Cambridge Brewing Company, located in Kendall Square, has the distinction of being one of the oldest craft breweries in New England and, every year, they put on a beer fest called "The Great Pumpkin Festival" which is named after this beer, allegedly the first of its kind to be brewed in New England. At a super-sessionable ABV, this beer can be enjoyed easily whether you're new to pumpkin beers or are a veteran to the scene.
This brew is nicely unfiltered and is capped off by a splendidly-retentive head with really solid lacing overall. From the surface of the beer come scents of squash and pumpkin, fall spices and lightly bready malts. This beer delivers well on its promise to keep it simple with a very sweet, earthy nose and medium-bodied feel encompassing great vegetal and lightly spiced flavors. The malt in the middle-to-back transition is deep and roasty, supporting the squash-like flavor while some light notes of nutmeg and cinnamon provide somewhat of a foil to those very pumpkin-forward flavors. This is extremely fresh tasting and the addition of real Massachusetts-grown organic sugar pumpkins to the kettle comes through majorly.
The best thing about this is how flavorful yet drinkable it is, and at 4.4 percent you could drink this all night and enjoy it the whole time! Grab yourself a bomber of this now and I'll see you in a couple weeks at Cambridge Brewing Co. located in Kendall Square for the festival! Cheers!
The official breakdown
- Style: Pumpkin Ale
- ABV: 4.4%
- Appearance: A bit lighter than usual for a pumpkin ale but appropriately hazy and with a solid head featuring quite nice retention. Not much lacing but what is there is nice enough.
- Scent: Brown sugar, ginger, bready malt, earthy and spicy hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, vegetal squash/pumpkin meat
- Taste: Flavorful for such a small beer; deep malt back is brought on by a neutral-spicing job featuring nutmeg/allspice/cinnamon/clove with a pumpkin focus. Spicy flash of hops in the back.
- Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation that approaches aggressive but feels appropriate overall. Lighter-medium bodied but featuring great malt support towards the finish.
- Drinkability: Can't complain about this one; as I said, this should be one of those all-night drinkers, especially towards Halloween season! Extremely smooth and rewardingly flavorful.
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Three Heads The Kind IPA
I first heard of Three Heads Brewing, located out of Rochester, N.Y., some time around middle-to-late 2011. I was originally enticed by the description on their beer Bromigo, which claimed to be a "smoked amber ale" brewed with maple syrup, and, though it was good, I hadn't felt like it entirely lived up to the style description. Eventually, I grabbed their "oatmeal red ale" Loopy for an IPA tasting, in order to provide what I hoped would be a smooth, easy-drinking yet hoppy amber foil to some of the paler ales on the menu. Though that was also good, it also didn't blow me away, so I've been hesitant to give this beer a shot. It's called The Kind and it's a 6.8 percent American IPA...