Candidate #13- The Free Press, Cambridge, UK.

The Free Press is the pub that Cambridge deserves. This college town is both cosy and strikingly imposing. After walking the grounds of Trinity College and gawking at the cathedral of Kings College, it’d be a real shame to have to refresh yourself at Wetherspoons.

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The Free Press is not a proud, lonely bastion either. Cambridge has a bunch of great pubs, if you know where to look: even one famous for the discovery of the DNA double helix (beer makes you smart). But I always end up here at some point.

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Hogwarts Academy for the Wealthy and Privileged.

 

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It’s cosy and dark, so in wintertime it excels. There is a little section of the pub mostly screened-off and large enough for just one table, which you will be lucky to find free, and the roof of this dominion is pasted with old newspaper clippings from monumental events in history: Royal weddings, State funerals.

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The range of ales is more than a sessions worth, unless you are really committed, and even the pumps look cool. The service has been great whenever I’ve visited too. Without being uncomfortably busy, this place is no secret, so even lunchtimes can be generally full. If you want a quiet pint, go for the mid-afternoon lull.

Venue: 8/10

Plenty of rustic, old-England charm, just a short walk through quaint Cambridge suburbs from the centre and colleges.

Beer: 8.5/10

Well kept, well-poured; hard to stop.

Worthy? A good call.

It’s hard not to just choose 150 British pubs, if they’re your thing.

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113. Redbones Restaurant, Somerville, MA

Redbones is deep in Somerville, Boston, to the north of Cambridge and you are unlikely to stumble upon it by chance. The pilgrimage is well worth the effort as they serve up 24 beers on tap to wash down the excellent home-cooked BBQ meats.

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Rustic and unkempt to the core, Redbones has a vibe unique amongst the emerging set of airbrushed bars. I hope that never changes.

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Redbones is situated in what seems to be a rather sterile and vanilla suburb, which makes the decor and the clientele surprising and refreshing. The patrons were genuinely friendly and the layout facilitates the gregarious and affable vibe. Nothing here is taken too seriously; it just ‘is’.

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Venue: 7/10

It is what it is. Unashamedly rustic and rugged; a lovely charm.

Beer: 7/10

24 taps, one cask and a wheel to help you choose from some top locals and fine imports, such as Karmeliet and Delirium.

Worthy? Yes

The BBQ food is brilliant, the regulars quirky and the staff are happy. Great vibe.