Today turned out to be a wonderful adventure. I made the first of what I anticipate will be many pilgrimages to the Cambridge Brewing Co. I went with a friend, found a very entertaining and knowledgeable bartender, some delicious food and some incredible beer.
We started off with a small pour of Ozymandius …the only size they serve of this beer. Ozymandias is named after the King of Kings in the famous sonnet by Shelley. It’s the CBC 23rd anniversary beer, and wow… The best way to describe the flavor is that it is like a dark porter, with a touch of sour balanced by some sweetness from the red wine and bourbon barrels used to make it. The nose had light notes of dark fruit, which also followed through on the palate, lending some of that sweetness as well.
Even better, as dark and rich and intense as it was, there was balance, and the 15% abv was not noticeable in the flavour. All told, this is an exquisite beer, which I regret is not available in the bottle, understandably. This is also a beer to sip; to drink slowly and contemplate.
I also had the opportunity to sample another tremendous beer, which is virtually beyond description. This beer was called Mass Appeal, and is a serious collaboration. The folks from CBC spearheaded a collaborative beer created with local breweries Mystic Brewing, Night Shift Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales, and Enlightenment Ales, using malted wheat and barley from Valley Malt. Even more interesting, the beer was made with four types of hops, yeast from all five participating breweries and a whole fruit stand’s worth of citric fruits.
Mass Appeal was deep, complex, aromatic, fruity on the nose, malt, hops and alcohol in balance. It was also extremely easy to drink, smooth, and enjoyable. This is a beer for sitting and contemplating as well; not a session beer and certainly not something to toss back watching a game and noshing on nachos. I would suggest it with a quiet meal, involving chicken with a cream sauce, and would stay away from tomato sauce (I don’t think the acidity would be a good complement). I would also suggest something in a meaty whitefish such as swordfish, for instance, as I think something light would be overwhelmed by the beverage.
That being said, those beers were only a part of the overall experience, which was tremendous. I am looking forward to my next visit and an array of different beers to try. Somehow I do not think a visit to the CBC will ever be anything less than an adventure, one to be explored over and over again. I looked upon the works of Ozymandias, King of Kings and I rejoiced with each sip. The only despair is that this luscious beverage is unlikely to be repeated.