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Cambridge, England is most famous for being the home of the University of Cambridge. While the university is understandably the focal point of the city, the rest of it is also filled with historic sites, museums, and gardens. Thanks to all of the above, Cambridge is a popular day trip from London. As you’d expect from a student town, it has a nice energy to it. This includes a variety of craft beer spots. Here are the best places for craft beer in Cambridge, including breweries, tap rooms, beer bars, and bottle shops.
Craft beer bars in Cambridge
Thirsty Cambridge is located north of the Cambridge city center, across the River Cam, but it’s worth the journey. It has the best selection of craft beer in Cambridge.
The beer bar and bottle shop has 22 taps plus a fantastic selection of bottles & cans from British breweries such as Vault City, Overtone, Cloudwater, & The Kernel. There is also imported beer, including cans from American breweries like Grimm, KCBC, & Equilibrium. Thirsty Cambridge has some really special stuff, including beers that enthusiasts might describe as “whales”. The bar & bottle shop also has a large selection of wines, ciders, and cocktails.
The taproom has a rotating selection of food trucks outside, or you can bring in food from the nearby takeaways.
Thirsty Cambridge frequently hosts tap takeovers and other events such as stand-up comedy and live music. Out in the back, there’s a small beer garden with heaters.
Address: 46 Chesterton Rd, Cambridge CB4 1EN, United Kingdom (map)
Pint Shop has the best selection of craft beer in the Cambridge city center. It has a nice rustic pub feel with lots of wood, but with a good modern beer selection plus British rock & indie music playing. Pint Shop has 17 taps plus 6 casks.
Grab a pint and a scotch egg, which comes with a lovely beer mustard reduced with stout. It’s a great pairing for lunch or a snack.
Pint Shop also has larger meals covered, with a full gastropub menu including steaks, kebabs, and other hearty dishes (including vegetarian & vegan options).
Address: 10 Peas Hill, Cambridge CB2 3PN, United Kingdom (map)
The Cambridge Blue
Step inside The Cambridge Blue, and it feels like a fairly normal pub. But head to the back, and you’ll find a massive beer garden.
Whether you’re staying inside or heading outside, there’s an excellent beer selection. Real ale drinkers will be particularly happy, with up to 14 casks on offer.
There’s also a large selection of Belgian beers, as well as some kegged craft beer. Additionally, they have several ciders. Food is currently is being served up by Gorilla & Lamb, including some excellent burgers & sandwiches.
For more local craft beer, visit The Cambridge Blue’s sibling pubs, The Royal Standard & The Blue Moon.
Address: 85-87 Gwydir St, Cambridge CB1 2LG, United Kingdom (map)
The Live and Let Live
The Live and Let Live is a classic neighborhood pub near the Cambridge railway station.
With retro wood panels, a cozy fireplace, & an atmosphere that’s relaxed but with plenty of conversation, it’s a nice place for a pint.
The pub has 10 taps & 6 casks, as well as cider.
Address: 40 Mawson Rd, Cambridge CB1 2EA, United Kingdom (map)
The Swoop Retail Taproom
It’s great how lots of cities & towns are starting to have shops that focus on selling local products. The Swoop Retail Taproom has local items & gifts from Cambridge businesses. This includes local craft beer. They’ve got cans and bottles, as well as 4 taps, plus spirits & ciders.
In addition to being a shop with local brands & a bar, The Swoop is popular as a workspace & coffee shop. They even host cocktail classes.
Address: 36 Green St, Cambridge CB2 3JX, United Kingdom (map)
This next pub isn’t a craft beer bar (though they do have cask ales & a few craft taps, including a couple of house beers), but it’s a place that anyone who is interested in history & drinking should visit.
The Eagle (once known as The Eagle & Child) has been a Cambridge institution since 1667. Along the way, it’s been a popular watering hole for generations of Cambridge students, staff, & other residents.
As you would expect from an old pub like this, there’s tons of wood, cozy nooks, and history covering the walls.
Ah yes, the history. The Eagle has two particularly notable rooms. The first is the RAF bar. This back room has walls & ceilings covered in military memorabilia, including the signatures & drawings left by Allied airmen who drank at the pub during World War II.
The Eagle earned more fame on February 28th, 1953. On that day, frequent bar patron Francis Crick announced that he and James Watson had discovered the secret of life: the structure of DNA. Plaques inside and outside the pub commemorate this discovery, with more recent additions acknowledging Rosalind Franklin’s significant contributions to the research.
Today, the house Eagle’s DNA Ale & Eagle’s DNA Lager also honor this achievement, serving as the perfect drinks while taking in some local history at a favorite Cambridge pub.
Address: Bene’t St, Cambridge CB2 3QN, United Kingdom (map)
Craft Breweries in Cambridge
Calverley’s Brewery is a microbrewery started by two brothers in an old stable & garage near the railway line in 2014.
Their new expanded taproom has 12 taps, along with pizza & other bar food snacks delivered by Scott’s All Day, which is located just a couple of blocks away.
Calverley’s Brewery is a busy spot, and they take reservations, so plan ahead if you can.
Address: 23A Hooper St, Cambridge CB1 2NZ, United Kingdom (map)
The Cambridge Brew House
Cambridge Brew House opened in 2013. It has a full lineup of keg & cask beers brewed by head brewer Vanesa, including the award-winning Rye Aye Man.
There’s also a full food menu with everything from small bites to mains, including Sunday roasts. You can even book a “beer & bites” experience that includes a 3-course meal along with beer pairings. Frequent events at the Cambridge Brew House include live music, live sport, open brew days, and bottomless brunch.
Address: 1 King St, Cambridge CB1 1LH, United Kingdom (map)
Do you love craft beer? Check out more of my recommendations for the best craft beer around the world!
Here are some great Cambridge tours & activities & other things to see & do in Cambridge.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Cambridge, check out these Cambridge hotels.