When I was at school I used to get my smartest mate to read through the rules of any board games I bought so he could then show me how to play it. This saved me a lot of time and effort while he got to test his intellect.

I was reminded of this great resource from the past when my family bought the classic Ticket to Ride game. It came with a set of instructions that ensured the game did not get used for the first six months of ownership. This ended when we heard about Cakes & Ladders.

This is a café that each afternoon and certain evenings is housed within a decommissioned red London double decker bus that sits in the Blue House Yard community space in North London. For a modest fee you can play any of their hundreds of games while enjoying cakes and tea/coffee. The best bit for me is that they will concisely explain the rules of any game and are also on hand to answer any further questions.

Actually that’s not the best bit as the bus is also the tap room for Earth Ales who let out the space to Cakes & Ladders. This means you can ditch the tea and coffee and instead have a glass of the brewery’s beers that include my personal favourite the lemony Verbena.

Right now the bus is closed and like many such businesses its future is uncertain. This is why it has turned to Crowdfunder to offer a range of perks and credits for redeeming when the business trades again. Some of the cash raised will be used for pending commitments. This is absolutely not a crowdfunding exercise involving equity stakes, which Beer Insider has made clear in the past it is wary of.

Like many small businesses that offer something of value to the community they ultimately require support – whether it is now or when they (hopefully) reopen.

Glynn Davis, editor, Beer Insider