A gorgeous August weekend spent at my parents contemplating the completion of the Good Beer Guide over takeaways and views of the sunflowers in their Waterbeach garden.

The approach to Milton Brewery in the industrial estate across from the former RAF barracks soon to contain 10,000 new homes isn’t quite as glamorous,

but their occasional weekend tap (regular enough for GBG entry, based on St Helens and New Mills), serves what I reckon to be just about the best beer in the country*.

Now, I would say that, wouldn’t I. It’s my home village, but I was keen enough to leave Waterbeach for hills and thrills and bellyaches, and I never lie about beer quality.

Cool, rich, thrilling Pegasus to a Neil Young soundtrack and the smell of baked potatoes.

OK, it’s not cosy, but it is a cerebral experience with the classically themed beers and Mary Beard book on sale.

Very much your Cambridge postgraduate crowd here (“I DO have my copy of Aliens on order”), I sense I’m drinking too quicky as a couple from San Diego sip halves of Minerva. Here’s a pint;

Milton runs three pubs in Cambridge, one of them just won the local branch Pub of the Year and that will get an unexpected visit from me on this blog shortly.

Whether you’ll get to hear Donovan in any of them is a matter for conjecture.

*Usual disclaimer about Bass from the jug applies


  1. Used to very much enjoy the Tiki when my old local would get it in as a guest, but what puts me off Milton beers now… the absolutely bewildering array of beers they produce, accompanied by classy but entirely informationless pumpclips. Whenever I see a Milton romanesque pumpclip on the bar it more often than not comes with no clue as to what it’s like, and you know how we feel about tasters, so I go for the Citra instead…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t understand breweries that feel the need to constantly churn out new beers. Why not stick with a tried and trusted core range, supplemented by the odd seasonal, instead of this incessant desire for innovation.

      The latter approach isn’t the best way to establish a presence in the market, unless you are chasing the fickleness of the beer ticking fraternity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Milton have a core of bitter (Pegasus), Nero (Stout) and a paler one.

        I think what Mark highlights is that in the free trade it’s the seasonal specials that have been picked up, which is why Milton can be perceived as not sticking to the knitting.


  2. I’m not sure where (the Real) Mark has been drinking but Milton Brewery last produced a new beer in May 2019 – Apollo – for the Cambridge Beer Festival. We are often asked by beer festivals for new beers (since beer festival orderers are often themselves tickers!) and are quite choosy in when we agree to do it. Since we’ve been going since 1999, this will add up to a reasonable number of beers but as Martin says, what you mostly see is a core of six beers (a mild, a stout, a strong one, a best bitter and two pales) plus a seasonal – which is usually a re-brew of a popular festival special from the past. Our website has a ‘beers on now’ page with information on style and tasting notes. Since our beers are mostly to be found in good pubs, the bar staff ought to be knowledgeable and able to help with choice. The China Ship Inn (the al fresco brewery tap) will re-open when the days are longer and the weather better. The music choices (like the beers) are unlikely to be too shockingly innovative…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for putting me straight with regard to Milton, Martin and Richard. It’s encouraging to know that the brewery aren’t hell-bent on chasing the tickers.

    I meant to comment earlier, on the post in general, and especially the sunflowers, in your parents’ garden, Martin. They put the handful I grew this summer, to shame. Next year, I shall try growing mine in clusters like that, as they will be more liable to support themselves like that.

    As for Donovan, I remember the song when it was first released, but this is the first time I have seen the video – looks like some rather grainy clips from the Leitch family home-movies.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the Beatles did one but it wasn’t so much a proper video as a little film of them wandering about somewhere. And it’s just occurred to me that there was a video for It’s Only Rock and Roll by the Stones which came out in 1974.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh, let’s not forget Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues had a promo video back in ’65, which was shot as the opening for Don’t Look Back…

        As an aside, I saw His Bobness in Glasgow on Monday. Sadly he didn’t do SHB, but he did do Watching The River Flow and Every Grain Of Sand. Which are two wins in my book!

        Liked by 2 people

      1. The landlord of the property required vacant possession, the brewery closed about the same time as the GBG arrived. I’m not sure what the premises could be used for.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s