Instant Beer Review | East Coast Edition: Cape Ann Brewing

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THE BEERS: A selection from Cape Ann Brewing.

THE PLACE: The brewpub itself in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

WHAT ARE WE TALKIN’ ABOUT? I had a tasting flight of six beers, selected from a dozen on tap. They were the Fisherman’s Not Your Ordinary Bitter, the Pumpkin Stout, Fisherman’s Tea Party, 70-Shilling Scottish Ale, Fisherman’s Dunkelweiss, and the Pick Ale.

AND HOW WERE THEY? Nothing terrible, some unremarkable, a few standouts. The Scottish and the Dunkelweiss were too mild and almost watery. The Bitter was drinkable but nothing to write home about.

NOTHING BUT COMPLAINTS, EH? Not at all. The Pick Ale is made with cucumbers and a hint of dill (“Pick Ale” = “pickle,” get it?). Served on cask, I have to say that it was weirdly tasty.

Speaking of weirdly tasty, the Tea Party was a very strange flavor combo. Described as a “barley wine style,” it’s made with three kinds of tea. The flavor is sweet and smoky and definitely strong. I don’t think I’d want a pint, but it’s worth trying.

The Pumpkin Stout was just damn good. It has the roasty aroma of a good stout with a nice pumpkin flavor at the end without being overly spiced like some pumpkin beers can be. The bartender gave me a sample of what he referred to as the brew’s “big brother” – the Imperial Pumpkin Stout. Take the same flavors and overlay a smackdown of pure booze and you’ve got it. Still good, but definitely a slow sipper.

DEEP THOUGHTS: Like I said, nothing bad here, and some of the brews are really good. I could probably have consumed quite a few of those Pumpkin Stouts, but there was lobster to eat. I had three that day, including one for breakfast. I’m not kidding.