Last year I couldn’t make it to Cambridge, I was otherwise engaged. I wasn’t too happy about that because I really like Cambridge. They make the effort to make it just that little bit more than a place to sit about with a beard and talk about different malts. For those who haven’t been to Cambridge beer festival before, it takes place in a marquee, set up on Jesus Green and has many outdoor burger vans and doughnut ¬†stands and the like, plus a raft of posh toilets (not something most people think about but really welcome).

Inside the marquee are tombola’s and t-shirt stands, somewhere to buy books and pewter engraving. All of this plus the main attraction: the beer. The beer selection is vast. With literally hundreds (200+ according to the posters) of British real ales to choose from, plus a foreign beer bar, plus a cider and perry bar, plus a a selection of meads plus a selection of country wines. You really couldn’t go to Cambridge and not find something new to try.

I personally was only sable to attend for a few hours and as such only had a few drinks, they were:

  • Felstar’s Peckin’ order – 5%. A very refreshing drink, perfect for starting the event with. Lightly carbonated and with a real flavoursome hit.
  • Growler’s Mary’s Ruby Mild – 4.5%. Contrasting well with the Peckin’ Order. A dark, thicker more fruity tasting beer. Much more robust and a fine ale.
  • Otley’s O1 – 4% – A golden ale, not bad but completely forgettable.
  • Lord Conrad’s Sticky Hot Cross Bun – 3.8%. The name suits this beer perfectly. I don’t know whether they were shooting for a beer that tastes like an Easter time treat buy by god did they end up with exactly that. Right down to the butter and raisins. It tastes truly like its namesake. Mind you – it does also look like they boiled up a bun and left it in some hot water overnight as well. Not a looker this one. It was a treat to try but after a half I was finished with it. Becoming more and more sickly with each mouthful. Nice to try but definitely one to buy more than once.

Although the weather hasn’t ¬†been good this week, and apparently earlier on in the week the site was a quagmire, by the time I arrived on the Saturday afternoon, the grass had dried out and everyone was basking in the sunshine with a beer in their hands. You couldn’t have asked for a better end for what was, as ever, a great beer festival.