Pastore Brewing & Blending – Waterbeach

Pastore (pas-tor-ray) is a Cambridgeshire based brewery which specialises in mixed-fermentation sours. The name ‘Pastore’ is Italian for ‘Shepard’ which was chosen to highlight their English and Italian routes. Located in my home town of Waterbeach, Pastore Brewery has been a place I have wanted to visit for a while but due to being open only one day a month, I have found it quite hard to pop in.

That was until I was driving down the A10 today with a few minutes to spare before going to pick up a takeaway from Royal Spice in Cambridge and realised it was open RIGHT NOW. I decided to swing by, take a look while I had the opportunity.

I have sampled sour beer in the past but have never been entirely won over by it. I absolutely love sour food and drink but I often feel that sour beer was a little gimmicky and is one of those drinks which may taste nice on the first sip but gradually gets harder to drink the further down the beverage you go. I was really hoping that my visit today would finally dispel some of these unsure feelings on sours and turn me into a fan.

Upon arrival, I was warmly greeted by a great team behind the bar. Speaking with Chris and the others, they are clearly people that love what they do. I was shown around the brewery and told about their operation and a bit about what they have in store for the future.

Inside, the place is industrial (like any brewery would be) but they still managed to give it a warm glowing atmosphere with decorative lighting and art provided by local artist Sam Griffiths to make it feel more homely. There were plenty of tables for people to sit down and a generous amount of space between (with my visit to Brewboard being quite claustrophobic with their seating).

The venue is family friendly, dog friendly, and they also have an accessible toilet with no steps.

There were six taps available with some of their signature sour beers, lager pils, and a porter. I was determined to give their sours a try to see if I could finally understand what all the fuss was about.

There was also a selection of bottles available which people were drinking in the brewery and I presume taking home also. Speaking to a chap at the bar, he had purchased a can of banana sour from the fridge, which I found absolutely fascinating. I will be trying this on my next visit out of sheer curiosity!

I went for the Blackcurrant Waterbeach Weiss, which was a fruity berry sour that came in at a very sessionable 3.8%. This was exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Light, easy, refreshing, and perfect for summer drinking. This won me over immediately and due to its low percentage did not make it too intense throughout the drink which I have found with other sours in the past. There is no doubt in my mind that I will be coming back to this again in the future.

Next, was the 1L Semifreddo, a cherry amaretto pastry sour at 5%. This was also delicious, though I found 1/3 was just enough for me and very much the sort of sour I remember.

Chris was kind enough to show me around and explained some of the projects they had on the go. The team at Pastores have all sorts of things up their sleeves which meant that they were more than just a one trick pony. I was particularly interested in the bourbon barrels they were using to brew their latest project with wild yeast. The barrels also added a more homely feel to the drinking area, turning it from a cold metallic warehouse to a place with an almost log cabin feel to it.

It pains me to have only had a short period of time at Pastore today. I would really like to sit down for an afternoon and really study what they had to offer and perhaps sample one of their food vans too. I have truly been won over by the Blackcurrant Waterbeach Weiss beer which I will be stocking up on in the future!

Thanks for reading – I will be updating this review in future as I visit again.

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