Tap takeover: Mad Squirrel @ The Live & Let Live

I managed to kill two birds with one stone this afternoon by visiting a pub I have been itching to visit for years, The Live And Let Live on Mawson Road (just off Mill Road).

I can honestly say that I have never heard a bad word uttered about the Live And Let Live. Everyone I speak with seems to love it and after visiting today, I can safely say that I do too!

On the Craft Beer In Cambridgeshire Facebook group, I caught wind that Mad Squirrel was doing a tap takeover. This was the perfect opportunity to visit and sample some of the best of what Hemel Hempstead has to offer, while checking out one of the most beloved pubs in the city. This is the pubs first tap takeover since their reopening. After speaking with one of the team behind the bar, they mentioned that this will hopefully be the first of many from now on.

The pub is fairly standard from the outside but is absolutely stunning as you enter. It is warm, traditional, and a great example of a Cambridge style pub.

There is a corner of books which you are free to borrow from, a wood burning stove to add that cosy atmosphere, and a lovely bar with a great selection of ales and beers, including a selection of 5 taps from Mad Squirrel Brewery.

Operating since 2010, the Mad Squirrel Brewery thinks of itself as “forward thinking and contemporary”, offering unfiltered and unpasteurised beers which are also sessionable. On top of that, they are SALSA+ accredited, meaning that they meet exceptional standards when it comes to hygiene practices and production standards.

Of the 5 available to sample tonight, we had the following…

• Roadkill – A New England IPA (6.5%)

• Pin Drop – Tropical IPA (4.5%)

• Hopfest – The only gluten free option of the selection (3.8%)

• De La Creme – A milk stout (4.5%)

• Big Sea – West coast IPA (5.5%)

Pin Drop

There was a wide diversity for only 5 taps, which should be able to provide something for everyone. Pints cost £7 and half pints were £3.50.

To start with, I went for Pin Drop, a tropical IPA made by Mad Squirrel and a night safety app called ‘Where You At’. I have never had an IPA made by an app before but it offered a rather refreshing and citrus take on what a tropical IPA can be.

Big Sea

My second choice was Big Sea, a west coast IPA. This was my favourite of the two, offering “big citrus, big pine, and waves of bitterness”. The beer had a darker and more cloudy body to it and a taste match.

I was on my way to a meeting, so had to stop at two (being the professional that I am!), but I managed to sample the deliciously named Roadkill. This is a hazy IPA with a really punchy aftertaste. I’d really like to explore this one more in the future as it had a very bold character.

The Live And Let Live is the perfect example of a stereotypical Cambridge pub. If you ever have a visitor looking to get an understanding of what the city is all about, then this is the ideal place to bring them. It is traditional, cosy, and has a great selection of ales and beer. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be back soon!

I look forward to seeing which tap takeover comes next. Make sure to check out the Craft Beer In Cambridgeshire Facebook group to find out more.

Thanks for reading!

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