Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beer Tasting in Cambridge

Besides birds, I have developed a taste for beer, which is lovely since Cambridge is full to the brim with pubs carrying all sorts of proper ales. We set up a little beer tasting evening at an out of the way pub called Live and Let Live. Let me tell you, this was probably my favorite pub in all of Cambridge. On first glance, it doesn't appear all that different from the other pubs I'd been into, but then a quick look at what was on tap changed that. In Cambridge, most pubs serve Greene King ales, which though good, are entirely too abundant.

The bar owner came over with a pitcher of our first of 6 beers, this was was a fruity, bitter lightly-colored beer called Nethergate Umber Ale. 3.9% alcohol. It had hints of the coriander it was made with, but was too bitter for most of the participant's taste.
The second beer was a more traditional style beer, Everard's Tiger, which at 4.2% alcohol was much lighter tasting, medium colored, and with a slight scent of strawberry. It was brewed using English hops, which are less bitter and citrus-y than American hops.

Our third beer was called York Decade, 4.2% another paler beer with a much more intense flavor than the mellow Tiger. This one was tangy, quite bitter or hop-y, and had a grapefruit-y smell and taste. It was quite dry and had a bite to it.

Fourth in line was Pot Belly Brewery's Yellow Belly Beer, 5.2% and lighter, hop-y, and almost no smell. It was good, refreshing, and the type of beer I could probably drink more of in one sitting.

Nethergate Umber Magna

Our fifth beer was possibly my favorite, another Nethergate beer - called Umber Magna. A very dark beer, made of roasted malt instead of hops, which gave it a very caramelized almost Guinness-like flavor (less filling and sweeter than Guinness though) This beer also contained a hint of coriander, which I could smell but barely taste.
For our last beer, we had a Belgian ale, called Saison Dupont, coming in at a stronger 6.5%. It was sweet, slightly bitter, very hop-y, and almost had a sudsy texture to it. Strong smelling, tasting, and hitting. Also the bartender's favorite.
I loved the evening, and would go back for another round of beers, the bar man was knowledgeable, and let us pipe in with our untrained opinions. It is a great bar to get a break from the typical pub crawl, and if you truly enjoy Belgian beers, they have a huge selection of ridiculously strong Belgian choices.


tai haku said...

Hey Leigh
I haven't checked your blog in a while and only just found out you were in Cambridge now. Hope you're enjoying my old stomping ground - you've found some decent bars already I see.

You can pick up some cool birds in the Botanic Gardens if you haven't already been; there used to be little grebe in the ornamental lakes. The walk along the backs between Johns (yay!) and Trinity (boo!) is a great place to see Bank Voles and you might get Tawny Owl or GS Woodpecker if you check the trees that line that walk carefully.

Leigh said...

Ah yes, we had a walk to the Botanic Gardens, but I couldn't go because I was in class. I'll definitely try to make it on my own this week though, thanks for the advice.

I love the Backs, and have gotten some lifers there already, including the gs woodpecker, but I'd kill for tawny owl!