Finding ourselves in Gloucester on a recent sultry summer day, we needed to quench our thirst, and where better to find a frosty quaff than Cape Ann Brewing Company? A small craft brewing company, CABC has gained not just a loyal following but a popularity that reaches far beyond local.
In 2002, owner Jeremy Goldberg and a handful of friends decided to travel the country, experiencing 38 craft breweries in 40 days. The result was a documentary film entitled “American Beer, a Bockumentary.” Goldberg then moved to Gloucester to start his own operation, and in 2004, Cape Ann Brewing Company was born.
The sheer enthusiasm of everyone who works there is a joy, and they all seem to be home-brew fanatics. T.J. Peckham and Tom Ryan, who cover sales and distribution, have gone so far as to produce a series of videos featuring home-brewing how-to tips, called “The Deadliest Batch,” which can be found archived here at the Gloucester Times website.
Brewer Dylan L’abbe-Lindquist was originally hired to help manage the pub due to his restaurant experience, but his vast knowledge of home-brewing has made him valuable in all aspects of the operation.
It was Dylan who gave us a terrific tour of the facility, discussing ingredients and methods and what makes an ale different from a lager. One member of our party is considering home brewing, and the time and detail Dylan used answering our questions was much appreciated. Tours are available to anyone who stops in, as long as they have the staff to spare. If you’re unsure of your timing or have a large party, you may want to call ahead.
The pub part of the operation opened almost a year and a half ago and has been going like gangbusters. The open wood-paneled room with a boat-shaped bar and long tables is friendly and welcoming. Parents with young children take note: there are rocking chairs and shelves of books and games to accommodate those who enjoy meeting friends for a pint but don’t want to call a babysitter.
The pub offers a small but interesting menu of munchies and local pizza, but the focus is the beer. And, oh, what beer. We tried the entire spectrum of what was on tap, from the lighter IPA and Bavarian Wheat to the Fisherman’s Navigator, a German-style doppel-bock, and the Fisherman’s Eclipse, a schwarzbier (also known as “black” beer). One of our party enjoyed the Bavarian Wheat, but it was too fruity (bananas!) for me.
My favorite was the Fisherman’s Tea Party which, it turns out, isn’t really a beer at all. It’s a barley wine that includes three types of tea that were among those dumped during the Boston Tea Party. It had a wonderfully complex and rich taste, dark yet smooth, that I would definitely return for. You can see a video of Jeremy talking about the teas here on Good Morning Gloucester.
If you are into beer, Cape Ann Brewing Company is a must-visit, and even if you’re not a fanatic, the beautiful brews are certainly worth checking out. These guys are passionate about what they do, and you can taste it. If you can’t get to Gloucester, take a look at their website for the closest retail distributor of Cape Ann’s bottled offerings. CABC just got approval to fit up a new space and likely won’t be moving until next year, but be sure to check hours and directions if you’re coming from out of town. The pub also has weekly special events and food offerings so sign up for their email updates to get the latest from Jeremy.
Cape Ann Brewing Company
27 Commercial St, Gloucester