Cambridge House Beer Company Kolsch
22 oz bottle, $4.49++, 5.1% ABV
Purchased at Maximum Beverage, West Hartford
The Cambridge House Beer Company made it a point to note how their beers garnered a bunch of awards. They had a radio ad in 2012/13 that said something about how they were the most awarded brewery in Connecticut.
And the kolsch has always been the Cambridge Houses’s “go to” when it comes to citing awards. Now, I don’t know how you can “love” one decently made kolsch over any other decently made kolsch – because after all, this is kolsch we’re talking about here – but the Cambridge House kolsch was a GABF (Great American Beer Festival) gold medal winner!
The GABF is the most prestigious beer festival in the US. I guess… who can tell anymore, since there are literally 50 every weekend in any given part of the country.
Fun fact: I have never been to a beer fest in my life. Never. Maybe it’s my age or my hatred of lines… but the mere idea of them repels me. If I want a beer, I want at least 12 ounces of it. Not 2.
Anyway, I digress. Back to this Kolsch thing.
Cambridge House Beer Company says:
Our kolsch is a classic golden ale and is fermented at 62 degrees and then cold conditioned. It has the delicate aroma of an ale with the crisp, clean finish of a lager. It is brewed with lightly roasted malt and 100% German Noble hops.
They go on to tout this beer’s gold medal (from 2005), which brings up a point I’ve discussed on the main CH Beer company page. Long, convoluted story short: Dude owned Cambridge House Brewery in Granby, dude forced out as owner in 2009, A few years later, dude starts contract brewing at Paper City/Opa-Opa under the Cambridge House name and graphics. Dude owns the name and recipes from when dude owned the brew pub.
So the dude can make beers, ostensibly with the old recipes, label them with the name of the brewpub he once owned, and claim that his contract brew bottled beer is the same “gold medal winning” kolsch from 2005.
Now, I’m quite sure this is all perfectly legal and fine. And I don’t really have an issue with it; I’m just an observational writer, that’s all.
And as part of being an observational writers, I’d be failing my readership if I didn’t include this picture here to the left. Yes, it is with sadness that I must report this cartful of Cambridge House Beer Company gold-medal (2005) winning kolsches was spotted by yours truly in the West Hartford Crazy Bruce store in September 2014.
I’ll give you a moment to pour one out for “the dude who started contract brewing at Paper City/Opa-Opa under the Cambridge House name and graphics.” You could even pour out some of this beer, because you can get a 22 ounce bomber of it for $1.49 from this very cart at Crazy Bruce’s.
I don’t have confirmation (in October 2014) that the CH Beer Company imprint is over with. But this cart (and some other clues like the disappearance of their facebook page for one) tells me they very most likely are.
And so, let’s remember this gold-medal winning (2005) beer. It’s fine as far as kolsches go I guess. Nothing exciting, nothing to get excited about. I actually liked all the CH Beer Company beers. I thought they were all well made believe it or not. It’s just that a kolsch is pretty much a kolsch, even gold –medal winning (2005) ones.
Overall Rating: C+
Rating vs. Similar style: C