1 draught pint, $3.75, 7.1% ABV
Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby
I gave this beer a C. But you know what? Cambridge House should print this page out and hang it up. In the bathroom maybe, but hang it up nonetheless.
[Guilty Inner Monologue: This brewpub is a very nice place; clean and perfectly suited for the family or business or sports crowd. But the bathroom always has weird stuff on the walls like “I love cocaine” or a hole punched through it or a random sign for some fly-by-night house-flipper. I had to mention that somewhere, but I hate having to do it.]
Why? Because I HATE pumpkin beer. Who in the world decided to put pumpkin – pumpkin! – in beer? It’s just an absurd concept and yet, each September, we get more and more breweries creating pumpkin beers.
Please, I beg you… Please stop. (Note: my wife rather enjoys the genre.) Some of the worst tasting beers I’ve ever had have been pumpkin beers. It’s just plain stupid.
[GIM: Speaking of my wife, she’s adamant about germ warfare when one of us has a cold. Like, I’m not allowed to touch her or the kids and I have to rub my hands raw with soap and water every time I sneeze. I keep it to myself, but I figure everyone has already been exposed to my germs 2 days prior and besides, I very most likely GOT the cold from one of them and how can you stop a 19 month old from sticking his gross fingers his mouth that were just in his daycare-mates phlegm? You can’t. We’re gonna get colds and that’s the way it is.]
But since I (just plain stupidly) decided to tackle reviewing all of Connecticut’s beers, I would have to give this seasonal brew in Granby a shot. I think, at this juncture, only WilliBrew makes a pumpkin and that’s it for Connecticut. For now.
I have to admit to feeling silly ordering the pumpkin at the bar, but then I noticed the healthy 7.1% ABV and became intrigued. “These gimmicky seasonal are for little girls,” I thought. Why kill them with a relatively high alcohol content?
[GIM: Yeah, yeah, I know pumpkin beers and their cousins like Hooker’s watermelon and various blueberries and Schlock Tops aren’t only for “little girls”. Well, Hooker’s watermelon is, but not the pumpkins. I just don’t happen to like beer “sweetened” with spices and stuff too much – and my lovely wife does. Although I’d never call her a “little girl,” because that’s a tad demeaning. When I first met her, I was very conscious not to call her “cute” because I figured a 5’4” 100 pound Asian 20-something got called cute on a daily basis and I wanted to set myself apart by calling her beautiful. Oh, I know what I’m doing – or did 13 years ago.]
I received my orangey beer and looked around at the burly blue collar guys judging me.
[GIM: They weren’t, but I’m a bit out of my gourd – get it? Gourd? – when it comes to being self-concious in a room full of people I don’t know. I’m 40 now and am still like this. Those guys couldn’t have cared less about me, but I still furtively snap my picture hoping no one sees me do it and bury myself in the “Boston Globe” crossword puzzle from the back of the Advocate. Those guys don’t want to talk to a pumpkin drinker, right?]
I sipped and hey! It’s drinkable! CBH’s Pumpkin Weisse is very different from the bottled pumpkins I’ve previously suffered through. It’s smooth and you can almost feel the thickness of the pumpkin in it. I know that sounds gross, but it’s not.
[GIM: “But it’s not… but it’snot… but it’s snot… I think George Clooney is very handsome and suave and if he could meld with Jason Statham and if that Cloonham hybrid guy made movies, it would be awesome.]
Would I ever order the pumpkin Weisse again? No. Of course not. But CBH does the style great justice. Yes, the spices are present, but not overpowering. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pumpkin beer that actually had some real pumpkin flavor. I appreciate that very much.
200 lbs of roasted Coward Farms (Southwick, MA) CT sugar pumpkins meld with the dark wheat for a very smooth taste and finish. Lightly spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
So yes, I give it a C, but that’s why I have the second rating below – as compared to other beers of a similar style. There, I give it a very rare CTMQ A+. I also made a drive up here to specifically buy a growler of the stuff for our Thanksgiving. It cost me something like 15 bucks (and I had my own vessel) which seemed a bit expensive to me, but whatever. My inlaws enjoyed it very much.
[GIM: I wrote this at work and I have lots of work to do.]
Overall Rating: C
Rating vs. Similar style: A+