Location: Cambridge, MA
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: When CBC opened up shop way back in 1989, Nelson Mandela was still in jail, the Hubble telescope hadn’t yet been put into orbit, and the American craft beer scene was practically non-existent. Since day one, Cambridge Brewing has been instrumental in the development of American beer culture, winning a neckload of medals in the process. Housed in a refurbished mill building near the MIT campus, they put out a modest number of barrels per year, all of which go to the brewpub or a small number of local establishments.
Beer #1: The Audacity of Hops (Belgian IPA / 8.0%)
Notes: If you’re looking for a sticky, resinous hop bomb, look elsewhere; Audacity is as much Belgian as it is IPA. Alchemic in its approach – including its copper-gold color – Audacity mixes strong Belgian yeast with classic American and German hops (Simcoe, Chinook, Amarillo, Hallertauer, and Spalt), resulting in a peppery, fruity nose infused with pine. The taste is more of the same: tropical fruit, spice, pepper, and pine. With its bone dry finish, Audacity can be pored over or poured down.
Beer Advocate: 90 (70 reviews)
Rate Beer: 97 overall, 99 style (51 ratings)
Beer #2: Tripel Threat (Tripel / 9.6%)
Notes: Classic Belgian-style tripel. Amber, with good carbonation. In addition to fruit and biscuit aromas, Threat is full of boozy esters – not to be confused with your grandma’s freewheeling best friend, Boozy Esther. Reviewers seem to find in the glass every fruit under the sun; these accompany vinous and hay notes. Interesting historical note from the CBC website: “this perennial was the first Belgian-style beer produced in American craft-brewing history according to the beer Hunter, Michael Jackson”.
Beer Advocate: 88 (46 reviews)
Rate Beer: 88 overall, 77 style (42 reviews)
Summary: Cambridge represents what’s so special about SAVOR: attendees will get to taste interesting beers from a legendary brewery with only a small, local distribution. I heartily recommend you seek them out while you can. Added bonus – you’ll get to check out where Megan Parisi, head brewer for NRG’s forthcoming brewery, cut her teeth.
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.