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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
87
very good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 84
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 5.67%
Wants: 15
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 84
Photo of steve8robin
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this bottle at Julios. Very excited to try this one because I wanted to a brew a Gruit at some point. 22oz bottle, April 2012, Batch 01...

A: A deep reddish hazy colored brew with a small 3/4 inch whit head that fades quickly. Decent.

S: A very malty brew with some nice herb / spicy scents. Almost a mild smoky / meaty scent. Ok.

T: Kind of a brew that seems like it would be good with your meat and potatoes. What I mean is it seems like it would blend well with dinner. Starts with an interesting herb taste quickly blended with a sweet, thick malty taste. Ends with an almost cranberry type flavor. Decent.

M: Full body with a heavy carbonation. A sweet finish. Decent.

O: All in all, this is a decent brew. It's definitely interesting not having a hop balance in there. It leaves the beer very thick and heavy. I'm not sure if I will brew a Gruit after getting to try one, but as a home brewer, I may do it just for the challenge of using spices in place of hops. Try if you're looking for something different or interesting. (1,039 characters)

Photo of CheezyBlaster
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet, mildly herbal, can't directly pick out the wild rosemary, grassy and clean. It's definitely got the same herbal feel as say, Saison du Buff, but absent the hops it's smooth, and detectable bitterness is mild. Definitely a sort of fresh, seasonally appropriate feel. If this becomes seasonal I'll probably try a bomber every year. (336 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cider-like muddy orange with a head that dissipates and leaves no lace. Nice bubbles at opening and pour, a little fizz later in the glass.

Herbed notes, and really getting a bruised fruit/apple skin note here. Something sour, but not quite.

Toasted malt with a sour twang. Some apple skin, some herbal notes. A bitterness arrives but is mild and from the malt. Some decent complexity in the finish.

Medium body, good carbonation.

Tough to compare this to much else, as this is only the second gruit I've ever had. But, this is a very different brew worth trying. So unique, one should try this style when they get the chance anyway. But this is done well. Good job. (678 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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! (2,652 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (666 characters)

Photo of rinhaak
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
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 (1,179 characters)

Photo of zackcg
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (349 characters)

Photo of u2carew
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (342 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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. (521 characters)

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of sawbones420
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
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). (1,665 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (658 characters)

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (860 characters)

Photo of dherling
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (331 characters)

Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (526 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (1,319 characters)

Photo of Franchise
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (691 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (567 characters)

Photo of brewhiker
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
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! (510 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,233 characters)

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Weekapaug Gruit Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.