In early June I was in Boston for work. And since Boston is one of my favorite beer destinations, despite two long workdays, I made an effort to visit a couple of local brewpubs for dinner. On my first night, I visited Boston Beer Works on Brookline Avenue across from Fenway Park. On my second and final night, I took some of my colleagues to Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Square.
Sometimes it’s tough to talk my co-workers into exploring the local beer scene with me when we are traveling – the food at local brewpubs can be hit or miss. But after I showed them Cambridge Brewing Company’s online dinner menu, they were sold. According to their website, CBC develops relationships with local farmers and offers the freshest sustainable New England ingredients possible. My co-workers were looking forward to their meals, and of course I was looking forward to the beer!
The beer menu featured CBC’s four standard house beers that are always on the menu and several intriguing seasonals. Beers are served in sampler glasses, half pints, and pints, and the flexibility in serving size allowed me to sample seven CBC brews over dinner, including:
- Cambridge Amber (4.7%), a well-balanced sessionable Amber Ale
- Charles River Porter (6.0%), a dark, full-bodied Porter
- Tall Tale Pale Ale (5.8%), a bold and hoppy Pale Ale
- CBC Hefeweizen (5.5%), this summer seasonal is a traditional wheat beer brewed with Massachusetts-grown organic wheat
- Spring Training IPA (6.3%), this spring seasonal was brewed with Ahtanum and Palisades hops, both relative newcomers on the hop varietal scene chosen for their essence of wildflowers and freshly-cut grass, evocative of floral springtime breezes
- Mass Appeal (9.0%), a complex strong blond ale, this collaborative beer was brewed with other local brewers to celebrate Boston Beer Week
- Ozymandias (15%), CBC’s 23rd anniversary beer is “an insanely complex beer in both ingredients and production.” And insanely strong for a beer at 15% ABV. Inspired by the poem – “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
CBC also serves pitchers and towers, and while we admired and envied the tall beer towers on nearby tables, we didn’t partake (one in our party was a wine drinker).
And bottles! CBC bottles its brew in 22 oz bombers and sells them out of a cooler near the hostess stand. On the way out, I grabbed a bomber of The Audacity of Hops (8.0%), which I enjoyed back at the hotel. This Belgian Double IPA is “liberally hopped to an audacious degree” with 10 hop varietals.
Suffice to say that the beer did not disappoint, and the food and overall experience didn’t either. We all enjoyed the upscale pub experience that CBC offers. CBC is definitely a “must-visit” during any beer expedition in Boston!