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Cambridge Brewing Company
Active Beers: 112
Beer Ratings: 2,740
Beer Avg: 4.03
Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
1 Kendall Square
phone: (617) 494-1994
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vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
I was a regular visitor of CBC, drawn by its excellent selection of beers they brew, including four standards and a seaonsal menu of four to five other beers. Food is good, but the food-to-price ratio is average.
However, service leaves a lot to be desired. I've been many times where service disappears mid-meal, or is lackadaisical to begin with. I do understand how busy waiting can be, but there's no excuse for customers to have empty beer glasses while the waittress chats on end with a coworker. The last straw was this weekend, when my party was promptly seated on a not-so-busy afternoon, waited five minutes before hailing the hostess to track down a waiter for us (perhaps one of the ones chatting nearby) and then leaving five minutes later without so much as a "I'm sorry about the wait, I'll be right with you" from anybody. Given the many excellent places to enjoy beer in the Boston area, I will certainly not return to CBC again.
06-07-2009 19:10:27 |
More by drinksandeats
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3 | $$$
This place has better than average beer (for a bar, not the beer bars in Boston listed in BA), average pub grub type food, and is at a good location. Its an average place with one glaring problem.... the staff. It's the typical Cambridge condescending attitude, but its mixed with a Beer snob attitude to go with it. The combination is deadly. So just swinging over for a beer is an unpleasant event.
Also because its a brew pub selection is limited. I really like the beer, but can get just as good nearby without the batenders and waitstaff being jerks. I'd put a 0 for service if they had it.
I think other people don't have service listed so low because they like that type of attitude. Some people like the Cambridge egomania, or beer snobbery, that's cool, but not good for a relaxing evening out.
I have to add... after reading a lot of these reviews.... that I have been there at least half a dozen times. This was due to me wanting to give it more than one chance, and it is a common meet up place because of its location. I noticed a lot of people reviewed after going only once. That's cool, but I don't think that gives a realistic perspective.
08-27-2009 15:04:41 |
More by HT75
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2
Went to CBC for the Jazz Brunch this last Sunday. Nice building, large space, former mill. Being from Cambridge, I knew what to exspect as far as parking, but was in for a surprise on the inside. The place was practically empty, but that didn't stop the waitress from squeezing all the patrons side by side. She disappeared for about half an hour, then returned to get our order. The she disappeared for another 45 minutes before returning with both our food and drinks. The food was cold, and half my order "would be coming out soon". Another 15 minutes later it did, cold. While all this was happening, a 5 piece jazz band was playing. They sounded and looked like they ran into each other in hallway over at MIT. Bad would have been an understatement. The women singing(?) didn't even use lyrics, but just "skatted" every song. Not even good skatting, she sounded like an animal caught in a trap. The beer was still good, but I could not purchase a growler it being Sunday. I can't fault them for that, but the service, the food and the band are going to make it very difficult for me to convice my wife that "this is probably the best brew pub in Boston".
11-18-2002 09:43:16 |
More by bewareOFpenguin
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$$$
$11 dollars for a hamburger? $16 for tacos? Are they high? The food wasn't even that good and the portions are too small for a growing boy such as myself.
The service if awful. At one point I thought our waitress left for the night. I waited with any empty beer glass and and empty glass of water for 15 minutes before my party arrived. When everyone showed up we waited with dirty plates on our table. A different server brought our food, another server cleared our plates, and after waiting for a long time we flagged down another server to get us our check. I've worked in the service industry for 14 years and this is one of the few times during that period that I've tipped below 20%.
Atmosphere is a mix of typical Cambridge freeks and geeks mixed with over the hill, domesticated hippies. You know, the guy who wears a brown suede vest over his earthy green L.L. Bean button down so he looks like he's going to a renaissance fair. The music sounded like a electronica-folk hybrid. Nice outside seating section though.
All that aside, this is some of the best beer in Boston. The standars such as their amber, porter, and IPA are all ridiculously good on thier own but then you get to the special stuff like Arquebus (a summer barley wine aged in white wine barrels), and other Brett infused, and barrel aged beers. CBC is completely unparrelled for unique beers in the Boston area IMO. Sit down at the bar have a drink and get a growler filled but skip the food and crappy service.
07-03-2009 16:44:59 |
More by donkeyrunner
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2.5
We were visiting Boston from California for a quick getaway. We decided to try this one and John Harvards. Cambridge Brewing Co. has a light open atmosphere. It reminded me of a mountain resort type building on the inside with its light-colored wooden (pine?) structure. We came in around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Service was reasonable considering the lack of customers at this time of day. My wife ordered fish & chips and I ordered a pizza. The waitress said that they didnt serve pizza until after 5:00 p.m. so we waited and sampled the beer (the main attraction anyway). My wife had the Tall Tale Pale Ale. She likes darker and sweeter brews and this one fit the bill. She said she "could easily finish the whole 9 oz." I had a pint of the Cambridge Winter Ale that at first seemed a bit too bitter for my tastes, but after the third or fourth sip, it was surprisingly enjoyable. Maybe I just needed to have my palate re-adjusted from the stout that I was drinking the night before. Their newsletter says that the Winter Ale recipe is 750 lbs. of pale malt and as many Cascade and Centennial hops as we can stuff into our kettle and fermenters. Their web site correctly says that its rich malt flavor finishes remarkably smooth and well-balanced. I think thats what I liked about it the most. It didnt make your mouth implode into your face. It left me ready to sample something else now that my pizza finally arrived. That something else was the Benevolence. The description on the menu was intriguing what with 8 different malts, aged hops, dark candi sugar, and organic black raisins fermented with multiple yeast strains and aged one year in Jack Daniels bourbon barrels. Barrel fermentation was sparked by the addition of dates, sour cherries, and local honey, and a lambic yeast blend. It also said that it would test the limits of your palate and the openness of your mind. All of this was true. The first sip was a complete shock. Was I drinking beer or some brewmasters nightmare? Once I got over the initial impact, I noticed a million different flavors streaming out at once. I tried to pick each one out yes, theres the raisin and the black cherries and the bourbon barrels and the Well after a while it just started to meld all together and tasted like sparkling fermented prune juice. I know there are no prunes in this beer, but neither are there in Dr. Pepper. I ate my pizza which was O.K., but wouldnt win any awards. The crust was nice. It had just a hint of crispiness. The sauce however tasted like it came out of a can. I like to taste a little more basil or other spices. The Benevolence I didnt finish, which says a lot from my standpoint. Its one of those brews that youll either love or hate. I dont think theres any neutral ground.
I might go back to CBC for another visit a different time of year, but only if I can see that there arent any kids in the place. Its a little too family friendly for serious beer sampling, and speaking of sampling, they didnt seem to have a sampling special like a few ounces of each of their offerings. I have come to enjoy that sort of thing before settling down with a favorite or two. I also like to see a little more variety. They only had four house beers, but made up for it with seven or eight seasonal or specialty beers that they charge a little more for. This required a bit of a commitment before knowing what you are getting into. I hated leaving the Benevolence behind, but maybe thats how it got its name.
03-18-2004 05:03:07 |
More by paulcrsm
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3
This place is located just outside of Boston in a pretty upscale development complex. Once inside, you can see the bar in the back with some tables positioned in the front of the building. I wasn't that impressed with the atmosphere. It looked like just another rest/bar to me. I did however fall in love with these cool table draft towers that you can fill with a boatload of thier brew.
The service was good, but the food selection didn't seem all that great for the area. They are in a nice section of town, but it seemed like a half-assed setup.
The brews were pretty decent. I had a harvest/pumpkin type beer and whatever else was on the sampler. Nothing blew me away. That seemed to be the whole idea here; looks pretty cool, but lacking substance. I really didn't notice anyone paying much attention to the house beers.
This was a nice stop after touring Boston Beer Company, but I'll never go back. I hate driving in Mass.
01-21-2004 18:42:07 |
More by WesWes
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
Stopped here on a Saturday evening for some beers. The trend of millitant female waitresses in Boston continued at this establishment. After waiting 30 minutes for a table, we waited an additional 20+ for the waitress to take our drink order and then another 20 to get the actual drinks. The place was crowded but our table of all males seemed to get overlooked by this less than friendly waitress. The beers we had were excellent and spot-on for style. The atmosphere was dark but warm and friendly. I would go back but hope I didn't get this waitress again.
05-23-2009 16:12:30 |
More by mymrnngjckt
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Beer was reasonably priced, but the food tended to be a little pricey for what you'd expect from a Micro-Brewery. The atmosphere was pretty good: very clean and well light with the added benefit of bags of grains stacked around. Service was fast and more than willing to bring us samples, unfortunately our choices were slim as they had kicked a number of kegs (some had been kicked for days). The beer itself was good, but I'd expect better. Better off going to Boston Beer Works for as good food, better prices, and better beer.
04-20-2008 22:29:15 |
More by leif86
vibe: 2 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5 | $$$
Cambridge Brewing Company is an OK restaurant with a wonderful brewery attached to it.
Clean, wooden (ceiling at least) interior with a slightly strange arrangement of the tables and bar. The brewhouse sits behind the bar in the middle of the place, which is nice to see. The atmosphere is pretty stale most of the time, though much less so during special events. Everything seems louder than it really should be in here, which I personally find annoying and can be headache-inducing if you stay too long.
I have been numerous times, and I find that:
The food is mediocre and therefore overpriced. The service tends to be poor. The beer is awesome.
So I keep going back because of the beer. Consistently tasty and experimental, this place has some of the best brewpub beers that I have had (especially the seasonals). So pull up a stool to the bar and grab a pint.
This place also has a number of special occasions from beer-dinners to cask Tuesdays that keep things exciting.
03-05-2006 16:47:19 |
More by waughbrew
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Drove down from Bedford, where i was staying on business, parked at the Alewife station and took the subway to town. CBC was a comfortable three block walk from the Kendall stop. I thought i might have to hunt around for it in Kendall Square, but it is easily visable from the street. The CBC archway draws you near and partitions off a large patio from the rest of the square. It is a moderately sized open facility situated so that you walk through the table seating area with the bar area located in the back. It was pretty full when we arrived, which is usually a good sign. Very warm and casual environment.
I liked the long narrow table with tall stools that separated the bar from the table seating. Although ordering a drink from there was a bit of a challenge; single bartender did his best to keep the beer flowing and he did so with a smile. The cask was empty, but there was otherwise a good selection of the house beers available. The Pumpkin had a good autumn spice to it but lacked a substantial pumpkin flavor. The Cambridge Amber was good; quite rich and malty with a distinctive carmel flavor.
While we didn't eat there but the meals looked good and everyone appeared to be enjoying the food.
10-28-2006 13:53:55 |
More by jjayjaye
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Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, MA