Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Cambridge Brewing CompanyCambridge Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.96/5
Based on:
99 Beers
4,699 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 301
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

1 Kendall Sq
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-1500
United States
phone: (617) 494-1994

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @cambridgebrewer

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Ratings: 301 | Reviews: 202
Reviews by ccrida:
Photo of ccrida
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hit this place a couple of times during a recent week long stay in Cambridge, mostly for beers, the only food I had was there pub nachos, which were pretty good, a very large plate, most of the fixin's.
Atmosphere is kind of stuff/upscale, lots of pale wood paneling, and the worst drinking music ever - new age 80's type light jazz stuff from satellite radio, all but for about 30 mins of one visit, when they'll finally switched to some blues.
Quality, of the beers, was excellent. They had a large range of beers, some experimental styles, classics, seasonals,etc...and pretty much everything I tried was somewhere between good and great.
Service was good, I sat at the bar every time. Got a free beer from the manager once, but also got cut off once by the bartender b/c he'd felt I drank enough strong beers in one sitting (4 in about 3 hrs), even though I was walking back to my hotel a few blocks away and was not drunk or even visably loose AFAIK, just quietly sitting at the corner of the bar by myself taking notes. Oh well, the tab was running high anyways.
Selection was great, for what doesn't appear to be a very large brewing operation, they had over 10 beers on tap, very nice, with some really creative, and successful experiments, like a dark saison and pale 'summer' barleywine.
Overall the prices were reasonable and the beer was good. If only they dropped the muzak and loosed up the collar some, it would be a pretty inviting beergarden...actually, they had a pretty nice outdoor seating area (not sure what, if any music was out there), but being a west coaster, I wouldn't have sat out in that humidity if the beers were free!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Zstets
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Come for the beer
The food is just okay

Photo of Dizzy242
2.74/5  rDev -32.8%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Beer is just ok. Weird vibe

Photo of ricp215
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Big Man Ipa is as good an IPA as there is. great beer selection. Very Good food. Reasonably priced.

Photo of TheBungyo
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

I was really impressed with the variety of beers here. Where so many breweries fail is being consistent across a gamut of styles. But whether it was a big old ale like Old Butternuts, a sour (don't remember which one I tried but it was delicious), or Flower Child IPA, it didn't matter. All were wonderful.

Food was great too. The standout for me was the poutine but the pizza was pretty tasty too.

As for the service, it was on point and I never felt like I had to wait long for another beer. I guess it would be no surprise that the place felt immaculately clean too. It's obvious much pride is taken in maintaining this brewpub and it shows. Definitely a place I plan to spend more time at.

Photo of smcolw
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

CBC is constantly pushing the envelope with new beers and ingredients. They always have something top notch. The food is better than most microbreweries.

One of the top five places to visit when visiting Boston/Cambridge.

Photo of mynie
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%

Good lord, it is hard to get around Boston. Take a look at a map. Every other decent-sized city in North America is on a grid system, all precision and sharp angles. Boston is like if you fed psilocybin to a 9-year-old and had him try to hand-trace a spirograph drawing. That sound too obscure? Well them imagine feeding raw tequila to a squirrel and watching it stumble across a park. That's how Boston's roads are shaped.

(And Cambridge and Boston are the same goddamn thing, so far as I'm concerned.)

So, okay. CBC is located inside a darling little courtyard. It's very cute, but also very easy to drive right past.

The building is much smaller than I was expecting, which was nice because it lent the place a casual, personal vibe. The aesthetics are weirdly similar to the older brewpubs of the Midwest--Broad Ripple BrewCo in Indianapolis, Blue Cat in Rock Island, etc--woody and creaky with lots of big windows. Tons of trinkets behind the bar. Tons of history.

It's weird to talk of "tons of history" for a place that's only been open 25 years, but 25 years is ancient for the American craft beer scene. It's nice, here and there, to stop by a place that feels like people have been living there for a while, that doesn't feel formulaic or prefab.

The wait staff were talkative and friendly. The food was great and affordable. The beer was quite good, and also affordable. This is one of a handful of MA brewers that has (mostly) forsaken noble hops, and so the beers fall wonderful upon my midwestern pallet.

Very nice joint. Doesn't have the buzz of Lord Hobo, obviously, but it's still a must-stop if you're in town.

Photo of mjstacker
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Not so bad, I like their bombers and labels, wish the beer was better. Big Man IPA is a total malt bomb but the double, Audacity of Hops is better and the tripel, Tripel Threat is a bit Wah, Wah. Just bought a 6-pack of their new hoppy pilsner and it's marginal.

Photo of SebD
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: This place is very inviting. It has a nice open concept overlooking the brewhouse through a large window. There are beers to go available on your way out (including growlers).

Service: The waitress I had was very knowledgeable and provided us with good service and suggestions.

Selection: This brewery offers a solid selection of year-rounds, seasonals and on-offs. They had about 5 or 6 year rounds and 5 on-offs and seasonals. I went there the morning after Extreme Beer Fest so I only had the Brett Grisette but it was great nevertheless.

Food and value: I had bacon & eggs witch was delicious. As far as the beer goes, the prices were very reasonable. This is definitely a good brewery to visit if you're ever in the Boston area and are looking to have a few local beers. The experience probably would of been better if I hadn't been hungover.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -10.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Right in Kendall Square, this place is tucked into the back corner of a little open pavilion, with a parking garage and metered parking all over the place. Great feel when you walk in, with lots of dark wood and brick balancing with a ton of windows that allow natural light to flood the space. There is a bunch of outdoor seating for warmer weather, a ton of table space when you first walk in, and a more private room off the right side of the bar. The bar is horseshoe shaped, with plenty of seating. 12+ beers on tap, with beers to go in growlers and bombers. Food was decent, with a good balance of gastropub fare, as well as some more interesting options mixed in there. The bartender I had was nice enough, but seemed more interested in watching Animal Planet than anything else. There was a party going on in the private seating area, and I was impressed how separated that actually seemed from everything else. It didn't distract a bit. Prices were very reasonable, and it's definitely worth a stop to snag some very unique beers that they don't distribute/bottle.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4.25

Tucked in a little corner of Kendal Square, Cambridge Brewing Company has a wonderful location. The inside has high ceilings and exposed brick. It's a bit spacious and open feeling, but it kind of works. Strong hipster vibe going on with the after work crowd, but the Sox game does its best to balance that out. Service was quite good. Attentive, but not overbearing. Selection is decent, maybe 8 offerings... a couple are quite unique. I stick with Arquebus. I made a good choice. The beers are all well crafted, but I just can't pry myself away from their barleywine. Beers are a bit on the high side for a brewpub, but I can't complain about the quality. The food was tasty and fairly-priced. The short-rib poutine was particularly tasty and came in a huge portion. Definitely recommend checking this place out.

Photo of SABERG
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Stopped in Yesterday after a harbor trip to Georges Island.
We have been several times at this point.

The atmosphere has changed little over time, welcoming and warm. Outside seating was busy on a Saturday afternoon. The Beer quality is exceptional, we had a grissette, Jan had the Great Pumpkin, and we shared the real star of the show a cask ESB dry hopped with Fuggles. That beer was outstanding!! We split crab cake appetizer and, greatly enjoyed the company of Steve the bartender.
Manager stopped by and chatted.
All in all a wonderful time.
Value is great as no item is hyped or priced out of reach.

Highly recommended.

Cheers
SABERG

Photo of outoffocus
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went on a Friday night, straight from Logan upon arrival to Boston actually. It was very crowded and there was a line to get a table. Got lucky and got a seat at the bar right away. There was some really interesting stuff on tap, including the barrel-aged wild porter and the barrel-aged barleywine. The service at the bar was probably better than the service at the table, the waitress didn't strike me as being terribly knowledgeable or interested in the beer. The atmosphere was okay, it is a pretty large place and it lacked character, but it not at all an unpleasant place to spend time. It also is just a couple blocks from other points of interest in Cambridge, including Lord Hobo.

Photo of MThiele360
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

CBC can easily be overlooked - especially with Lord Hobo and Meadhall in the neighborhood now - but should really be a part of any visit to the Boston area. My wife and I frequently grab dinner at CBC prior to a movie at Kendall Square Cinema.

The atmosphere is more restaurant than bar. The bar is in the center of the space, flanked by the brew tanks, but the restaurant tables dominate throughout the rest of the space. The bar consists of about 15 stools at the bar itself and about another 15 on the periphery. Even on Friday and Saturday nights, it's never really too crazy. In fact, I'd say it's the busiest during the weekday happy hour as a function of the many offices in the surrounding complex.

Service is mostly good, but I've had some misses. Whenever I sit at the bar, the bartenders are always friendly and attentive. You're never left with an empty glass. Once I was sitting in front of the taps when a keg kicked and a little spray hit me - the bartender was very apologetic and comped me a beer. Most of the time, the table service is good but I have had the odd occasion where the server goes MIA.

Selection is excellent. Being a brewpub, all of the beers are brewed on-site and it's a truly rare occasion when there's a guest tap. They have a stable of your standard styles - an amber, a brown, a pale - but they can get very experimental with the rest of the beers. They do some great sours, and their imperial stout is up there with the best. Great barrel-aging program. Almost every time I'm in they're pouring something I've never had. While some brewpubs keep going back to the same recipes, they're always trying something new here.

The food is good, not great. They change the menu frequently, which can be a good thing, but I've had occasions where nothing on the menu really piqued my interests. There are some good bar bites if you're looking for a snack and a beer, but this is really a full-service restaurant first and a bar second.

Beers are very reasonably priced, in the $5-$7 range as they're only serving their house brewed beers. When you consider that most of their beers are excellent it's a great value compared to the $7-$11 a glass some of the local beer bars are getting.

Photo of orangesol
4.16/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

My first stop at CBC, I have wanted to check this place out for a few years now. Large brick and wood space inside with lots of people enjoying themselves, some a little too much. Not as many people outside on the patio, altho if the weather was a little nice I would have joined them out there as it looked awesome. Service was pretty good. At times he just wanted to talk to the locals but I didn't have to wait too long for my beers. Quality was pretty high. Legit food ingredients, proper glasses, etc. Selection was pretty good but not amazing. Nothing overly rare or interesting, except the sake beer. but a decent array of beers to choose from. I stopped in for dinner so I decided to go with a margarita pizza which was solid, I finished the whole pizza in no time flat. Prices were on par with everywhere else I had been, maybe a touch high but it is a major city. Overall an awesome little brewpub in the heart of the city. I will definitely return when I am in the city.

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Stopped in for dinner while in Boston. Took a while to find the place....sits back from the street and the GPS didn't help. Once there, we were quickly seated and waited on. Fairly busy night with a varied crowd. Service was very good. Beers and food both came at reasonable speed. The food was good, though I felt my portion of the special ravioli for the night was quite small. Nine small, square ravioli for $16? I should have gotten a burger. The beer, including the one-offs available were quite good. I would probably make another visit, though Lord Hobo is just up the street.

Photo of Durge
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Although I've been here a few times over the years, I stopped by for a a couple beers recently and found it hadn't really changed notably, which isn't really a bad thing. Stopping in during a weekday afternoon, the place is a bit sleepy but not vacant. There's a comfortable crowd of couples and loners like me with good music playing and a nice selection of Cambridge brews on tap. I believe they have entertainment some nights and they serve food which I didn't have this trip, so I imagine the atmosphere might be a little more compelling at a different time. But it was fine for hanging out at the medium sized bar, watching some Sports Center updates and chatting intermittently with the staff. The bartender was an attentive young lady who was happy to talk some beer and was helpful. She offered me some half sized portions to allow me to have more variety without pushing my limits for driving home, which I greatly appreciated. There's nothing terribly special about the physical place but there's nothing wrong with it at all. They sell growlers and bombers from a cooler. Bathrooms and all else seem to be quite clean and pleasant. Some folks were having a bite to eat and the grub looked good, and I've eaten here some years ago and don't recall any issues. All and all this place is a nice stop which probably offers some livelier experiences for the evening crowds. The beers were all good from what I was able to enjoy this time through.

Photo of Rifugium
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Almost skipped over this place, but I'm glad I didn't. On the surface it seemed like another run of the mill chain-type brewery trying to cash in on the beer scene / college scene. And, well, it is that in a sense, but they actually make some good stuff here. Lots of room in here, with a good-sized bar and plenty of tables for dining. It's a generic but comfortable atmosphere, with a slight leaning towards hipsterism, but what do you expect; it's Cambridge.

There was a very nice selection of beers of tap, with a good variety of styles, and it seems that these guys are no strangers to barrel aging and wild fermentation. Definitely not your typical run-of-the-mill glorified homebrew beers here, there is actually some rhyme to their reason. Service was fine, even despite our party of 4 strolling in about 45 mins. before closing time. Prices were reasonable. We didn't sample any of the food.

Cool place overall, and I'd definitely go back if in the area (i.e. never, probably).

Photo of lucas1801
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

My favorite brewpub happens to be my local, I am a big fan of The beer and the staff is friendly and fun. Brewmaster Will Myers has a great barrel cellar and is awesome at producing sours, highly recommend. Food is better than typical pub fare, but the usual suspects are also there.

Photo of Maxwell
4.53/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

The CBC is tucked away in a lovely little building on Kendall Square, and it does take a little intuition to find the place, but the rustic brick interior, the proximity of the stainless steel fermenters, and the smells wafting from the kitchen make this place a beautiful brew pub with the perfect look.

On top of the CBC’s superb beer selections, they also boast a very pleasing selection of food that rotates regularly, and is specifically designed to help pair with their beers. My favorite thing about the CBC as I walked in was how classy they were. They had their “go-hang-out” bar, but they also had some lovely dinning sections and an overall upper-level dinning feel that is not common in other brew pubs. Just by walking you could tell they cared about all parts of the brewpub from the beer, to the food, to the ambiance, and that is awesome. My only complaint about the atmosphere is that the wait staff were dressed a little too casually for the overall feel of the place, but that might just be for their own comfort, which I totally understand and support.

The beers were great, and the food was even better. This being an autumn visit, we sampled from the plethora of pumpkin beers that the CBC offered and were pleased with all of them. The winner of the night in terms of beer was definitely their classic Great Pumpkin Ale.

The Cambridge Brewing Company proved to be a delicious experience. So good, in fact, that I might even say I liked it for its food even more than I did for its beer, though both were quite spectacular. If you ever have the chance to go I highly recommend it, as everything that came out of the kitchen smelled amazing, and you could really tell they knew what they were doing. Check them out!

Photo of flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A place I made two visits to during my stay in Boston.

Small brewpub tucked into the back of a small square in Cambridge, cozy little place with lots of outdoor seating, and a nice smaller indoor seating/bar area.

Quality was quite good, I tried 4 beers during my 2 visits, a couple were solid (Pale Ale and Session IPA) and two were excellent (Wild Ale and Great Pumpkin).

Service was good, the girl that served us dinner the first night was quick and speedy, the bartender during my second visit was cool, and poured me a free taster of their Bruin. (which was also nice)

Selection was about 10 taps with a nice variety of styles.

Food was decent, but not all that special.

Overall, a nice place to get a very good beer, ok for a bite too.

Photo of BostonHops
4.08/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

at long last made it to CBC for dinner, went with my wife. beer menu consists of a handful of house, or year-round brews, and then another handful of seasonals. all their beers are brewed onsite. started with youenjoymystout, which was great - a tasty and unique BA RIS. later in the meal tried their big man IPA, which, while it didn't exactly knock my socks off, was nevertheless a tasty IPA with a big malt backbone. wife tried the tripel threat (tripel), which she enjoyed too.

food did not disappoint. i had the NY sirloin with carmelized onions while my wife had their lobster risotto; we share nachos for an app. nothing world class here but tasty and enjoyable. service was prompt but not rushed; our server was knowledgeable and pleasant. they don't have an especially wide variety of beers but you'll probably find something to suffice. overall a great experience especially factoring the prices, which were very reasonable. definitely recommended. there is also a kids menu, if applicable.

Photo of kinopio
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

The #1 beer destination in the Boston area. A must visit place, simply put.

I lived close to CBC in my early 20's and I have it to thank for introducing me to a world of beer I didn't know existed. They made me a fan of Sours and Barleywines years ago and since then I've had dozens of examples of those styles but still rank theirs way up there. They also knock it out of the park with saisons and sessionable stouts. They are one of the most experimental brewers in the US so there is always something interesting on tap.

I'd say my favorite beers of theirs would be Tripel Threat, Benevolence, Cerisse Cassee and Blunderbuss Barleywine.

They were one of the first places around here to focus on local ingredients. You'll often find local fish, cheese etc on their menu. These are typically on their specials board so I would suggest ordering from there. I dig their pizza and plentiful vegetarian options as well.

CBC has one of the best patios in the city. The main bar area is great, with plenty of sunlight and room to mingle near the bar.

This place is tops. Any beer lovers trip to Boston needs to make an evening at Cambridge Brewing Company a priority.

Photo of LeeMarvin
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I’ve been going to CBC since 1993, and throughout the years, the only consistency to this place has been the beer. You can’t go wrong with the beer. It’s worth a trip to this place for the beer. They have some of the best barleywines and stouts you’ll find at a brewpub and their sessionables are solid. Their events are good times, especially the Barleywine Fest. I consider myself fortunate to have this place so close to my home because of their amazing beers, and I’ll always keep coming back for their beers.

But if you’re looking for someplace to have dinner, there are no guarantees. I’ve had some of the most amazing dinners and waitstaff at CBC—people who remember us and take the time to make us feel welcome and well attended, serving up food as good as you could hope for. But I’ve also been ignored for a half hour with an empty beer glass on a slow night, waiting for food that ends up sucking without so much as an “I’m sorry.” On one occasion, the bartender gave a big party of us the wrong bill, and after we paid it, tried to infer that we were trying to skip out without paying the correct bill. The next time we went back (a few months later), a different waiter remembered me and gave us stellar service. You never know what you’re going to get, and it’s become frustrating over the years because I love supporting the kind of brewing innovation and beer quality that CBC achieves.

Photo of beerbiatchMD
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visit was 12/22/11, this report is from notes.

Cambridge Brewing Co. is a nice brewpub in Cambridge Mass. My group arrived for dinner late evening so there was no wait to be seated, but during prime times they appear to be busy, so go early and/or be prepared to have a bit of a wait.

Atmosphere is nice, they are a good-sized restaurant, with amble bar space as well. Fairly quite--no loud obnoxious music or anything like that.

Quality of their beer is very good. I had a Charles River Porter on cask, and a Big Man IPA. Both were very good and I would have liked to try more of their beers. They also have a selection of 22 oz bottles for sale. I purchased their Tripel Threat (Belgian style Tripel) and their Audacity of Hops IPA, both of which were quite good.

Food is quite good, and there are offerings from burgers to steaks and racks of lamb. There are also good vegetarian options. Reasonably priced but not cheap.

Overall this is a very nice restaurant/pub for having a pint of fine beer, a great little dinner with friends, or a casual date. I will certainly go back and I would recommend it to anyone travelling to the area.

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Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, MA
91 out of 100 based on 301 ratings.