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CANNYBEVVY The magazine of Tyneside & Northumberland Camra

Spring 2012



Accountancy & Finance - IT - Sales & Marketing - Secretarial - HR Industrial - Technical & Engineering - Logistics / Driving - Construction

A 1 Hood Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6JQ T 0191 221 0402 W E



SPRING is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings and of course some really good beer. All of which you may have noticed we’re taking somewhat to heart here at Canny Bevvy. It’s been more than 30 years and 219 issues since we started, and in that time we’ve seen a great deal of positive change for the ale industry here in the North East. While undoubtedly many much loved taverns have been lost - and are still under threat (p7) - we now have almost 30 breweries within 25 miles of Newcastle and some cracking pubs in which to drink their ales (p12) Add to that the many exciting things being done by the new generation of beermakers (p8) and the future seems bright. So to reflect the region’s vibrant ale scene our volunteers

CannyBevvy Editor: Michael Brown Design: Michael Brown Print: Printfine Ltd Tel: 0151 242 0000 With kind help from... Andy Commins, Sean Collins, Claire Garner, Neil Harvey, Peter Lowe, Steve Medlow, Andrew Mitchell, Steve Renshaw, Richard Taylor, Amy Webb and Paul White

have been making changes here too. Over the coming pages you’ll find we’ve a completely new format, with more pub and brewery news, more of your letters and tweets (p14), the first of our new columnists, The Mystery Pubgoer (p17), as well as travel (p32) and food sections (p35), with recipes from a top local beer blogger. And if all that gets too much there’s a quiz with the chance to win tickets to the Newcastle Beer Festival at the back. Recently there has been a lot of debate within Camra about it’s future direction including it’s attitudes

towards issues such as the emerging world of British craft keg beer and being more accepting of the rapid changes which are sweeping through the industry. Here in Tyneside and Northumberland we’re seeing an influx of new blood, both younger members and long time supporters, who’ve never been to a meeting before and that can only be a good thing. Hopefully this can kick start discussion of some of the important challenges both Camra and pubs face, help us shake the “beardy weirdy” stereotype and allow us to

get on with backing great North East boozers. If you are interested in signing up and joining in the debate, there’s a sign up form on the inside back cover. And stay tuned to Canny Bevvy as we’re far from finished with our grand plans. If you are interested in writing, design, photography or have more internet based skills and want to be part of one of the UK’s top beer magazines then get in touch by emailing I hope to see you all at the Newcastle Beer Fesival in April. Cheers.

Follow us on Twitter @TYN_Camra

Canny Bevvy is the magazine of the Tyneside and Norhumberland branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra). Camra campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. It is an independent, voluntary organisation with more than 120,000 members nationally. Canny Bevvy magazine is published four times a year and available free through pubs in the Tyneside and Northumberland Camra branch area. To join Camra, help preserve Britain’s brewing and pub industry, and receive a host of other membership benefits visit Camra is a limited company, run at a national level by an elected, unpaid board of directors (the National Executive) and at regional level by volunteer regional directors, both backed by full-time professional staff. Consumer Rights For complains about issues such as short measures contact Trading Standards on: Newcastle 0191 211 6129, Gateshead 0191 433 3000, North Tyneside 0191 219 2625, Northumberland 01670 534 585 or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506. Disclaimer The views contained within Canny Bevvy do not necessarily represent the views of Camra, the editor or the branch.

230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 4LW Tel: 01727 867201 E-mail:




FEATURES Beer! It’s What’s For Breakfast 08 Coffee infused IPA is music to thirsty drinkers ears 22 Beer matched buns for breakfast Camra at 40 19 Campaign founder Graham Lees goes back to the beginning with a visit to Chester Biere Sans Frontieres 28 A Capital Idea? On the train to Edinburgh 36th Newcastle Beer Festival 31 The beginners guide - everything you need to know 33 Valley of Cider Newcastle leads the way for fruit fans


REGULARS News 07 Villagers victorious in efforts to have Tesco

the branch

Chairman: Richard Dollimore Vice-Chairman: Gordon Heal Secretary: Chris Mansfield Treasurer: Gary Hinson Membership Secretary: June Scott Pubs Officer: Colin Anderson Webmaster: Jan Anderson Locale Officer: David Vaughan Procurement Officer: Ian Lee Cider & Perry Officer: Lisa Barron Press & Publicity Officer: Neil Harvey Public Affairs Officer: Hubert Gieschen Young Members: Stuart Herring

12 plans for their local boozer thrown out. 09 City pubs hoping for luck of the Irish 11 New brewery sets sights on lager lads



36 Beer styles Making it easier to choose a beer that best suits you

future events

37 From vine to pint How beer is made

12 Five inns crowned Pubs of the Year 40 Breweries All the details to help 13Pint pulling priest find your favourite from the Beano dies local producer Pints of View 14 Pint glass sizes cause a stir The Mystery Pubgoer 17 Seeks ale in a “Spanish winery” Review 18 The History of Camra on DVD The Knowledge 35 Wild about mild? Dispelling the myths about a truely top

42 Where to find ale Looking for a pint? Try these locals - and discounts - for size Quiz 46 Put your thinking caps on to win two tickets to Newcastle Beer Festival Sign up 47 Join Camra today and receive £20 of vouchers to spend in Weatherspoons pubs.

March 12 - Branch AGM 7pm The Chillingham, Heaton March 14 - Wednesday Wander 7.30pm Meet Town Wall, Newc. March 24 - Maxim Brewery visit April 3 7.30pm

Ladies Meeting LYH, Newcastle

April 11 7.30pm

Wednesday Wander Meet Salutation, Tynmth.

April 18 April 21

36th Newcastle Beer Festival, Northumbria Uni.

Further details on times, itineraries and other local festivals can be found on the Canny Bevvy website,, Camra’s website, camra. or in the campaign’s monthly newspaper, What’s Brewing.

The Hexhamshire difference?

Traditionally brewed cask conditioned ale.

Tel: 01434 606577



OG 1042 ABV 4.0%





check out The Cluny 2 St Patrick’s Beer Festival too!

College Green o o Hilden Brewery

Porterhouse Brewery o o o Messrs Trouble Maguire Brewing White Gypsy o Eight Degrees Metalman Brewing Brewing o o o Dungarvan Brewing Company

o West Kerry Brewery


the cluny


from 17th March until we run out!*

Rare ales from Ireland ...most of which will not be available anywhere else! Traditional Irish food specials available all week *all beers are subject to availability whilst stocks last The Central Half Moon Lane, Gateshead, NE8 2AN 0191 478 2543 The Head Of Steam 2 Neville St, Newcastle, NE1 5EN 0191 230 4236 3 Reform Place, North Road, Durham, DH1 4RZ 0191 383 2173 The Cluny & Cluny 2 34/36 Lime St, Newcastle, NE1 2PQ 0191 230 4474 Tilleys Bar 105 Westgate Rd, Newcastle, NE1 4AG 0191 230 0692

NEWS IN BRIEF Beer festival returns to city CITY Thousands of drinkers will throng to Northumbria University Students’ Union for the 36th Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival. The four day event, which will have over 100 ales and ciders on offer, takes place from Wednesday 18 to Saturday April 21. For all the latest information, including ticket prices and opening times, visit

Photo: Andy Commins / NCJ Media. Visit

Trio of pubs under threat ALNWICK A trio of local pubs face an uncertian future. The Hairy Lemon closed on February 5, while the Alnwick Arms and Alnwick Gate are advertised on Trust Inns website as available “to interested parties”

Paper ‘backs our boozers’ CITY The Sunday Sun is devoting a page every week to highlight what’s great about North East pubs, ale and breweries.

Stephen Kier (far right) and Seaton Delaval residents said no to Tesco

Villagers win ‘David vs Goliath’ Tesco fight VILLAGERS cheered as planners rejected moves to turn their beloved community pub into a Tesco “by the back door.” The supermarket giant submitted plans to extend the Victoria and Albert in Seaton Delaval - an inn they didn’t own - just before Christmas. Within days a campaign to save the popular boozer had begun, with more than 2,100 people, in a village of only 4,300, signing a petition against the proposals. But the firm told plan-

ners on Northumberland County Council’s south east planning committee that they had no powers to stop them turning the popular boozer into a shop as it was “permitted development.” Yet striking a blow for the community over the corporation councillors threw the plans out, saying any increase in traffic to the already heavily congested blind corner of the A192 would create an unacceptable risk of noise and a road accident. Speaking after the announcement the

leader of the campaign to save the Vic, Stephen Keir, said he hoped common sense would now prevail and that Tesco would look at alternative, more suitable sites. “Tesco seemed to think they could just come in here, shut the pub down and set up with a minimum of fuss,” he said. “But if they had asked us at the start they would have been aware of the levels of feeling about this.” “Thankfully the planning committee did gauge the mood and realised that the >>




IN BRIEF ‘Beer pirates’ open city bar CITY Brewdog are set to open only their third English bar in Newcastle. The Aberdeenshirebased brewery, famous for it’s superstrong ales such as the 55% End of History and the 28% Ghost Deer - which is served from a stags head - have taken over the former Hoko-10 bar on Dean Street. Refurbishment work began in February, with the official opening due some time in April.

Festival offers one-off IPA BYKER The Free Trade Inn beer festival from March 1 to 3 will have a one-off Allendale 6% IPA. Tynebank’s new Bourbon Porter and a five brewery collaboration will also be on the bar.

‘Breakfast’ ale is music to drinkers LANDLORDS went crazy for a coffee infused collaboration between a Tyneside brewery and a city barista. Every barrel of Piccolo Black - named after the stall in Grainger Market which supplied the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans used to create the black IPA - sold out to pubs in less than a week. Coffee shop own-

er John Hauxwell said he had been “amazed” by the response. Piccolo Black came about after John put out the idea of making a coffee ale on Twitter and found Bykerbased Tynebank Brewery showed the most interest. “It might sound strange”, John told The Journal, “but my aim was to create a coffee beer that didn’t taste of coffee, but had a flavour that came from the coffee. “I wanted something that

showed what coffee could add to the beer, rather than just being an ingredient.” The first brew was done in the Kenton home of home-brew expert Ken Oliver. The beer-making process itself was not unusual for an IPA, but the coffee was treated in a very specific way. On the last hop addition, the temperature was deliberately reduced to 86C before the coffee went in to ensure maximum flavour from the beans. “It’s great that local people are able to get together and try things out,” said Tynebank’s Julia Austin. “If you’re not creating things, you’re just standing still.”

Tynebank’s Julia Austin enjoys Piccolo Black

>> From page 7 community aspect does mean a lot.” Stephen said it was hoped that the current tenant could now be allowed to buy the historic tavern. Pub manager Marshall Dunn said he was very

8 CannyBevvy

happy that the community should be able to to keep it’s heart. “Since the campaign to save the pub a lot of local groups have come forward. “There’s now some talk of SureStart antinatal clinics, pension-

ers groups and people celebrating their birthdays all coming to use the Victoria and Albert, which is not something that has previously happened.” Camra branch chairman Richard Dollimore said the out-

come “was brilliant.” “It’s one up for David against a Goliath like Tescos,” he said. “Thankfully the council realised the application for what is was - trying to sneak a Tesco Express in through the back door.” @TYN_CAMRA

Photo: Paul White

Planners vehemently reject supermarket plans


IN BRIEF Students call off ale festival

RUGBY players are swapping on the pitch action for ale, with the return of Gateshead Beer Festival. Members of the Low Fellbased side will be working the bar and offering up more than

100 beers, 25 ciders. Drinkers will also be able to sup sparkling wines from a Cava bar as they listen to local musicians performing live. For more information visit

Irish ales invade pubs for St Patrick’s Day ST PATRICK’S Day drinkers are being urged to put down their Guiness and discover the burgeoning Irish craft beer scene. Hexham-based pub chain Head of Steam are set to import scores of ales from the emerald isle, with many temporarily replacing regular beers on the pumps at their Tyneside taverns, which include The Cluny in Ouseburn, The Central in Gateshead and Tilley’s Bar on Newcastle’s Westgate Road. Tony Brookes,

ing director of Head of Steam, said customers had always enjoyed brews from Britain’s nearest neighbour, but with customs rules changing it was unusual to be able to bring so many together. “We have tried to raise awareness of Irish brewers in Britain, as they have struggled to get a foothold in a home market dominated by Guinness,” he said. “But the good news is that, like the USA 10 or so years ago, Ireland is experiencing a small ex-

plosion in craft brewing. “In March, our company will be bringing over literally every ale we can physically get hold of from the Republic and from the north. “Bear in mind, many of the breweries are small and don’t have capacity, casks or desire to send beer to far-off Britain. “But I’m a transport planner & transport economist by trade and I aim to get as many ales as we can.” For more information visit www.headofsteam.

CITY Northumbria University’s student real ale society have postponed their first ever beer festival. The two-day event had been due to take place on March 6 and 7 at the Northumbria Students’ Union. Society president Tom Alson said the group are now planning to hold a festival at the start of the next academic year, in October or November.

Pub serves up Saturday grub CITY Visitors to The New Bridge on New Bridge Street can now buy meals between noon and 3pm on a Saturday. Monday to Friday food is still on from 11am to 3pm and Sunday roasts are served noon to 4pm

Got pub, beer or brewery news? Let us know by emailing editor@



REAL ALE & CIDER FESTIVAL St Patrick’s Weekend

Rare ales from Ireland, most of which will not be available anywhere else!

17th & 18th March

...and much, much more including a selection from DarkStar & Wylam Breweries...

£3 adv. per day Tickets available from The Cluny only (includes souvenir glass & live music)

Friday night preview from 7pm... Free entry (Not all products will be available)

beer festival advert 2012_Layout 1 20/02/2012 16:45 Page 1

Battlesteads Beer est 2 n d


20 different ciders to try... Live music each day featuring Oonagh Cassidy + Hattie Murdoch (Sat) Lesley Roley + Trev Gibb (Sun)


beers to try, including lage r and cider

13th, 14th & 15th JULY 2012

Friday 13th July 4pm till 11pm Saturday 14th July 12 noon till 11pm Sunday 15th July 12 noon until the beer runs out

• Admission £4 including programme and commemorative glass. CAMRA members £3!! • Live music all weekend • Tickets available to buy online • In aid of Tynedale Hospice • Accommodation available ask for details

nt Photo credit: Hexham Coura

Wark, Hexham, Northumberland NE48 3LS. Tel: (01434) 230 209 Fax: (01434) 230 039 Email:



Photo: NCJ Media. Visit

Breweries’ sales booming North East breweries have reported record sales figures as drinkers continually clamour for their beers, ALLENDALE are now looking to install a new fermentor to help keep up with demand. While HADRIAN BORDER have bought an extra 240 casks - and a van with driver - to cope with an increase in deliveries. Even the region’s large “microbrewers” are doing well with MORDUE claiming 2011 was their best year yet. Brewery liason officer Jim Woodhouse said national sales had risen by a quater in the last 12 months. “Over 1 million pints were sold in 2011 which, if the trend continues, will take Mordue over the threshold and into a higher tax bracket,” he said.

Beer festival returns to Blyth BLYTH The Three Horseshoes, High Horton, is hosting its annual four daybeer festival from Thursday March 8 to Sunday 11.

Brew Star owners Simon and Dawn Miles outside their new business

Star-crossed lovers target ‘lager boys’ CHILDHOOD sweethearts with a love of Belgian beer are setting out to convert North East lager drinkers to something a little tastier. Motorcycle mad Dawn and Simon Miles’ new brewery Brew Star had barely settled into its home in a former furniture store at Whitehouse Farm Centre, near Morpeth when the firm’s first ale hit pumps. But with two more beers in the pipeline, a shop cum visitor centre due for completion around Easter and plans to start producing experimental European inspired concoctions it seems there will be no let up for the couple – and head brewer John

Ormsby. “We were at a time in our lives when we were up for a new challenge,” Simon, who had less than a fortnight to go from installing his 10-barrel brew plant to seeing Blonde Star served in the head of Steamowned Tilley’s Bar on Westgate Road, told the Sunday Sun. “Our whole thought process behind this project is that while a lot of breweries target good old-fashioned real ale drinkers, we want to target younger people. “We don’t want to be traditional, we want to be modern and experimental. “We are surrounded by quite a few breweries, but we want to be a

little different.” The firm’s first offering, Blonde Star, was launched at the Head of Steam-owned Tilley’s Bar on Westgate Road, near where the couple had their first date 28 years ago, at the start of February and saw orders quickly follow from pubs such as Byker’s Free Trade Inn. The “lager-like” blonde is set to be joined by an amber called Gravity and a dark ale called Sinister in coming weeks, but Dawn said they also plan to start experimenting, with a one-barrel test kit allowing small runs of more unusual, possibly Belgian or German beer styles that will be “tested” on brewery visitors.




IN BRIEF Pub closes but its bar lives on MORPETH Despite the Old Red Bull in Morpeth closing last November to make way for a Morrisons supermarket drinkers can still prop up its bar. The Masonic Centre, across the road in Winton House, have salvaged the counter to replace their own, which was “falling down.”

Hip-hop stars crazy for pop HEXHAM American hip-hop music stars are going crazy for Fentimans pop - after a record company boss became a fan. Superstar Snoop Dog and party rockers LMFAO are among those who have featured bottles of Cherrytree Cola in videos for their hits.

North East pubs share Pub of the Year crown

Christine Forsyth and Michael Hegarty celebrate outside the Ship Inn. LANDLORDS are celebrating after five pubs were named Tyneside and Northumberland’s Pubs of the Year. The branch area is so large the contest is split into four areas, but there was nothing to separate the Barrels in Berwick and the Ship Inn at Low Newton for the North Northumberland prize. Tyneside saw perennial favourite Bac-

chus, on High Bridge, see off a strong challenge from The Free Trade in Byker.

Boathouse at Wylam once again won out in South West Northumberland over Halt-

While elsewhere, the Tap and Spile in Morpeth claimed the South East Northumberland title from the Three Horseshoes at High Horton and The

whistle’s Black Bull. All the winners go on to the regional round of the competition. For full details of the voting visit

67 pubs nominated 349 votes cast

ALNWICK The son of a former brewery MD has resurected classic recipes from the pages of his fathers old recipe books. Ian Linsley, 52, had already recreated the famous Alnwick Rum, a blend of 12 rums that must be mixed in the correct order to

12 CannyBevvy

achieve the flavour, and Alnwick IPA. But now, along with new business partners David Ainsley and Chris Walwyn-James, he has launched two new beers - a 4.2% blonde, Fair Comment and a 3.8% session ale, Alnwick Amber - under the Alnwick

Brewery name. “When he died we found the recipe books,” Ian told The Journal. “I thought he’d destroyed them but mum found them in amongst his papers. “He knew I would do it – he left them.” As well as the recipes already released Ian

also found a full range including Alnwick Brewery Ale and Hotspur Export, Now the firm are dreaming big. “Oz Clarke said it deserved a global audience,” added Ian. For more information about the brewery go to @TYN_CAMRA

Photo: Northumberland Gazette

Son resurects ales his father hid from the world

What’s Brewing Nationally... From cask ale served by a man of the cloth to under-filled pints and unusually sized glasses, Canny Bevvy rounds up Camra’s news from the last three months February

> A POPULAR pint pulling priest died aged 79. Barrington Bennetts, of the Seven Stars in Falmouth, Cornwall, was one of the few real people to appear as a character in the Beano comic - in 2002 he was the man behind the bar in the Reverend’s Pop Shop. > CAMRA launched a new website, www., with regularly updated news, a beer blog and exclusive content for members. > MPs overwhelmingly supported calls to review a government decision to allow pubcos to regulate themselves. Last year the Business Select Committee strongly criticised the pub tie system and called for regulation to ensure a fair deal for tenants and consumers but ministers ignored it’s advice. Now though, after 5,000 people lobbied their representatives, MPs have agreed an independent review of the policy is needed.

ship) category at the Professional Publishers Association awards.


> DRINKERS said they want to see more two thirds of a pint glasses introduced. The Australian-style schooner size was introduced in October but research suggested most landlords shunned the measure, which was designed to curb binge drinking. Only 4% of pub-goers had seen them but Pint pulling priest Barrington Bennetts 45% wanted them, the became only the second real person, after online poll found. David Beckham, to be named in the Beano. > PUBS minister Bob > MARSTON’S say should get a pint when Neil joined Camra after meeting memall their beers could they order and buy bers of newly formed be produced using its one. It said the pracBromley branch. fastcask technology tice means drinkers > THE SCOTTISH within 10 years. lose out on up to 148 Brewing Archive AsThe system encases million pints a year, sociation, which proyeast into special costing £444m. motes Scottish brewbeads that settle more > BEER, Camra’s ing history, launched a quickly meaning less quarterly national website - www. time waiting before the magazine won the scottishbrewingarbeer is ready to serve. Customer Magazine (Consumer Reader-


> TRADE union the GMB called for an investigation into claims pubs are under-filling millions of pints. Activists said people

If you’re not a Camra member, you won’t be getting all the latest real ale, pub and brewing news delivered to your door. Join using the form on the inside back cover and get What’s Brewing and Beer free, plus a host of other membership benefits. Tyneside&NorthumberlandCamra


Pints of View In response to The Great Pint Glass Swindle (CB 218) I feel I would like to make a few points. Mr Harvey’s first suggestion that lined glasses could be introduced over a period of time would lead to a bar serving pints in brim measure and oversize vessels at the same time. If we agree to disagree on the exact figures this still means that some customers get more than others. As a landlord would I charge different amounts for these? Who gets the larger measures? And how would the weights and measures laws deal with two differently sized glasses being used in tandem? If lined glasses are to be used then so be it, but there could be no extended crossover period and the cost would definitely be prohibitive. Also, I’m going to have to disagree with the suggestion that nine pints are routinely wasted out of a 72 pint firkin. Calling on 22 years in the trade, I feel I can over-rule Mr Harvey on this one. Anyone who wastes that much beer is either heading for bankruptcy or a volunteer at an otherwise excellent beer festival. Quite simply two pints wastage is about right. And I believe the idea that an

Write to us

exact pint can be served in an oversize glass is erroneous. Mr Harvey stated that it simple to show bar staff how to serve a pint to the line – but this is

obviously not quite as

Anyone who wastes that much beer is heading for bankruptcy easy as Mr Harvey thinks as he is the one advocating so much wastage. I have discussed the issue of pint glass sizes with Mr Har-

Write to Canny Bevvy, 61 St Cuthbert’s Drive, Heworth, Gateshead, NE10 9AA or email

14 CannyBevvy

vey on more than one occassion and I feel that if it wasn’t for the undoubted cost I would be fairly neutral on this issue. If it does come to pass then what’s another cost after all that’s been imposed on the trade over the last few years. I can however offer Neil an olive branch. His points on what other liquids are bought in less than the advertised volumes, were fair and I agree that no customer should ever have to ask for a top up. The other thing we agree about is tight sparklers. When beer is in good condition it is better, in my opinion, without a sparkler. When a beer has passed its peak a sparkler hides that fact, and are therefore popular with many publicans. Unfortunately I do not decide how I serve my beer – my customers do. Whatever Neil and myself think about them we are a

long way off from the wider public wanting their pint to be served in this manner. Unlike Neil I am a businessman before a CAMRA member and can’t see this state of affairs changing in the near future. Graeme Oswald, landlord of Oddfellows, North Shields @TYN_CAMRA

Winter’s Canny Bevvy stirred debate over pint glass sizes, while food and finding copies of the magazine brought queries from correspondents both old and new. Why not send us your thoughts, memories and views?

Where for art thou?

I read the last issue of Canny Bevvy on your website but I’ve not seen it anywhere since. How do I get hold of future paper copies? Peter Lowe, Heworth Ed replies: Copies are currently sent out to every Tyneside and Northumberland Camra branch member as well as being available through pubs in the region. If your local doesn’t have any then tell them to get in touch. As you’ve already discovered we are trying out ways of distributing the magazine digitally and there will be more developments on that front in the coming months. We hope any member who would prefer to receive us in a electrnic format would get in touch and let us know. If you are not a member, but

still cannot be without a copy of Canny Bevvy then subscription enquiries can be emailed to .

A culinary dilema

We’re often told about wines that go well with certain foods, but can you tell me if there are any ales that go particularly well with certain dishes? I am hosting a small dinner party for a friend’s birthday and am planning a game terrine starter and venison for the main, but would like some advice on what drinks to serve. As the terrine and venison will have quite strong flavours, I wasn’t sure of the best ale to complement them without being overpowering. As well as ales to accompany a meal, I also wondered if you had any tips on ales that can be used in a stew? Zachary Mellors, Jesmond


Beer festival runs the May BH w/e 4th-6th May...Mike Memphis - Top Elvis act will be appearing on the Sat. #hipthrusting


Full Fat Milk Stout finished - all the milky goodness with a little bit extra kick at 6.8% - apparently its actually good for you!!!


Ooh this is interesting! Our brave antibinge drinking PM used to make £1000s... from binge drinkers!

Ed replies: Beer and food, when matched well, are perfect partners - you only have to turn to page 22 for a few ideas - and many a pub and restaurant is now serving both high quality ale and food alongside each other. For your party, game terrine would be delicious with a flavourful dark ale, such as Ouseburn Porter from Hadrian and Border Brewery. Stews can benefit from a large variety of real ales - and obviously real cider - with bitters or stouts adding flavour to venison in a similar way to red wine. A good local beer to use for a tasty stew might be a Tyne Bank Brewery Monument Bitter.


Real Cider - because man cannot survive on tea and water alone...


I don’t need socks! I’m always legless!! Although, with a few socks and some buttons I could make my own friends!!


Best Radio 4 Thought for the Day ever “don’t drink at home - go to your local and and have a glass of your favourite tipple”


Someone in my house has bought John Smith’s smoothflow. I literally ground my teeth in rage as I stared at the box.

Tweet about us #CannyBevvy Tyneside&NorthumberlandCamra


The Mystery Pubgoer Searching out the best pubs, so you don’t have to Hello and welcome to a new regular feature of Canny Bevvy where I, the Mystery Pub Goer, aim to highlight Tyneside and Northumberland pubs, that are doing great things right now. For Spring 2012, it’s may seem a fairly populist choice but it’s now quite a while since The Bodega, on Westgate Road in Newcastle was decorated by the branch. Unlike it’s sister the Crown Posada, down by the Quayside, The Bodega isn’t in the Camra National Inventory of Historic Interiors, but in my opinion, it should be. Walk in the front door, and the first thing you notice are the huge Victorian stained glass domes, while the traditional long bar, and the elaborately tiled floors, tell you that this is a pub steeped in history. Originally known at the Black Bull, the Bodega was built in 1848, and, contrary to urban beliefs, has never been

a music hall. The pub was purchased by the Sir John Fitzgerald group as long ago as 1910, and, under the stewardship of this longestablished, family-run business, has kept much of it’s original Victorian ambience. Combine that with the four large screen plasma televisions, and the friendly, knowledgeable staff, and it’s a great place to while away a few

Bodega is a drinking establishment, not an eating one, but if all you’re after is a few pints, then it’s perfect.

afternoon hours. As for the beers, well, what can you say. An impressive array of nine handpumps, offering two regular beers in Durham Magus and Big Lamp Prince Bishop, six ever-changing guest beers from national and local breweries, and a regular cider, Westons Old Rosie prove this is a drinking establishment, not an eating one, but if all you’re after is a few pints, then it’s perfect. All in all, a great real ale pub, so next time you’re in town, give it a go. For the summer I would be interested to hear some reader suggestions of some of the lesser known pubs hitting all the right notes. Send an email to editor@ and I’ll pay them a visit. And who knows, it might be your favourite local who soon gets a visit from The Mystery Pubgoer.




In spite of a rather dull title, The History of Camra is a remarkable film. It traces not only a consumer revolt that has changed the appreciation of beer in Britain and saved a unique beer style but it’s also a major documentary that shows just how much British society has altered since the early 1970s. The film, directed by David Rust, is packed with fascinating black and white footage from four decades

ago that shows the way in which the arrival of the Big Six national brewers transformed the way beer was made. Wooden casks and coopers were on their way out as family-run brewers folded and the future, we were told, lay in filtered and pasteurised beer stored in pressurised kegs. Then along came four young beer lovers - all hairy sideburns and flared jeans - who decided to take on the big brewers and save beer with taste and flavour. The message from the slick PR departments of the Big Six at the time was that a handful of grumblers were living in the past and most people were happy to drink keg beer. The founding four proved them wrong. People rushed to join the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale as it was first called, swiftly changed to Real Ale on the grounds that it was more manageable and easier to say after four pints. Camra is indisputably the world’s most influential single-issue consumer movement. Camra has made it possible for small brewers to flourish. Britain’s great beer culture and heritage has been saved thanks to the campaign’s energy and commitment. Do watch the film - It records how the little people stood up to the rich and powerful...and won. Neil Harvey

Camra at forty

FORTY years ago a young journalist and three friends set out on a mission to improve their nation’s beer. Four decades on Claire Garner caught up with Camra founder Graham Lees as he returned to Chester to recreate the most historic of pub crawls. 2 CannyBevvy

AS a young Chester Chronicle journalist Graham Lees got some of his best stories while having a pint in one of the city’s many historic pubs. A lifelong fan of decent ale, his growing disappointment at the beer served to him during his time as a junior reporter led him to become the driving force behind a new organisation which has led a 40 year campaign to revive the greatest of British brews. With the help of three friends, Graham founded CAMRA, the Campaign for the @TYN_CAMRA

Revitalisation of Ale, now known to its 120,000 members as the Campaign for Real Ale, often described as one of the most successful consumer groups in Europe. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Graham joined fellow CAMRA members to retrace the Chester pub crawl where the idea to improve British ale was first discussed. In March 1971, Graham’s drinking pals, fellow journalists, Bill Mellor and Michael Hardman, and brewery worker, Jim Makin, met Graham in Chester the night before they left for a boozy break to Ireland. During a pub crawl around Chester to mark the start of their holiday, the friends came back to their usual lament of the lack of good quality and varied beers coming out of the pumps. Graham, 63, who now lives in Bangkok where he is an editor for the Associated Press, said: “There was a monopoly on beer at that time in Chester by the brewery Greenall Whitley who were based in Warrington and owned many of the pubs in the city. “So there was not a lot of choice at all and the beer really wasn’t

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that great either.” During their trip to the Emerald Isle the following day, things didn’t improve with little else being on offer but Guinness and other stouts. Returning to Chester, it was Graham who seriously mooted the idea that something should be done to improve beer in Britain and his friends vowed to join his fight. Graham said: “I always say CAMRA may have been conceived in Ireland but

Right: Camra’s founders blow out the candles at the campaign’s 10th birthday. Above: Bill Mellor, Michael Hardman, Graham Lees, Jim Makin toasting Camra’s 40th birthday its gestational period was definitely in Chester. It was where we seriously decided that something must be done.” That something has now turned into one of the most successful consumer organisations in Europe which campaigns diligently for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. With more than 120,000 members,

the organisation is made up of 200 branch committees all over the UK, many of which run their own beer festivals, publish local newsletters and run social events. It is governed by a voluntary, unpaid, national executive, elected by the membership. Graham said: “We didn’t have a clue what to do at first when we decided we

should do something more serious. People kept saying to us well you are talking about how things need to change but what are you actually doing about it? “The only model we had for the organisational structure was the National Union of Journalists which I was active in at the time so we used the idea of having branches and area organisers and that really formed the backbone of CAMRA.” In 1972, Graham @TYN_CAMRA

moved to the south east to work on an evening paper, leaving the Cheshire region of the organisation in the safe hands of his friends Laurie Hughes and Carl Butler. His move down south is the reason why CAMRA’s headquarters are now in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Graham believes his biggest success with the organisation is getting it off the ground. He said: “We were doing it all part time

at first while we were working. We just wanted to save traditional cask beer from extinction and not just save it but invigorate it too.” With more than 800 small and micro breweries now supplying all over the UK, it would seem CAMRA’S original aim has been realised and while it is hard to source real ale in Bangkok, Graham is very partial to trying as many as he can when he comes back to the UK to visit

friends. Graham said: “It is very difficult to name a favourite beer because there are just so many to choose from now which is great. I do like a dry hoppy beer or a stout in the winter.” There was ample beer for him to try when he took part in the Founder’s Crawl to celebrate the 40th birthday of CAMRA which took in 12 of the city’s hostelries and ended in one of Chester’s newest real ale pubs, The Brewery Tap in Lower Bridge Street. The Brewery Tap, which is the first pub to belong to the Chester brewery, Spitting Feathers, opened its doors in November 2008 in one of the most historic buildings in Chester. Dating back to the 1600s, the bar is housed in is an old Jacobean banqueting hall complete with an enormous sandstone fireplace. Although it wasn’t around for the fledgling CAMRA crowd the first time round, organisers of the crawl felt it was the perfect venue for the final stop, not least because it is the current Regional Pub of the Year for Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Manager of the Brewery Tap, John

Thomas, said: “It was great to welcome the crawl here as their final stop. “With little or no choice in the early days of CAMRA, it was interesting to hear that 40 years on, over 40 different real ales were on offer at the pubs visited, so it goes to prove how pubs like The Brewery Tap are more appreciated than ever.” As an honorary lifetime member of CAMRA, Graham still keeps his eye on the organisation and the issues it faces. He said: “I think the big issue now is to save the British pub from extinction. If we haven’t got any pubs, then we do not have any real ale. We will continue to campaign for help from the Government for better forms of tax relief so it gives small breweries and pubs like Spitting Feathers and The Brewery Tap a chance to grow and develop.” When asked why beer should have its very own campaign group, he said: “A decent pint is part of the British way of life and the pub is a focal point for many communities. Beer is a national drink and it has been around for hundreds of years for very good reasons.“And of course, it is very pleasurable.”



COOKING WITH ALE 4. Allow to cool for several hours and garnish with a fresh mint leaf and cherry.

Intensely rich chocolate mouse with Kriek Serves four to six

Ingredients One bottle Kriek cherry beer 600g dark chocolate 1l whipping cream 1 mint leaf 100g caster sugar

ANDREW SAYS “Beer is the new wine or so it would seem. And beer and food pairing is the latest craze to the grip our American cousins. Self-appointed beer cicerones are a growing bunch Stateside, antagonising diners with the encyclopedic knowledge of flavours and styles that would be perfect bring out the subtle nuances of everything from Lobster Bisque to Pop Tarts. It’s only a matter of time before the same level of beery self importance reaches our shores. Your won’t be able

to take a bite of toast without some know-it-all-telling you that you’re wasting your time unless you marry the marmalade flavour profile with a particular vintage Belgian saison. However, beer and food do indeed make fantastic bed fellows. I mean try to imagine a curry without a lager? It’s unthinkable. A sensationally decadent dessert, we paired this with Tesco’s Traditional Porter, which is in fact a cunningly re-labelled version of Harviestoun’s Old Engine Oil. This rich, viscous smokiness of the beer cut through the cheery bitterness of the chocolate and balanced against it beautifully.

Method 1. Kriek, pronounced “creek”, is not a brand but a style of ale, made by fermenting lambic - a sour and dry Belgian beer, fermented spontaneously with airborne yeast - with sour Morello cherries. Heat one bottle of the beer gently in a basin and slowly melt the chocolate into it. 2. Beat the whipping cream together with the sugar to obtain a thick, yoghurty consistency. 3. Mix the chocolate into the cream and divide into pots

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S ’ T A H W S ’ T I ! BEER T S A F K A E R B R FO 2. Slice and butter the fresh

Breakfast bun matched oven bottom buns. with breakfast stout Serves two

Ingredients Two eggs Four rashers back bacon, Black pudding Two fresh “oven bottom” bread buns. Two bottles Founders Breakfast Stout

3. At the last moment fry the free range eggs, making sure to leave the yolks runny. 4. Serve the buns accompanied by a bottle of Founders Breakfast Stout.

ANDREW SAYS “In Italy Grappa is often drank as an eye opener and in Spain, a small glass of Cava can be taken over a light breakfast. Method It’s slightly different in the UK, a freshly cracked can of Stella 1. Ignore what it does to the is seen by many outdoor lager calories and fry instead of grill- enthusiasts as the perfect ing the bacon and rounds of accompaniment to a Gregg’s black pudding to add flavour. chocolate pasty,

The same is true of the northern train traveller who often likes to forego the actual breakfast and make do with a carrier bag for of cans to stave off those early morning hunger pangs. As a result, beer and breakfast pairing is normally frowned upon. But Founders Breakfast Stout is a dense beer and it pours heavy, clinging to the side of the glass. The aroma is like lighting a boozy coffee and chocolate Yankee Candle. And as a chaser to a mouthful of sandwich, the beer gets to work like Cillet Bang. While the rich flavour of malt covers the palette, the sweet chocolate cozies up to the meat. It works well. The beer itself is quite bitter and but with a delicious sweet edge that corrals its mountainous flavours. The big hit of coffee serves as a fantastic eye opener. Imagine chucking a double espresso into the best Milk Stout you have ever tasted. A breakfast of Champions indeed. Andrew Mitchell writes the Oh Beery Me blog and is currently reviewing a different beer every day for a year. To read more visit



Art is always a subjective thing, but for brewers and beer lovers alike New York-based designer Zeke Shore’s Hops infographic, for Type/Code,

is surely a verybeautiful thing. Seemlessly blending all the info you might want about the flavour, bitterness and aroma

of the ingredient that gives beer so much of it’s character, the work is something that we at Canny Bevvy just wish we could just take and

pin on our bedroom wall. Which happily we can as it’s available in poster size from


With Scottish independance at the top of the political agenda Richard Taylor finds out what’s on offer in what could be Europe’s newest capital city, Edinburgh THE NORTH-East has some terrific destinations for the beery traveller – particularly if they use the train to get about. However, ninety minutes away up the east coast mainline is a drinking city to rival any other – Edinburgh. Swap the Angel of the North for the Athens of the North, and treat yourself to a crawl around what could become Europe’s newest capital city – if Alec Salmond gets his way… Our tour of Auld Reekie’s public houses begins (and ends) just outside Edinburgh Waverley station. Currently being renovated, head up the sloping exit to Waverley Bridge and turn right onto Princes Street (also being renovated). Directly opposite the Balmoral Hotel is our first stop – the Guildford Arms. Dating from 1898, it has ten hand pumps usually dispensing seven

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Scottish real ales and five guests. From there, head past (or into) the opulent Café Royal and along West Register Street to St Andrew’s Square. Our next stop is the Guildford’s sister bar – the Abbotsford. No drinking day in Edinburgh would be complete without barrelling down Rose Street – and the first pub you come to is possibly the best. Keeping the square on your right, head for the Sainsbury’s – the Abbotsford is just past it, along the pedestrianised Rose St. A classic Scottish island bar, the beers are usually in great condition here. Continue to the other end of Rose St for the Kenilworth, a Nicholson’s

pub with decent options. For a true slice of Edinburgh, turn right onto North Castle Street, and follow it until you reach the tiny Young Street (having crossed George St in the process). Left into Young St you have the Oxford Bar – famous haunt of Ian Rankin and Inspector Rebus (although you never see them at the same time). For sustenance (and a great imported bottle selection), the Cambridge just up the road do good burgers. The cobbled streets around here are great for simply exploring, especially in good weather. But it’s beer we’re interested in, so turn left out of Young St into Charlotte Square (the twin

to St Andrew at the other end of George Street). Walk all the way to Princes Street – be sure to check out the progress of the Edinburgh tram fiasco – and wander up Lothian Road, one of the busy arteries of the capital. For more burgers – and some great keg beer – the Red Squirrel is one of the new generation of city boozers. Walking off your lunch, go the length of Lothian Road and eventually a hideously confusing five-pointed junction appears. This is Tollcross, and if you go down the second road (Brougham Street) the church visible shortly afterwards houses Cloisters Bar – one of the best pubs in Edinburgh (and co-incidentally, my




Clockwise from top left: Cloisters Bar, Guldford Arms, Halfway House, Cambridge Bar

local). House beers from Stewart, permanent taps for Black Isle and Highland – a great place to sample more Scottish beer. After you’ve had enough head back down Lothian Road. The next landmark is Bread Street. Head along until you walk into the Blue Blazer. Another Edinburgh institution, the Blazer has great beer – but a colossal selection of rum, if that’s your thing. There’s also a good fire here if it’s chilly. Leave and continue along Bread Street, down the hill into the Grassmarket. There are plenty of pubs here, not to mention a great view of the castle – the Beehive Inn is probably the pick (and has a nice hidden beer garden out the back) – but we’re walking through and up the very steep hill at the end, on the left – West Bow.

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If you visit no other pub whilst in Edinburgh, you simply must go to the Bow Bar. No music, no television, eight real ales and hundreds of malt whiskies (literally). Park yourself in the Bow and enjoy. The original tall fonts only add to the magic – this place is all about the beauty of drink. If you can tear yourself away, head back down the hill to the Grassmarket (having explored Victoria Street – which has some great shops), and turn left into the Cowgate. Known as ‘little Saigon’ by policemen, it’s not a pleasant street, with dark, dripping bridges overhead – but it’s a perfect location for BrewDog Edinburgh. This little-known Aberdeenshire brewery are strictly for the keg-curious, but if you want powerful IPA’s and massive Imperial Stouts, it’s definitely the place to be.

Order a cheeseboard and power through some American muscle-beer, it’s not as standoffish as you might think – the staff are very friendly, and one of the locals often brings his Jack Russell along. For our penultimate stop – continue along the rest of the Cowgate (you may as well, you’ve made it this far). At the end is another bamboozling junction where the Cowgate becomes Holyrood Road. Just past here, on the left, is Holyrood 9A – the partner to the Red Squirrel. Have another burger (or something else), and enjoy more quality keg, bottled or cask beer (which of course you won’t have been drinking at the previous stop). If the train is calling, go back to the crossroads and turn right, then head up to and over the Royal Mile (we’re not here to sightsee, after all) and down Jeffrey Street. Eventually you’ll curve around, under another huge bridge, and find the side opening to Waverley station. Rather than going in, look in the other direction and climb the set of steps. Here, you’ll find Edinburgh’s smallest pub – the Halfway House. Perfect for a quick pre-departure pint, there are usually some great Scottish ales on here. After that, carefully wobble your way back down the steps and into the station. You can then either head to the platforms for the train down south – or go through and up to the Guildford Arms again, for another loop. Either way, enjoy your beer in Edinburgh. Richard Taylor is editor of the Edinburgh based beer blog, @TYN_CAMRA

NEWCASTLE BEER FESTIVAL 2012 So what is real ale?

In the early 1970s, Camra coined the term “real ale” to make it easy for people to differentiate between the bland processed beers being pushed by the big brewers and the traditional beers whose very existence was under threat. Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never seem to provide.

But isn’t a beer fest just old men sitting round drinking warm beer?

Certainly not - we get a really

good mix of visitor and while that undoubtedly includes ale aficionados, we also get workers popping in for a few pints at the end of their shift, clubbers starting off their night with us, tourists and, being where it is, plenty of students. And our bar manager would take issue with the suggestion we serve warm beer.

haven’t found the right one for you yet. We’ve got over 130, so the festival is your chance to try a few different ones out - in 1/3 of a pint measures if you want - so you have the chance to appreciate the different styles and flavours without getting too worse for wear. And, even if you really can’t

A Beginners Guide... Real ale is best served between 11 and 13 degrees Celsius and we have the equipment to ensure that we keep it at just the right temperature.

find a beer that’s to your taste we’ve some fantastic, farmproduced cider and perry.

But I don’t like beer!

It really depends on what you want. If you want a reasonably quiet time to do some tasting and chat to the bar staff, then the lunchtimes are probably

There are over 700 brewers across the UK producing thousands of distinctive ales, so perhaps it’s just that you

So when’s the best time to visit?

Delighted drinkers enjoy trying out both ale and cider at Newcastle Beer Festival (Photo: Camra)



best. On the other hand, if you’re coming to have a good time with a group of friends, the evening sessions of Thursday April 19 and Friday 20 are lively, but be aware that you might have to queue to get in at really busy times. Having a £10 note ready to pay for entry, a glass, and your first few drinks tokens will help speed things up. Saturday is usually a laid-back day with lots of good drinking on offer.

But I’ve been told it’s not worth going on Saturday because you may run out.

As real ale has to stand for some days before it can be drunk and any that’s left when we close on Saturday has to be poured away, ordering the correct amount of beer for a festival is very tricky. Inevitably the choice of ales, ciders and perries will reduce progressively on Saturday but you can still have a great time.

Why do I have to pay for a glass?

It’s standard practice at beer festivals to hire a glass when you come in and hang on to it throughout your visit. When you leave, you can hand your glass in and get your money back. However, if you’d like to take your souvenir glass away then that’s fine too.

So when you’ve finished in Newcastle, where do you take the festival next?

Many people don’t realise that the festival is organised and run by local Camra members, who give up their time to make the event a success. However, Camra branches across the country hold their own festivals, so if you can’t wait a whole year for the next one check for info.

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Why does Camra care about real cider and perry?

Real cider is a long-established traditional drink which is produced naturally from apples and is neither carbonated or pasteurised. However real cider is in a similar situation to that which faced real ale some 30 years ago with the number of outlets for real cider is diminishing, even in the West Country. The situation with perry - which is made from pears - is even worse, as it is rarely available away from the farm gate. It is unfortunate that many of the most well known ciders in the UK are cold, fizzy products which have been produced artificially rather than naturally. It is well worth you tracking down some real ciders and perries and more and more people are discovering for themselves how deliciously mellow, aromatic and intoxicating the flavours of naturally produced real cider can be. As a result of the difficulties facing real cider, the campaign set up a cider and perry committee within Camra to inform consumers about the choice of real cider and perry available and to encourage the producers to continue production.

The Valley of Cider

While Sheffield may lay claim to having a “valley of beer,” Newcastle has it’s very own valley of cider. Despite no major North East producers, last year Tyneside, Northumberland and Durham, with 12 taverns, boasted the most nominations for Camra’s Cider Pub of the Year contest of any region. And of those the Ouseburn area of Byker has three of the strongest contenders in The Cumberland Arms, The Cluny and 2011’s local winner The Free Trade Inn.


THE KNOWLEDGE Everything you wanted to know about beer but were afaid to ask

Mild suffers from a name that suggests a lack of flavour and an ‘old man’ image. But as AMY WEBB discovers, that’s far from the truth. . The UK is now home to more than 800 breweries, each one likely offering a bitter, perhaps a blonde and come winter time maybe a porter or stout. Less probable is that they’ll have a mild among their range. But come last year’s Great British Beer Festival it was one of the “endangered species” - Mighty Oak’s Oscar Wilde - which took the title of Champion Beer of Britain. So what’s going on? Is mild really bland, weak rubbish for old men? A few myths perhaps need debunking. Mild is so called because it is less bitter than standard bitter, not because of its flavour. Well-crafted mild is full of taste and most will

have, in varying degrees, chocolate, biscuity malt, liquorice and light fruit overtones. Yet that does not mean that milds are necessarily sweet - it is just mildly hopped relative to a brewer’s standard bitter. There’s no reason that one brewer’s bitters might not be sweeter than another’s mild. Some people also have the misconception that milds are weak. While true that many are low enough in alcohol to make them great session beers one of Britain’s best selling milds, Banks’ Original, weighs in at 3.5% ABV - that’s only 0.1% less than Tetley’s bitter. And at 6% ABV Sarah Hughes Ruby Mild is far from a lightweight. Finally mild is not just for old men. It makes a surprisingly good introduction to real ales for lager drinkers, as it has a softer hop flavour. So next time you’re at the bar, why not forgo your usual bitter, your golden or your lager and instead discover just how mighty a mild can be?

Wild about Mild?

Why not try... Hexamshire Devil’s Elbow (3.6% ABV) Named after a waterfall on the West Dipton Burn, Devil’s Elbow is a smooth ale with a rounded malty taste. The beer is hopped with Fuggles and contains a generous dollop of Amber malt.




As the name implies bitter must be bitter, but will also have a degree of sweetness from the malt used. Bitterness comes from the hops used. Brewers use various amounts and varieties of hops, each with their own character. This results in some bitters being lightly hopped, and some astringent beers. After

hops, often with the addition of hints of vanilla and cornflour. Golden ales are pale amber, gold, yellow or straw coloured and above all, such beers are quenching and served cool.

Standard stouts have a strength similar to bitters, but beware, some breweries produce a Russian/Imperial Stout, which are typically 9% upwards!



Stout can be sweet or dry, not very bitter. It will be completely black and have a rich, smooth mouthfeel. The burnt flavours

BEER STYLES the bitter taste subsides, the character of the malt comes through. Again there are great varieties of flavours available. Some bitters are very dry, having hardly any sweetness, whereas others have a distinct sweet malt flavour. Bitter varies in colour from light straw colour to dark ruby red. These variables (bitterness, sweetness, and colour) can be used by brewers to produce hundreds of subtly different bitters. The simplest thing to say about any brewers bitter is “It has more bitterness than their mild”.

Golden Ales

A new style of pale, well-hopped and quenching beer developed by independent brewers in an attempted to win younger drinkers from heavilypromoted lager brands. Strengths will range from 3.5% to 5.3% ABV. The hallmark will be the biscuity and juicy malt character derived from pale malts, underscored by tart citrus fruit and peppery

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come about because roasted barley is used, giving a very complex and moreish taste. It actually feels heavy and filling. The name came about, as it was originally a “stouter” or stronger version of porter.

Porter was the staple drink of Britain until the beginning of the 20th century. Originally porter was a mixture of old stale ale and new fresh beer, which gave porter its sour lactic flavour. This method of production is only rarely used these days, but there are some brews that still have old stale ale mixed in. Porter is bitter and deep brown, not really black. It is more aromatic and while malty, is more quenching. It is more like a bitter but darker and heavier.

Old Ale

Old ale, as the name implies, is old – that is matured for a longer time than standard beers. This extended maturation means the beer takes on a “stale” and/or “sour” taste, which is offset by blending with freshly brewed “young” ale. Some old ales are matured for only a month or two, others for a year or more. In flavour old ales are rich, packed with malt, big on hop bitterness and have a mellow fruitiness. In alcohol content they vary from 5.1% ABV for Highgate Old Ale up to 8.5% ABV for Robinsons Old Tom. The stronger examples have a vinous (wine like) flavour reminiscent of a very good red wine. @TYN_CAMRA

How do they brew that? With so many new breweries popping up and more people trying to make their own ale you’d think everyone knows the ins and outs of beermaking. But do you really know your wort from malt from your mash tuns? Brewing starts with barley. The starches in barley cannot be fermented, so they must be converted into a fermentable form, by malting. The grains of barley are soaked in water and allowed to germinate. Then they are heated and turned regularly, either in the traditional “floor� maltings or in huge rotating drums. When germination has unlocked the rich natural sugars in the barley, the grains are heated in a kiln, which stops germination. The degree of heat affects the type of malt produced

Above: Hops growing on the vine Below: Dried hops ready to be used for beer-making

and its flavour - high heat produces dark roasted malts, lower heat gives lightercoloured malts. Malt does not just give the wherewithal to produce alcohol, it also gives colour and the body of flavour of the beer. But brewers do use other ingredients such as sugars and fermentable starches. Some ingredients improve the appearance of the head, assist fermentation, or act as preservatives. Once the malt is ready for beer-making, in the brewery, it is crushed into a powder, and then mixed with hot water - which brewers refer

to as liquor. The thick porridgy liquid is left in a vessel called a mash tun for several hours while the sugars in the malt dissolve. When the liquid has absorbed as much sugar as possible, it is run off through the slotted base of the vessel and the liquid becomes known as wort. Hops were introduced to Britain in the 16th century by Dutch brewers and they add bitter flavour and aroma to the beer, but also act as a preservative. Wort is boiled with hops in a vessel called a copper for at least an hour. The



most traditional brewers use the whole flowers of the hop. After boiling, the hopped wort is run over a bed of the boiled hops as a filter. The wort is then cooled and run into fermentation tanks, where yeast is added. Yeast is a microscopic fungus which feeds off the fermentable sugars, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeast cells divide and grow rapidly in this warm sugary liquid. Within a few hours a scum appears on the top of the wort, and this rapidly builds up into a great foamy yellowy-brown crust. Brewers go to great lengths to retain their own specific yeast variety uncontaminated, as each one produces different flavours during the fermentation process. When fermentation has finished, the green beer is run into conditioning tanks for a few days. The remaining yeast continues to turn sugar into alcohol, and also helps purge the beer of rough after-tastes. Real ale is put in casks, which nowadays are usually metal but a few brewers still use wood. A small dose of sugar is added to encourage further fermentation and some beers are dry-hopped - a fistful

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of hops are added, to produce an extra dose of aroma. Finings are also added to the beer before it is sent to the pub. These are are a glutinous substance made from the swimbladders of fish - though there are vegetarian options. Finings sink through the beer, attracting particles of yeast, until the beer is clear. This natural process ensures an attractive product without needing to filter and remove flavour. Finings are

it is not appetizing, it loses its natural conditioning - the liveliness of the beer due to the dissolved carbon dioxide. On the other hand, if the beer is too cold it will kill off the subtle flavour. How long a beer needs to stand in its cask before serving depends on the beer, particularly its alcoholic strength, and how vigorously it ferments. Some modern beers have a weak fermentation and may clear within twenty-four

spile allows carbon dioxide to escape. By alternating hard and soft spiles as needed, the cellar person carefully controls the natural carbonation of the beer. Too high a carbonation and the beer will have a nasty bite, too little and the beer will be flat. When the fermentation is about right, a tap is knocked into the cask at the other entry point. The cellar person will check that the beer is clear, has the right

A traditional brewery (1) Pure water tanks (2) Malt store, mill and mash tun (3) Coppers (4) Hop back not actually drunk, remaining in the sediment, nor do they alter the flavour. The cask is sealed, and is transported to the pub for the next stage of its life. Some pubs keep their beer in a special cool room on the ground floor, a few keep their beer behind the bar preferably nowadays with some modest external cooling system. Real ale is served at cellar temperature 12 to 14 C (54 to 57 F), which is somewhat cooler than room temperature. If real ale is too warm

(5) Heat exchanger (6) Fermenters (7) Conditioning tanks (8) Casking room

hours. That does not mean that these beers have conditioned sufficiently and to serve them as soon as they are clear is not necessarily to serve them at their best. The cask is wedged on its side, to encourage the sediment to sink into the belly. Every cask has two plugs where instruments can be knocked into the cask by force. The cellar person knocks a small wooden peg or spile into one. A hard wood spile seals the cask, whereas a soft wood

level of carbonation, and has lost the unpleasant flavours associated with beer that is too young. When the beer is ready to serve, the tap is connected to the dispense system. How long the beer lasts depends on its strength - stronger beers are more robust, and may last for weeks, whereas weaker beers are normally drunk within a few days. That’s why turnover is important - a pub needs to sell enough beer so that you always drink it at its best. @TYN_CAMRA



The Breweries Allendale

Allen Mill, Allendale, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 9EG T: 01434 618686 / 01434 683425 E:

T: 0844 504 2214 E:


South View, Cambois, Blyth, NE24 1RX



Fuggles Bar, Northumberland Brewery Accessory House, Barrington Road, Bedlington, Northumberland, NE22 7AP T: 01670 822112 E:

Ouseburn Valley

Hexamshire Brewery

Leafields, Ordley, Hexham, Northumberland. NE46 1SX T: 01434 606577 E:

Big Lamp Brewery

Grange Road, Newburn, Newcastle, NE15 8NL T: 0191 2671689 / 0191 2677766 E: admin@biglampbrewers.

Brew Star

Whitehouse Farm Centre, Stannington, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE 61 6AW T: 01670 789755 E: sales@brew


Wallsend T: 07895 692 881 E: cullercoatsbrewery@gmail. com


26 Windsor Gardens, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 3BG

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T: 07707703182 / 07936 956 594 E: nra.wholesales@hotmail.

Hadrian Border

Unit 5, The Preserving Works, Newburn Industrial Estate, Shelley Road, Newcastle, NE15 9RT T: 0191 2649000 E:

High House Farm

Matfen, Newcastle, NE20 0RG T: 01661 886769 E:


D1/D2, Narvik Way, Tyne Tunnel Trading Est, North Shields, NE29 7XJ T: 0191 296 1879

c/o The Brandling Villa, Hadricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 1QL T: 07932 677899 E:

The Ship Inn

Low Newton by-the-Sea, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 3EL T : 01665 576262


Unit 11, Hawick Crescent, St. Lawrence Road, Newcastle, NE6 1AS T: 0191 265 28 28 E:


South Houghton Farm, Heddon-On-The-Wall, Newcastle, NE15 0EZ T: 01661 853377 / 01661 854635. E: admin@wylambrewery. Want to help with future brewery features? Contact editor@ @TYN_CAMRA

Big Lamp



Gun Dog



Ship Inn

Ouseburn Valley



Hadrian Border

High House Farm



Brew Star

Where to find real ale Fancy a pint but don’t know where to turn? Try these pubs out - and pick up a Canny Bevvy too...

GATESHEAD Black Bull Bridge Street, Blaydon, NE21 4JJ T: 0191 4142846 Old Fox 10-14 Carlisle Street, Felling, NE10 0HQ T: 0191 4404815 Wheatsheaf 26 Carlisle Road, Felling, NE10 0HQ T: 0191 420 0659 Fox & Hounds (Coalies) Coalburns, Ryton, NE40 4JN T: 0191 413 2549 The Waggon Inn Galloping Green Road, Gateshead, NE9 7XB T: 0191 487 5546

NE10 8YB T: 0191 495 0171


(CITY CENTRE) Bacchus 42 - 48 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BX T: 0191 261 1008 Bodega 125 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AG T: 0191 221 1552 Bridge Hotel Castle Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1RQ T: 0191 232 6400

The Lindum Club Lindum Road, Gateshead, NE9 5AY T: 0191 4781347 Bowes Incline Hotel Northside, Birtley, DH3 1RF T: 0191 4102233 Sun Inn Market Lane, Swalwell, NE16 3AL T: 0191 4887783 The Green White Mare Pool, Wardley,

42 CannyBevvy

Hotspur 103 Percy Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RY T: 0191 232 4352 King’s Manor 132-140 New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 2SZ T: 0191 232 1618 Lady Grey’s 20 Shakespeare Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6AQ T: 01912 323606

Fitzgeralds 60 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6AF T: 0191 230 1350 Five Swans 14 St Mary’s Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7PG T: 0191 232 3893 Forth Hotel Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DW T: 0191 232 6478 Head of Steam 1 Neville Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5EN

Tilley’s 105 – 109, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AG T: 0191 232 0692 Town Wall Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5HX T: 0191 232 3000 Union Rooms Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1TT T: 0191 261 5718


Pavilion Hotspur North, Backworth Business Park, Backworth, NE27 0FG T: 0191 268 0711

Centurion Grand Central Station, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5DG T: 0191 261 6611

Duke of Wellington 18 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1EN T: 0191 261 8852

7 Strawberry Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4SF T: 0191 232 6865


Broad Chare 25 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ T: 0191 211 2144

Crown Posada 33 The Side, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3JE T: 01912 321269

Central Half Moon Lane, Gateshead, NE8 2AN T: 0191 478 2543

T: 0191 230 4236

LYH 10 Northumberland Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8JF T: 0191 232 1308 Mile Castle Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5XU T: 0191 211 1160 New Bridge 2 Argyle Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6PF T: 0191 232 1020 Newcastle Arms 57 St Andrew’s Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5SE T: 0191 260 2490

Benton Ale House Front Street, Benton, NE7 7XE T: 0191 266 1512 Ship Inn Front Street, Benton, NE12 8AE T: 0191 2660552 Cluny 36 Lime Street, Byker, NE1 2PQ T: 0191 230 4474 Cumberland Arms James Place Street, Byker, NE6 1LD T: 0191 265 6151

North Terrace Claremont Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AD T: 0191 2321448 The Strawberry


Free Trade Inn St Lawrence Road, Byker, NE6 1AP T: 01912 655764

T: 0191 286 1263 Keelman Grange Road, Newburn, NE15 8ND T: 0191 267 1689 Brandling Villa Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, NE3 1QL T: 0191 284 0490 Millstone Haddricks Mill Road, South Gosforth, NE3 1QL T: 0191 213 3731

The Tyne Bar 1 Maling Street, Byker, NE6 1LP T: 0191 265 2550 Barca 182 High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1HD T: 0191 285 6402 Brandling Arms 176 High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1HD T: 0191 285 4023 The County 70 High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1HB T: 0191 285 6919 Gosforth Hotel High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1DH T: 01912 856617 Job Bulman St Nicholas Avenue, Gosforth, NE3 1AA T: 0191 223 6230 Queen Victoria 206 High Street, Gosforth, NE3 1HD T: 0191 285 8060 The Chillingham 89-91 Chillingham Road, Heaton, NE6 5XN T: 0191 265 5915 Punch Bowl 125 Jesmond Road, Jesmond, NE2 1JY T: 0191 2818285 Twin Farms 22 Main Road, Kenton Bank Foot, NE13 8AB

George Stephenson Inn Great Lime Road, West Moor, NE12 7NJ

NORTH TYNESIDE T: 0191 268 1073 Ye Olde Fat Ox Inn Holywell, Whitley Bay, NE25 0LJ T: 0191 237 0964

Cumberland Arms 17 Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DX T: 0191 2571820 Hugo’s at the Coast 29 Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DZ T: 0191 257 8956

Porthole 11 New Quay, North Shields, NE29 6LQ T: 0191 2576645 Delaval Arms Old Hartley, Whitley Bay, NE26 4RL T: 01912 370489 Melton Constable Beresford Road, Seaton Sluice, NE26 4QL T: 0191 237741

John Bull Inn 12 Howick Street, Alnwick, NE66 1UY T: 01665 602055

Priory Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DX T: 0191 2578302

Barrels Ale House 59-61 Bridge Street, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1ES T: 01289 308 013

Turks Head 41 Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4DZ T: 0191 2576547

Pilot 31 Low Greens, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1LZ T: 01289 304214

Tynemouth Lodge Hotel Tynemouth Road, Tynemouth, NE30 4AA T: 0191 257 7565

The Castle Hotel 103 Castlegate, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1LF T: 01289 307900 Foxtons 26 Hide Hill, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 1AB T: 01289 303939

Mason’s Arms 17 West Street, Norham, TD15 2LB T: 01289 382326 Oddfellows 7 Albion Road, North Shields, NE30 2RJ T: 0191 257 4288

22 Northumberland Street, Alnmouth, NE66 2RJ T: 01665 830584

Salmon Inn East Ord, Berwick upon Tweed, TD15 2NS T: 01289 305227 Beacon Hotel Earsdon Road, West Monkseaton, NE25 9PT T: 0191 2536911 Briar Dene 71 The Links, Whitley Bay, NE26 1UE T: 0191 252 0926 Fire Station 18 York Road, Whitley Bay, NE26 1AB T: 0191 293 9030 Fitzgeralds 2 South Parade, Whitley Bay, NE26 2RG T: 0191 251 1255 Rockcliffe Arms Algernon Place, Whitley Bay, NE26 2DT T: 0191 253 1299


Jolly Fisherman 9 Haven Hill, Craster, NE66 3TR T: 01665 576461 Tankerville Arms 15 The Village, Eglingham, NE66 2TX T: 01665 578444 Greys Inn Stanley Terrace, Embleton, NE66 3UY T: 01665 576983 Ship Inn Newton Square, Low Newton by the Sea, NE66 3AL T: 01665 576262 Red Lion Main Road, Milfield, NE71 6JD T: 01668 216224 Old Ship 63 Front Street, Newbiggin by the Sea, NE64 6NJ T: 01670 817212 Queens Head



7 High Street, Newbiggin by the Sea, NE64 6AT T: 01670 817293 Horse Shoes Inn 6 Rennington Village, Alnwick, NE66 3RS T: 01665 577665

4PW T: 01434 603 909

T: 01434 220254

Allendale Inn Market Place, Allendale, NE47 9BJ T: 01434 683246

Crown Humshaugh, Hexham, NE46 4AG T: 01434 681231

Bamburgh Castle Seahouses, NE68 7SQ T: 01665 720283

Golden Lion Hotel Market Place, Allendale, NE47 9BD T: 01434 683225

Olde Ship Hotel 7-9 Main Street, Seahouses, NE68 7RD T: 01665 720200

Kings Head Market Place, Allendale, NE47 9BD T: 01434 683681

Manor House Inn Carterway Heads, Shotley Bridge, DH8 9LX T: 01207 255268

Allenheads Inn Allenheads, NE47 9HJ T: 01434 685200

Crown Inn Catton, Allendale, NE46 4LF T: 01434 683447

SOUTH EAST NTHMBLAND Olivers 60 Bridge Street, Blyth, NE24 2AP T: 01670 368346

Rat Inn Anick, NE46 4LN T: 01434 602814

The Plough Middle Farm Buildings, Cramlington, NE23 1DN T: 01670 737 633

Tap & Spile 23 Manchester Street, Morpeth, NE61 1BH T: 01670 513 894 Electrical Wizard 11 New Market, Morpeth, NE61 1PS T: 01670 500640

SOUTH WEST NTHMBLAND Miners Arms Main Street, Acomb, NE46

Angel Inn Main Street, Corbridge, NE45 5LA T: 01434 632119 Samson Inn Gilsand, Brampton, CA8 7DR T: 01697 747220

Dyke Neuk Meldon, Morpeth, NE61 3SL T: 01670 772662

Dipton Mill Inn Dipton Mill Road, Hexham, NE46 1YA T: 01434 606577 Twice Brewed Inn Bardon Mill, Hexham, NE47 7AN T: 01434 344534

T: 01434 609 190 Tap & Spile Battle Hill, Hexham, NE46 1BA T: 01434 602039

Black Bull Market Square, Haltwhistle, NE49 0BL T: 01434 320463

Barrasford Arms Barrasford, NE48 4AA T: 01434 681237

Feathers Hedley On The Hill, Stocksfield, NE43 7SW T: 01661 843607

Riverdale Hall Country House Hotel Bellingham, NE48 2JT

Forum 8-9 Market Place, Hexham, NE46 1XF

Lion & Lamb Horsley, NE15 0NS T: 01661 832952 Black Bull Rose Cottage, Matfen, NE20 0RP T: 01661 886330 High House Farm Visitor Centre High House Farm, Matfen, NE20 ORG T: 01661 886192 Battlesteads Hotel Wark on Tyne, Hexham, NE48 3LS T: 01434 230209 Black Bull Main Road, Wylam, NE41 8AB T: 01661 853112 The Boathouse Station Road, Wylam, NE41 8HR T: 01661 853 431

Among the many benefits of being a Camra member is that some pubs offer money off the price of a pint when you show your membership card. Currently pubs offering discounts include: Job Bulman, Gosforth - 10% off cask ales Quayside Bar, Newcastle - 10% off cask ales

Trent House, Newcastle - 20p a pint on ales Birtley Ale House, Birtley - 30p a pint on ales Tilley Stone, Gateshead - 20p a pint on ales

Coppers on Princes Street, Gosforth also offers members 10% off on any purchases over ÂŁ20.

Pub Discount Scheme




Drinking beer and reading Canny Bevvy means you have great taste, but have you got the general knowledge to match it? 1. Who sang the theme to the Bond movie A View To A Kill?

8. Which football team plays at Field Mill? A


A 2. What is the postcode for Eastenders’ Albert Square? A 3. In the UK, what is the best selling film soundtrack ever? A 4. Who played Elwood P Dowd in Harvey? A Who wrote Thomas 5. The Tank Engine? A In Greek myth, who 6. was the first woman? A Whose autobiography 7. was The Long Walk to Freedom? A

9. In which game would you use a spider? A 10. In Japan what would you find in a Heya? A 11. What is a cross between a grapefruit and tangerine called? A 12. Histology is the study of what? A 13. What is dromophobia a fear of? A 14. Magellan, Galapagos, and Chinstrap are types of which animal? A

15. Zymase and Glucose combine to form what drug?

16. Where in England was the Co-Operative Society formed in 1844? A 17. What is Africa’s largest country? A 18. Where in London would you find Birdcage Walk? A 19. In heraldry what colour is sable? A 20. Brewed by Cornwall’s Driftwood Brewery, what old ale is Champion Winter Beer of Britain 2012? A


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Canny Bevvy - Issue 219 - Spring 2012  

Canny Bevvy, the magazine of theTyneside and Northumberland branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra). Issue 219 - Spring 2012 includes...