19th September 2022.

While I was in the Blue I had a look at what the other Cambridge pubs were doing on funeral day.

Well, that’s clear.

BRAPA noted two pubs in the same village, one “closed as a mark of respect“, the next “open as a mark of respect“. The concept of “respect” is clearly less clear.

A well-worn path through the cemetery and the Kite to King St, allowing me to bring you a pic of the Offal Offer” at Yemtox. “The Offal Offer” is available from my website for a tenner plus P & P.

King Street isn’t quite the Run of pubs it was when I were a lad, but it’s still a pretty street,

and the Champion of the Thames is, still, one of the most recommendable of all pubs, despite because of the exciting beer range;

Mudgie liked this one back in 2019, and it’s hard to think of a better pub atmosphere than the one in here on State Funeral Day.

Some regulars at the bar had obviously taken advantage of the 10:30 opening.

How’s YOUR day !” he boomed. “Great” I said.

Lots of discussion about the bishop who’d dropped the bit of paper in Westminster Abbey, an observation that “the gun carriage lacked tread“, and blokes saying “He stitched me up like a kipper” in an unironic way.

Oh, and the IPA tasted like it used to, when I were a lady (3.5). Lacings don’t lie*.

Just time on the walk back to the station to pop in a bona fide NEW pub, courtesy of a Tonbridge Paul tip.

I’d never heard of it, and thought Paul was describing the perpetually re-branded Town & Gown, the other McMullens style bar.

But no, Cambridge Tap is what was formerly Cambridge Building Society, who still have some of my Mrs RM’s money. I hope they took it with them when McMullen moved in.

No cask, but as Paul says their keg is probably better than their cask these days, and if CAMRA want to throw me out for saying that more fool them.

You wouldn’t know it was a McMullen, all the branding is Rivertown, but the SIPA was pretty good.

The “pub” ? Well, Stafford Paul won’t be making a pilgrimage here, even if they stick a handpump in.

Particularly with such confusing loos.

*They do.


    1. I’m not sure I’ve EVER had a really enjoyable pint of Eagle IPA, Mark, but there was a period 20 years ago when Bombardier could be marvellous (tight sparkler in Coventry pubs, also in Wrestlers in Cambridge). I always say it’s the pub, not the brewery; I think cask volumes plummeted and Bedfordshire pubs are always quiet anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “Stafford Paul won’t be making a pilgrimage here”. Yes, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to Cambridge again.
    I was in Charles Wells’s most northerly pub at the beginning of the month. No Eagle IPA or Bombardier now, just unheard of Origin, DNA and Legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott,
      I’ve noticed the opposite, seeing pictures of hundreds of people at Stafford’s war memorial and seventy wreaths at Stone’s reminds me that it was far less of a thing when I was growing up and it was surely more important with so many who had suffered in two world wars still being alive.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, feels a much bigger thing than I remember 30 years ago, even if it has been a bit less of a personal decision with poppies being sewn into Premier League football shirts etc etc.


  2. Martin, I’m pleased you enjoyed your visit to the Cambridge Tap, and thank-you for including the link back to my post. Apart from its building society connections, the name of the Tap is a little mis-leading, but the fact that McMullen’s can turn out decent keg beer, does beg the question, what is wrong with their cask?

    Could it be that people’s tastes change over time, and the recipes for McMullen’s cask beers haven’t? I’m thinking here about the hop makeup, although brewers such as Harvey’s still turn out excellent cask, by sticking with locally grown Fuggles and Golding’s. Does it point to drinkers preferring beers brewed from citrus-flavoured hop varieties, from Oregon?

    Mac’s must certainly be aware of the flavour gap between their traditional and their new Rivertown range, so isn’t it time they overhauled their cask portfolio?


    1. Some interesting points there, Paul, and particularly timely as I actually had a pint of McMullens AK this week in a new GBG entry (first McMullens entry in the Beer Guide in years) in Sawbridgeworth which was very fresh and tasty (NBSS 3.5), so I think turnover is everything. In the 1990s I lived and worked in Hertfordshire and McMullens was ubiquitous. AK was a tremendous drink in the famed Farriers Arms, but by the turn of the century I sensed turnover declining sharply.

      As we both noted, their Rivertown beer was enjoyable, though I can’t see it taking hold beyond their estate (doubt that’s their aim).


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