Local Brew Series, Part 7: Cambridge Brewing Co. and Notch Brewing

This week, we're featuring two more local brewers in our Local Brew Series: Cambridge Brewing Co. (CBC) and Notch Brewing. We're especially excited to speak a bit about CBC, since they've right here in our neck of the woods! As longstanding Cambridge residents, they are well known in the local area - not only are they the oldest of the breweries showcased in our series, founded in 1989, but they are also the oldest brewery-restaurant in all of Boston! They feature a variety of different types of beer, some made in new American beer styles, some inspired by classic world styles, and even some experimental beers. Their house beers, available year round, include the Cambridge Amber, Charles River Porter, Regatta Golden (an American Cream Ale) and the Tall Tale Pale Ale. Featured in this post is a summer seasonal, their Weekapaug Gruit -- an unhopped, herbal beer that was refreshing and unique, definitely great for summer. We thoroughly enjoyed trying it! Now that the fall season is coming (has already arrived?!), CBC has some new seasonal beers available, including the Great Pumpkin Ale, which just appeared on tap this week at the restaurant. The CBC is open for lunch Monday through Friday, and for dinner 7 days a week. You can see their complete list of hours here. We may be biased, as residents of Cambridge and all, but we'd highly recommend a trip for a casual meal and great brew sometime during this fall season!

You can see the Weekapaug Gruit below, photographed in a Schott Zwiesel Hurricane glass. The other beer photographed is the Notch Brewing Tafelbier, also showcased in a Schott Zwiesel glass, the Basic Beer Pilsner.

Now for our second feature today: Notch Brewing! Notch Brewing was founded by Chris Lohring, who has been brewing professionally since 1993. While Cambridge Brewing Co. has deep roots here in the city, Notch Brewing doesn't have settled roots per se - in fact, the company doesn't even have a brewery! Instead, Chris works as an independent brewer out of other established breweries, including Ipwish Ale Brewery and Kennebunkport Brewery, where he produces scrumptious low-alcohol beers. Notch Brewing takes pride in the fact that they produce flavorful and popular brews that are always 4.5% ABV or less. How's that for a unique selling point?

Notch Brewing has three beers they brew year round, and also features seasonal offerings - including the Tafelbier we tried, which was a summer seasonal. The year round offerings include Notch Session Pils, Notch Saison, and Notch Session Ale (a Pale Ale). The new fall seasonal release is called the Notch Polotmavy, a hoppy Czech Amber Lager.

Notch beers are available all over Massachusetts - you can see a detailed beer location map here. As a lower ABV alternative that packs the same flavor punch as some of the more boozy beers, Notch brews are a fantastic alternative, and it's exciting to know they are succeeding at their mission!

Next week we'll close out the Local Brew Series with a review of a local brew pub we recently visited - it'll be a great way to wrap up this series! After that, we're looking to start a new series featuring fall cocktails, so we hope you'll stay tuned! For now, get out there and enjoy this glorious New England weather.