Cambridge Brewing Company Rhymes with Ukulele

Tonight’s beer is from a favorite brewery of mine. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6.25%

Style: New England IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “CBC has a long history of brewing handcrafted beers of many origins and influences. While we can’t be all things to all people, we do enjoy the challenge of producing a very broad spectrum of beers which we hope will appeal to the vast majority of beer drinkers. Our house beers are all flavor-forward using only water, malt, hops, and yeast. Their profiles of caramel notes, hops, light malt, and roast, respectively, offer something for everyone according to their tastes. Our single-batch beers and seasonals allow us greater range of ingredients, processes, and creative freedoms as we strive to authentically recreate many historical beer styles from around the world. Whether we are brewing a simple classic pilsner, an unhopped herbal gruit beer or more obscure styles such as Polish grätzer, we want to succeed in presenting a beer true to its roots. One of the things for which CBC is best known is our creativity in pushing the boundaries of brewing. We have created new expressions in beer by incorporating the influences of many fermentation traditions. From one extreme of bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout to another of creating the first true solera system in the US for beer, we are blessed to have the creative freedom to pursue sometimes strange or counterintuitive ideas and see them come to tasty fruition. So, what kind of beer do we serve? American Craft Beer. Honest beer, made by us. With great flavor, of high quality, in a wide array of style and which our customers will love!”

Random: We didn’t get a chance to stop by the brewpub when we were in Boston, but we definitely have to make a stop next time.

This beer poured with a slightly off white head that was three fingers in height. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and bright yellow in color. There was no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose had a lot of melon upfront with some lemon zest as well. The taste was much of the same. It had a lot of melon and then some light grain at the end that provided some sweetness. The body was on the lighter side and the beer was a bit under carbonated. It had a quick and unremarkable finish. I thought this beer was alright, but nothing outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Cerise Cassee

It’s time to review another beer that my parents got for me. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Once again a beer appears which firmly expresses your iconoclastic brewers’ commitment to fly in the face of tradition,
and boldly thumb our noses at the mainstream. Cerise Cassée is a complex beer in both process and palate. Multiple fermentations begin in stainless steel with our house ale yeast, then spontaneous refermentation and aging along with 300 pounds of sour cherries takes place in the infamous CBC barrel cellar. And there it ages for up to eight years in French oak wine barrels. Throughout this mysterious process a long, slow fermentation takes place with microflora such as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. Don’t let those things scare you, though, because these barrels and wild beasties of beer contribute a smooth acidity and significant complexity which could otherwise not be attained by ‘traditional’ modern brewing methods. In the U.S. craft brewing world’s first true Solera-style fermenting and aging program, a portion of each of the Solera barrels (the oldest barrels, which contain a blend of between one and eight year old beer) is blended for service annually. Beer from the Criadera (literal trans. – the nursery – barrels containing one- to two-year old beer) is blended into the Solera, and the year’s fresh production of new beer and cherries are sent down into the Criadera to begin the process anew. The resulting tart, effervescent, deep red ale combines aromas and flavors of stone fruit, malt, vanilla and oak tannin, with a pleasantly sour finish that defies description in its funky-yet-balanced uniqueness. Bonne chance! A la votre!”

Random: I like sour cherries paired with cheese.

The beer poured with less than a quarter finger of white head that dissipated by the time I took the photo. There was no lacing left on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and a reddish-brown color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of vinegar notes along with some sour cherries. There was yeast as well. The taste was very, very sour. The sour cherries quickly followed up. It had some lemon as well, but before the sourness got overwhelming, oak and vanilla came through. There was some raisin and plum as well. The body had very light carbonation and was not thick. The finish was lengthy and sour. I liked this one a lot. It’s definitely not the type of beer that I’ve come to expect from CBC and was very impressed.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company YouEnjoyMyStout

Today is my sister’s birthday. Almost every year on her birthday, it rains. Last year was one of the first that it didn’t. I’m not sure what her plans are, but hopefully she has a great day today. Anyways, beer time.


ABV: 10.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “THE CROWD GOES WILD! A smooth bass line of roasted notes establishes the deep end beneath arpeggios of complex chocolate malt, while power chords of caramelized grain open up to an extended malty jam. Black barley teases treacle character and wades into a velvety sea of oak-derived vanilla and toasted coconut tones. Sustained improvisation of fruitiness modulates to an intense finale, and encores with a rich, espresso-roasted reprise, a capella.”

Random: Val picked out this beer because she loved the label.

The bottle opened with a huge pop of the cork and it almost overflowed. The head was three fingers high and a light brown head. It took awhile to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was black and I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was filled with burnt malt. It also had bourbon, vanilla, oak and a lot of smoke. Leather and tobacco came through as well. The taste was bitter with roasted malts and dark chocolate. There was tobacco on this as well. The bourbon came through at the end with vanilla. There was a lot of booze warming too. The body was weirdly thin with light carbonation. The finish was quick and astringent. A bomber of this was $12, which came to $.55 per ounce. I wanted to love this beer, but it was only alright.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Sgt. Pepper

One of the spices that Val doesn’t like is pepper. I’m the exact opposite. I throw pepper on everything I can when we’re not sharing something. This beer, which features peppercorns, sounded really interesting to me. It’s also another beer which isn’t distributed to New Jersey.


ABV: 6%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Farmhouse Ale with Peppercorns. First brewed in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, and #23 is coming up soon – May 12, 2012! It was April Fool’s Day, 1989, when Phil ‘Brewdaddy’ Bannatyne first opened the doors to what would become one of the preeminent breweries in the country. Sgt. Pepper has been brewed with Pilsner, CaraVienne, and Rye malts, plus Magnum and Spalter hops. But the driving force behind this beer is the contribution from whole Black, Green, White, and Pink peppercorns. Added to the brewkettle, these four fab peppercorns harmonize with spicy hops while the malted rye and our Belgian yeast hold down the backbeat. It’s far out with food and guaranteed to raise a smile. Sgt. Pepper is now available in 22oz. bottles at CBC and at better beer stores throughout Massachusetts.”

Random: This is the 10th beer I’ve tried from CBC.

The beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, amber color with almost no carbonation visible. The nose was dominated by peppercorns. I don’t think I’ve ever had a beer with peppercorns as the main note. After I got through that, there was spicy rye as well. I didn’t pick up the normal yeasty saison notes. The taste was very spicy and again, dominated by the peppercorns and went from my tongue right to the back of my throat. The rye came through as well and just added to the spicy profile. Cracker came through at the end, but this beer was overwhelmingly spicy from the peppercorns. The body was on the thicker side of the style with light carbonation. It had a finish that lasted forever and the peppercorns would not leave the back of my throat. A bomber of this ran $7.99 ($.36 per ounce). I wouldn’t have this one again. It had absolutely no balance to it.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Morning Dew

Here’s another review of a CBC beer. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Morning Dew is a refreshing take on Belgian Golden ale. It is brewed with a complex blend of malted and unmalted grain, including Rye Wheat, Buckwheat and flaked Barley. It has a medium body, smooth and round with a long lingering white head. Morning Dew is lightly bittered with German Hallertauer hops and infused with a touch of elderflower, then extensively dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin. This provides a beautiful balance of floral and fruit aromatics, follows by hints of spicy grain. The flavor is more fruit with cereal grain and spicy Belgian yeast character, with a juicy bright finish.”

Random: I need to get up to CBC since I enjoy their beers so much.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly hazy, straw yellow color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose had honey, tropical fruit and yeast. I wanted to get some spice in the nose, but I didn’t find any. The taste started with honey and quickly went into golden fruit. Some bread was there and also grassy bitterness and floral notes. There wasn’t much spice in this either. The body was light and crisp with high carbonation. It had a lengthy, sweet finish with cereal grains and golden fruits. This was another beer that came from my parents, so no commentary on the price. Even if I had to pay for it, it was still a flavorful outstanding beer that really had depth to it. If you see this on the shelves, grab a bomber of it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Remain In Light

I picked up another brew from Cambridge from Half Time. Again, when I picked it up, I had no idea what this beer was about. I just saw it was by them and in the cart it went. I’m not going to lie that I was a little disappointed to find out the style when I opened it.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “American light lages and Pilsners are easy to drink and refreshing. They are not, however, easy for a craft brewer to make – but we are always up for challenge. Pilsner malt and flaked rice provide sweet cereal grain notes while German and Czech hops add spiciness and a balanced bitterness to the finish. Cold fermented and aged with a German lager yeast, the palate is clean with a snappy finish.”

Random: I’m getting pretty darn close to post #1900.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated instantly.It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, lemon yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose had some grain and grass, and nothing else to speak of. The taste was like a light Pilsner. There was the same grain and grass and not anything else. I didn’t pick up any spice either. It was just really bland. It had a thin body with high carbonation. The finish was quick and unremarkable. This was $2.19 for the can, which broke down to $.18 per ounce. Honestly, I just find this style boring in general, so I won’t be having it again. But, if you’re into this style, try it if you want.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Flower Child IPA

It’s finally Saturday! I’m excited to end this week. It’s been a week that was just really draining. Our July end of quarter normally goes like this. The beginning is crazy and then the end is smooth sailing. I’m trying to channel the really chill looking girl on this can to get through this day. She doesn’t look like she has a care in the world. Let’s see if what is inside is as good.


ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Extensively hopped and dryhopped with a big roaster of hops – Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Ahtanum, Chinook, and Amarillo – it’s big, bright, and floral, with just enough malt to balance. This American-style I.P.A. stands head and shoulders above its hoppy brethren, blending pale and honey malts to balance the palate without interfering in your herbal reverie, and creating a new American classic.”

Random: I always pick up cans instead of bottles if I have a choice now. They’re so much lighter too.

This beer poured with a huge, three finger white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and yellow with huge amounts of carbonation. The nose was filled with bitter orange and grass. Some flowers came out as well, but not as much as I expected given the description. The taste was not that bitter. It had the expected notes of grass and orange with caramel malt. The caramel malt gave it sweetness at the end. This drank much more like a pale ale than a true IPA. It had a thinner body and lots of carbonation. The finish was rather quick with grass and sweet caramel malt. This was $2.49 for the can, which broke down $.21 per ounce. This beer was alright, but really nothing to write home about.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Tripel Threat

I am so happy that it’s been raining a lot lately. It’s making my lawn look so much better, along with watering my vegetable garden. Val just told me it was raining by her job and it’s still perfectly sunny here. With my luck, I’ll get caught in it on the way home. Anyways, beer time.


ABV: 10%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The tripels are generally the strongest specialty ales made by the Belgian and Dutch Trappist monastic breweries. Pale in color with a very distinct palate, they are painstakingly created as beers to be consumed on holidays and religious festivals.”

Random: I guess there were a lot of drunk monks during religious holidays?

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left only a crown on top of the body. It didn’t leave much lacing either. The body was a golden-yellow color with light carbonation. The nose was very fragrant with notes of peach, golden raisins and raw alcohol. After a few sniffs, I also picked up Grains of Paradise. The taste had light yeast, golden raisins, peach, white peppercorn, and coriander. What took away from all of these wonderful flavors was the incredibly hot booze that came through. It had a thin body for the style with lighter than expected carbonation as well. The finish was long and hot with booze and golden fruit. Despite the booze being so hot, I still liked this beer, although it won’t become my go-to for the style (it also helps that it isn’t distributed here). No comment on the price since this was a beer gift from my parents. It’s worth a shot if you like American interpretations of the style.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company The Audacity Of Hops

The second movie that we watched on Sunday night was “Gone Girl.” I hadn’t read the book (my other half did) and I managed to fall asleep at the end. I finished it on Monday morning. It was a very disturbing movie and could easily give someone nightmares. My biggest question was why she was allowed to leave the hospital covered in blood. That would have been cleaned at the hospital. But, I digress. This was the beer I had during that movie.


ABV: 8%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: This is going to be a year-round release for CBC.

Random: Apparently this beer name is a play on the Obama slogan, “the audacity of hope,” which I didn’t realize until my other half told me.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, fluffy white head that looked like whipped egg whites. It dissipated slowly with lots of lacing left on the glass. The body was a clear, light orange color with high carbonation. The nose had a lot of citrus and grass with Belgian spice. I specifically picked up coriander. The taste was nice, although was definitely more on the citrus IPA side as opposed to Belgian. It started with grapefruit and grass and quickly went into a spice note with Belgian yeast. Citrus was fresh, but definitely pronounced. The booze was really well hidden, which worked because the body was medium thick. It had high carbonation as well. The finish was long with grass and then a biscuit note from the yeast. Again, I can’t comment on the price point because this was a gift (and who doesn’t love free beer?). I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cambridge Brewing Company Red God

On Sunday, Val’s mother and stepfather and grandmother came down to see the house and have brunch with my family. It was a good time and now, the house is cleaner that it ever has been. After everyone headed home, we turned on “Muppets Most Wanted,” which was a fun, cute movie. I popped this open while we watched.


ABV: 9%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Bottling Project production is run quite like the brew schedule at the brewpub – single batches of rotating CBC favorites…We do this by sharing facilities with our friends at Ipswich Ale Brewery in Ipswich, MA and at Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster, MA.”

Random: I haven’t seen “Muppets In Space.” It looked somewhat dumb, but maybe I’ll give it a shot.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, tan head that took forever to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark red color with lots of sediment visible. It also had moderate carbonation. The nose had a lot of hops. Grass and toasted malts were there as well. The taste was not what I expected. There was a lot of lemony hops and grass and very light malt that gave it a twinge of sweetness. I couldn’t pick up any of the booze despite the ABV. It had a surprisingly thin body with moderate carbonation. It had a long, grassy finish. This was part of the case of beers that my parents picked up from Massachusetts for me, so I’m not sure what the price point is. All-in-all, this was a very enjoyable, bright beer that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0