My first stop is the Mitre on Bridge Street. It is warm and welcoming and offers eight beers, three of which are from Adnams. I choose Furry Black IPA (£3.40) from Yorkshire via Michigan, USA. An unexpected start with bags of dandelion and charcoal… I begin to sink into the comfy leather tub chair and notice the plenitude of menus in the middle of the table – there are seven. This pub clearly wants to sell food, but I came for the beer.
Back on the bike, a quick doughnut from the market and I am off to the Carlton Arms. You can't miss this pub with its gleaming red frontage. The pub is split into two parts; I usually go in the lounge in the left. The two hand pumps are redundant, beer being delivered from somewhere between the bars. This pub really does have a revolving beer list. The only guarantee is that there will usually be a Thornbridge among the five real ales. Not today though. JHB, Potbelly and Caledonian are all available, but I sample Studland Bay Wreckage (4.5%). This really went down well, but the outstanding beer of the day was Wharfebank WISPA - classy biting peardrop pale ale ringing in at 5.1%. Just what I needed before pedaling off to the next hostelry.
With wind assistance I am at the Waggon & Horses in Milton in less than 10 minutes. Parking for cars is easier here but not so straightforward for bikes. I remove my reflective bib, the helmet is off and I secure my vehicle to the pub sign itself. This is a great pub, the only drawback being that it sells the same beer all the time… or so I thought! In addition to the trio of Elgoods beers (I have to have the underrated Black Dog) there is an unexpected guest in the form of Castle Rock Redstart (4.3%). Beer is poured with great care here. In fact, rarely do you see somebody pour a beer with such obvious pride. Both pints look fantastic, foam “crowning” above the rim. I am disappointed to see that this great village pub now has 24 hour TV multi news, but don’t look more than once. There is a range of hats, brewery stuff everywhere and of course the bar billiards table – just what a characterful pub should be. This pub still has beer mats too!
Up the A10 for the last leg – the Sun at Waterbeach. This is a new pub for me… but it is closed on a Tuesday lunchtime. It will have to wait for my next trip. Waterbeach however, is lucky to have more than one pub, so I nip over to the White Horse instead. 3 GK beers are on tap, and I choose Morlands Original (sic). I once lived in Oxford for a year, and today find that the Morlands is indeed very close to the Original – surprisingly so! This beer is right up there with the best of them. A decent bright pub.
Time for the train back, ignore the church clock which tells me that I have missed it. Just in time.