opening a seasonal beer garden in the Mercantile Center, according to city records.

The brewery this week will seek permission from the Worcester License Commission to operate the Notch Worcester Biergarten from June 11 to July 16. Harpoon first opened a beer garden at the Mercantile Center in 2022, and returned over the summer of 2023. The brewer will not return to Worcester this summer, but is planning a beer garden this summer nearby in Whitinsville at Reunion Tap and Table.

Sam Schwartz, who is in charge of the Worcester garden for Notch, said the biergarten will revolve around a bar housed in a shipping container with seating for 25, although the entire space will seat about 225 people. Ten popular Notch drafts will be available, plus brewery-only selections. Notch is also planning live music during the weekends. The garden hours will be 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays, noon to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. The garden will be closed Mondays.

Notch also recently began advertising jobs for the new Worcester spot.

Notch, founded in 2010 by Chris Lohring and Mary Leah, specializes in traditional Eastern European beer styles — like lagers and pilsners — that lower alcohol volumes. Notch beer can be found on tap and at liquor stores in the Worcester area.

Although Notch has only applied for permission to operate through mid-July, Harpoon has in previous years gone through two separate license commission approvals to continue the beer garden into early autumn. The garden is located in the plaza between Commercial and Mercantile Streets.