County Stat Attack Week 20 - Cambridgeshire

Week 20 brings us back to the East of England with the landlocked county of Cambridgeshire. Although it is a historic county the current version was set up in 1994 with the additions of the Isle of Ely and Huntingdonshire and Peterborough. There is one of the earliest Neolithic sites in the United Kingdom within the county at Flag Fen. The county was populated by Anglo Saxons following Roman occupation.
The County town is Cambridge, whilst not being the largest settlement in the county, that honour goes to Peterborough, it does have the most significant history. The crossing point on the River Cam was settled in pre historic times but developed by the Romans as Duroliponte, where they built a small fort. The Anglo Saxons claimed the fort post Romans, calling the town Grantebrycge. By the Middle Ages the town became Cambridge and the lower reaches of the river became the Cam. Viking rule under Danelaw commenced in 878 becoming a trading hub with rapid expansion. The Normans built a Castle on the site of the old Roman fort then in 1209 Cambridge University was established by Oxford University students fleeing persecution, the oldest existing college being Peterhouse founded in 1284.

Large parts of the county are low lying with Holme Fen being the lowest point in the UK at 2.75m below sea level. Other than Peterborough and Cambridge other significant settlements are Wisbech, St. Neots, Huntingdon and March.

In Cambridgeshire we have a total of just 42 breweries, 32 active and 10 closed. Only 2 of these are Client / Commissioner Breweries.

The oldest existing brewery we have is Elgoods Brewery of Wisbech (Est 1795). The history of the brewery is well documented on their own web-site but essentially they brew at the same site as they were established and remains in the hands of the same family.
The Brewery with the largest range on Ratebeer is Oakham Ales of Peterborough (Est 1993) with 224 beers listed.

The 2020 Ratebeer awards made Oakham Ales the best brewer for the county. The best beer in 2020 was Pastore Playa de Agua and Pastore Brewing was also made best new Brewery.

The Top 10 beers on Ratebeer for Cambridgeshire are –

  1. Milton Marcus Aurelius
  2. Oakham Twenty Years R
  3. Oakham Black Baron
  4. Oakham Asylum
  5. Oakham Oblivion
  6. Oakham Green Devil IPA
  7. Oakham Taipan R
  8. Milton Mammon
  9. Oakham Citra Special R
  10. Oakham Haka R

The Top Pubs / Bars within Cambridgeshire are –

  1. Pint Shop, Cambridge – 90
  2. Cambridge Blue, Cambridge – 89
  3. Maypole, Cambridge – 87
  4. Stoneworks, Peterborough – 87
  5. Kingston Arms, Cambridge – 84

There is also a highly rated Bottle Shop in Cambridgeshire –

  1. Bacchanalia, Cambridge – 87

The top 5 Raters of beers from Cambridgeshire are –

  1. @jjsint
  2. @FatPhil
  3. @imdownthepub
  4. @fonefan
  5. @Grumbo

You will require only 48 ratings to get into the top 50 for the county.

The Rater who lives in Cambridgeshire with the most ratings is –
@thepegjett – who stopped rating on here in 2012.

The person still with us with the highest numbers is @s3quin who has been a member since 2016.


Cambridgeshire is a county that I have been lucky to have been able to visit quite regularly, thankfully, and most of them are beer trips in one way or another hence a high position in the Top 50. We have visited both Cambridge for the pubs and Peterborough for its excellent Beer Festival also Huntingdon, St. Neots, Ely and many more.
I have never really done any long distance walks within the county with the exception of the Gog and Magog hills, I’m not mad keen on walking on the flat for mile after mile. I do walk to and from Ferry Meadows to Peterborough Beer Festival for the exercise though.
I don’t think I ever visited the Cambridge United ground for any reason but I have done the London Road ground in Peterborough a few times for football, it was always a good trip with a nice central location and some good pubs to visit.
Both Cambridge and Peterborough are great for days out on pub crawls, some exceptional pubs in both places. I would highly recommend both.

I have tried 278 beers from Cambridgeshire currently placing me in 3rd spot and hopefully with trips to both Peterborough and Cambridge coming up. Cambridgeshire is a mid-tabled 23rd on my list of English counties and averages a healthy 3.34 per beer, one of my top in that regard. I have had beers from 30 of the 42 breweries putting me 2nd for numbers of breweries, 1 behind Grumbo.

The Breweries I have had most beers from are –

  1. Oakham Ales – 74
  2. Elgoods Brewery – 44
  3. Three Blind Mice Brewery – 25
  4. Milton Brewery – 20
  5. Tydd Steam Brewery – 15

I have given 23 beers from the county a mark of 4 or over, my highest are –

  1. Oakham Gravity – 4.5
  2. Oakham Oblivion – 4.5
  3. Oakham Citra Special – 4.5
  4. Oakham Musashi – 4.3

Then loads on 4.2, mostly Oakham but some Milton too. I have been lucky enough to have had 8 out of the top 10 beers for the county.

My highest rated breweries for the county are –

  1. Oakham Ales – 3.701
  2. Milton Brewery – 3.52
  3. Brewboard – 3.517
  4. Three Blind Mice – 3.436
  5. Xtreme Ales – 3.389

I have reviewed 54 places within the county for Ratebeer making it my 8th highest county. My favourites are –

  1. Cambridge Blue, Cambridge – 86
  2. Ale Taster, St. Neots – 86
  3. Pint Shop, Cambridge – 82
  4. Maypole, Cambridge – 82
  5. Stoneworks, Peterborough – 82
  6. 3at3, x`Ely – 82
  7. Ploughman, Peterborough – 82

So overall I do enjoy going to Cambridgeshire and Oakham Ales are one of my favourite breweries in the country added to which Peterborough Beer Festival is excellent. Top notch.


I could go on all day about Cambridgeshire, so this may get into the TL:DR category. It’s one of three counties I’ve lived in since joining RB and the first that’s featured in the weekly stat attacks. I lived here between 2014 and 2017, in Ely and then Cambridge itself. While the idea of a ‘spiritual home’ may seem silly, this is a fairly apt description.

Having said that, it’s not the greatest beer scene in the world, although there are loads of little local breweries doing decent stuff. If you can put up with the hordes of tourists and the kamikaze cyclists, Cambridge is a decent place for a crawl. The beer festivals – especially the winter one at the University Social Club and the summer one at Midsummer Common – were great for getting local beers, as were many of the pubs in town. Of course, Peterborough has their whopping great festival, which I’ve not been to in years, as well as some very decent hostelries. And one could do worse than a day out in Ely with two great drinking establishments and a couple more good ones.

I’m currently sitting at 311 beers, joint top with @FatPhil (probably due to the handful of Three Blind Mice beers I’ve been able to procure during Lockdown 3).

My top beers are interesting, I think the Son of Sid ones were very early (like in the first 20 or so) rates:

Three Blind Mice Beyond Wonderland 4.5
Three Blind Mice Lonely Snake Citra 4.3
Son of Sid Wheat Beer 4.2
Son of Sid English Ale 4.2

And a handful sitting at 4.1: three further Three Blind Mice beers, Oakham Green Devil, and Oliver’s Pinky from Cromwell Cider.

I’ve rated 25 breweries and 7 cideries from the county. At one time I’d sampled all (maybe all but one) of the active Cambs breweries, now I’m missing 11, which shows how much the beer scene is growing. My most sampled breweries are:

Three Blind Mice (67) – my second most rated brewery overall
Oakham (41)
Bexar County (26)
Milton (25)
Elgoods (20)

Three Blind Mice were my ‘local’ brewery when living in Ely, and I got in a habit of seeking them out. I still do, as I’d like to get to 100 with a brewery that doesn’t have ‘Dog’ in their name. They’re not a top craft brewery but they’re solid and very underrated. They are harder to find in the Midlands, but one of the Leicester pubs is quite keen on their juicy stuff, and they’ll make an appearance at most beer festivals (which is where you’ll find some of their more interesting stuff).

I’ve rated 104 places in Cambridgeshire, mostly in Cambridge itself. The top of the lot were

Cambridge Blue, Cambridge (94)
Bacchanalia – Mill Road (90) – a brilliant little bottle shop
Maypole, Cambridge (88)
Red Lion, Histon (88)
Thirsty, Cambridge (88) – another bottle shop but with room for drinking in
Stoneworks, Peterborough (88)

Honourable mentions should go to the Ale Taster in St Neots and the Drayman’s Son (and 3at3, a café which has really upped its game) in Ely.


A miserly 2 rates from Cambridge for me, both from the above mentioned Three Blind Mice. Although checking the yellow/orange site (where I’ve been checking in beers for quite a while longer than I’ve been rating here) I have had 37 Oakham beers, so I’ve not totally ignored the county! My mum lived near Huntingdon for several years a while back, and many visits were made - can’t say I recall a vast number of Cambridgeshire beers being available though. Even a recent(ish) trip to Cambridge, and a crawl around some of its pubs didn’t return too many, and looking at the list of breweries there are only a handful I’m particularly familiar with. So once again, it’s a C- and ‘must do better’ for me


So if it’s Tuesday it must be Cambridgeshire ! In honour of which I’ve opened a bottle of Elgoods Black Dog and brought my total ratings for the county up to 6 ! Black Dog is the highest rated (3.6) whilst the lowest rated is easily Oakham Citra (1.7) a beer which I find absolutely undrinkable.

When you look at my own records, I have a slightly more palatable total of 27 beers drunk – but only from 3 breweries !

The only place I can recall drinking in Cambridgeshire is the Fox at Catworth (“Fox Food” on A14), which I now find closed in 2012 …


So to my first forum contribution for a few weeks (RIP Ben, I wish I could honour you by naming Elgoods Black Dog as my favourite Cambridgeshire beer. But I can’t).

One of my border counties, I’m able to get to Ely, Cambridge and Peterborough easily as they all have frequent direct (though frequently unreliable) train links with Ipswich. Have been a regular at the festivals in all 3 places over the years, and have a particular soft spot for Ely which is a lovely little festival and place to visit and spend a few hours wandering around, on a much smaller scale than the similarly lovely Cambridge and not so similarly lovely Peterborough.

Beer count wise, sitting at number 5 and 88 off top spot, I did imagine that another year of festivals after attending Ely in January 2020 I’d have made good progress towards top spot but alas over a year of ongoing nothingness put paid to that ambition. I take consolation in being top brewery rate though (for now at least) at 31.

My top beers are all Imperial Stouts:

BlackBar Theory 265 4.4
Bexar County Papa Steve 4.3
Bexar County Son Of Papa Steve 4.2
Three Blind Mice Big Bad Barry 4.2
Three Blind Mice Russian Blud 4.1

My top volume breweries are:

Three Blind Mice 24
Mile Tree 19
Moonshine 17
Elgoods 15
Oakham 14

but my highest rated brewery is the very good new kid on the block, Pastore Brewing, 5 beers rated 3.66 average (and I have a few in stock from them too).

31 places rated with my top places being:

Elm Tree Cambridge 84
Draymans Ely 84
3at3 Ely 82
Kingston Arms Cambridge 80
Bacchanalia Cambridge 80

There are some great pubs in Cambridge. Too many for one day. Will sometimes tie in an overnight there with a gig at the corn Exchange with pub tour the day of and the day following the gig. Musically the counties local highlight for me is Polly Paulusma. A couple of visits to the Cambridge Rock (and beer) Festival have also been enjoyed. Along with regular visits to see Marillion amongst others.

And finally for work, well being so close it’s not a county I’ve stayed over for work before, though my regular trips north to Newcastle and Leeds have generally involved a train change at Peterborough with either enough time to get to the Oakham Brewery Tap (oh how I wish they’d opened that crossing by Waitrose years before instead of having to carry Northern beer filled suitcase and back-pack up and over that damned pedestrian bridge) or the Great Northern Hotel which is right outside the station and serves Grainstore beers (though otherwise has seen better days).


124 beers from 19 breweries. Oakham weighs in with 53 of those. Definitely one of the best cask and craft beer producers in the UK. Solid brewer and one I would always try a beer from.

Been to Cambridge, Ely and Peterborough over the years since I joined Rb. Went to see the mighty AFC Telford draw 3-3 at Cambridge in an evening kick off on TV. Handy as extra time in the many excellent pubs between station and the ground.

Also been to the Oakham tap in Peterborough and some of the venues on Rb such as Charters and a couple of other pubs I can’t remember. On a recent visit also popped into a micropub or two and the new craft beer bar in the centre. Both good additions.
A quick visit to Ely a while ago and I remember ticking off a micropub/bottleshop just set back from the road into town from the station.

Probably somewhere I should revist, plenty of new breweries to attempt to scoop in. Never been to Peterborough beer festival either. Should attempt to remedy that at some point.


53 Cambridgeshire ratings for me, the highest is Oakham Green Devil IPA which got a 4 from me. Next highest ratings are ciders, Cambridge Cider Company Cokenach Estate Cuvee Cider at 3.9 and Cassels Summer Session Cider (Draught) at 3.8.

Have been to the county afew times to visit a friend from Uni days who lives in Cambridge and also did a beer fest & pub crawl there with Grumbo & SHIG.

There are 17 active cideries in Cambridgeshire and the most prolific is Cassels cider located in Cambridge with 18 listed.

The top 5 lists for Cambridgeshire cider and cidery ratings are:

CambridgeshireCider Ratings


Good to see @SHIG in the lists from the 2018 Cambridge Winter Festival visit



Cambridgeshire being fairly close and easy to get to from Oxfordshire was a fairly regularly visited place for us. Loz also worked at the Wellcome Trust Genome Institute at Hinxton for 9 years and then we followed her boss here to Germany. Hinxton is a good few miles south of Cambridge, she was a remote worker as we remained in Oxfordshire however we went there reasonably often and so we’d sometimes take the camper over for the weekend. We’ve stopped at a few places in the camper, Cabbage Moors campsite is open spring, summer and into the autumn is at Great Shelford which is a few miles south west of the city but a bus ride, long walk or you can cycle alongside the guided bus route which comes out near the railway station as I recall. Cherry Hinton campsite to the south east is an all year round campsite. Glen has already mentioned the decent campsite at Ferry Meadows, Peterborough, we’ve been there a couple of times and also stayed in a B&B and Premier Inn when visiting the town and Whittlesey, though we have also wild camped a few times at Whittlesey for their brilliant Whittlesey Bear Folk Festival which takes place on the 2nd weekend in January. Finally we’ve stopped at a little certified location in Little Gransden near The Chequers, Son of Sid brewery in order to visit the pub, we’ve even stayed in their car park in the camper and visited their beer festival. We met up with Hughie here once or twice here, Hughie is a lovely fellow and great Ratebeerian however I understood health reasons made him decide to prioritise things and so beer wasn’t such a big part of his life any longer.

I have rated a total of 109 beers from Cambridgeshire placing me in a respectable 20th position.

My top rated beers are dominated by the excellent Oakham with Milton who are also a very good doing their best to muscle in

Oakham Oblivion 4.3
Oakham Scarlet Macaw 4.3
Oakham Haka 4.1
Oakham Tranquility 4.1
Oakham Straw Bear :bear: (brewed for the aforementioned Whittlesey Straw Bear Festival) 4.1
Milton Saturnalia 4.1
Oakham Asylum 4.1

I’ve rated 16 breweries of which 3 are no longer in operation.

Breweries with most ratings

Oakham 36
Milton 17
Elgoods 15
Son of Sid 14
Bexar 7

35 place ratings for Cambridgeshire, which puts in in 8th place in England. My top places are.

Cambridge Blue (Cambridge) 86
Chequers ‘Son of Sid’ (Little Gransden) 86
Live and Let Live (Cambridge) 82
Bacchanalia (Cambridge) 80
Pint Shop (Cambridge) 80
Charters Bar (Peterborough) 80


Cambridgeshire languishes in the bottom half of my counties rating wise (although it’s well clear of the relegation zone) - so far I’ve got just 29 rates.

It’s a hotly contested battle between Oakham and Bexar for my favourite beer from the county, with four beers tying for top place (would like to try more Bexar beers - those two were a lot of fun at the Reading Beer Fest):

I’ve tried brews from 7 different breweries; my most rated are Oakham with 10 and Elgoods with 9. Oakham are surprisingly my 6th most liked brewery overall; I’ve given their beers an average score of 3.62. I knew I liked them a lot, but still surprised to see them that high.

I’ve not been to Cambridgeshire that much other than driving through; the only time I stayed there during my rating days was one night at a Premier Inn on the edge of Peterborough, during which I got my only Cambs place rate (the Wetherspoons in Peterborough, where I seem to have been very impressed with the service and tattoos!).

The highest point of modern day Cambridgeshire is at the roadside in Great Chishill village (within easy walking distance of the Essex high point), and is one of the dullest of the county high points. I also went to the low point as mentioned above by @imdownthepub which was a bit more interesting - there’s a display and measuring pole demonstrating where the ground used to be & how much it’s still sinking.

Cambridgeshire has had an interesting history boundary wise, with parts of it over the years having been split off into other tiny forgotten counties like “Isle of Ely”, “Soke of Peterborough” and “Huntingdonshire” (or sometimes combinations of them). Lots of us have had beers from all the English counties shown on Ratebeer - but I wonder if anyone’s actually had beers from every county/unitary authority that’s ever existed…


I can certainly see Pastore giving Oakham a run for their money in the future. They are getting a lot of good ratings and the beers I have had are very good.


My parents lived in Colne for a few years, so I used to know ‘The Green Man’ fairly well. Peterborough Beer Festival twice and a weekend in Cambridge since being on RateBeer are the only visits since 2012. That weekend gave me 5 place reviews and a few beer rates, but I don’t remember seeing many ‘local beers’ to be honest.

My Stats are pretty unremarkable:

52 Beers and 1 Cider. Gets me to equal 42th in the pecking order.
Average score is 3.28, so mid-table in my county list in both beer quality and number of rates.

10 Breweries and 1 Cidery.

Oakham @26
Elgoods @14

Top 3 Beers; All Elgoods, I struggle with Oakham (I think it’s their yeast strain I don’t take too).

Greyhound Strong Bitter
Cambridge IPA

4th is Lord Conrad’s Conkerwood

The End!



Unfortunately Bexar County would appear to be no more. Still live on here as it was not 100% clear because there was no formal announcement. But it would appear that the brewer decided to move on from brewing.

A meagre 15 for me, from 8 breweries:

  1. BlackBar – 4

  2. Elgoods – 3

  3. BrewBoard / Oakham – 2

  4. Bexar County / Calverley’s / Milton / Pastore - 1

Top rated beers being:

  1. Pastore Tocca Ferro @ 3.7

  2. Bexar County El Fin @ 3.6

  3. BrewBoard Le Commandant @ 3.5

My wife went to Uni there so we did go up and stay a couple of nights a while back, so I have added reviews of Pint Shop (lovely toilets), Mill and Pickerel Inn. But like someone else’s comment. I actually bought quite a few (mainly Protz 300) beers but very few at all from Cambridgeshire. Have already planned where to try and get to when we return there in the summer.

More recently we went to a wedding in Newmarket and stopped for lunch at the Shelford Delicatessen, which I would recommend if you are passing. Classy little deli/café and you can grab a beer from the shop to have with your meal. That’s where my BlackBar ticks are from.

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That’s a shame. Doesn’t he run Stoneworks in Peterborough as well?

Another county that borders Lincolnshire but I only really visit Peterborough. I go to the Peterborough every year and have done for ages.

I have tried 148 beers from Cambridgeshire. The top beers I have had are:

Not surprised to see Bear County, and Pastore with beers in that list.

Pastore is actually my overall top rated brewery and the only one with a 4+ average, but only had 6 beers from Pastore.

Not a surprise but I have had more Oakham (42) beers than any other brewery in Cambridgeshire. Also 28 beers from Bexar County.

I have rated 5 places from Cambridgeshire, all in Peterborough and not surprised that top of the pile is Stoneworks

I think the Peterborough beer festival is on again this year sop will probably head there for a few beer.

See you there. Chris

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Chris but unfortunately Peterborough Beer Festival has already been cancelled. They are going to be running the pub festival again this year at the same time. CAMRA are not sanctioning any expenditure on Beer Festivals while there remains doubt and confusion.

Oxford Beer Festival in October has already gone too, which shows how it’s going to be this year. The remaining possibilities are the small festivals that can get their act together quickly when everything calms down or Pub Fests in gardens.

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That’s a real shame😢. I think Nottingham are still planning to go ahead. At Trent Bridge rather than the motorpoint arena. Fingers crossed.

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