I rarely make it to the grand openings of breweries, usually by the time I can make the trip a brewery has been in operation for a little while. In fact, my life has been so crazy that there are a number of places that have been on my must-visit-soon list for way too many months. I was able to make a glorious exception to this last week with a visit to Lamplighter Brewing Company less than a week after they first opened their door. It is a huge help that Lamplighter’s new space near Kendall Square in Cambridge is right down the road from my new job. The brewery is currently one big open room with equipment in the back, a counter for filling growlers and buying merchandise, and a small bar for tasting (Lamplighter currently just pours free tasting samples, they are working on getting the proper licenses to sell beer for consumption on the premises). I had to do a quick in and out, but I came away with some new glassware and a couple half growlers, one filled with Lucid Nonsense IPA and another with Easy Tiger Brett IPA. Both were very good, and I highly recommend checking out Lamplighter the next time you make a trip into Cambridge!
Lamplighter Lucid Nonsense pours a deep hazy orange with a solid white head. The scent is a big burst of hops, citrus and pine. The flavor is also very hop forward, notes of grapefruit, resin and tangerine along with a solid bitter bite. There is enough malt for balance, touches of bread crust and honey. Lucid Nonsense is medium bodied and drinks easy but packs a little punch at 7.1% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and bite. Lucid Nonsense is kind of a hybrid between the juicy east coast IPAs and the more bitter/piney west coast versions. It is a very good beer, a strong addition to the stable of delicious IPAs being brewed in Massachusetts. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Lamplighter Easy Tiger pours a hazy gold with a small white head. The scent is a mixture of funky yeast and fruity hops. The hops lead the flavor, notes of melon, orange and papaya along with mild bitterness. The yeast adds complexity, fruity esters and the distinct barnyard flavor imparted by the Brettanomyces yeast strain. The malts round out the flavors with hints of white bread and crackers. Easy Tiger is medium bodied and drinks very easy, with moderate alcohol at 6.8% ABV. The finish is crisp and dry with some lingering flavors of hops and funky yeast. It is nice to see that Lamplighter is not afraid to experiment with some different flavors, coming right out of the gate with a very well done Brett IPA. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.