Oakham is one of England's finest breweries producing predominantly pale hoppy beers but no slouch with dark beers as anybody who has tasted Hawse Buckler should testify to. It started life in 1993 in the town of that name. The largest town in the smallest county: Rutland, but six years later outgrew those premises and moved to Peterborough where it already owned an awarding winning pub named Charters; a Dutch barge on the River Nene.
The brewery set up shop in an old jobcentre, naming the venue The Brewery Tap, which was reckoned to be the biggest brewpub in Europe, although there are many doubters to that claim. The brewery's reputation grew and grew, culminating in a Champion Beer Of Britain overall title for Jeffrey Hudson Bitter (JHB) in 2001, two years after it won overall silver. The pub is sprawling and modernistic with huge glass panels allowing a perfect view into the brewing area. Lovely Thai food is served also.
It seems to have been the case since day one though that the pub was living on borrowed time. Redevelopment has been threatened in that area, and with some foresight Oakham opened a new brewery in another part of the city two years ago, although brewing is still done at The Brewery Tap. Now, however the redevelopment plans are running at full kilter and the pub's days really do seem numbered. As would be expected locals are up in arms, and the brewery has started a campaign to stop the pub's impending demolishment. The purpose of this blog entry is twofold: first join in the campaign - personally I feel it may turn out fruitless but you never know - and second if you've not been, make it there before you lose the chance. There are enough decent pubs in Peterborough to do a damn good crawl, so make a day of it. It really is a must do before you die issue.