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Weekapaug Gruit Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

Weekapaug Gruit AleWeekapaug Gruit Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

80 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 15.16%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 02-23-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 38 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2012 10:37:23 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of rinhaak
rinhaak

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I thought when I sipped CBC's Weekapaug Gruit: "Why do I continue to try Gruit ales?" The lack of hops is significant, and, perhaps I'm biased, but I always miss the hops and find that gruit isn't a sufficient bittering replacement. That said, the first ale I ever had with gruit was pretty amazing (Gruut in Gent, Belgium), and that's probably why I always give this style another chance.

This is a drinkable beer and is pretty balanced, though the gruit is pretty center and gives it a very earthy flavor. It has a VERY herbal flavor, hints of lavender and flowers (the latter of which is very present in the nose), and an undercurrent of caramel and toffee.

If you haven't ever had an ale brewed with gruit, you should certainly give this a try. If you enjoy herbal beers, or have a penchant for original root beer from scavenged roots, you very well may enjoy this. As for myself, I would rather have hops.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2012 01:13:37 | More by rinhaak
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a brownish amber color with a creamy head on top. The smell of the beer give off some of the aroma that the Gruit has. The flavors were very good in the beer. I spicy Gruit adds that special herbal element that I really really enjoy in these beers. The mouthfeel was soft and lightly carbonated. Overall this beer was nice, it was something I was really happy to see at the EBF, and even more happy that I got to try it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 07:19:06 | More by Knapp85
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 03:17:39 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
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

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2010 19:49:30 | More by Slatetank
Photo of zackcg
zackcg

Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2010 20:55:57 | More by zackcg
Photo of u2carew
u2carew

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2009 00:48:31 | More by u2carew
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +17%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2008 23:11:33 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of sawbones420
sawbones420

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +19.7%
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).

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2008 02:42:12 | More by sawbones420
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 02:14:16 | More by Damian
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2008 06:08:09 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a cloudy medium brown beer, with a big thick white head, that dissapeared soon after being poured out. Smelled sour, citrusy, and herbal. The tastemimicks the nose, sour, citrus, herbs, with a touch of something bitter (licorice?). The mouth was fairly crisp and bubbly, the finish was long, with the sourness lingering.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2006 01:02:09 | More by dherling
Photo of sloejams
sloejams

California

4.1/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2006 20:24:02 | More by sloejams
Photo of Sycodrummer
Sycodrummer

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented from the tap in a simple "tear drop" glass the beer was a dark brown near black color innitially but settled to a bright ruby red about half way through the sample. Presented with no head, leaving no lacing, and no signs of carbonation. All in all, not an "eye candy" beer by any stretch of the imagination.

The nose was sweet and ripe with mollasses and syrup like honey aroma. Earthy and the smell of freshly churned garden dirt. Slightly smokey and medicinal.

The taste is of sweet malt made sweeter with honey that leaves a good mouthfeel on the palate. Some earthy and smokey flavors, very herbal and medicinal. No hop character as expected, and the smokey flavor increases slightly as the beer warms. Very subtle chocolate and vanilla flavors towards the end with an smooth if not somewhat syrupy finish.

Medium body with little carbonation.

An interesting style and one most are probably unfamiliar with. I know I am not and I approached the beer with an open mind having little if nothing to compare it to. Alone, it was a good beer. Slightly alla dopplebock, slightly alla rauchbier; this is for sure an interesting an enjoyable beer. I would say I would not rush to find as many of these as possible and drink them, but I would not shy away from the style when it presents itself either.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2006 18:53:30 | More by Sycodrummer
Photo of Franchise
Franchise

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2006 22:47:25 | More by Franchise
Photo of guinness33
guinness33

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2004 02:36:09 | More by guinness33
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2004 21:18:28 | More by waughbrew
Photo of brewhiker
brewhiker

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2004 18:12:14 | More by brewhiker
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

3.83/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2004 08:19:44 | More by taez555
Photo of AllThingsNinja
AllThingsNinja

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2004 15:49:27 | More by AllThingsNinja
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap at Cambridge Commons last night. Served in a 12 oz long stem tulip shaped glass. Mahogany brown in color with a small white head that seemed to last. The smell was very subtle but had hints of many different spices. Which leads me to that taste. Solid malt backbone with many spices coming through. I picked up things like cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano as well as hints of something earthy. The aftertaste was where the yeast flavors came into play.

VERY easy drinking and refreshing. The beer was extremely complex considering there are no hops added. I loved it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2004 12:36:17 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the brewpub.

This is an interesting beer brewed without hops. Instead the spices sweet gale, yarrow, and wild rosemary are used, as well as licorice root and nettles. Brewed with Scottish pale, caramel, and wheat malts, as well as oats. The beer had an interesting flavor that was reminiscent of another non-hopped beer from CBC, the Heather Ale. I can't quite put my finger on the source of this flavor, but perhaps it is one of the spices or perhaps it is malt without hops?

This gruit ale poured a hazy amber brown color with white foam that settled. The smell was somewhat sour with a pungent herbal aroma together with some malt, grain, and citrus. The taste was citrusy and herbal with some dry malt overtones and no bitterness. The mouthfeel was very dry and smooth and crisp with medium body and low carbonation. There was a citrusy feel and a malty, herbal aftertaste. This was a very interesting beer: nice and refreshing.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2004 07:42:56 | More by UncleJimbo
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BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 15:58:04 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 22:13:47 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.25/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to manversusbeer for this one...

A: Pours a great shade of cloudy redish brown with about a half finger of light tan head that fades quickly. The foam settles into a tiny ring around the edges of the glass. There is no lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is sweet and spicy. It's like herbal tea, basil, and peppercorns. There is an underlying malt/caramel note that comes through as it warms.

T: This beer is sweet to start, with what is reminiscent of apple cider. I get a nice caramel and apple mix before the spices begin to take charge. In the middle I get basil, peppercorns, herbal tea, and camomille. The finish is back to sweet, but the spices stick around and mix well. Solid.

M: Medium bodied beer. The carbonation is low on this beer and the mouthfeel is a bit syrupy. The flavors are bright, and it transitions well on the palate. This is an easy drinking beer.

O: I really enjoyed this CBC offering. I'm glad they decided to bottle an odd stye that can stand on it's own accord. I'd drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2012 20:40:25 | More by trxxpaxxs
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Weekapaug Gruit Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.