Believe it or not it was 5pm and still technically the afternoon. Being in the middle of winter it was a very dark and cold evening. The small ray of light however was knowing that The Poets House in Ely was open and now serving (in my opinion) the best beer in the world on tap, Pilsner Urquell.
Pilsner Urquell is a Czech beer which was once widely available across Cambridgeshire. In Cambridge there was even a pub almost exclusively dedicated to it (The Avery) and numerous pubs across Ely were serving it, such as The Fountain, The Cutters Inn, and The Poets House.
Suddenly, one by one, the pubs stopped selling it and finding Pilsner Urquell anywhere other than in cans from the local Co-Op were but impossible to find. The worst part being that beer of this quality was often being replaced by gimmicky and uninspiring beers such as Camden Hell’s lager.
That is, until now!
I don’t know who in management decided to make this executive decision to bring back Pilsner Urquell but they aren’t being paid enough. My wife and I used to come here every time we went out and often chose The Poets House in Ely over going out in Cambridge but since my beloved beer has gone we have felt no urge to come back.
Upon visiting again we were starkly reminded of what we were missing from The Poets House. The bar is still superbly decorated with stylish furniture and a visually stunning bar with a marvellous selection of whisky, bourbons, and gins. The staff here have always been fantastic. They are engaging, professional, chatty, and have a good knowledge of the drinks they serve. Most of all they know how to make a mean cocktail with fellow Cambridge Foodie Sean being a particular fan of their Old Fashioned cocktail.
Some of the top selections of whisky available were Oban, Macallan’s, and a selection of Japanese whisky. You will also notice an entire shelf dedicated to gin on its own. They still do Peroni beer as well as a few other beers on tap, as well as a selection of craft beers in the fridge.
The Poets House is not cheap, there is no two ways about it but you don’t come here for a cheap pint of Carling. You come here for the best and the best is Pilsner Urquell, well looked after, on tap, served by a professional team with good knowledge of the alcohol they serve. A pint comes to £5.50 a pint but considering that a lot of beers in the city are £4+ these days and wont come close to this makes it a no brainer for me.
I look forward to coming back to The Poets House again. I will be visiting much more frequently in the future. It is one of my favourite pubs in Cambridgeshire.