ALE Summer 1998 No. 291

Pub news

Brief mention was made in the last ALE that Marstons had bought the Pemberton Arms, Harston, and that legendary local licensee Noel Gibney was installed as Guvnor. He, in turn, has appointed as managers, Sera Davies and Richard Potter to run the place. There are three real ales on handpump - Marstons Bitter, Pedigree and Head Brewer's Choice (all served without sparklers) - plus two seasonal beers from cask taps in the back wall, served by gas pumps but without gassing the beer.

Marstons are to be congratulated on an excellent refurb of what had always been a pretty boring interior. The colour scheme, green in the no-smoking dining area and muted yellow in the other, is very tasteful and the flooring is a mix of tiles, wood and carpet. The tiles in fact had been hidden under a carpet, and the open fireplace had been boarded-up. It's cool, but is it right for Harston?

Marstons also snapped up The Swan House at Fowlmere. Marstons beer has not surprisingly replaced the previous range, the Bitter and Pedigree served through a sparkler. The bags of potential that this pub has might be realised when Marstons manage to appoint a permanent tenant. At the moment the piano sits uneasily next to the fruit machine, the pub unsure of where it is going.

Down the road, the Black Horse is now a private house. In the heart of a conservation area and where nearly everyone in the village wanted it to stay a pub, the DOE limply ignored popular opinion and Council directives, by allowing the appeal of the current owner. The process for change of use clearly failed the public.

A proper English pub serving the best and cheapest Greene King IPA in South Cambs. This is the claim of John Roos who moved into the Blue Ball at Grantchester just over a year ago and has given it a new lease of life. Out have gone the fruit machines and juke box nor is there any piped music. John encourages traditional use of the pub, games (Ringing the Bull, Shutting the Box), conversation etc. The monthly GK guest beer accompanies IPA on handpump. Food is on seven days a week and is highly recommended; fish and chip nights are Mon and Wed. The garden is open. Your presence is awaited.

ALE Summer 1998 No. 291 : Next section
Cambridge & District CAMRA