The Cambridge House


Awaiting 10 Ratings

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

84 Main St
Torrington, Connecticut, 06790-5347
United States

(860) 201-5666

// CLOSED //

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Added by sraimondi on 11-09-2008

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Ratings: 6 |  Reviews: 6
Reviews by donniecuffs:
Photo of donniecuffs
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Since my in-laws live in Torrington, CT, I make fairly frequent trips up to the Northwestern CT hinterlands, and have been pining for a good bar...let alone beer bar...for years. Luckily someone finally realized what a tremendous business opportunity lay next to the refurbished Warner Theater...

Atmosphere: While you do get your share of pre-/post- concert/show-goers attending here, you unfortunately also get a healthy share of surly-looking fratboys and Eminem-wannabes. The latter is likely due to the fact that, as mentioned earlier, there are NO good bars in Torrington. Oh yeah...the live bands are so loud that you'll give yourself laringitis trying to have a conversation with the buddy of yours standing a foot away.

Quality: They just started brewing their own beer a few months ago and I must say, I was fairly impressed with the few offerings they had. Standouts included the IPA (A-) and the Three Steve Stout (B+). Furthermore several other local CT/MA breweries' quality beers were featured on tap, including Thomas Hooker and Berkshire Brewing Co. Total taps on hand was approximately a dozen.

Service: The bartenders, if not knowledgeable, were very friendly. Since every time I've been here has been during peak customer rush hour (a bone that I'd like to pick with my wife's dopey friends), I have been unable to have a conversation with them or the brewer without shouting over the din and struggling to hear the response, but in the meantime, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Selection: As mentioned earlier, the selection culled from local New England breweries which are hard to get in NJ is much appreciated by yours truly, but it could benefit from adding some more bottle offerings.

Food: Very good but VERY expensive. These guys know that they have somewhat of a monopoly over Theater patrons, and their prices reflect it. The beer prices aren't that bad, but I felt compelled to warn about the food.

Overall, I will keep hitting this place, as there is no other competition, but I certainly wish they would cut out the live music because people would come there regardless. Thankfully the quality of their own beer doesn't give any indication of them taking their slam-dunk location for granted.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of HarleyRider
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Heard an ad for the Cambridge House on WCCC while I was driving. Being a few minutes away I called them for location. This was my first (but not last) visit. First thing I see is the tanks in the window. Love it. The system should be a main focal point in a brew pub. Sits on Main St right next to an old theater. Great location. Parking might be an issue during peak times. Walk in and see a few levels on each side. Nice horse shoe shaped bar. Unfortunately for me the 2 brewers were both on vaca together. Reason I was told they only had 3 of their own beers on tap. As stated in other reviews they have 6 or so guess taps. Thought that was smart. More opinions are always better. Although my only interest was there beers. I asked some questions about the beers but the bar tender wasn't up to par on the beers. Very bad thing in a brew pub IMO. There should always be someone that has knowledge of the house beers in a brew pub. He was more than happy to let me try their beers. I said no need to dirty a small glass. I taste by the pint. Also was told there is no linkage besides sharing beer recipes between the 2 Cambridge houses.

Bar tender as well as staff was very friendly. Nice atmosphere. It was pretty much empty since I went at mid afternoon but the few people there seemed to be enjoying their food. Their web site is a waste of time. I feel it should be loaded with beer info. Looking at it now and don't even see the beers I was drinking. It should be all about the beer and up to date.

All 3 beers were good. Least favorite was the stout which had no head at all. Good flavors but needs body. By far the IPA was the best. OUTSTANDING! Not a very bitter IPA. But a VERY hoppy IPA. Someone just left a 4 foot hops vine on my desk at work. Closing my eyes I couldn't tell you if my nose was next to some fresh crushed fresh hops or in the glass. Every mouthful was as if I was chewing up hops. My mouth and nose went into overdrive with this beer. Had to force myself to have another even though I was running late. Worth a trip back just for that beer. Was informed by the bar tender that they have a big time IPA that I'll have to go back to try. Also had their new release. Forgot the name and it's not on their site (EDIT: BrownNoser). I read about it in Yankee or Ale back in July. Very good beer. Nice head. Nice lace ring left with every mouthful right down to the last drops. Looked like sand waves as I got near the end. Very rich roasty goodness with choc and coffee flavors. Nicely balanced sweets with bitters. My first guess would have been a light Porter. Like this beer very much as well. But by far the IPA and the wonderful hops aroma and fresh taste blew me away.


Update: 10/30/2010 Really wanting to give this place a shot I venture out of my way to get a taste of more of Cambridge's creations. Sadly this time there was one less than the last. Only 2 beers on tap the stout and BrownNoser. 6 others at the bar. Come to find out 5 of them worked there. I doing my part plus. If they don't start doing there's, sadly I won't be back.

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Photo of slander
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Cambridge revisited, and I say "revisited" because their equipment was down the last time around and no beer was being made. Yeah, thanks for the guest taps. Note to self; make sure they're making beer before revisiting. Well, I've got time today before John's not so surprise party; thinkin' I'll indulge my affinity for Rte 8 twisting this way and that along the river Housatonic, and head ridiculously out of the way to Torrington, now that their beer is here...

Parked on the cheap; a whopping $0.25 an hour, criminal. Old something something on the strip now a brewpub; a large cavernous room with mezzanine space to the rear. "U" shaped dark wood bar with a wide low lip seats 18 on the far wall. Bar island inside with glassware shelved below tiered booze atop, with a bowling trophy and a picture of the king (not the freaky burger one who has oft times woken up in your bed with the egg and meat and cheese but rather he of the Elvis variety). Wines countered on the wall, shelved glassware above, and flatscreens to both sides mounted. Growlers, malt bags & glass pieces full of corkage atop.

Big brick bar back wall. The rest of the place painted yellow with wood trim, and a center divider down pale green. Past one side of the bar, CBH brews & guest taps listed on a board running a funny "L" above and alongside the entranceway to the kitchen. "Brewer's den" on the other side, being a small room with a single pool table, virtual bowling, a brew mural on the wall, light art and standard b/w brewery prints otherwise. High high ceilings, duct work & fat glass lighting, fans of spin. 3 flatscreens on the inside wall, some framed mirrorage and Warner Theater attraction posters (Pat Benatar came to Torrington, really? Wow, precious times).

7 tables run an "L" along the bar, and a row of 4 raised booths serving as a divider to the dining side. A dozen + tables on the backside of the divider, some sharing common benching, and another half dozen or so under the mezzanine side above the frontish windows. More seating up in the far, far mez to the rear, I'm just not feeling the want to investigate. And did I mention the brew room upfront with the kind views? Well it do.

Back barside again, a copper tower row of 6 taps on each end of the bar, a bunch of them looking empty. The sampler gives you all the house beers (6), but the sample paddle only holds 4 beers so they lined 2 more alongside. The Hefe, 5.5%, not in your face banana clovey but it is there; Litchfield Lager, 5.3%, crisp, Czech lager, odd, I do not love or really like; IPA, 6.8%, listed as New England style, I don't even know what that means, but it does have a decent hop presence; 3 Steve Stout, 5.3%, oaty, good licorice, just a bit thinnish but tasty; Octo, 6.7%, malty sweet, a nice Octo; Brownoser, 7.1%, malt bomb, with a good hoppy finish, pleasant. Stout, Octo & Brown were the best of 'em.

Guest tapswise, they have just one, the Hooker IPA (why put an guest IPA up against your own, I do not know).The big board list isn't updated, listing a whole bunch of things that aren't, including some of the house beers (No ESB, no Kolsch, grrrr!)

And for foodings, Loren's texting me some smack about something called a "dry hot pizza", I asked the bartender and now she's asking around and nobody seems to know what I'm talking about and, wait, some girl kind of does. She says "sausage... anchovies...", and I'm done listening, goodnight to that shit, anchovies, I'm going with the grilled chicken sandwich; served with 2 strips of bacon in a sharply aesthetic "X" shaped configuration, onion & lettuce, all on a fresh roll of good, and rolling with fries. I 'et that sandwich, I would do it again, not caring who is the knower. It arrived on a slot tray that fit the groove on the bar (I had been wondering how I was going to navigate the wide low lip once food showed up).

Most certainly helps one tolerate Torrington (Oh yes, I did). Decent crowd just now, and I'm comfortable here watching the Yanks giving Toronto the beat down. Did dug that chicken sandwich, and beerwise, would've liked to see a few more up but for what I had on the sampler 6, they were mostly good offerings. And they do growler pours too (thanks Sully).

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

I'm glad I live so close to this brewpub. I really like this area next to the Warner Theatre. The pub has clear glass windows so you can see the brewery from the outside. There is a seperate area with a pool table and bar games that makes a decent hang out area.

Cambridge House only offers beers on taps, and only has home-made and regional craft beer. They usually have around 4-6 house beers on tap, and then about 6 New England crafts. The house brews are very good, with a couple regulars (IPA, oatmeal stout, and Lager) as well as some good seasonal. They usually have a couple Hooker brews on tap, and usually some other local breweries like Berkshire and Long Trail. Selection isn't vast, but what they have is some quality stuff.

I've only had pub food at Cambridge house, and it has overall been pretty good. Chicken wings and pub pizza are about average. I've yet to try any of the entrees.

You won't see a ton of beers on tap at Camrbidge house, and they don't rotate house brews extremley often, so you won't get to try something new if you go often. But what they do have is high quality. I'll have to see what this place is like on a weekend, and the beers are good enough to bring me there.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Overall, not a bad experience. I didn't seem to think there were a whole lot of beers, considering this is a brewpub (they had maybe 6-7 beers in rotation, with some not offered everyday). THIS PLACE DOES NOT SERVE BEER SAMPLERS. Total letdown for us that want to try the beer made at this local establishment that really want to get a feel for the beers and quality of the brews. It was also good to see the place had guest taps from new england breweries. Not a whole lot of variety in the food menu, just pretty basic pub food. I had the Cambridge Cheese Streak and thought it was good. The sub had huge pieces of steak and cheese. I drank the pub's IPA. It was extremely Hopi and highly drinkable. The beers and food were more pricey than most non-brewbubs, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of Durge
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I stopped in here for my long awaited first visit following a show at the Warner Theater last Sunday. This new brewpub, #2 for Cambridge House and a welcome addition to the Northwest hill country of Connecticut, is located right next door to the theater and in the center of this medium sized downtown area. The outside of the place is intriguing as it tastefully retains it's old department store exterior. Once inside, it certainly shows off it's newness with a clean, open look. Dining tables are separated to the right half of the place including an interesting "loft-like" upstairs section. The furnishing is simple, a tad classy perhaps but not very warm, very little character for a brewpub, then this seems to be a popular formula in my experience. In fact, on this cool overcast Spring day, it generally was a bit uncomfortably cool at our table. There is a partition between the dining side and the bar area, but it is open enough to see through in spots and possibly even catch a vew of one of the televisions in the bar. I didn't get much of a look at the bar but it did seem "warmer" as one would expect. The bar itself is decent sized with a few sets of taps which currently only included their own Kolsch, IPA & 3 Steves Stout. Fortunately they also had a number of guest taps which were good quality options like Long Trail IPA, but little of interest if you're looking for something different. I was pleased to see Hooker IPA on tap and that delivered a very satisfying refreshment. The house stout, Steve's Oatmeal, was a tad disappointing but not bad. The food we had, five of us, was all generally decent pub food, solid but i think you will need to figure out what is good and what isn't like most places. I had the fish n' chips which was recommendable. After so much anticipation of the new brewpub coming to Torrington, the delays, and the generally good reputation of this brewer, I have to say it was just an alright experience. But I will be back and hope to upgrade from that.

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The Cambridge House in Torrington, CT
0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings.
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