You’ll be relieved to know I’ve nearly finished my “What We Did On Our Holidays“* posts, just two to go. Taking a break from Hamburg craft and chaos, this a report on my return to cask on a Monday morning in Cambridge.
The good news for the pub trade is that, while lunchtime drinking may be dead, it takes the merest ray of sunshine to bring folk into the pub garden. Even on a school night.
On a sunny Monday I once again took advantage of the scenic route from Cambridge North to Gwydir Street, via the cows on Stourbridge and Coldham Commons.
Pints and Pubs (him again) tells all you need to know here, I’ll just add I was pleasantly surprised how pubby it felt, perhaps more so at 5pm before the dining trade tips up in an hours time.
There were even people buying cask ! I followed them onto the Lighthouse, which was decent and served in a proper glass rather than those Adnams monstrosities.
Had Mrs RM made the long walk to beerdom, she’d no doubt have gone for the attractive evil keg range, as will I next time.
The garden is an Empress/Castle/Punter style patio, and was packed. Six groups of two, all speaking loudly enough for BRAPA to pick out top banter when he gets here.
A dozen 30-somethings giving the lie to the claim that young folk don’t go down the pub to booze. Lighthouse apart, most were on cider and giant glasses of Rosé, but it’s a free world. At the moment.
Like Mr and Mrs retiredmartin, many of these folk seemed to have the sort of flexible employment (“gig worker“” is the term of choice, I believe) that make daytime pubgoing workable. Example conversation;
“I do five hours of work a week“
“I’m buying a smallholding“
“I’m attending pottery classes“
You get the idea. This is Cambridge’s Chorlton, after all.
The Blue remains Cambridge’s classic pub, even if the beer range is now more Magnet than Crown (obligatory Stockport reference); a formidable range of cask, cider, and craft.
Here, though, you get time to survey and choose, rather than rushed into purchase. I’m still easily persuaded by advertising, though, and I follow the Blue’s tweeted advice;
We’d has the Ægir BrewPub beers at source in Flam years ago, and an ideal summer beer they make too.
Of course, the Dark Star Pale rather sells itself.
Dark Star straight from the barrel; just look at that natural head.
I ask you, have you see two finer looking beers, particularly posing in front of a Bass mirror and CAMRA award certificate.
Or on a pub garden table.
All (Cambridge) human life was here. Two middle-aged blokes were working out a business proposition on a laptop, two students tentatively fancying each other were rudely interrupted by a mate talking about Asian travel plans, a Mum and young daughter were reviewing some school artwork. What more do you want from a pub ?
More great pub banter and behaviour, of course, most fuelled by Bitburger and cider.
“Try this, it’s 7.7% “
“I’m meeting my mum, I don’t wanna be p****d”
“Oh, go on”
These were post-graduate students. There is hope for the world. While there’s Bass memorabilia, there’s hope.
*One for our Fairport fans there