1 draught pint, $3.75, 4.9% ABV
Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby
Not that you’d know it, but this is the very first CT Beer Review I’ve done with a draught only brew pub offering. If I were to theoretically drink and review every one produced in Connecticut, I probably have 500 or more to go. So if you’re reading this page post-2012, it’s like you’ve won the pub draught only lottery! This page is even more rare than you ever enjoying Lawnmower Ale at some point in the future.
That’s not to say it won’t reappear again in future summers; it probably will. But CBH has so many offerings and most are rather fleeting and, well, you get my point.
I decided to tackle CT’s beers a couple weeks before heading up to Granby after work one day, ignorantly thinking Cambridge House makes maybe 10 beers a year. I walked in and looked at the chalkboard beer menu and sort of scratched my head. There were maybe 6 on tap and those 6 didn’t include their famous Kolsch or IPA or really anything I thought I knew would be on offer.
Whoa. Mind blown. These guys make a TON of different beers throughout the year and I have a long malty, hoppy and boozy road ahead of me. (Note: the term “boozy road” does not, in any way, imply driving while impaired. I’m not kidding.)
I settled on the Lawnmower Ale as my very first CBH beer for the purposes of my rather inane reviews. My thinking was that it was a summer ale and summer is fleeting in these parts so I better drink up. I was pleased to learn that all these CBH beers are only $3.75 – apparently no matter the ABV. Time will tell.
CBH is a neighborhood type place, at least until the after dinner crowd shows up and especially on random weekday afternoons. I felt some eyes on my from the other patrons; not wary eyes, but more of a “summer ale, dude? Really?” type eyes. They had a point.
Of course, setting about taking a picture of a pint of beer anywhere where people are looking makes me feel like a complete idiot. (Now, a couple months later, I’ve developed a system that will work until it gets too dark/too cold early: Go to the outside patio and do it in secrecy. Yeah, I know, who cares… Apparently I do.)
[Lawnmower lady picture from here]
The Lawnmower is CBH’s summer session beer. It’s very light and not too carbonated and – as you’d expect – very drinkable. (That’s what a “session beer” is, dear uninitiated people.) CBH states that the beer is lightly flavored with grapefruit zest which sounds exciting to me, but I honestly didn’t taste any as much as I wanted to. I love grapefruit anything – pink grapefruit jelly bellies are the second best (after pear, of course) and for my dollar, the New Zealand sauv blancs with grapefruit tones are the best $12 wines available.
The beer was good for what it is. Not my favorite style, and even the idea of grapefruit zest makes it uniquely cool.
But I didn’t taste any in the Lawnmower. (Note: I have a crappy palate.)
CBH says (on their chalkboard):
A refreshing summer ale, light in body and color. Exclusively hopped with Summit, its bready malt mingles with grapefruit zest.
Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: A