Experimental Beer/Sake hybrid
There is an old saying in Japan, “There are ten thousand ways to make sake.” (Sake zukuri banryu or 酒作り万流.)
CBC is very proud to introduce number ten thousand and one.
Banryu Ichi (10,001 ways in Japanese) is an experimental brew that straddles the line between beer and sake. Produced in collaboration with our good friend and local sake brewer Todd Bellomy of Boston Sake, this has been one of the most interesting and labor-intensive beers ever to come out of CBC.
We began in March by spending three cold, windy days on the CBC patio, steaming rice in small batches to brew what became 100 gallons of pure sake. Sake is produced by multiple parallel fermentation: polished rice is converted from starch to sugar by a fungus called Koji (Aspergillus oryzae) and fermentation is taken care of by sake yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae kyokai). After two weeks of fermentation this batch of sake (the largest batch of sake ever made in New England) was destined to become the starter culture (called moto) for our beer.
Next we brewed a mere six barrels of the craziest beer wort ever. Pale barley malt and flaked rice went into the mash, and after extracting only the first runnings we added a significant amount of brown rice syrup. This yielded a wort of 25*P/1.100SG, or in other words, some really thick, sticky stuff! The wort was sent to the fermenter and then, with fingers crossed, we pumped over the entire batch of still-fermenting sake including the yeast, Koji, and lots of rice slurry. Fermentation was slow and low at 50*F for four weeks, followed by cold-conditioning until it reached 14%abv. Note that this is NOT simply a blend of sake and beer. Rather, the fermenting sake is used to inoculate and ferment the beer wort. No Brewers Yeast was added to create this beer, only sake yeast and koji were employed.
Incredibly complex aromas and flavors abound, including sweet rice, fresh apples and wine grapes, hints of earth and mushroom from the koji, and as it warms further notes of fennel, herbs, and an almost Belgian-yeast spiciness. Brilliant copper-colored, it is full in body despite its very dry finish. This is one to be sipped, savored, and contemplated, as it is perhaps the most unique fermented beverage in the American craft beer world.
Banryu Ichi is served with intentionally very low carbonation in a 5oz. glass set inside a Masu, a traditional cedar sake cup.
5oz Masu $6
Bitchin’ Bitter has a warm, toasty maltiness reminiscent of English biscuits with a subtle note of sweet-but-dry dark caramel.
Hopped throughout with Fuggles and Centennial hops, its pleasant flavor of cut grass and florals assists the finish of this ale
with a firm, balanced dryness.
Our house ale yeast, during its warm fermentation process, was coaxed into producing some very complex fuity esters
which round out this authentic British-style session beer. It is deep amber in color
and served unfiltered and unfined.
Overall this seemingly mild beer is quite complex despite its delicate character.
This is an excellent session beer, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Pint $5.75 Pitcher $18 Tower $32
OG: 1.040 FG: 1.010 ABV: 4.0%
Bavarian-style Weizenbier mit hefe
Q: What’s cloudy, spicy, fruity but dry, with a spritzy effervescence?
A: CBC’s HefeWeizen!
For the uninitiated in this intriguing summertime seasonal offering, here’s the lowdown:
HefeWeizen (pronounced heffeh-vîte-zen) is a traditional wheat beer from Southern Germany. Its history may extend as far back as the 8th century AD, as the Weihenstephen Brewery claims brewing took place on its site in the small town of Freising, just Northeast of Munich. It was originally a Benedictine settlement in 725, and there has certainly been brewing there since 1040. Weizenbier has a truly royal heritage, as for several hundred years there existed an ordinance reserving wheat beer for the sole consumption of the royal family.
HefeWeizen is above all an excellent summer drink, as its refreshing, crisp palate and high carbonation are exceptional on a hot, sunny day. It is brewed with 45% malted barley, 50% malted wheat, and 5% rye, and has a very low hopping rate. A unique, top-fermenting German ale yeast lends a fruity acidity and clove-like spiciness to the aroma and flavor, and the yeast itself, which is not filtered out before serving, contributes to its traditionally cloudy appearance.
Every batch of CBC HefeWeizen is brewed with Massachusetts-grown organic wheat and rye, which have been malted for us by our friends in Hadley, MA at Valley Malt. By the way, Weisse (white) and Weizen (wheat) are two interchangeable terms in regards to naming this style, and the words mit hefe (with yeast) indicate that this is an unfiltered beer. So enjoy your summer with a cold CBC HefeWeizen, and show your support for sustainable, organic farms and small businesses in Massachusetts!
Pint $5.75 Pitcher $18 Tower $32
OG: 1.050 FG: 1.008 ABV: 5.5%
Hoppy pale ale with great dance moves.
This hoppy little beer boasts a very complex malt bill of Vienna, Aromatic, Wheat, and Dark Crystal malts, providing a balanced palate to the hop character.
Featuring Aurora, Tettnanger, and Centennial in the kettle, it is dryhopped with both Citra and Nelson Sauvin. Bright and floral in the nose, it hints at citrus, grass, and pine along with tropical fruit and a touch of white wine grape.
The beer is fermented with our strain of Chico yeast, often called American Ale Yeast #1 and best known as the house yeast strain at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Chico, California. This yeast strain is well known for its ability to ferment completely, leaving a clean, dry beer which greatly accentuates hop character.
And yes, the name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the terrible song by Gerardo from 1991, Rico Suave. Gerardo Mejía was a Latin rapper and singer perhaps known more for his bandana, tight jeans, and shirtless torso than for his music. Don’t blame me, I wanted to name the beer after some old Phish song.
Pint $6 Pitcher $19 Tower $33
OG: 1.045 FG: 1.008 ABV: 4.8%
24th Anniversary, barrel-fermented American wild ale
Release Date: Saturday, May 04, 2013
Happy CBC 24th Anniversary to Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne!
Released in honor of this momentous occasion, Mellow Gold rises from the CBC Barrel Cellar. An American wild ale, it is influenced by the young, unblended lambic beers of Belgium.
Pale and hazy gold in color, fermentation and aging took place in a quartet of oak barrels historically used in the production of our fruited sour beers Kriek du Cambridge and Rose de Cambridge. As these barrels were already inoculated with the microorganisms necessary for sour ale production, this beer cannot be said to have been fermented spontaneously, but no brewer’s yeast (S.cerevisiae) was added. In the space of one year’s time a soft acidity and complex yet subtle funk developed, and these four barrels were blended together in our new little 8-barrel tank now used exclusively for Barrel Cellar beers.
This is a beer we wish we could enjoy daily, as abv is low to moderate, palate is very dry and drinkable, yet its flavors are intricate. Notes of spice, cereal grains, hints of cherry and obscure tropical fruit, vanilla and toast from the oak, and a wine-like (or more certainly a lambic-like) acidity and very mellow finish cover all of the bases in this beer.
Mellow Gold references the 1994 breakout album by Beck, apropos as this now-classic major label debut has become known for its irreverence, wit, stylistic hybridization, and decidedly anti-commercial attitude. Cheers!
OG: 1.040 FG: 1.004 ABV: 4.7%
Farmhouse ale with peppercorns
NOW AVAILABLE IN 22OZ. BOTTLES AT CBC AND THROUGHOUT MASSACHUSETTS!!!!!
First brewed in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, and #23 is coming up soon - May 12, 2012! It was April Fool’s Day, 1989, when Phil “Brewdaddy” Bannatyne first opened the doors to what would become one of the preeminent breweries in the country.
Sgt. Pepper has been brewed with Pilsner, CaraVienne, and Rye malts, plus Magnum and Spalter hops.
But the driving force behind this beer is the contribution from whole Black, Green, White, and Pink peppercorns. Added to the brewkettle, these four fab peppercorns harmonize with spicy hops while the malted rye and our Belgian yeast hold down the backbeat.
It’s far out with food and guaranteed to raise a smile.
AND for the first time ever, Sgt. Pepper is now available in 22oz. bottles at CBC and at better beer stores throughout Massachusetts.
Enjoy the show!
Tulip $6 Pitcher $21 Tower $37
OG: 1.054/13.5*P FG: 1.008/2.0*P ABV: 6.0%
24th Anniversary, barrel-aged and madeirized experimental beer
Release Date: Saturday, May 04, 2013
Continuing our explorations of the boundaries of beer and its interfaces with and influences by other fermentations around the world, Shadows and Light was conceived over nine years ago. Following research into solera systems and unusual winemaking techniques, madeirization caught our attention as a unique method for the production of wine. We have been taught that dramatic temperature fluctuations, oxidation, and sunlight are all detrimental to beer and wine. How, then, do we achieve successful and delicious products like Amontillado sherry, Malvasia madeira, and Banyuls mutage?
And are these and counter-intuitive methods applicable to beer?
We began with three base beers – Arquebus, Blunderbuss, and Biere de Miel. Each has low to moderate hopping, higher alcohol content, reasonable to low hop character, and some residual sweetness. All were barrel-aged for some time, and before service several glass carboys of varying shapes and sizes from three to seven gallons were removed from each. This was repeated over several successive summers. In a labor of love and in the spirit of exploration these carboys were regularly carried up from the CBC Barrel Cellar and placed outside, where they were exposed to direct sunlight for days at a time.
Warmed to very high temperatures by the sun, the beers also expanded in volume within the confines of the glass. At the end of each day the beers were carried back downstairs to the darker, cooler depths of the cellar. As they heated and cooled, expanded and contracted, the beers would “breathe,” drawing in and expelling fresh air from outside and in the cellar. After eight long years of care the best of these individual carboys were selected and blended back together into two American oak barrels to marry for just over two months before being sent upstairs to inaugurate our newest tank, custom built exclusively to house special beers from our Barrel Cellar.
Shadows and Light does indeed reference the oxidized wines of Portugal, Spain, and France, with notes of honey and white wine grapes complemented by malt and caramel. An overall dry palate offers some up-front sweetness, and oxidation plays with notes of almonds, golden raisins, and Oloroso sherry. It finishes with a well balanced acidity. With just a touch of spritzy, frizzante-like carbonation this amazingly complex beer seeks to beguile you and inspire you.
Cheers to the spirit of exploration, expression, experimentation, and (of course) beer!
CBC's Spring Seasonal is here!
NOW AVAILABLE IN 22OZ. BOTTLES AND ON DRAFT AT CBC AND THROUGHOUT MASSACHUSETTS!!!!!
CBC’s “Spring Training” breezes in like a breath of fresh air, ready to awaken your senses from a long, strange winter. Crafted of New England-grown pale and wheat malts to contribute to the beer’s complex body and hazy straw-golden color.
Ahtanum and Palisades hops, both relative newcomers on the hop varietal scene, were chosen for their essence of wildflowers and freshly-cut grass, evocative of floral springtime breezes. This is in contrast to the piney, earthy and resiny characteristics of most IPAs. But don’t worry that these “pretty” hops won’t deliver a strong punch- in addition to extensive kettle hopping the beer is dry-hopped with even more Ahtanums to satisfy your hop craving. Available only during the brief Boston springtime!
Teardrop $5.50 Pitcher $20 Tower $34
OG: 1.058 FG: 1.010 ABV: 6.3%%
NOW AVAILABLE IN 22OZ. BOTTLES AT CBC AND THROUGHOUT MASSACHUSETTS!!!!!
The tripels are generally the strongest specialty ales made by the Belgian and Dutch Trappist monastic breweries. Pale in color with a very distinct palate, they are painstakingly created as beers to be consumed on holidays and religious festivals. The Westmalle monastery originated this style in the 1920’s and continues to make the benchmark example. However, many secular breweries make a similar type. These are called abbey beers, as the term trappist is a legal appellation. The name tripel refers to the strongest offering in a range of three beers: single, double (or dubbel), and tripel (trippel). The name does not refer to triple fermentation, or the number of malt types or yeast strains used.
According to Michael Jackson (the British one, aka The Beer Hunter), CBC was the first American brewery to create and produce a Belgian-style beer. Our tripel went on to win our first ever Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, in 1991, before there was even a category for “Belgian Ales.”
Tripel Threat is fermented with our proprietary Belgian yeast strain and brewed using imported Continental malts, hopped with Spalt and Goldings, and very lightly spiced with freshly toasted and ground coriander.
It is deep gold in color, full-bodied, fruity, and quite strong. Aromas of barley malt, orange blossoms and Asian pear, and a hint of coriander first greet the nose, then carry through to the palate. A warming sensation then takes over, and blends into a complex finish of bread dough, spices, citrus, estery alcohol, and hops.
We serve Tripel Threat on draft in a tulip glass with a 14 oz. pour, a traditional manner of serving which should impress upon the consumer the unique and very special nature of this wondrous beverage.
For the first time ever and as part of CBC’s Bottling Project, Tripel Threat is also available in 22oz. bottles for takeaway at CBC and at better beer stores throughout the Commonwealth. Our label pays homage to CBC’s first Head Brewer, Darryl Goss, who developed Tripel Threat. Proceeds from bottle sales of Tripel Threat will benefit research for a cure for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
A votre sante!
OG: 1.084 FG: 1.010 ABV: 10.0%
Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
The brilliance of this beer’s composition becomes clear at first taste, where a deep bass of very rich, sweet chocolaty flavor establishes the root, then hands things over to improvised high notes of elevated alcohol and power-chords its way through highly-roasted malt character. If you’re better at this than I am, you may detect a hit of “grassy,” herbal hop flavor. Continuing its articulate arpeggio across your palate, YEM trills notes of vanilla, hints at toasted coconut, teases at treacle, then leaves you awash in a forest of rich oak, which coats without being cloying. A final improvised splash of tartness grabs for your attention before a ridiculously long, lingering, espresso-roasted finish.
This expression of YouEnjoyMyStout was brewed in December 2011, enjoying a one and a half-year hiatus while aging in American oak barrels from the Buffalo Trace distillery, before being reunited in its current mellifluous state. It exhibits great complexity contributed by tannins, toasted oak, and oxidation which complement the myriad flavors of malt and alcohol.
2009 Champion American Beer,
Great British Beer Festival!
OG: 1.094 FG: 1.016 ABV: 10.25%