Cambridge's oldest punting company and the city's most innovative brewery have teamed up to prepare for the Cambridge Beer Festival

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With the 39th Cambridge Beer Festival only 5 days away, Scudamore's Punting Company and the Black Bar Brewery in Harston have joined forces to make a rather unusual beer delivery, harking back to one of the original purposes of Cambridge's famous flat-bottomed boats.

Beer delivery by punt - (c) John Crockford

Beer delivery by punt

but for brewer Joe Kennedy's first ever delivery to the Cambridge Beer Festival something rather bigger was needed. A chat over a beer gave the obvious conclusion: delivery by punt.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 16th May, a Scudamore's punt will leave Grantchester Meadows, laden with beer and headed on a three mile journey to the Cambridge Beer Festival. The punt will be carrying the entire festival stock for one of the city's newest but most eye-catching breweries.

The fledgling Black Bar Brewery in Harston, just outside Cambridge, has already made a name for itself with its unusual delivery methods to avoid the city's traffic issues. Up until now this has involved a bike with a trailer, but for brewer Joe Kennedy's first ever delivery to the Cambridge Beer Festival something rather bigger was needed. A chat over a beer gave the obvious conclusion: delivery by punt.

Mr Kennedy said: "I didn't fancy transporting the equivalent of about 1500 pints of beer using my bike and trailer, so I decided to approach Scudamore's to see if they could assist instead. Although we can't get a punt all the way to the brewery, the journey from there to Grantchester Meadows is much more manageable than going all the way into Cambridge."

Scudamore's, Cambridge's oldest punting company, have offered their services to turn what was initially a slightly impractical idea into a reality. Preparations have been made to transport up to 21 60kg beer firkins, each holding 72 pints, from Grantchester Meadows up to the Mill Pond, where the stock will be transferred onto another punt for the final stretch of the journey down the College Backs to Jesus Green.

Bert Kenward, Organiser of the Cambridge Beer Fesitval, said: "We are always delighted to receive beer from new breweries, but I must admit that this is the first time in the festival's history that we are going to have taken a delivery via punt - it should be a great spectacle for those lucky enough to witness it."

Up until 150 years ago, the primary commercial use of punts was for transportation and making deliveries. However after the arrival of the railways and motorcars to Cambridge, punting has existed solely as a leisure pursuit. This rare insight into the punting industry's historical past will provide the perfect preparations for one of the city's more modern living traditions - the hugely popular Cambridge Beer Festival.


Punts were introduced to Cambridge as pleasure craft in Edwardian times. One of the pioneers of punt hire was Mr J. Scudamore, who founded his business in 1910, quickly establishing punting as Cambridge’s favourite pastime. Today, Scudamore’s Punting Company own the world’s largest fleet of punts, with over 150 craft available for hire along two routes.


For press visits, high resolution pictures or further information, please contact:

Robin Woolley
Scudamore's Punting Company Ltd

BlackBar Brewery
Joe Kennedy,
01223 872131

Cambridge Beer Festival
Bert Kenward,
01223 967808

Timings (Wednesday 16th May):

Loading at Grantchester Meadows                    15:45
Departure from Grantchester Meadows                    16:30
Arrival at Mill Lane Boatyard (upper river)                    17:45
Departure from Mill Lane Boatyard (lower river)    18:30
Arrival at Jesus Lock                                                    19:00

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Robin Woolley
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