I remembered we had both liked the Cape Ann Brewing table at Lamb Jam and after some web research discovered they were located in Gloucester, were open daily and had a brewpub attached! After consulting with Adam we decided to head to Cape Ann Brewing on Saturday morning and then spend the afternoon in Rockport.
This turned out to be one of the best ideas I have ever had.
We started out for Gloucester around 10:30AM on Saturday. We live in Quincy so it took us about 45 minutes to get there. There was no traffic and we had the sun roof down and the Steely Dan blaring so it was an enjoyable ride!
The brewery is located on oceanfront property in picturesque Gloucester.
(view from next to the Brewery)
When you walk in it's an instant pub type feel, with hardwood floors, rocking chairs, picnic tables and benches, brewery merchandise and of course, a large bar!
I thought it was neat that the taps look like they are coming out of barrels embedded in the walls.
As we took out seats at the bar, the brewer/bartender Dylan took our first order. I decided to ease into our morning of beer with the Pumpkin Stout while Adam leapt head first into the Navigator.
My impression of the Pumpkin Stout was as follows: why aren't more holiday/winter/autumn beers stouts? The taste was very reminiscent to me of the Harpoon Winter Warmer but less carbonated and much more smooth (as stouts usually are). I thought the Nutmeg/Cinnamon/Spicy notes were much better suited for a stout. I can definitely picture sipping this beauty by the fire in late November.
After breaking ourselves in, we went with the sampler to get better acquainted with Cape Ann's offerings.
The beers offered and our thoughts were as follows:
1) Fisherman's Brew - An Amber Lager. Light enough to drink in the summer but definitely has the chops to be drunk all year round. Nice subtle hop finish.
2) Fisherman's Ale - A German style Kolsch. Light, super drinkable beer that would be ideal paired with a plate of fresh fried seafood.
3) Fisherman's IPA - Adam called this the an IPA with training wheels. An initial barley taste fades into the traditional hoppiness associated with IPAs but somehow manages to not be bitter. Refreshing!
4) Fisherman's Navigator - A German style Dopple Bock. Super smooth and velvety with toasted malt notes. Another really drinkable beer.
5)Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout - see my notes above!
6)Fisherman's Greenhorn Double IPA - So, my allergies kept me from being able to smell the other beers before tasting them - but THIS I could smell. Really fragrant and hoppy, I braced myself for the wave of bitterness sure to hit my tastebuds........and it never came. Miraculously this Douple IPA with it's 124 IBUs manages to citrusy, piney, and sure a little bitter but more in a grapefuity way than in a faceful of flowers way. This formerly IPA-hater was totally blown away. So much so that when the tasting was done I followed Adam's lead and ordered myself a glass of it to further enjoy.
Unfortunately this beer is only available at the brewery - which is a tragedy BUT should give you all the impetus you need to get in your car some Saturday in the near future and head on down to the Cape Ann Brewery! You know we have been to many breweries in the area and this one I have to say is one of my favorites so far. It wasn't a traditional brewery tour/tasting in that the tour is kind of self guided....
It's more like going to a fantastic local brew pub, and drinking extremely fresh and delicious beer with people who know and can tell you a lot about it. Though the Double IPA is not available for purchase elsewhere, you should check your local package store or the tap at your favorite local bar for the Fisherman's Brew, Fisherman's IPA or Fisherman's Ale. And as always if you don't see it, ask for it!
Cape Ann Brewing Company has a small menu of noshes to go with your beer - we went with the Cheese Plate which was the perfect accompaniment to the sampler.
While we were there a few people came in with their own food and simply ordered a bunch of beer to have with their sandwiches so that's another option for you. They don't seem to mind if you bring your own food as long as you drink their delicious beer.
Dylan, the brewer, answered all of our questions both about Cape Ann Brewing and about home brewing in general. And local patron Warren kept us laughing with his anecdotes and some good natured ribbing about the fact that we are "tourists". Between these two guys we really were jealous not to have a place like this to hang out in the South Shore area!
We left with a growler of the double IPA and the intention of going back at least once over the summer (and bringing a group of our friends in tow). We had such a good time and hope more people get to experience their amazing selection of beer!
Visit Cape Ann Brewery
27 Commercial Street, Gloucester MA
Monday Saturday 11am - 9pm
We spent the the remainder of the afternoon in neighboring Rockport, MA which is basically a postcard you can walk around in and is about a 10-15 minute drive from the Brewery.
After some window shopping we stopped for dinner in Salem, MA on the way home (stay tuned for a review of the fantastic little pub we happened upon there. So all in all it's a nice little day trip especially now that the weather has been behaving!
Which brings us to the announcement of our contest winner!!! The winner of the Cape Cod Beer Tervis Tumblers and $20 towards the purchase of your favorite beer is....
Angela!! Please email me your address so we can get your prizes out to you ASAP. And thanks everyone who entered. Stay tuned for even more contests in the near future.