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.
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.
This is Simon’s hand;
Some people write down the names of the beers they drink in a book.
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.