The Liberty Belle Micropub, Ely

photo 3On a visit to the cathedral city of Ely, Cambridgeshire, we headed to the Liberty Belle micropub for a beer. This small and cosy pub on Forehill is decked out with old memorabilia including a petrol pump, a bus stop, and old metal trade signs. The tiny wooden bar area on the raised level doesn’t have any hand pumps; instead, there is a blackboard on the wall near the door detailing the ales available, and the barman heads into the cellar to pull the pints straight from the cask, then delivers them to your table. You can ring the big brass ‘liberty belle’ which dominates the pub to attract his attention if you need serving.

photo 1There are just a handful of tables in the micropub; some in the large windows looking out onto the street, and some at the back of the pub, on the slightly darker raised level. We sat at a table by the window. Two other groups of people were sitting by the windows – one a group of lads in their 40s, and two men snacking on pies and hard boiled eggs to accompany their beers.

photo 2The cask ales are sourced from relatively local brewers, and beers available that day were Jo C’s Norfolk Kiwi, Humpty Dumpty Railway Sleeper, Batemans Hooker, Mauldons Blackberry Porter, Grain 3.1.6, and Batemans XXXB – a pretty good selection for a micropub – all priced around the £3.80 a pint mark. The Norfolk Kiwi was a tasty full bodied golden ale with delicious fruity hops, and the very pale 3.1.6 from Grain was floral with citrus notes and incredibly moreish.

The Liberty Belle is a lovely atmospheric pub, and the window seats are perfect for watching the world go by. It would be great to see more free-of-tie micropubs popping up to rival the big pub chains which seem to be dominating the towns and cities nowadays.

During the summer season, the Liberty Belle runs boat cruises along the Ouse – it was a pity that this was a March afternoon and we were a couple of weeks too early. We’ll just have to head back soon to take to the water – after sinking a few more ales in the micropub…

Published in: on March 11, 2015 at 6:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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