Cambridge Brewing Company
1 Kendall Sq, Building 100
Visited on February 16, 2008
One of the best parts about this blog is getting to revisit places from long ago. It’d been more than seven years since I last visited Cambridge Brewing Company when I found myself there again in October, 2015. I now had a lot more experience under my belt and couldn’t wait to get back.
The location is way better than I remember. When I visited before, it was at night. During the day, I could appreciate the old red brick building and surrounding town where the brewery sits. I also had plenty of time to check out the updated mural of people drinking on their wall – it’s quite the site!
As for their beers – they now serve flights – and damn is their beer good. I tried eight of their brews, leaving out only a couple, and was very impressed with them all. They had a couple of sour beers – one with Brett that was especially good – and an imperial pumpkin ale that delivered on all notes. But the real winner here was a barley wine that went down so smooth that I couldn’t believe it was 13 percent. It tasted more like 6.
I also got to try some food again, which I wasn’t impressed with on my first visit. The menu is pretty simple, upscale pub grub. I went with a shrimp poboy sandwich, and was delighted with the giant pieces of perfectly fried seafood that filled most of my moderately sized sandwich.
It’s been quite a while since I visited Boston and Cambridge Brewing Company, but it does still stand out in my mind. I don’t remember much about the location, other than finding it walking from my hotel was somewhat difficult due to streets seeming to go whichever the hell way they wanted to. I recall the building being nice but not overly done in any way, shape or form. What really sticks out was the beer. It seems that MIT isn’t the only place experimenting. I remember some fairly whacky styles, and a ton of options. Something in the low teens in the way of different taps. I also remember outstanding service. I don’t think there was any sort of official “sampler” on the menu, and the bartender poured me small tastes of each and every type anyways.
This brewery is near the campus of MIT and in a very nice building. There are a couple of televisions, some great giant artwork on the wall depicting famous faces that was painted by a former employee, and some small stained glass windows showing pints of beer. It’s a nice enough place, but nothing special or outstanding really.
I was very tempted to get the pizza with their brewing grains in the dough, but went for a Cuban instead, because it combined smoked pork loin with ham. But when the sandwich came, it looked like deli meat. I’m not sure if it was, but it kind of tasted like it to me. Nothing special about this sandwich, but it is solid pub food. Fries were good too.
They have quite a variety of beer and some extremely unique examples, as well. But they run a little short on good session beers. The four main brews are all solid session beers, and of the tasters I had, the Tall Tale Pale Ale (lightly hopped for a pale with a nice complexity) and the Cambridge Amber (bitter roasted/smoky character from a small amount of chocolate malt) were the best. Now on to the experiments! They had a strong barley wine, a nice espresso stout, a nicely spiced Belgian, an ancient style of unhopped gruit, a chocolate chili stout, and a beer attuned to the frequency of the mantra “OM.” Of everything I had, the Tall Tale Pale, Barley Wine, and a Cherry Stout (nice and sour instead of sweet) left over from Valentine’s Day were my favorites.
Great service! Even though she talked me away from a pizza (I was due to join a friend for dessert later that night) she gave me a small shot of each of their 11 beers for free instead of making me $2.00, 6-ounce samples of each.