10 Peas Hill
Cambridge, CB2 3PN
T: 01223 352293
27-29 George Street
Oxford, OX1 2AU
T: 01865 251194
If you were after a drink in 1830s England, odds are you would fancy a pint in a Beer House.
These establishments were run by private citizens after the passage of the Beer Act, which lowered the duties on beer and made it legal for anyone who paid a small fee to brew and sell beer out of their own homes.
In more modern times, Beer Houses are recognised as the forerunners of the pub. And, just steps from where many of the world’s finest minds work and teach at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, one of the finest has become a respite for beer and gin lovers in these two beautiful cities.
“Pint Shop takes the spirit of those original beer houses – namely craft beer, intimacy and fun – and throws in some killer food cooked on the coals, just as it was in 1830, and has it all delivered in the heart of the city by an amazing people,” says Izzy Hammond of Pint Shop.
With excellent craft beer, delicious food and more than 100 gins behind the bar, Pint Shop is the ideal pub for a gin lover – and both branches are nestled in beautiful, historic and impeccably refurbished buildings in their respective centres of knowledge.
While the same high standard applies to both Pint Shops, it was important for the team to approach each city on its own terms. As Izzy explains, “Most people think that Cambridge and Oxford, notoriously forever competing against each other in the university stakes, are very similar, this is not the case. We see it as an opportunity to cater to each city slightly differently, including selecting drinks that we believe will suit the different trends in each location.”
But there’s one thing both cities have in common: a love of gin!
As Izzy explains, “We have just over 100 bottles of gin in our gin cabinet, all selected by our drinks buyer, Jack. The majority are small batch, craft gins, along with some firm favourites. We’re always on the lookout for new interesting and top-notch gins that we think would fit well at Pint Shop.”
The Pint Shop team’s passion for gin goes beyond sourcing beautiful bottles for behind the bar and changing their menu of serves – between three and four masterful gin cocktails – seasonally. They love gin so much that they partnered with The Cambridge Distillery to develop their very own!
Izzy says, “Being located on ‘Peas Hill’ in Cambridge, we decided to make a gin out of peas! P Gin is a truly artisanal small batch gin from story to production.”
With flavours of pea, coriander seed, mint and classic juniper, it’s worth a trip to Pint Shop just to try this amazing creation.