You’ll know I’m not a Beer Festival fan.  There’s too many beers you won’t be able to drink in an evening, or ever see again in your local pubs, and as soon as the sun comes out the beer is a little too warm for my liking.

But local CAMRA branches clearly enjoy putting them on, and they clearly don’t take too much custom away from our struggling pubs, judging by how busy the Cambridge pubs like the Maypole are during the afternoon interval there.

And for many they’re a social occasion, an annual chance to meet up with folk you see once a year.  Certainly that’s the only reason I go to Cambridge Fest these days.

To be fair, Jesus Green, down by the Cam, looked the place to be at opening time on Monday.

Due to a delayed train (heat on the tracks), I even got to make a first trip to the brand new Cambridge North station as well. I’ll do a Pub Guide to the new station if Pints and Pubs doesn’t beat me to it.

A packed Cambridge North on Monday at 4.27pm (honest)


47 minutes along the Cam says Google, 33 it took me.  I was knackered but arrived at the CAMRA entrance at exactly 5pm, determined to undo all the calorie-eating exertion of the previous half hour.

The big news is that Pipers have arrived at Cambs Beer Festival,


though this seems to be at the expense of the Book stall. A shame.

I know Louise of BeerTalk and Pints and Pubs will be covering the beer, so I’ll spare you that.  I went through the normal routine;

1) The strong northern one (Stringers)


2) The very local strong one (a great Burton Ale from Fellows of Cottenham),

3) The Key Keg one (a Session Simcoe IPA from Cloudwater)

4) The foreign one (another KeyKeg, Dag & Dauw from De Molen)

All four were tasty, well-presented, decently priced and I’ve no doubt I shall never see them again, though in the case of the Cloudwater I shall give it a good go.  It’s hard going back to cask once you’re on the super cool Evil Keg Filth.

Well done Cambridge CAMRA, a great collection of beers.

More importantly, I met up with Simon and Kevin, a couple of old schoolmates who tip up here for virtually every session.

I drank four halves over 90 minutes and we discussed London beer prices, death metal, and Corbyn, which pretty much covers all of life. I guess we’ll discuss two of those again next year.


  1. Martin, my required move at Cambridge North is an up departure from the down side bay platform. I am unsure as to why the shack is not called Chesterton Jn.

    Is Jesus Green a relative of Stuart Green?


    1. I would like to know if this bloke called Paul who ran stalls at beer festivals was an old looking bloke with grey hair,if so he had a stall at the Nottingham beer festival for many years,we have not seen the stall there for the last two years.
      My wife always treated me to some pub guides or books about pubs whenever we went to the stall.
      If this is the same person how do i buy anything off him on line as i do not know his contact details.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mmm Pipers.

    How was the cask beer temperature in the blistering heat? They’ve been trialling a couple of huge external remote cooler instead of the several little ones that CAMRA supply I believe.


    1. Cask temperatures on the main bar are staying in the 12-14 range, as desired. We’ve cranked the coolers down a couple more degrees this morning in anticipation of the even warmer weather. The beers on handpumps in the brewery bar all come from a large inflatable fridge just outside the marquee.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say that’s ideal for 99% of people. I think folk who prefer the cooler KeyKeg (or foreign beer bar) are noticing the difference between cool cask and even cooler KeyKeg,

        Erlanger Nick, on holiday in Thanet with his thermometer, is reporting plenty of beer in the 16 to 20 degrees range this week !

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I keep coming back to that Cloudwater Session IPA (there was more of it briefly yesterday evening), not just because of the temperature, it’s simply one of the tastiest beers I’ve tried recently and as you say, I’m unlikely to come across it again anytime soon, at least not regularly.

    That said, the cask beers I had last night were the best so far, and I’ll be sticking with them now the queue for the keg is getting daft in the evenings.

    I cycle past the new North station on my way home from work – it’s a good new route for avoiding main roads. I imagine all the surrounding land (and there’s lots of it) will get built up – maybe we’ll finally get the Cambridge Tap we’ve been waiting for!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Martin,
    We really do miss that stall,well i do and the wife does as she saved books and guides for Christmas presents for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As one of the non-drinking volunteers at the festival (licensee…) I used to end up spending most of my beer tokens on books and other things from Paul’s stand. Will be forced to get more chocolate this year.

      Liked by 1 person

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