Friday, August 23, 2019

Brewery Reviewery: Lamplighter Brewing Co. (Cambridge, MA)

Welcome to another edition of Brewery Reviewery, here at!  We love craft beer and we think you should too, so we visit local purveyors of delicious beer and report back with the good news....

Lamplighter Brewing Co.
284 Broadway
Cambridge, MA

Today's installment concerns Lamplighter Brewing in Cambridge, MA, a quirky, lively venue built in a decked-out industrial garage, wherein the brewmasters serve up an eclectic variety of IPAs, Belgian-inspired ales, lagers, pilsners, and the occasional stout.  There's a little something for everyone and the menu is ever-evolving.  You can order full pours, half-pours, cans, bottles, or one of two preset tasting flights, and there's a back room for events like Trivia Night, Bachelor episode parties, and other stuff.  Whatever night you pay them a visit you're in for some fun, plus a cornucopia tasty beverages.

We were fortunately enough to try a lotta brews, so let's get to it.  The list is broken down by the two themed flights (IPAs and light stuff), plus a few standalone beers we tried.

Flight #1: Hoppy Days 

Honalee (6.6%): Honalee is a New England-style IPA brewed with Slovenian-grown Styrian Dragon and Styrian Wolf hops. Known for their fruit-forward and floral aromas, these varieties deliver tropical notes of ripe mango and elderflower, making for a delightfully juicy and refreshing pint. Named after the mythical land featured in Peter, Paul, and Mary’s song, Puff the Magic Dragon. Keep cold and enjoy fresh!

Tasting Notes - Elderflower, mango, strawberry candy

JB: This one is a mix of hoppy and sweet; I picked up honey and mango notes.

Dad Bod (6.9%): Dad Bod is a full bodied IPA brewed in honor of Father’s Day and dry hopped with Eureka and Simcoe. Combining characteristics from several IPA traditions, this ale is hazy like a New England-style IPA, piney like a West Coast IPA, and sports a snappy bitterness in the classic American IPA tradition. Bright citrus flavors lead to earthy and herbal undertones, resulting in a unique bouquet of pomelo, mint, and resiny pine. Brewed in honor of dads everywhere (and their bods).

Tasting Notes - Pine sap, mint, pomelo

JB: Kind of your standard session IPA with some bitterness but not overwhelming.  The pine notes take center stage.

Not McKinley (6.8%): This beer is hazy, hoppy, and dripping with flavors of peach, mango, and pineapple. As the cool kids say these days, this thing is one helluva juice bomb. Named after the national debate surrounding a great, high, and wondrous mountain.

Tasting Notes - Pineapple, star anise, citrus

JB: This one is hoppy in a layered, complex way, with notes of citrus and pineapple.

You Won’t (7.3%): You Won’t is an American IPA brewed with small-batch Maine-grown malt and hopped with Mosaic and Simcoe, two multi-purpose hops balancing tropical fruit aromas with a distinctly herbal bouquet. A medium body promotes a firm backend bitterness, leaving the palate refreshed and thoroughly quenched. Named after a favorite local alternative band.

Tasting Notes - Cloudberry, tamarind, Buddha's hand

JB: My least favorite of the visit, but not bad, this one is crisp and floral.

Flight #2: All of the Lights

Jagged Little Pils (5%): Jagged Little Pils is a Czech-Style Pilsner fermented with oak infusion spirals and brewed with traditional floor-malted barley. Brilliantly golden and strikingly clean, this easy-drinking lager achieves a delicious balance of complex malt character, spicy noble hop aroma, and subtle undertones of oaky vanilla. Named after Alanis Morrisette’s 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill.

Tasting Notes - Biscuit, herbal, bread dough

JB: Very easy-drinking but with a fuller body than most pilsners and just a hint of sourness.

Apollo Sunshine (4.9%): This beer drinks crisp and clean, with a delicate floral nose and crisp malt bite. A blend of Noble hops bolster flavors of straw and biscuit, backed by a herbaceous finish. Drinks dry and slightly bitter. Named to honor the alt-rock jams of Apollo Sunshine, a Boston-based group that disbanded in 2010.

Tasting Notes - floral, grassy, biscuit.

JB: A bit lighter, drier, and with more bitterness than JLP.

Alyosha (5%): This Trappist-style Belgian single—also known as a patersbier or Enkel beer—is like the younger brother to heftier Belgian styles like Dubbels and Tripels. A low ABV and light body allow hints of fruit and spice to shine, while the addition of wheat and pilsner malts leave each sip soft and approachable. Named after the protagonist in The Brothers Karamazov.

Tasting Notes - clove, white pepper, lemon balm

JB: Very similar to an Allagash White so it's automatically a win, this was nice and spicy with citrus notes.

Come Together (5.4%): Come Together is our second collaboration with our friends at Cervejaria Avós (São Paulo, Brazil). Dry hopped with Amarillo and brewed with Meyer lemon peel, this thirst-quenching lager leads with bright fragrances of citrus and orange blossom, finishing crisp and semi-dry for a perfectly refreshing pint.

Tasting Notes - White grape, limoncello, bitter orange.

JB: A balanced, refreshing lager with mild hoppiness and a twist of lemon.  Great summer fare.

Other Stuff

Rabbit Rabbit (8.5%): This beer is a veritable juice bomb, boasting huge hop flavors of mango, melon, and ripe fruit. Kick back and hop to it! Formerly called Jackalope.

Tasting Notes - Tropical, hop candy, ripe mango.

JB: One of my two favorites, this is a fantastic, multi-layered juicy NEIPA - mouth wateringly citrusy with earthy undertones.

Calico (6.7%): Calico is a Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale, brewed with Belgian Pilsner malt and a blend of wheat and rye. Initially a classic saison, the base beer developed rich complexity, subtle oak character, and a faint acidity after six months of aging in French Oak. Smooth and delicate, leading with spicy yeast character and notes of white grape and pear, this medium-bodied brew finishes dry with nearly imperceptible bitterness. Drink fresh or cellar.

Tasting Notes - White grape, poached pear, clove.

JB: A slightly spicy farmhouse ale but with a little sourness as the pear comes through.

Bottomless Brunch (8.8%): Brunch is a hearty Milk Stout brewed with an abundance of oats, malted and flaked, for added richness and body. Two types of coffee are featured in this brew; a Colombian light roast contributes bright acidity reminiscent of honey and spice while a Mexican dark roast enhances the deep chocolate flavors characteristic of roasted malts. Creamy, comforting, and caffeinated, this beer covers all the bases of a balanced breakfast – there’s no better way to start the day.

Tasting Notes - Fresh coffe, graham cracker, cacao.

JB: Holy richness!  My other favorite of the day, this is loaded with notes of coffee, chocolate, and for me a bit of vanilla.  Just a fantastic breakfast stout.

To paraphrase Dwight Schrute, THIS WAS A SUCCESSFUL BREWERY VISIT!  Lamplighter is an energetic venue with a ton of flavors to enjoy and they're always cooking up something new for next time.  Definitely check it out next time you're in the area!

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