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Weekapaug Gruit Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Weekapaug Gruit AleWeekapaug Gruit Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

84 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 84
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.82%
Wants: 12
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-23-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by Pahn:
Photo of Pahn
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a tiny offwhite fizzy head that dissipates immediately. Pours a hazy brownish red orange. No lacing.

Smell: Mild Belgian yeast, and savory mushroom. Not very herbal. Smells mostly like cooked mushrooms.

I don't mind the smell, but it could have a lot more going on.

Taste: Sweet and tangy apple and herbal tea up front, leading to some breadiness and English tea, with a surprising umami finish. Finish is like roasted chicken (with the skin on, no less) with rosemary and mushrooms.

Complex and adventurous. If you're going for a gruit, you're probably looking for something new and unexpected. This beer delivers, and balances these strange flavors quite well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. High carbonation. Bit puckering. Dry finish.

Overall: Good for what it is. Not something I'd like to drink a lot of, I admit.

As a vegetarian, it's kind of nice to taste roasted chicken again, I guess.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Tawny amber, off-white lacing

SMELL: Damp earth, roots, mushrooms, herbal, fresh, intense rosemary

TASTE: Lively, creamy, prickly, tart, lemongrass, herbal, tea, pith, bark, earth, brown bread, leaf, dry

Brewed with hand-picked herbs, sweet gale, yarrow and wild rosemary, this unhopped throwback to ancient days is a unique brew today. Some suggest mind altering. We’d have to agree. This is a must-try for those looking to expand their palates and minds beyond the norm; don’t serve too cold. Phish fans, rejoice.

Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The gruit is an interesting ale. It doesn't have hops in it, but still somehow manages to be delicious. Having only tried one gruit previously (Fraoch, from Scotland), I had an idea what I was getting into. The Weekapaug Gruit (named after a Phish song) was a bit better. It's a deep, dark black with almost no head. The aroma is hard to put a finger on - some caramel, a bit chamomile. It has a unique flavor as well. It's malty and somewhat sweet. It seem non-beer until the wheat and malt kick in. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap on 2/21/08

A clear red amber with a fine, thin delicate head that dissipates quick. The color is vibrant and bright.

A very sweet, herbal nose, sour fruits, floral esters, honey-soaked malt, corriander and nutmeg. Pretty dang aromatic!

This is a wild floral and sweet malt...NO hops!! but plenty of herbs and spices. Nutmeg and a wonderful oak-flavored tang that is very unique. For a brew with no hops this still has a nice fruity edge and very sweet that is mellowed by the tangy herbs and spices.

This is a clean, medium feel with a crispy, clean finish.

There's actually a warning on this brew, about how too much can lead to high intoxication and perhaps some aphrodesiac-like effects due to the mix of natural herbs that replace the hops. This is a wild brew that proves Will meyers of CBC is on th cutting-edge of brewing. a real treat.

Photo of zackcg
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap into a 13oz tulip

A - Perfectly clear deep scarlet, almost metallic with a fat milky head. Big lace, no retention.

S - A quiet malty-herbal profile with subtle floral and earthy notes.

T - Very well balanced blend of yarrow, rosemary and grassy qualities shine through a tangy malt base.

M - Thin and fizzy with a pleasant chalky texture.

Photo of sawbones420
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

CBC, despite providing what I consider some of the rudest service in all of Boston (the Allstrom Bros. would probably disagree as they are treated like royalty there), continues to blow me away with their beer. Luckily, they distribute to the local beer bars around the city, allowing me to forgo what is generally an unpleasant visit to their Kendall Square snob lair.

Decided to have a few at Bukowski (Dalton St.) on an early Thursday evening when I happened upon CBC gruit. It was listed as 6% (could be Buk's mistake, could have changed) and was to be served in a 12 oz. glass. Well the dude pouring was feeling generous or didn't read the menu, because he kept giving me 16 oz. servings. I wasn't about to pipe up.

Poured a hazy tan amber. Too foggy to see through the other side of the glass. The head was a light nutty color with amazing lacing on top and on the sides of the glass as I drained it.

Smelled of dull fruit and malt. An herbal/spice aroma was present as well - I immediately recognized the coriander. Definitely got me interested right off the bat.

Mmm. Having a soft spot for "weird" or non-traditional beers, this one is right up my alley. No hop flavor whatsoever, just a nice subdued fruit-malt-spice-herb interplay. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and refreshing - not too carbonated, not too flat. Goes down a bit too easy, perhaps. A good problem for a beer to have.

This one is Pure Delicious. A total pleasure to drink. It'd be great to enjoy this at CBC's beautiful brewpub if they could just learn how to interact with the general public (the one that doesn't wander in at 6 after getting off from its well-paying white collar job).

Photo of Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is fantastic, very authentic and for those looking for sort of a history lesson of "ancient herbed ales" this is the text book. It poured a dark brown that left a thin tan lace that quickly disappeared. The aroma is very floural(rosemary, wheat, grass), chocolate, flowers, very aromatic. The taste is surprisingly sweet upfront followed by bitter flower/tree bark balance (if you ever have the chance to eat edible flowers that is the bitterness I'm talking about). It is then finished with a nice malty honey base that is so pleasing. This beer is great, with the combination of belgian yeast and the the fresh herbal tastes this is a treat.

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A) Nice creamy head. Great lacing around the edge of the glass. Gold in color with some haze.
S) Slightly sour, earthy, and sweet aroma along with herbal floral notes.
T) A light grapefruit and lemon flavor. Some additional sourness.
M) Dry in the back end, medium body. Slight chewiness.
D) Nice and unique - normal beer fair. One is enough.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

my third time sampling this style, and i must say that i am quite fond of it overall, though this gruit was, to me, less adventerous and more watered down than heavyweight's two druids. it pours a light brown/amber-ish colour with a faint but sticky head. the smell is has an herbal tea feel to it, combined with some spice, fruit (sour apple or lemon, perhaps) and malt. the flavour is quite similar to the smell, with a slight sour flavour combined with a touch of ginger running throughout. the finish is tart and a touch sweet. this is definitely a different style that may take some getting used to. but i found this brew to be quite refreshing and tasty and very easy to drink overall.

Photo of largadeer
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: On cask at the brewpub, this beer appears a ruddy pale amber with a dense white head typical of a fresh cask.

Smell: Intensely herbal; rosemary, sage and anise with honey-like sweetness backing it.

Taste & mouthfeel: Honey-like sweetness up front with a strong backbone of herbs and spices, rosemary and anise shining through quite strongly. Tastes almost like an herbal tea with an alcoholic kick. Sweetness lingers from beginning to end, making it a definite sipper, but surprisingly enjoyable and unique.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.39/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have a feeling this one is named after the Phish song Weekapaug Groove. Ahh, now that takes me back.

Flashbacks aside, this one pours a slightly hazy nutty amber in color with a weak head.

Earthy malt with overripe fruit aromatics. Floral honey sweetness comes through in the nose too.

Sweet grassy and then a bitter wood pulp or green twig/leaf bitterness. Herbal tea with alcohol and carbonation! Goes down smooth, again like tea. No noticable flaws or anything, a really unique and all around tasty beer.

Loads of hops!!! haha, just kidding. This one, true to style, is brewed without any hops. I really enjoy this style, and hope more breweries experiment around with it.

Photo of jneiswender
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a tall pills glass. Served cool.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish copper body and a beige head that is initially thick but then dissipates.

Smells like clay, mushrooms, slightly sweet, some herbal notes as well.

Tastes vinous with a slight lambic tartness. Brown asian mushroom flavor is there as well.

Medium and very dry.

I have to say that this is not exactly my bag. Not my style choice. That said, it isn't unpleasant and not nearly as sweet as I thought an unhopped beer would be. Paired with food, it is actually not a bad choice at all.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

@ Atwoods, Somerville MA

"Trying to make a woman match your moves
and I'm sharing in the Weekapaug groove."
-- Weekapaug Groove, Phish

Translucent, very near opaque, tawny port color. Thin, eggshell tan head. Thin, retentive collar is gone by mid glass. Though I'm not too familiar with the style I believe murky and sparse foam accompaniment is pretty standard.

Aroma is very fruity, kinda like a honey quad. Driftwood and a rustic spice from the yeast (I'm guessing) give WG an pastural character.

Drinks like beer tea. Plum and apricot fruit mix with a semi-dry rustic herbal spice. A bit slick.

One of several Phish themed CBC beers I've been hoping to try.

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yay, another bottle of CBC to try. So glad they started bottling since I can't make it to the brew pub very often.

It pours a nice creamy looking 1 finger head that fades fairly quickly at first as big bubbles burst bastardly bollucks... anyways, it disappears to a light head covering of bubbles fairly quickly with no real lacing, over a hazy rosy slight pink grapefruit colored beer.

Nose comes off Belgian like, a Belgian yeast aroma with spices and fruity esters. The esters give the fake appearance of booze but there really isn't any. Light herbal spices, which I can't really nail down which ones, but at least a bittering spice, something floral like a rosemary or sage, and a sweet leaf, tea, some type of earthy root as well. The earthy root comes our more and more as I nose it. Nice.

Taste starts with a malty base, again with a Belgian like malt but lighter, juicy malts, with a light sweetness, and a cross between a Belgian yeast and a Hefe yeast flavors, as it brings some Belgian spices like a farmhouse, as well as some light fruity floral flavors like a hint of banana and clove, and light fruity esters again. I also think there is some wheat as well. Then the herbs, which come on to just the right amount without overpowering or fading into the background. I get a tea flavor first, followed by again the floral rosemary, sage, thyme like herb but hard to tell which one. Then again with an earthy root, but that is more background flavor than the increasing aroma I got from it. That wheat and Hefe like yeast bring some bock flavors back towards the back end, which is a nice touch to round it off. Bitterness is fairly light, but just enough to let you know that it does have the herbal bitterness. Finish is a bit sticky still, slightly sweet, more herbal flavors and a bit of a herbal bitterness, the floral herbs and tea really linger well, as well as a slight wheat and bock like bite late on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied, slightly creamy even, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, a nice gruit that combines the over spiced gruits with a nice bock or Belgian style beer. it has nice malts to balance, mild sweetness, and just a touch of bitterness. It doesn't try to overpower with bittering herb (like I accidentally did with wormwood on my last homebrew Gruit). I really like how the herbs play in, just the right amount that doesn't overpower the rest of the beer and destroy drinkability, but at the same time doesn't disappear into the background of the other flavors of the beer. The esters, fruit, banana/clove like from the yeast, add a nice touch as well for a tasty nice drinking Gruit. Very well done IMO!

Photo of FosterJM
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1398th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
22oz

Batch 1- April 2012
Thanks to my RS guys Jlindros and RudZud for this one

App- A brown color with some creamy highlights. At 1st pour it was a 1/2" head, I blinked and it was gone. No lace or cling either.

Smell- Very malty and herbal. I noticed Pahn said mushrooms and thats kinda close to what I got but it was more medicinal and herby. The rosemary on the bottle was a good start but it went deep and I guess I dont know if the Yarow gives off a scent.

Taste- This is a tasty beer. I really enjoyed it. I could see the old scottsmans in the hills with a horn with this in it. Nice and light but still flavorful and balanced. Had a good caramel and rosemary flavor with some mixed herbs. Like drinking a garden.

Mouth- A light medium body with a light medium semi creamy carbonation. Semi-flat with a good residual herb flavor.

Drink- It was tasty. I like the heather ale a little bit better for the style but this was good.

Photo of Damian
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap at Redbones BBQ, Somerville, MA

Poured a hazy, ruddy orangey-amber with a tight, foamy, one-finger, bright white head that slowly faded to a thin film.

The aroma was malty and intensely herbal. Somewhat earthy. Subtle notes of ripe fruits came through as well.

The taste was similar to the nose. Quite herbal and slightly spicy with strong notes of rosemary, thyme and licorice. A slight citric edge was also apparent. The finish was rather clean and dry with a somewhat herbal aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was noticeably thin and watery. Moderate carbonation.

This was an interesting and unique beer but not one that I would likely try again.

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a 13 oz glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a one finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and average retention. Colour is a solid black.

Sm: Heavy caramel, and... flowers? What is that doing here? Interesting. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Caramel, slight cream, strange floral fringe esters, and something I can't quite place. Complex enough, and well balanced. Roots of some kind are present as well.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Complements the flavours. Nicely thin for the style.

Dr: Very drinkable, of moderate ABV, and decent quality.

Photo of taez555
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trying to make a woman match your moves, and I’m sharing in the weakapaug gruit…. I often wonder what percentage of people who order this beer get the reference to the song.
Anyway.

It poured a coca-cola colored clear black body with a tiny little almost non-existent tanish/ white head. The nose was subtle but there. Dark malts with some interesting spice wafting up.

The taste sort of caught me off guard at first. Very porter like. Smooth and light with some dark caramel malt flavors. You can definitely tell this beer has no hops, but it’s not distracting at all. An interesting blend of spices. Herbs with some licorice root, rosemary, some other soft herbal tea like flavors. Quite an interesting brew. All very well balanced, especially that the malt balances so well against a non-hop bitterness.

I wonder sometimes about these crazy people at CBC. The Jerry Garcia doll behind the bar, beers named after phish songs. Although true phish head’s know they usually play weekapaug only after mike’s song, and another tune. So maybe this is best enjoyed as the 3rd beer in a tasting.

Basically though, a good beer. Not my favorite, it’s just not quite as spicy as the heather ale, but definitely worth a try.

Photo of brewhiker
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presents as a opaque belgian/dark ale in appearance, with little head [again I was having the sampler glasses on a lunch-break, so the light effervescense was probably hampered]. A light but pleasing herbal smell ('cus it's brewed with herbs [yarrow, gale, & rosemary] rather than hops). Sweet but not too malty and quite smooth. [heck of a lot more drinkable than the Benevolance...not that that wasn't fun, I just couldn't take more than a half-pint]. Very Good and downright excellent on a brisk autumn day!

Photo of Eddxii
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weekapaug Gruit pours a muddy dark amber color with extremely light lacing. It has a heavily herbal aroma with traces of subtle sweetness. As you’d expect, it smells nothing like a beer. In fact it’s closer to ginger beer or root beer. The taste is thin, with a slight phenol aftertaste. The term that keeps coming to mind is “herbal tonic.” It’s beyond interesting…it has hints of complexity that are too fleeting for me to catch. I’ll chalk it up to my ignorance of gale and yarrow.

Weekapaug Gruit is hard to place. It’s not the best beer, but then again it’s not a beer in the sense that I’m used to. It’s not something I’d drink on a regular basis. However, it’s definitely a brew aficionados should try and I applaud Cambridge Brewing Company for bringing the style back into the light.

Photo of waughbrew
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Murky dark brown with small fuzzy patches on top that stay. Very floral and herbal aroma, with dandelions coming to mind over a toasty backdrop. Flavor is toasty caramel swamp-water with hints of rootbeer and a zing from an herb that is hard to place, but works well in the brew. Finish is just right in its compexity and lenth. Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth feel. Very smooth all around. Earthy. This is not as "different" as I was expecting, since the flavor focuses primarily on the malt. It was, however, infinitely drinkable and I enjoyed it very much.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a murky and muddy light brown color. One inch of off-white head doesn't retain well. Specs of lacing here and there.

S: Crusty bread, thick molasses, slight cola, cocoa, slight soured fruity scent. Herbal backing of rosemary and other non-identifiable herbs.

T: Cola, slight brown sugar, hint of molasses. The herbs ride alongside the faint malt tastes and have a soft, perfumey taste rather than a strong, bitter presence. Ghost-like sour cherries in the background. Slight grape skin. Finishes with light herbal notes and a fading malt taste.

M: On the thinner side of medium bodied. Slight creaminess, but a little on the watery side. Low carbonation.

O: This is my first experience with a gruit, so I didn't quite know what to expect. This one seems to be lacking a little something though. It's a little thin in body and in malt flavor. I'll admit that I hung onto this one for a bit longer than I should have. It tastes a little soured. Gotta wonder what the shelf life is on this without any hops to act as a preservative.

Photo of Dope
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber pour with a small tan head. Head fades almost instantly leaving no lacing that I can discern. Only a small ring remains.

S: Oranges? Black pepper/peppercorns and rosemary. Spicy.

T: Very malty (naturally) with lots of bread, caramel and tons of spices. Again, black pepper and rosemary. Maybe coriander? Orange peel and apple skin. Lots of miscellaneous spices and herbs that I can't quite identify but make no mistake, that is the focus of this beer.

M: Medium body and smooth. No bitterness as you might expect.

O: My first gruit, and honestly I'm pleasantly surprised. Obviously very different, fruity and malty while being loaded with herbs/spices instead of hops but still quite tasty. I enjoyed it.

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was sharing in the weekapaug gruit at the CBC's 15th anniversary party For a hopless beer, this is one balanced and spicey ale. The grainy body is complimented by a spice bouquet. There's a lot of rosemary and yarrow to give this golden and headless brew a pleasant kick.

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap served in a tulip at Cambridge Brewing co's brewpub.

A - A deep garnet w/ good clarity and very light ecru cap w/ tight bead and spotty lace.

S - A spiced and herbal mix of aromas, fresh notes of slight pepper and rosemary with a tea like earthy nose and mild hints of biscuit malt w/ a sweet bark odor

M - The feel has mild acidity w/ slightly phenolic hints and moderately high carbonation w/ creamy effect on the palate and the malt gives a mellow toasty texture to back up the spices which come off as dry and the malt is mildly sweet in the finish -nice balance

T - The taste while good is not as good as the feel and smell - a mild light earthy, twiggy taste w/ herbs and mellow toasted/biscuit maltiness. The flavor has a light spiciness but I would say it overwhelms w/ spice cake-like quality. The flavor has a mild ginger note and the bark aroma carries over into the taste w/ mellow sweetness, an almost honey-like taste w/ blend of herbs is pleasant as it finishes

D - A great gruit, but I couldn't call it great drinkability-wise - a tulip or two would probably suffice. This is better than average for they style, just not for sessioning IMO

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Weekapaug Gruit Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.