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ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312 : Next section

ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312

Congratulations on Cask Marque awards to the Champion of the Thames (King Street; Greene King) and the Pickerel (Magdalene Street; Spirit). The latter was disappointing in terms of beer choice in the late 1990s but has perked up recently, with much more interesting beers than just the usual boring Scottish Courage ones. As of late November, Youngs Winter Warmer, Fullers London Pride, Theakstons Old Peculier, Adnams Broadside and Woodfordes Wherry were on.

The All Bar One (M&B) on St Andrews Street has eight handpumps on show but only two are actually in use, both featuring London Pride. Two more simply display a no-smoking-at-the-bar sign. Others in this chain manage to be a bit more adventurous in beer selection but here perhaps food and wine rule?

A few doors along, the Regal's Halloween Beer Festival ran from 29th October to 2nd November. On that last day, at 6pm, the signs were still up at the entrance (though amended to say "upstairs only"). However all hand pumps, upstairs and down, were "off", with even the pump clips removed. The latter is very rare for JD Wetherspoon - they usually prefer to mislead by keeping signs on display after a beer has finished.

The Fountain on Regent Street, since being sold off by Noble House Pub Co., has been featuring Milton Brewery beers and others. However on a recent visit all it had was Milton's Fountain Ale.

The Town and Gown at the Pound Hill/Northampton Street junction (Punch Taverns) is now the Rope and Twine, with the former landlord of the Champion of the Thames in charge. Beers featured include Adnams Broadside and Black Sheep Bitter. Planning applications have gone in for external signs, three externally-illuminated "amenity boards", a single-storey extension and new walls to form enclosed open area.

The Carpenters Arms on Victoria Road is now owned by the Great Little Pub Co., with Adnams Bitter and Broadside plus Tim Taylor Landlord (as favoured by Madonna) featuring recently. The pub has a U-shaped layout with a bare-boards "public" section and the rest comfortably loungey. There's an interesting menu with the likes of Newmarket Sausage & Mash with red wine and onion gravy, Adnams Battered Cod, Chips & Peas, and Homemade Thai Green Curry - all at 6.50. Quiz Sundays and Wednesdays.

Terri & Jethro celebrated their first anniversary at the Carlton Arms (Carlton Way; Enterprise) with another beer festival, in addition to their usual range of interesting beers. They're holding a mild, stout & porter festival between Thursday 15th and Sunday 18th January.

The Alexandra Arms on Gwydir Street is now run by the former manager of the Vaults on Trinity Street. He's reestablished the gastropub tendency, making the rear bar a proper dining area, and keeping the wide choice of wines and four handpumps offering GK beers.

The former Ancient Druids in Napier Street became Bar Citrus some time ago and latterly sold no cask beer. It has now reverted to being a proper pub under the moniker of The Druids and a choice of real ales from Charles Wells will greet you.

Our current local pub guide, the Best Real Ale Pubs In And Around Cambridgeshire, includes The Dog and Pheasant, High Street, Chesterton in its list of closed pubs on the basis that it had been converted to The Golden Pheasant restaurant. In fact this establishment retains a separate room which is very much a bar and, what's more, it serves real ale, in the ubiquitous form of Greene King IPA.

Another year, another name... Bar Moosh (Chambers, City Limits, Great Northern) at the corner of Station Road has changed name again to Sauce, having been refurbished as a "lounge bar".

The days of the former Plough & Harrow opposite Churchill College on Madingley Road, most recently a McDonalds, may be numbered. McD have applied for planning permission for housing on the site. Similarly it seems the former Durham Ox on Mill Road, latterly known as the Chariots On Fire after an "incident", is to be redeveloped as yet another pizza/coffee outlet, even though there's been a derelict pizza/chippy place nearby for several years (next to Mickey Flynn's Pool Club). [However that place seems to be undergoing refurbishment as of December 2003.]


ALE Winter 2003/04 No. 312 : Next section
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