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    Wednesday, 27 February 2008

    Oakham Brewery Tap - Go While You Can

    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.


    Tandleman said...

    I have been, had the tour and agree it is an excellent place.

    MicMac said...

    I love the place too (& no, I'm not stalking you Tandleman ;~) but I've had major bad luck with the place - twice! - my sister lives in Pboro & a couple of times during recent Xmases we've tried to have some of the great Thai food & excellent beer, only to find the place closed. We rang this Xmas & were told "no problem, no need to book, just turn up, see you tonight!". When we got there, there was a ticket only do for ex-pupils of a local private school! Ho f***ing hum - I'm thinking of investing in the developers.

    I'm kidding, I promise - I'd be gutted to see this vibrant modern brewpub be lost to demolition & a new shopping mall.

    haddonsman said...

    This has been on the cards for ages; always liked the place as a post-Pboro fest chillout, comfy sofas and masses of hops. And no fecking mud.

    But I'd trust Oakham - ever inventive - to find another place in town and make their mark on it.

    Anonymous said...

    I wanted to go somewhere last Saturday and thought that Peterborough seemed a good destination with the Brewery Tap set to be demolished. Imagine my shock when I discovered that a "cheap day return" ticket from Nottingham to Peterborough costs £19! This is for a journey of only an hour.

    I gave it a miss and went to Burton upon Trent to the former Bass Museum to see that before Coors shut it down.