Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival at the Regal

Opened in 1937, The Regal on St. Andrews Street, Cambridge was originally a cinema and theatre with a compton organ before it closed in 1997, reopening in 2000 as a Wetherspoons pub, with the Arts Picturehouse above. A large pub (once claiming to be Europe’s largest) with some of the original art deco fixtures inside, it stands on part of the site of Ye Olde Castel Inn (the present Castle Inn is on the other part) which burnt down sometime in the early 1930s. The inn was originally a 13th century building called Rudd’s Hostel, which became a boarding house until the 16th century. The Beatles performed at The Regal twice in 1963 (19/03 & 26/11), the Rolling Stones in 1965 (15/10).

Wetherspoons Real Ale Fest

This week saw the return of the Wetherspoon Real Ale Festival with festival beers on 11 pumps. Some of the beers have been brewed especially for the festival and two of these were on:
Nøgne ø Bitter, a 4.5% best bitter brewed at Batemans – not as hoppy as expected, but a pleasant bitter, some sharp fruit in the finish, I suspect this beer in particular would have been much improved if it wasn’t served through a sparkler.
Otter Pilgrim, a 4.8% bitter – pale and creamy with plenty of hops and a goood body, very enjoyable.

Titanic Nine Tenths BelowOf the other beers tried, Wharfebank Wispa IPA was noteable for the flavour of ‘mature fruits’ mentioned in the tasting notes – plenty of over-ripe peaches and black bananas.

I appreciate being able to try 1/3 pints and so sample most of the beers in any session, but nothing beats a good pint so having sampled a few I got stuck into a pint of Titanic ‘Nine Tenths Below’, a superb 5.9% IPA, oily and sweet with a surge of citrus hops and a bitter finish – drinking it I was like a crowd at a firework display, all ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.

The beer festival continues until 1st April…

The Regal, Cambridge


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