A BBC for everything 

I found myself out on one of the myriad of heatwaves we had this summer looking for a place to feed the baby and simultaneously feed myself. The Cedarville BBC was right nearby and I love it because it’s:

A) Got good pub food and good pub beer, but…

B) It’s also not pub-ish enough so that I feel like a BAD MOM ™ for bringing my newborn in with me mid-afternoon.

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162. Berkshire Brewing Cabin Fever Ale

BBC Cabin Fever2Commercial Description: A well-balanced, medium-bodied ale brewed to sustain you over the long New England winter. Its rich malt profile is reminiscent of an English Pale Ale, while the spicy and fruity hop finish, from German Tettnang hops, gives it a warming and welcoming feeling to bring you back in from the cold. Copper-amber in color, this offering is available all winter long.

I left this beer sitting for a while and when I returned to it, the head was still there, leaving ample lacing on the glass; creamy, off-white and well-formed. It poured an amber/brown with copper highlights. Overall, just a very fresh, nice-looking beer with great clarity.

BBC Cabin Fever3The nose is full of that rich and flowery Tettnang hop presence, followed by some soft, bready malts with a light toffee sweetness. On first sip, before even really noticing any of the flavors, the first thing I reacted too was how nice this beer is on the palate; very creamy and soft, but still has a bit of weight to it.

The taste matches the aroma in almost every way – toasted bread, light caramel, as well as a touch of fruit and spice, almost like a cinnamon quality. The earthy hop flavor is apparent and is in nice contrast to the soft and bready maltiness. At 6.3%, there is no discernable alcohol presence. Cabin Fever finishes slightly dry, with flavors that linger.

BBC Cabin FeverI wish this was a bad-idea of a beer; one where you lose interest immediately because the flavors are confused and counterproductive, only so I could relate it to the movie Cabin Fever. Eli Roth, grumble grumble. But I can’t. It’s a well put together, very drinkable beer, but for me, lacks the qualities that would make it a stand-out winter warmer. If anything, I see this being a go-to year round beer, rather than a seasonal. Though if you’re looking for a winter beer that’s not an overly-spiced, imperial malt bomb, then this might be the beer for you.

72. Berkshire Brewing Co.- Oktoberfest Lager

Photo courtesy of Berkshire Brewing Co.

Kristie has pumpkin beer territory covered, so I’m going to stick with reviewing traditional Oktoberfests. Pumpkin is getting kind of played out, I mean even Budweiser has one now (Okay, technically it’s Shock Top who has the pumpkin beer but let’s not split hairs here shall we?).  Myself and half the reps I work with at tastings are constantly having this conversation:

Rep: “Try our INSERT FALL SEASONAL HERE?”

Drinker: “I love pumpkin beers!”

Rep: “This isn’t a pumpkin, actually. It’s a traditional marzen style lager with a strong malt profile…”

Drinker: “Well do you have a pumpkin?”

Rep: “No, we do not have a pumpkin beer.”

Drinker: “I thought this was your fall seasonal though? I love Shipyard. Can I have a free t-shirt?”

So it goes.

Berkshire Brewing Company has an Oktoberfest Lager (6.8% ABV) that is a marzen-style beer. Almost all of their brews are so good, they were one of the first micro-brews I got into because I lived in Western MA when I turned 21, and subsequently turned away from PBR and my attitude of, “All beer tastes the same!” after trying their Coffeehouse Porter.

I poured this beer into a pint glass. It’s a dark orange with active carbonation and a 2-inch head that stayed until I finished the beer, with minimal lacing. This beer really embodies the idea of a toffee nose. It’s so prominent, the minute you near the glass you get whiffs of toffee and burnt sugar. It made me think of caramel corn or the topping on creme brulee.  It’s definitely the most noticeable in this beer compared to any of the other ones I’ve tried, switching between cereal and caramelized in terms of flavor. After I was done basking in the smell, I had my first sip. This beer goes down incredibly smooth, the initial taste is biscuity malts, hints of toffee, and some light hops. It finishes with a taste of alcohol and is a litter more bitter than the initial sweet taste- leaving your mouth nice and warm.

Would drink again, going to look for some later today.