It’s almost three years since we were first invited down to the brewery to sample Calverley’s first beer, a solid Best Bitter that was good enough to win the Mill’s Battle of the Brewers later in April, and go straight to the Cambridge Beer Festival the following month. I was impressed then and have been since, a brewery that seemed to hit the ground running and has consistently hit the spot. Last year they opened the brewery tap for on-sales, housed in the same buildings as the brewery, Victorian gault brick workshops and garages, tucked away by the railway line at the end of Hooper Street.
Despite the bleak weather, we were lured out by the promise of three keg and five cask ales, all now unfined, including a sweet satisfying saison and a mangoey mosaic pale. We were the only ones in there when they first opened at 6pm. Within 30 minutes the small candle-lit tap room and adjoining seating area were packed with a mix of locals and visitors, some with carry-out containers queuing for off-sales, others seated with food from Joe’s Tacos street kitchen outside. “There’s a party of over 50 coming tomorrow” said founding brewer Sam, “we’re going to need to expand soon”.
Currently there is an outbuilding for the overflow of customers, but they’re considering other venues they could carry the concept to, serving small batch beers in small, cosy tap rooms in Cambridge. It will be difficult to find a venue quite as snug as the current one, and it’s been amongst the most enjoyable and reinvigorating evenings since embarking on this endeavour to visit all the pubs and bars in Cambridge.