Heading off cycling from Newmarket towards Snailwell on another real ale campaigning trip.
Passing The George and Dragon in Snailwell, this pub has the largest garden out of any of the pubs in the Newmarket area. It extends as far back as the stream, which brings much nature and wildlife with it. Great for children (though not on their own if young) or just anyone that wants to get away from it all. Two or three real ales always on cask.
The first stop on this trip is The Crown, Fordham. Very nice pub, with a warm welcoming atmosphere. Owned by Greene King (GK). This pub serves food, but also has a burger van in the car park ideal for takeaways. Good sized rear garden. Greene King IPA (3.7%) on with a changing guest beer. Currently Farriers best bitter (3.9%) from the Coach House Brewery.
Next stop is The Chequers in Fordham. A more modern looking pub, food orientated specialising in Indian food. Adnams best bitter pump "wasn't working" the only alternative is Nethergate Growler Bitter (3.9%). Good pint, served just a tad cold at around 7 degrees C. Also a bit pricey (for out here) at £3.35 a pint.
A short cycle ride over to Burwell, the third stop is at The Anchor. A Classic old looking pub with traditional wooden beams across the ceiling. Very cozy place with a welcoming atmosphere. Food orientated with cutlery on pretty much every table, so not ideal for drinkers, but worth a look in. Beer range looked rather good. Anchor best bitter at 3.9% brewed by GK especially for this pub. Go for the Elgoods Indian Summer (4.8%) and a top pint this is. Ruddles Best Bitter (3,7%) and Woodforde Wherry (3.8%) are also available.
Fourth stop, just around the corner is The Fox also in Burwell. Here there are 5 pumps available, including Thwaites Original (3.6%), Woodford Wherry (3.8%) Bartrams Red Queen (3.9%)and Bartram Virgo. I sample the Bartrams Red Queen and it is a top pint. Very fresh, put on yesterday. A good drinking hole with diners and drinkers kept separate. Also adjacent and connected is an Indian restaurant, which also looks impressive.
On to The White Swan in Exning. One of our favourite pubs, a good village drinking hole, but close to Newmarket. Two real ales on, Thwaites Lancaster Bomber (4.4%) and "Up the Swanny"(unknown). The Lancaster is served at the perfect temperature and full of flavour. A few of these go down nicely.
Finally just up the road to The White Horse in Exning. 5 pumps on here, including Courage Directors, Shepherd Neame Spitfire, Woodforde Wherry. Try the Directors (4.8%) and this is a very good pint. Busy place on a Saturday night with plenty of drinkers. Great pub. Drinks are also well priced here.
Look out for more pages from Matt's diary in future editions of ALE