1 pint glass, $3.75, 5.3% ABV
Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby
Yay summer! With the explosion of craft beer, that means an explosion of summer ales, goses, session ales, Berliners and wheat beers. (And Corona – which I enjoy – and your watermelon ales – which I don’t enjoy.)
Cambridge House joins the fray with this, their summer wheat hefeweizen. But back to the summer theme, look! I took the picture with my new Father’s Day gift! Ray-Ban aviators! So much summer!
(And the countdown begins… How many days until I break those [rather expensive] sunglasses? Will they make It to July? My money’s on “no,” but unless you bet me more than they cost, the bet makes no sense.)
This was a nicely crafted hef. All the standard elements were there – the wheatiness, the banana esters or whatever I’m supposed to say. It was classic and clean, with nothing silly added to the brewing process.
And that’s actually becoming somewhat rare these days.
Light and refreshing summer hefeweisen (sic)
I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear “hefeweizen,” I think of Haffenreffer. And when I think of Haffenreffer, I think of Private Stock, obviously. And when I think of malt liquor, I think of 40-ounces and back to when I was poor. Way before my Ray-Ban sunglasses days.
Haffenreffer was a family name, not a beer type, even though it sounds like it. I’m sure they started out in Boston with a noble cause: to make decent beer. But “decent beer” in 1900 is crap beer today. That’s right ,the Haffenreffer brewery survived Prohibition, so that’s pretty cool.
It’s just a shame that the only beer associated with the brand today is Private Stock malt liquor. Which again, is not at all a hefeweizen. Not even “Haff-way.”
But here’s an interesting tidbit: The original Haffenreffer Brewery in Boston is still a brewery. The most famous brewery in Boston… Yes, the Boston Beer Compan, a.k.a. Samuel Adams occupies the old Haffenreffer brewery space! The same Boston Beer Company who now brews a Cherry Summer Wheat that does the opposite of what Cambridge House has done: Taken a standard German style of beer and added what tastes like cough medicine to it, making it horrible. Progress!
Anyway, the Haffenreffer folks have licensed their miserable Private Stock to be brewed in various giant breweries like the ones in Latrobe and Utica. (They brewed it at Narrangansett back in the middle of the 20th century, if you care to know that.)
In the summer, I like to buy my pint at the bar and then mosey outside to sit at an empty table. I feel quite guilty about this because I know I’m depriving the patio server from the dollar (or 80 cents or whatever the split with the bar staff is). At least I’m there well before the dinner rush, so I’m not keeping them from a dinner service four-top. I think I’m just, “that guy who comes in once a month on Friday for one beer for 15 minutes who does crossword puzzles and doesn’t talk to anyone, but seems nice enough.”
I’ll accept that.
But that doesn’t mean I want to prattle on about how nice the weather is.
Overall Rating: B
Rating vs. Similar style: B+