Hi-Fi RyePA

Hi-Fi RyePA
1 draught pint, $3.75, 5.4% ABV

Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub

I just poked through a box of books I packed up a few years ago with the intent to sell that at a garage sale… errr, estate sale, as we call them in West Hartford. I was donating the box but wanted to be sure I wasn’t parting with something I wanted to keep. Oh look, a biography of Frederick Law Olmstead! And for some reason, I kept High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.

I doubt it, but perhaps I’ll read it someday. But pulling it out of that box and dusting off 5 years worth of crud got me thinking that someone smart and funny (smarter and funnier than I am at least) needs to start a blog or website wherein they compare movies and the books they are based upon. Maybe it exists, I don’t know.

The rye-hopped IPA’s I’ve had all sort of seem like bad movies that have been made based upon really great books. This, it must be said, is wholly due to my dislike for rye. I don’t hate rye bread, but it’s pretty low on my breads I want to eat list. I do hate rye whiskey though.

And I really, really hate Brennevin. What’s Brennevin? Oh my, you mean you’ve never been to Iceland? Plebe.

I’ve never been to Iceland either, but my friend (and occasional CTMQ cameo) Rob C brought a bottle back from there once, happily noting that it’s actually called “Black Death” (Svartadaudir) and tastes like rye bread schnapps. Mmmm.

Brennevin, by the way, means “burning wine” – and is actually applied to a bunch of Scandinavian liquors. And yes, it’s loaded with caraway (which is what makes rye bread rye bready) and even though it’s less than 80 proof, it burns like it’s 140 proof. It’s awful, awful stuff.

But what about CBH’s Rye IPA? It’s not bad, not bad at all. Once again, as I’m learning more about the CBH brewing philosophy, it’s all about subtlety up there in Granby. Their smoked beer isn’t too smokey and their rye beer isn’t too rye-y. Thank goodness.

Cambridge House says:

HiFi RyePA – a blast of spicy rye and citrus hops together in a nice, tight, low ABV package.

“The blast of spicy rye” IS present, but it’s muted somehow. You know you are tasting the rye, but it’s pleasant. Maybe some others I’ve had felt the need for caraway and CBH didn’t, opting just for the rye grains or whatever the technical term for this stuff is.

This was my fourth CBH beer and while all four were good, none have yet blown me away. Of course, to be fair, I’ve yet to have any of my favorite styles, choosing instead styles that I don’t really like (light ales, smoked ale, rye ale) and I’ve ended up liking them.

This bodes well for the future.

Overall Rating: B+
Rating vs. Similar style:A+ (limited exposure)

Beer Advocate’s Reviews of Hi-Fi RyePA
Cambridge House Brew Pub
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