Baron Brewery – Hertfordshire

Now, I know this is the Cambridge Foodies and technically Baron Brewery is located in Hertfordshire but after popping into The Filling Station the other day, I was recommended them by the team. I can never say no to their recommendations as they really know their stuff at The Filling Station. We have also been known to stretch our boundaries outside of Cambridgeshire in the past, with visits to Newmarket restaurants, so thought it would be appropriate to share my most recent discovery. This is only a short distance from Royston, so is easily accessible to you Cambridgeshire based craft beer fans out there!

Baron Brewery sees by themselves as a playground where every batch is different. Everything is made for the fun of doing so and every batch is entirely unique. Who knows, the one you are drinking right now may very well be their best! They mostly specialise in modern style beers, such as highly hopped ales and lagers.

The first I tried was the Dojo, which is a 7.4% double dry hopped IPA. This supposedly has a “crazy high hop rate”and is created with a slightly lower mash temperature to encourage fermentation. I’m not technical enough to know what all that means but it was certainly bloody lovely and probably my favourite of the bunch. It had a real intense fruity flavour and a deep floral finish.

Next on my list is the Blue Monday which is a 6.5% ‘juicy’ IPA. This was much lighter than Dojo and was specifically made to cheer you up on this dark and very cold winter Mondays. It may have been a Wednesday but it is mid January at the time of writing, so I felt like it was an appropriate time to have one. It is very smooth and light with citrus elements (grapefruit?). It lacked a little depth but was clearly aimed at easy drinking. It certainly cheered me up none the less so did exactly what it set out to do!

Last but by no means least, a more sessionable little number called Thrift. Coming in at 4.6% which makes it a lot easier to pound on weekends. This is hopped with “with some old school classics” both Amarillo and Columbus.

I thoroughly enjoyed my little session with Baron. I could certainly see myself getting a few of these again. The Dojo was especially up my street and I really enjoyed its sticky intensity. Coming to £6.70 a can, this is hovering about what you could expect for a double IPA and I will definitely keep an eye out for the Dojo in the future. Once again, the team at the Filling Station gives me sound advice. Maybe they should start a consultancy?

What do you think? Thanks for reading!

Thirsty – Chesterton Rd

I’ve only gone and made it!

Thirsty is one of the most popular places for craft beer on the Craft Beer In Cambridgeshire group. Unfortunately, if you don’t live in Cambridge, it can be quite a challenge to get too. So it’s been longer than I had hoped before finally visiting this iconic proprietor.

I decided to take the plunge however and make the effort to visit to see what all the fuss was about. After wrestling with one of those god forsaken parking meters out the front, I managed to pop in and take a look around.

For those of you on the Cambridge Foodies, Thirsty has a selection of food trucks who visit from Tuesday-Saturday, such as Al Chile, Scotties, Taco Man, and the Wandering Yak. This means you can soak up the craft beer with some great food and make an entire night of your visit.

The place is small but they’ve done great with the space available. They have an almost Bavarian Beer Hall feel with the long benches, which makes it easy to fit in large crowds but also encourages people to socialise between themselves too. I can see this really gaining a lovely atmosphere in the evenings with people sharing tables and getting to know each other.

The bar was glorious. Look at all those taps! There were 22 in total, ranging from IPA’s to, sours, to stout’s. I noticed some familiar names on the board, including Verdant, The Kernel London, and Cloudwater. It was great to see a local beer by Pastore, based on my home village of Waterbeach.

If you can’t find something you like on draught then their fridge selection is monstrous too. Filled with mostly craft beer and wine. As if four large fridges weren’t enough, they were even stocking beer on top!

I went for a half pint of ‘Lightbulb’ by Verdant. I’ve always been a big fan of fruity sessionable pale ales. The chap who served me really knew his stuff and was kind enough to let me sample the ‘Il Tramonto Del Sol’ by Pastore & Cloudwater. This is a raspberry and lime sour which was right up my street, as I love sour food and drink. What I love about Thirsty is the little details, as the sample was served in a micro pint glass.

He also recommended me an IPA I had not tried before. I had seen it absolutely everywhere on my travels but I had never got round to trying ‘Bop’ by the Beak Brewery. Located near Brighton, this was an absolutely superb IPA. This stuff absolutely rocked my socks off and was so good I even decided to buy myself an extra can to take home.

I must admit, I’m a huge fan of Thirsty. I can see why it gets the hype it does. It’s such a shame that it is impossible for me to catch public transport here otherwise I would visit more often. I really want to come back again and take a punt at the food van and make an evening of it. I can really see this being a good place to bring a group of people and spending an entire evening here, especially since there are other great places close by too.

Thanks for reading!

BrewBoard takes over Green Street.

After hearing the devastating news of The Swoop Retail Taproom closing down on Green Street recently, I was left feeling anxious about what was going to replace it. The Swoop offered a wide range of local products from craft beer master classes, chicken wing take over events, and Hot Numbers coffee. It was a perfect shop for anyone like myself who loved to sample locally sourced products in one handy place and it was going to be a hard to replace. 

My fear was that it was going to turn into another blasted charity shop but luckily another familiar company has decided to take over and continue to offer locally sourced craft beer – BrewBoard. 

For those of you who aren’t already aware, BrewBoard is a Harston based craft beer producer which has appeared on the Cambridge Foodies Blog many times before. Also, making frequent appearances on our Craft Beer In Cambridgeshire Facebook group too. So, I was delighted to hear that they were now going to be more accessible for people, as their Harston brewery is a bit of a journey, mainly due to being located in the heart of an industrial estate. 

Upon entering, the venue was quite bare. This can be forgiven, as they have only been open a few weeks, but I look forward to seeing what they do with the place down the line. You can see that they have used some of their kegs from the brewery as seats and had some of their iconic framed art work on the walls to give it a personal touch. The place was busy, which was great to see, with some people coming all the way from Peterborough just to pop in. There was seating downstairs, so the place is bigger than it looks when entering. Nobody was left without a seat, so it can easily hold 40-50 people. 
The bar offers their BrewBoard selection, including their recently redone Beasticus (which is one of my favourites). There are other types available from their Porters, Gose beer, NEIPA’s, and dry hopped lagers. There should be something for everyone here, especially since they also have a giant fridge full of their cans too. You have to be a fan of BrewBoard to drink here as I saw no other selections of beer. 
Naturally, I went for Beasticus, a sessionable NEIPA coming in at 4.9%. I have not stopped being able to drink this after discovering it one night at The Orator. I really enjoyed this new batch of Besticus after the previous one left me feeling a little flat, so make sure you try it!  My sister had the dry hopped lager called Rex (4.6%) which she thoroughly enjoyed.

The atmosphere was great and there was enough seating for all. They had a hilarious photo cut out board of some of their art work to help entice people from the streets.  Being the excessive man child that I am, I decided to embarrass myself with a photo. 

I am really pleased to see Brewboard in Cambridge, as they have previously been very hard to access (unless you want to buy their cans from a third party). There is nothing quite like drinking it from draught, as it really brings the quality of their beer to life. I am going to really miss The Swoop Retail Taproom as it offered a wide selection of local products but if it is going to be replaced by anyone, then it has to be Brewboard. 

I wish them the best of luck! Long may they last! 

Thanks for reading!

The Bank – Willingham

It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally managed to visit The Bank in Willingham. I drive past this micropub several times a week, so I was disappointed in myself for not visiting sooner.

The Bank has always fascinated me, not just for its quirky size but also because of its reputation of providing damn good beers, so I was excited to see what it had to offer.

https://www.realalefinder.com/beerboard/?the-bank-micropub-cambridge

According to the website, it opens at 5:30pm. I turned up at 5:25pm and the place was already busy. So I have no idea what time they operate from. I also tried to check online what they were selling on tap before visiting the website no longer updated its beers.

After speaking with the landlord he confessed that the website is a little neglected, so to find out what they are serving before visiting make sure you check out their QR code which is posted on the wall. This will send you directly to Real Ale Finder with an up to date list on what is being served. Click here for the direct link to The Bank.

As you would expect, the place is very small but they’ve done wonders with the space. There were a surprising amount of people in the pub yet it never felt claustrophobic. The place is well decorated with a very traditional living room theme, which should offend no-one. There were a lot of historic photographs of Willingham on the wall which I partially enjoyed.

The pub had a board with all their current beers available. This changed weekly (or whenever the kegs are finished). There were options ranging from IPA’s, stout, and lager. There were also ciders not pictured in the photo above.

There was also a fridge serving a selection of craft beers in cans which can be purchased to take away or to drink in the pub. They charge an extra £1 for drinking in the pub, which is more than reasonable (especially since space is not plentiful in a micropub). I noticed some familiar faces in there such as Burnt Mill.

My first victim was from the Kernel Brewery called Nelson’s Sauvin Pale Ale. This was deliciously flavorful, especially coming in at only 5%. It had citrus notes and was a very nice and cloudy tipple. One of the favourites of my visit.

Next, was from the Lost & Grounded Brewers called Keller Pils. Normally, I’m a fan of Germanic style pilsners but this one felt very anemic after my first pint. It had a bitterness to it which, I felt, didn’t work. It was also quite watery.

It was still great to have a choice like this on the menu for people who don’t want anything to intense. I overhead a man bring in his friend who was not overly sure on craft beers and pale ales and only wanted a lager, so something like this would have been real life saver for him.

The Bank also offers a takeaway service in portable plastic containers which can hold between 4-5 pints. This is by no means the advanced dispensing technology of The Filling Station in St Ives but should serve you well if you have to get home for dinner but still fancy a few extra pints that evening. This coupled with the beer cans available for takeaway makes this a great place to pop in and stock up as well as a place to visit for an evening.

I noticed Howling Hops’s “House IPA” which I had been itching to sample since I got in. There were a lot of other people drinking it which made it even more enticing and being at 6.9% I knew it would have a bold flavour. So I decided to order a few beers for takeaway.

Upon getting home, the House IPA did not disappoint and was my stand out favourite of the evening. This hazy New England IPA had notes of pineapple and other tropical fruits which made this dangerously moorish. Needless to say, the two pints didn’t last long and at nearly 7% the end of the evening was a bit of a blur.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at The Bank. Willingham is very lucky to have such an interesting and unique pub. With my local village being a similar population and having absolutely nothing to offer in terms of quality pubs, I am incredibly envious.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back as this post will be updated as I visit again soon.

Calverly Brewery – Hooper Street

I have heard quite a bit of noise about the Calverly Brewery in the Craft Beer In Cambridgeshire Facebook group over the past few months. So naturally, I had to pop by Hooper Street to see what all the fuss was about and book a table to sample their selection.

Upon entering the place is open and light. Overall, it’s a very pleasant place to be. It was a little featureless but the team had made a real effort to try and minimise this by adding some greenery, artwork, and a rather fetching fireplace.

The place started off empty but really filled up as the day went on. Looking at the booking page online it was fully booked with little room for flexibility – the place was clearly very popular!

There was a great selection on the menu including West Coast style pale ales, crisp lagers, fruity beers, and porters. There was something for everyone here, also including gin, wine, and ginger beer.

My first choice was one of my favourites of the day, a delicious Kayensee Dawg hazy pale ale. This came to 5.2% which was top end of the sessionable spectrum. It was served in a 2/3 pint glass but was just about right for me. I could have easily drank this all day but decided to explore the menu for the sake of exploring.

My wife has a delicious lemonade by Fentimans. It calls itself a “Victorian lemonade”. I’m not sure what that means exactly but it was absolutely fantastic. A real cloudy and sour lemonade which is exactly how I like it.

The next on my list was the Mosaic Simcoe pale ale. This was another West Coast IPA with a citrus and fruity flavour. It had a real sour element which I partially enjoyed. It didn’t have the same depth of flavour as Kayensee Dawg but was enjoyable in a different way. After a while the bitterness built up and became hard to finish but started off great. This is something I’d recommend as a half pint.

Last on my list is the Tafel Bier which was made with Belgium abbaye yeast. This was only 2.1% but you’d hardly notice the difference. Certainly something I’d recommend for the designated driver.

The staff here were great and one in particular was very chatty. It’s a very welcoming atmosphere and I was always served promptly (even when busy). The venue was very clean, open, and well designed, with a good use of space throughout. I can see why this place is so popular, even with so many highly competitive pubs close by.

I can certainly see myself coming back to finish off the menu. Being on Hooper Street makes this very hard for anyone living outside the Cambridge bubble but for anyone living close by I can see this being a real regular place to visit.

Update:

I decided to pop back to pick up some of their newly available canned beers. One is a pale ale and the other is an IPA (6.9%). A 6 pack came to £16.50 which I was allowed to mix and match. I didn’t think £2.80 for a can was horrendous for the quality of the beers and they easily kept up in quality with some of the more expensive stuff I’ve had in the past from other breweries.

Both beers were absolutely fantastic and personally I thought they were better than the stuff I tried on draught at the brewery. These are unfortunately only available at Calverley’s itself and not stocked anywhere else. I would really like to see these more widely available, perhaps somewhere outside of the city, as I could really see myself buying these more often.

Thanks for reading.

Website: https://www.calverleys.com/

Address: 23A Hooper Street, Cambridge, CB1 2NZ

Opening times: Tuesday – Friday
– 17:00 – 22:30
Saturday – 12:00 – 22:30

My visit to Oktoberfest @ The Filling Station

For those of you who aren’t already aware, The Filling Station has taken the Cambridgeshire craft beer scene by storm.

By offering sustainable, high quality, and locally made craft beer which you are able to take away and drink in your very own home (thanks to their state of the art dispensing technology) they have attracted people from all over the county.

It really is a unique experience for Cambridgeshire which has interested experienced craft beer fans as well as newbies like myself since it’s opening. For a more in-depth explanation on how the system works make sure to read our review here.

For anyone who knows me, I’ve been a huge fan of Germanic beer for a long time, spending many holidays across Germany sampling the best the country has to offer. I enjoy Oktoberfest so much I’m have even been to every Bavarian themed beer hall within the UK. So, imagine my delight when I heard that the Filling Station was doing an Oktoberfest event!

Courtesy of The Filling Station team

The Filling Station doesn’t have much space to work with (being a shipping container in a small car park) so I was curious to see how they were going to manage it. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they used the long tables famously associated with Germanic beer halls which maximised the number of people who were able to join the event. I’ve always been a big fan of these tables as it encourages conversation and interaction between people sharing a large table, which the people visiting seemed to be embracing.

They were selling their usual beer cans and draft for people who still wanted to buy their usual but also offered a selection of Oktoberfest themed beers outside. These were sold from their pop up bar served by the staff team who were really getting into the Oktoberfest spirit by wearing authentic lederhosen.

I was delighted to see some themed hats for sale which I decided to grab as they were priced at a very reasonable £3.50. Massive respect here as these could have easily been sold for a tenner but clearly the team decided not to gouge and instead get people involved in the fun!

As you can see, we really pulled off the look

They also sold 1 litre steins for £10. I was gutted that I forgot mine as I had several sat at home. It just isn’t Oktoberfest without an obnoxiously large beer in your hand!

They had an arrangement with Eric’s Fish & Chip Shop next door to provide sauerkraut hot dogs with battered pickles and mustard mayo. This was a very clever idea to save space, as it’s just not the same without a sauerkraut sausage and providing one on site would have taken up more valuable space.

Courtesy of The Filling Station team

As you can see from the pictures kindly shared by the team at The Filling Station, good times were had by all. They managed to squeeze 40-50 people drinking happily within such a small space. It didn’t feel crowded either which is a credit to the way they arranged the event.

I’m really looking forward to next year and this time I won’t forget my stein!

For those of you who have not been to The Filling Station make sure to come to St Ives at the Morrisons round about and pay them a visit! If you like craft beer, international beer, or local beer, you won’t regret it.

Thanks for reading.

Drayman’s Son – Ely

It’s been a long time coming but I’m finally back at Drayman’s Son micropub in Ely.

Owned by the team from the Three Blind Mice Brewery, this is one of the hidden gems of craft beer in Ely.

You can easily miss Drayman’s walking down Fore Hill but you will not find a better selection of beer and cider in the city.

It’s perfectly located between the main square and the river making it the perfect pit stop between the two.

The selection here is fantastic, with popular beers including one of my all time favourites, Beasticus by Harston brewers Brewboard. Naturally, you will see beers from Three Blind Mice but you will also find an ever changing choice from local breweries too. The selection changes weekly so you’ll find something different every time you visit.

The cider selection

There is a whopping selection of ciders from Simon’s Cider, Lilley’s, and Thirsty Cross. Nobody will be left feeling like there was nothing for them!

The pub is small but still feels spacious with an open plan layout. The place started off empty during my visit but soon filled up. The Drayman’s Son clearly has a cult following which seems to be keeping it afloat while other pubs are struggling all over. This is unsurprising as nowhere in Ely offers anything close to this unique level of craft beer experience.

The interior is charmingly decorated in a traditional yet quirky fashion which successfully reflect its local connections with signs from surrounding areas. It’s a real pleasant place to be and offers an original livingroom esc experience unavailable elsewhere in Ely.

Just in case the nights get really wild there are a selection of board games. There was no sign of my favourite, Carcassonne, so I decided to leave the backgammon to the next customers.

I’m a complete sucker for a funny name, so I ordered the Slap In The Face by Totally Brewed from Nottingham. This was a slightly tangy but generally anemic American style pale ale which did not impress me. That’s what I get for ordering a drink based on its name alone.

Naturally, I ordered a Beasticus By Harston brewery Brewboard. This stuff is the real deal! If they can keep this stuff on the board then I’ll be coming back here much more frequently!

I decided to explore the 3 Blind Mice range by going for a pint of Juice Rocket. I thought £5.40 for a craft beer was very reasonable, especially considering the quality. I had a craft beer on the riverfront only 50 meters away which was over £7 and was nowhere near as pleasant.

Juice Rocket has lovely grapefruit notes and being under 5% makes it a perfect sessionable summer drink. This is very much in direct competition with similar craft beer such as Joosy from the Unbarred brewery which I recently discovered in the Filling Station in St Ives. It came to roughly the same price but had a little more depth in flavour but was less smooth, so depending on what you like I would not recommend either way. Juice Rocket had the local connection which (for me) put this slightly ahead in terms of preference.

…a local barfly also recommended Shark In The Bath and since I’m a complete sucker for silly names, I couldn’t resist. This brewer escaped me but this was probably the highlight of my visit. This has everything I was looking for in a craft beer. It was sessionable, had a deep fruity flavour, cloudy, and went down incredibly well. This is something I’ll keep helping a close eye on in the future. I can’t recommend this enough!

I’m kicking myself for not coming here more frequently, especially considering this is local. For anyone looking for a wide selection of cider and craft beer in the Ely area, or for a quirky, yet still warm and inviting atmosphere then Drayman’s Son is the only choice!

This might be my new local!

The Swoop Retail Taproom – Beer Masterclass

I was joined by Samuel from Be Social Cambridge who was kind enough to invite me to a craft beer tasting experience at The Swoop Tap Room on Green Street.

I had never been to The Swoop before but I have heard a lot of good things about it from the Cambridge Foodies community, so I was excited to experience it for myself and see if all the fuss was about.

The Swoop’s entire ethos is made entirely around local products. They believe customers should be able to build relationships with the brand they buy from. This is why you will find selections of locally made items ranging from alcohol, chocolate, soaps, and sauces across the shop. First and foremost however, it is a tap room, offering locally sourced beers and cider.

Upon entering we were warmly greeted by Fiona, who was going to be taking us on our craft beer journey. She is everything you want for this type of experience. Friendly, fun, incredibly passionate about the alcohol industry, and a real character with tons of contagious positive energy.

The Swoop not only offers beer masterclasses but also cheese and drinks pairing sessions, a rude pottery class, and a cocktail mixing masterclasses. Prices vary depending on the class but the value of our beer class today was only £20 per person. Find more details here.

We were taken into their beer garden out the back which was small but more than adequate for us three. It had a real London vibe to it with benches, stalls, wired lighting, and brick walls.

Once we sat down the class began. There were six beers in total, starting with the lighter lagers and pale ales through to the darker porters and stouts at the end. We shared a can between us which came to around a 1/3 of a pint each. This was more than enough to get a good idea of what the beer was about.

During our sampling we were talked through the beers individually, learn a bit about the local breweries and their ethos, and even given history lessons on beer. We also learned interesting tips which you will find handy in the future.

I won’t give too much information away, so will keep details light and summarise the best I can, as not to spoil the class for yourself.

Two Sheds – Brewpoint

1. We started off with an Indian pale lager called Two Sheds from Brewpoint, a Bedford brewery going all the way since 1876, back when it was Wells & Co.

As it was the first beer, this was very light and accessible. A very easy summer drink which offers a clean, crisp taste with zesty notes. This was incredibly refreshing but lacked any real punch in flavour. This would be a great sessionable choice.

Brewpoint offers a selection of measurements on the back of their cans to give the consumer a way of gauging what to expect from the beer before purchasing.

IBU, which stands for International Bitterness Units, gives the consumer a number between 0-100 on how bitter the beer is. At 31 you can see that Two Sheds is towards the milder side of the bitterness measurement.

EBC stands for European Brewing Convention, which measures the colour intensity (darkness) of the beer. This is scored between 4-138. With Two Sheds being an 11.5, you can see it is a very light beer.

Pacific Pale V.1 – Wylde Sky

2. Next on our list was Pacific Pale V.1 from Wylde Sky Brewery, a Linton nano brewery. This was another light pale ale which offers a tropical fruit flavour, such as mango and grapefruit. This was right up my street and very much the easy going drinkable sessionable beer I enjoy. This was one of my favourites of the day.

Saison – Wylde Sky

3. Next on our list was Saison, also from Wylde Sky. This French-Belgium farmhouse style ale has an interesting history and I was absolutely charmed by the art on the can. This was another favourite of mine and I will no doubt be investigating into this one more in the future. A great summer time drink!

Turmoil – Brewboard

4. We were then given a chance to sample Turmoil, an IPA from one of my favourite local breweries, Brew Board. This is a Harston based brewery which I had the pleasure of visiting recently.

As we are in the middle of our selection, the beers are getting darker, with Turmoil being a stunning copper colour. This was bursting with flavour and had a very smooth bitter taste. In my opinion it was the best of both worlds. I struggled with it to start with but the more I drank it the more I enjoyed it.

Ink Well – Brewpoint

5. Brewpoint made another appearance in the list with Ink Well. The clue is in the name with this one as it is a very dark stout. This had a very deep taste of carmel and nuts but was very smooth.

Unsurprisingly, this scores high on the EBC rating at 85. It also scores reasonably low on the IBU score of 35 suggesting low bitterness. I really enjoyed this feature with the Brewpoint beers and it is only going to make me want to look them up even more in the future.

Pass The Porter – Papworth Brewery

6. And last (but by no means least) is one from Papworth Brewery (actually located in Earith) called Pass The Porter. A very rich and complex porter with hints of chocolate. I found this one much less intense than Ink Well and had a nice hoppy finish.

What a team!

And just like that it was finished! The class took around 45 minutes but we were allowed to carry on drinking with what was left for as long as we liked.

I thoroughly enjoyed going through these local gems. I have found at least two which I will no doubt look into again and work them into my weekly (daily) drinking cycle.

It’s also great to know there is a brewery only in that next village me. Something I was unlikely to know unless I had attended this class.

What I loved about having Fiona with me was that she would talk you through the brewery in great detail and I found myself learning numerous and very interesting facts. I won’t give too much away by spoiling them for you but you’ll leave feeling like you’ve learned a lot.

If you are interested in trying one of their classes then make sure you get in touch via their website or by email on

The Pint Shop

You’d be forgiven for thinking The Pint Shop is all about the beer. It is, after all, where this little gem in the heart of Cambridge gets its name. There is however, a great selection of food on offer too. This visit was a belated birthday surprise for me, and after a few hours in a kayak on the Cam, the extensive beer menu certainly caught the eye.

The Beer Menu

I’d already clocked the local options on the chalkboard, but as luck would have it (some might call it destiny) an additional menu was handed to me for their very own beer festival. Being a bit of a beer monster, there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to try as many as I could. The Blood Orange Sour from Pastore was particularly good… but this is a Foodies post so you’ll have to join our Cambridgeshire Pubs, or Craft Beer In Cambridge Facebook groups if you want to hear more about the beverages!

Our very attentive waiter handed us the food menu as they took our drinks orders. I was honestly surprised by the variety on offer. Korean Chicken Wings, Celeriac Schnitzel, Burgers (meaty and vegan), even Dry Aged Steaks from Cambridge’s own Malloy’s butchery. Sometimes it’s a bit of a concern for me when one venue (particularly one presenting itself primarily as a pub or bar) has so many different styles on offer. But given the relatively small menu, I wasn’t overly worried.

A different member of staff came to take our order. We wanted to experiment a bit so decided upon three starters that we would share as mains. Opting for the Classic Scotch Egg with Beer Mustard, Korean Chicken Wings, and the Rare Roast Jagyu Beef. They were more than happy to accommodate this request, and quickly returned with side plates so we could dish out portions for ourselves when the food was ready. I have to say the attentiveness of the staff throughout our visit was very very high. It was noticeable that we rarely had the same member of staff visit our table twice, but given the high standard of service across the board it really didn’t matter.

After what felt like a very short wait (though time flies when you’re drinking excellent beer) our food was ready. The urge to cut open the Scotch Egg was too much for Adele, her eagerness rewarded with a vibrant and runny yolk. This dish was everything it should be in terms of texture, a nice crunchy bread coating, slightly springy sausage, and that thick oozing yoke lining the inside of your mouth.

Unfortunately despite looking and feeling the part, it was let down quite a bit by the lack of noticeable seasoning. This is forgivable inside the egg, but unfortunately the sausage meat was also desperately underseasoned. The beer mustard, whilst an interesting idea in keeping with the venue, didn’t really land all that strongly either. It just didnt cut the mustard, or rather the beer didn’t cut through the mustard. I’d have preferred normal English mustard to pep up the scotch egg.

Next up, the Korean Wings. Of the three dishes I tried, this is the one I thought had the most potential to go awry. I couldn’t have been more wrong, lip-smackingly sticky, lightly spiced, and the perfect accompaniment to my beer. These wings tasted of authentic Korean BBQ, with perfectly cooked soft chicken wrapped in a highly flavorful skin teeming with textures from soft and gooey to crispy and crunchy. The accompanying dipping sauce was hot, sweet and sour, cutting through the stickiness of the chicken perfectly. Not even Adele’s already 98% eaten wings escaped my attention they were that good.

This brings me on to the dish I was most excited about, the Rare Roast Jagyu Beef. A bit like a meaty salad, the dish was served cold with fresh beetroot (red and yellow), walnuts, pickled girolle mushrooms, and a mushroom and horseradish ketchup. Unfortunately the beef whilst quite tender, was criminally under seasoned. A real shame, as because the beef was served cold, the flavour as a result was more metallic than beefy. The most enjoyable thing on the plate by a bit of a distance were the pickled girolle mushrooms, which offered a break from the neutrality on the rest of the plate. Perhaps I’m being too critical, but I had high hopes for this one.

All this beer had me needing a toilet break, and whilst away from the table Adele arranged for a birthday dessert to be delivered to the table. A nice touch from the staff, who had been incredible throughout our visit.

For a pub in the heart of Cambridge, I don’t think you’ll find much better drinking food. The have a great selection which for the most part they execute really really well, they’re just a little shy with the salt and pepper! The staff were outstanding, and the beer selection equally so. I highly recommend a visit to see for yourself, even if only to sample what’s on the taps!

Sutton Beer Festival

It was that time of year again. The Sutton Beer Festival takes over St Andrews church and sets up a selection of craft beers, ales, and ciders for the village to enjoy.

I always get excited when the Sutton beer festival comes, as Sutton doesn’t really have a decent pub, with a couple of social clubs and The Cheques, which is visually stunning from the outside but otherwise a very bleak and dated pub with a poor selection of beer.

A couple of IPA’s I enjoyed at the Sutton beer festival.

• Moonshine Brewery did a lovely NEIPA at 4.9%.
• Nene Valley did the real star of the show however, with an IPA called the Big Bang Theory at 5.3%.
• Sampled a couple of ciders from Simon’s Cider (Russet On The Leaf and Discovery). You can tell these are a huge step up from other cider I’ve had. A real depth of flavour.

The festival is free entry and all beers are £4 a pint. Happy to see this not skyrocketing like everything else at the moment. 👍 This is a real festival for real people.

Pint glasses are a £2 deposit each which can be returned when you leave There is also an option to donate that money to a charity supporting the victims of the invasion of Ukraine 🇺🇦

They also use a cashless ticket system where you purchase tickets at the door and spend it inside. This speeds up the bar meaning you aren’t waiting too long for a drink.

They do a selection of food including some of the best pork scratchings I’ve had in a while. The staff were fantastic and some of the most generous half pints I’ve ever seen!

The church is visually stunning and such a unique place to enjoy a beer. This is also good for families with a bouncy castle available. £4 all day.

Sutton beer festival appears several times a year, so make sure to keep your ear to the ground for the next one in July.

Make sure to check out their website here.

Thanks for reading!