When former Button End brewer, Joe Kennedy, announced that his BlackBar venture was closing in December 2016, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from its regulars. The closure of both the Pemberton Arms and the Three Horseshoes within 18 months of each other - and the Queen's Head being run primarily as a Thai restaurant - meant that Harston no longer had what you might call a 'proper' pub. BlackBar Brewery's monthly 'tap nights' became a destination for those seeking craft beer and community spirit, and Joe's collaborations with local street food vendors meant an ever-changing menu.
Joe and his girlfriend also like riding bikes - a lot; more than beer, it seems, as they have decamped to the Forest of Dean to run a bike shop and ride somewhat more interesting trails than the flatlands of East Anglia can provide. But nature abhors a vacuum, as the saying goes, and those who attended the final BlackBar night in December were heartened to see signs up proclaiming that an outfit called BrewBoard would be taking over in January.
And that's exactly what's happened, with BrewBoard quickly establishing themselves as a very fine replacement. They've been test-brewing very small batches off-site while they source and set up their equipment, supplementing it with an excellent range of other craft beer, cider and gin - much of it locally-produced. They've done a number on the interior, making it look and feel like the sort of place you'd like to spend an evening (for all his merits, Joe wasn't big on comfort). They have DJs playing everything from dub, reggae and northern soul to electronica and drum & bass - and occasionally live music, too. They've built on the food collaborations, and children are welcome, too.
Here's what they say about it:
"BrewBoard is a new business venture with four of us involved - Stuart (our brewer) as well as Paul, Ollie and Nick. Come and meet us at one of our tap nights.
BrewBoard intends establishing itself as a brand that appeals to both men and women, producing high-quality craft beer with unique flavours. In addition, we want to produce a 'BrewBoard experience' linking beer with food, music and entertainment in collaboration with other people from the Cambridge area.
Our 18 barrel brewery at Button End is now installed and our first brew on the new equipment was over the past weekend of 24/25 June!"
BrewBoard intend to run one event mid-month and one at the end of the month for the foreseeable future. The following dates are confirmed (all 5-11pm).
- Friday 30th June | Warm & Toastie
- Friday 14th July | Provenance Kitchen
- Friday 28th July | Fired Up Pizza
- Friday 11th August | Honest Burgers
- Friday 25th August | Provenance Kitchen
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