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cheers WWW.CHEERSNORTHEAST.CO.UK // DEC 2019/JAN 2020 // ISSUE 96

I T ’ S

A B O U T

P U B S ,

P E O P L E ,

B E E R

FERMENTED TEA BREWING KOMBUCHA WE BLESS YOU

TAPS, TAVERNS INNS AND MICROS IN EVERY SHAPE STYLE AND SIZE

GOOD GAME GOOD GAME

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WELCOME This is an odd time to be writing an editorial piece. As we “speak”, the electorate hasn’t decided on the colour of the next government, or if we’re heading out of the European Union, or even if Sunderland AFC can get a grip on their slippery slope. We’re not making predictions, but there’s no getting away from the grim realisation that these are difficult times in every quarter. Many of you have had a great year; some of us have not been so fortunate, and while there always seems to be an air of constant struggle, there are bright spots everywhere with significant new brewery developments and pubs opening one after the other. So let’s face 2020 with renewed vigour and take pride in all the hard work paying off. And, as is customary at this time of year, we’d like to thank our various contributors and our brilliant commercial partners who know the power of a great medium – without whom we simply could not exist. Then there is you, dear reader. Thank you for your continued loyal support, the messages of encouragement and countless positive comments whenever we bump into you in a pub somewhere. Yes, we’ll get quiz answers wrong (or maybe it’s the question that’s wrong) and make the odd error, but we’re doing our best for everybody who loves pubs like we do. Your endorsement is ever appreciated. Have a happy and safe festive season. Cheers, Alastair Gilmour Editor, Cheers North East

EDITORIAL

Alastair Gilmour 07930 144 846 01661 844 115 alastair@cheersnortheast.co.uk @CheersPal www.cheersnortheast.co.uk Photography: Peter Skelton www.thepsp.net

CONTENTS 20

GOOD GAME GOOD GAME

When Free Trade Inn regular Mike Taylor mentioned he was setting up board game sessions in pubs with his partner Jo Little we thought he meant the likes of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. Ludo even. But he introduced us to another world – a parallel universe of games that can last contestants 12 hours that pit wit against skill and powers of recall. One of them is even played with your eyes shut. It’s fascinating and fun and totally absorbing. COVER: MIKE TAYLOR AND JO LITTLE WITH THEIR BOARD GAMES. PHOTO: PETER SKELTON (AT THE FREE TRADE INN)

WE DO WHAT WE DO TO CREATE THE PUB THAT WE WOULD WANT TO DRINK IN DAVID WILKINSON, GREY HORSE, CONSETT

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Gillian Corney 07903 500 401 01661 844 115 gillian@offstonepublishing.co.uk

@cheers_ne @cheersnortheast @cheersmagazine_ne

While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for omissions and errors. All material in this publication is strictly copyright and all rights reserved.

TEA TIME 04 14 BREW UP TRY IT 08LIKE IT 26 GREAT SQUARING 10 A CIRCLE 28 PUBS ROUND-UP FUN WITH 12 38 FUN STUFF COMMENT AND NEWS

INSPIRATION IN RYHOPE

TAXIDERMY FOR WILLIE

PUBLISHED BY: Publishers: Jane Pikett & Gary Ramsay Unit One, Bearl Farm Stocksfield Northumberland NE43 7AL Email: enquiries@offstonepublishing.co.uk Website: www.offstonepublishing.co.uk Twitter: @offstonepublish

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CHEERS NORTH EAST

brings out the best in pubs and brewing that exists in the region. The magazine, published ten times a year, is distributed to almost 300 pubs, bottle shops and specialist outlets from the Borders to North Yorkshire and across to the fringes of Cumbria. It is packed with stories from them with suggestions on where to go and what you’ll find there. But most of all, Cheers is about people – after all, it’s people who make beer and people who make pubs what they are. And to be able to bring you more information, our A-Z pub guide can now be found at www.cheersnortheast.co.uk Tell them who sent you.


COMMENT

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Shutters down: The former mmm... and glug... shop on Newcastle's Grainger Street

JEWELS IN THE CROWN

The Crown Posada, Newcastle, annual Wylam Brewery tap takeover and meet the brewer session bears the hallmarks of an end-of-term soiree. It’s an opportunity for two of the city’s top beer houses to indulge in an evening of self-congratulation and as usual, attracted a full house. It was also a reminder of the quality of the beer professionals that we have in the North East. Amazing beers on the bar included Not Bad For a Wodensday (collaboration with Deya Brewery), I Blame The Daylight, Hickey The Rake, the perennial Gold Tankard, and the last keg of barrel-aged Macchiato Hazelnut Praline Coffee Porter. The Cheers representation also bumped into Barry Wallace, race commentator and announcer at Newcastle Diamonds’ Brough Park stadium for 55 years, having also worked home and away with Newcastle United. Barry has collected every one of the previous 95 issues of Cheers North East because he simply loves the magazine and looks forward to picking up each new copy. A tenminute chat with him was uplifting – and humbling at the same time. 4 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

VALUE YOUR INDEPENDENCE

The news that one of Newcastle’s food and drink outlets has decided to cease trading is a blow to the North East’s independent retail sector. Mmm… and glug… have brought us great ingredients and terrific products from around the world – and closer to home – for the past dozen years, firstly in the Grainger Market and more recently on Grainger Street. But Simone and Ian Clarkin have decided enough is enough due to a combination of factors. The couple put out a statement: “Due to the inflexibility of our overseas-based landlord and the UK’s crippling business rates we have decided to close mmm… and glug… “It was costing us around £100,000 a year simply to open our doors – before we bought any stock to sell, paid our employees, plus other costs such as insurance and energy. That, along with falling city-centre footfall, delivery and

parking restrictions, possible future congestion charges and a massively expanded Christmas market, means that the numbers simply don’t add up.” We tend to take the independent sector for granted – they’ll always be there, sort of attitude because of their flexibilty. But we need to help change consumer habits for the long term, creating more sustainable town and city centres and communities, else there will be more casualties like mmm… and glug… Research shows that for every £1 spent locally, between 50p-70p recirculates back into the local economy. For the same £1 spent out of town or online, only 5p trickles back to the local community. However, Simone and Ian Clarkin presumably knew the rent, rates and salaries they were going to have to pay. They had their own reasons to leave the Grainger Market unit – restricted

opening times and fears over the impending repairs to the glass roof (now under way with only minor disruption). Beer-wise, to our knowledge, the shop stocked many products readily available in many supermarkets. Isn’t that that antithesis of independence? Independent shops are where you should be able to buy unusual and niche products. A recent BBC Radio 4 You And Yours item praised the sustained growth of the independent business for that very reason. The food offer in the Grainger Market has blossomed in the past 12 months and mmm… and glug… would have benefitted enormously from that, so perhaps their lack of foresight is a contributing factor, rather than placing the blame on the likes of congestion charges which could be years away. Defiantly, they hope to be back in business at some time and we wish them every success for the future.


NEWS

HIGH FIVE FOR STUDENTS Europe’s first student-run microbrewery celebrated its fifth birthday with an al fresco “bash” in a Newcastle University car park. Stu Brew is a sustainable microbrewery, managed by students through Newcastle University Students’ Union. The brewery is capable of producing around 1,000 litres per batch and based at the university since its launch in 2013, although the first year was spent setting up and getting things into place. “We take the birthday from the date of the first batch of beer – Gyle 1 on November 16 2014,” said Chris O’Malley, Stu Brew project leader. “Five years feels like five minutes. Seriously, things are going very well and we’re really pleased with how far we’ve come, so it’s more of the same for the future.” From the start, Stu Brew

established a partnership with the School of Engineering and acts as a research unit for sustainable brewery design, seeking to become an example of good environmental practice in the brewing field. Students and staff work closely with academics from the school and other local microbreweries in the North East to improve processes and share best practice. All Stu Brew profits from sales at Student Union venues and pubs across the city are invested back into training and development and the overall longterm sustainability of the enterprise. Set up with sustainability at heart, hops are grown on the student allotments and the brewing process uses a hot water recovery

Happy faces: The Stu Brew team at their annual 'bash'. Far left: Project leader Chris O'Malley system to make the process more energy efficient. Spent malt is sent to a local farmer for use as animal feed and hop residue gets composted on the university allotments. Beers on show at the birthday party included: Lab Session Pale Ale; New England IPA – a collaboration with Two By Two and Lion’s Den breweries; Alumni Vol II Brown Ale, and All Nighter Black

Cherry Porter. Chris O’Malley and his team recently applied to the university for an expansion plan that would have created a bigger and better brewhouse but the scheme was denied for having too much of a commercial bias rather than being focused on student activities and learning. A new plan is no doubt on the cards. But it shows one thing that ambition and enterprise are at the heart of every pint.

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM ALL AT WYLAM BREWERY WE WISH YOU GREAT HEALTH & HAPPINESS FOR 2020 WYLAMBREWERY.CO.UK

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 5


NEWS

MAKING THE FIRST FIFTEEN

Two years ago, Cumbriabased Hawkshead Brewery brewed a special self-congratulatory 15th birthday beer. Evolve, a deeply complex Bretted BarrelAged Imperial Stout (11.5% abv) has been aged since in Buffalo Trace Bourbon casks, developing rich chocolate, molasses and dark fruits with a light acidity, which balances a huge roasted malt backbone. Combine that with vinous aromas, hints of bourbon, vanilla and spice and discover a beer to be savoured and sipped to appreciate evolving layers of flavour. There are only 300 bottles available… Others from Hawkshead, however, include Mulled Sour (4.2% abv, keg), Winter Red Spiced Deep Red Ale (4.5% abv, cask), Black Lager (4.5% abv, cask and keg), and 2019 Edition Barley Wine (10.2% abv, bottle).

6 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

BULL BACK IN THE RING

A North Northumberland pub that had gone through a massive makeover last year with limited success, it has to be said, now has a new operator who has quickly revived its fortunes. The Black Bull at Etal (pictured above), Northumberland’s only thatched pub, is being managed by Cheviot Brewery which also operates on the Etal Estate at nearby Stainsfield. Cheviot co-owner Jonny Hodgson takes day-to-day responsibility of the pub but still shares brewing duties with Pete Nash. “Having a pub was always in the plan,” says

Pete. “But the Black Bull came up a bit quicker than we expected. Etal Estates invited us to have a look at the place and we saw the potential. It was an opportunity.” Jonny is also very pleased with the turnaround. “We’re getting all the old regulars back,” he says. “The food is going particularly well and everybody’s saying what a difference we’ve made.” Beers on the bar are by Cheviot with Upland Ale Best Bitter on permanently while the brewery’s other beers such as Trig Point and Harbour Wall rotate along with monthly specials, collaborations and seasonals.


NEWS

Premium performance: Pillars Brewery, London

COOL PRODUCT USES LESS ENERGY A Haltwhistle, Northumberland, company world-renowned for manufacturing aircraft de-icing and heat transfer products is delivering energy efficiency and cost savings for breweries. Kilfrost, which was founded in the 1930s and is still run by the same family, were invited by Pillars Brewery, craft lager producers based in Walthamstow, London, to provide a glycol product for cooling its fermentation tanks. Pillars also needed a less viscous fluid than those generally used in brewing in order to crash cool their beer more quickly. Doing this means not only a reduction in electricity costs but means

the brewery can stay true to its values by having a smaller carbon footprint, keeping innovation and quality at the heart of what they stand for. The brewery chose ALV Plus, a fluid not only certified as safe for incidental contact with food and drink, but one that offers premium performance over alternatives and offers cost savings. Brewer and Pillars founder Gavin Litton said: “Thanks to Kilfrost our pumps are working less hard and using less energy to circulate liquids around the plant. The fluid not only saves us money, but means we’re as energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly as possible.”

AWARD WINNING PUB - REAL FIRE - WARM WELCOME 12 Real Ales & Ciders on tap Pies, Peas and any Real Ale £6.95 - served every day from 12 noon Buskers Nights - Every fortnight (Tuesdays) B&B Accommodation - ring for details FREE Function room - catering available on request The Boathouse would like to wish all their customers a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!

Station Road, Wylam, NE41 8HR Tel: 01661 853431 Follow us @Boathouse Wylam & Like us on

CARD SET TO SAVE MILLIONS A £22m revamp of three major UK breweries has been announced by Heineken as part of plans to cut plastic waste. The beer giant will roll out new production lines at Hereford, Manchester and Tadcaster, replacing plastic multipack rings and shrink wrapping with a new type of holder made from recyclable cardboard. The move is expected to take 517 tonnes of plastic off supermarket shelves by the end of 2021 – approximately the equivalent of 94 million plastic bags. Despite growing concern over the damage caused by plastic waste and high-profile criticism of single-use plastic products, Heineken has lagged behind other drinks firms. Carlsberg announced it was replacing plastic rings with glue dots in September 2018, while Guinness pledged the move to cardboard holders last April. Heineken has also announced it will become Official Beer Partner of Uefa Euro 2020 and extended its Uefa Champions League partnership by another three years from 2021-24. www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 7


NEWS

TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN

Snappy snappers: Selfies with beer, so Tryanuary looks a safe bet

Challenging times lie ahead – and the start of a new year is always a slow time for the pub and brewing industry. We asked media guru Daisy Turnell how we can all help to make life easier. The toughest month for a lot of businesses is just around the corner. January can be make or break for a lot of pubs, bars, and breweries with everyone overspending over the festive season then cutting back for a month. Then there’s the “detox” movement, Dry January. To combat this, Tryanuary was founded back in 2015. It’s a nationwide campaign to encourage support for the beer industry throughout the month of January. Now looked after by national campaign coordinator, Mike Hampshire, it’s a fully volunteer-led, month-long initiative aimed at supporting the beer industry at a difficult time. December is the month of indulgence, spending, and celebration.

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8 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

By January 1 however, many people in the UK wake up with their minds set on fulfilling New Year resolutions based around health, fitness and saving cash. One of the first things people look to do to achieve this is to reduce how much time they spend going out and how much money they spend on beer. For the beer industry, this can make January a really challenging month. So, the Tryanuary campaign aims to highlight and promote the continued support for the industry. So… how can you get involved? As a beer lover and pub goer, it’s fairly straightforward. We’re encouraging you to responsibly support local, independent beer businesses. This can be via a trip to the pub, supporting your local bottle shops or breweries, and sharing information on great local places to visit to encourage others to check them out. We’re not suggesting ten pints a day through January, what we recommend is to continue to enjoy beer


NEWS

in moderation, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Time in the pub with friends and family is good for your health, too. If you’re set on taking part in Dry January, you can still support Tryanuary. A visit to the pub for some food and a soft drink or zero alcohol beer from a number of independent UK brewers, is still not only supporting the beer industry, but keeping you on track with your resolutions. If you’re reading this and thinking you’d like to get involved, you can also volunteer to help run the Tryanuary campaign. Daisy Turnell

looked after the North East Regional campaign back in 2018, and this year took over the national social media to help spread the word. As owner of Craft Beer Newcastle, she’ll be continuing to support all of the local beer-based independent businesses during Tryanuary 2020. For anyone planning an event, make sure you add it to the Tryanuary events page (free of charge). You can download the Tryanuary logo to use on posters and other promotional material, too. For further information, check out www.tryanuary.com

JANUARY GIGS

And if you’re looking for some events to enjoy this January, here’s a few to get you started: • The Cluny’s annual Cheese Festival (with cask beers from Northern Alchemy and keg from Anarchy Brew Co.) • The Cluny, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE1 2PQ. • Friends of Anarchy Beer Fest at Anarchy Brew Co, featuring 14 breweries, including Wylam,

Weird Beard, Wild Weather, Donzoko, Alpha Delta and more. • A narchy Brew Co, Benfield Business Park, Newcastle NE6 4NQ. • M cColl’s Brewery is hosting local Dutch beer pop-up, Café Amsterdam, at the brewery in Randolph Industrial Estate, Evenwood, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 9SJ.

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SPIRITUAL PURSUIT

Black Sheep Brewery has continued the diversification of its range by revealing its first ever spirit, Black Sheep Yorkshire Dry Gin. Building on six generations of brewing heritage, the Masham, North Yorkshire, brewer has produced an artisan Yorkshire take on the classic London dry gin. The 42% abv premium strength gin, which is single shot distilled in a copper alembic still over an open flame and bottled by hand in Masham, contains a blend of 14 carefully selected botanicals. With a strong focus on citrus flavours, Black Sheep Yorkshire Dry Gin features a plethora of fruit botanicals that include lemon, orange, apricot, elderberry and pomelo peel along with a touch of spice from pink peppercorns and – in a nod to their brewing heritage – it’s finished with malted barley and lemondrop hops.

LOOKING FOR A WINTER GET AWAY? Ring The Punchbowl for our accommodation special offers!! Cosy rooms - Home cooked food - Real ales - Picturesque setting! Families welcome - Dog friendly - Beer garden

COMING SOON WINTER AFTERNOON TEAS Keep an eye on our facebook and web page!! Telephone 01207 255545 - www.thepunchbowlinn.co.uk Edmundbyers, Consett, County Durham, DH8 9NL

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 9


BREWERY NEWS

Traditional Country Pub Who love music

Local Real Ales - including on site First & Last Brewery Home cooked food - Regular live music Accommodation - Families welcome - Dog friendly Functions welcome - Birthdays, Anniversaries... Opening Times: Mondays Closed Tuesdays - Bar open 5pm - 10.30pm Wednesday - Sunday 12 noon - 10.30pm Food served - Wednesday to Saturday 12 noon - 9pm Sundays 12 noon - 6pm Telephone 01830 520804 or email: birdinbushelsdon@gmail.com Elsdon, Northumberland, NE19 1AA

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NO HALF MEASURES

Full Circle Brew Co ticks The starting point for creating those boxes. You also need to a circle could be no more than conduct educational tours and host one dot on a piece of paper. promotions, while beer-wise the Entrepreneur Ben Cleary began attractions of collaborations with there and has now completed the like-minded companies and contract movement, realising his two-year brewing for others are opportunities dream. not to be missed. Tick again. Full Circle Brew Co has Ben and his team have opened in Hoult’s Yard in 2 been brewing with Newcastle, a venture some of the best that represents a names in North superb example East brewing to of engineering, get the venture fabrication, off the ground, construction, but it won’t be ambition and long before enterprise. Full Circle’s own It’s not enough brews are pouring to invest solely in into pint glasses. Late a brewhouse these November saw a series of days if you want to build events that introduced the trade something that will be attractive and public to the range of beer that enough for people will come; you will form Full Circle’s core. have to incorporate a taproom, a “There’s a real buzz about the corporate area, events space, superb place,” says Ben. “There are a food, live music, outdoor areas and growing number of great breweries retail premises. 10 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk


BREWERY NEWS

4 in and around the Byker/Walker/ Ouseburn area making it a bit of a beer lovers’ hub and we’re creating something special which captures the hearts, minds and – most importantly – the taste buds of the local community. Our policy is simple; we don’t do things by halves.” Cheers is delighted to present a selection of the region’s beer community from one of the open evenings.

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1. W  elcome aboard: Full Circle Brew Co owner Ben Cleary 2. Lest we forget... 3. Brewery taproom 4. T  aproom bar from high in the brewhouse 5. V  icky Featherby and Alex Walker, Scream For Pizza 6. Stainless steel everywhere 7. B  rewer Alan Dunlop, left, with Ben Cleary 8. Bruce Renwick, CentrAle 9. A  dam Brewer, Black Storm Brewery

pen m o sat roo tap fri + m y ever m - 10p 12p

taproom EVENTS sat 07 dec anarchy alt. market #03: xmas time!

(12pm - 6pm)

fri 13 dec tony wright (terrorvision) + the escapades sat 14 dec brewery tour

(7pm - 10pm) £10 +bf

(1pm - 2pm) £10 +bf

sat 14 dec oi to the world our xmas party feat. clippah sat 18 jan howaysis (oasis tribute)

(6pm - 11pm) free entry

fri 24 jan tv smith (the adverts) + cherry & peesh (7pm - 10pm) free entry sat 25 jan friends of anarchy beer fest (12pm - 10pm) £5 +bf FRE E ENT RY ALL EVE NT S AR E STA TED UN LES S OTH ERW ISE

saturday 25th january 2020

(7pm - 10pm) £5 +bf

che ck out our fac ebo ok pag e for mo re inf o

Daytime session 12:00 - 16:30 (kids welcome) evening session 17:30 - 22:00 (over 18s only) featuring: Alnwick Brewery s AD Brewing s Brass Castle Brewery s Chasing Everest Brew co. s Donzoko Brewing s Echec & Malt Brewery s Full Circle Brew Co s Nomadic Beers s Rigg & Furrow s Three Brothers Brewing Company s Top Rope Brewery s Weird Beard Brew Co. s Wild Weather Ales s Wylam Brewery

ANARC HY BREW CO. TYNE, NE6 4NQ UNIT A1, BENFIE LD BUSINE SS PARK, NEWCA STLE UPON OM WCO.C HYBRE ANARC // TEL: 0191 389 7580

tickets on sale now from ticketweb www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 11


PUB NEWS

TAXIDERMY FOR WANDERING WILLIE

There’s no doubt we’re a nation of dog lovers, particularly with the current fashion for small breeds – “handbag” size – and cute fluffy ones. Virtually all of our best pubs are dog friendly with city-centre venues in particular making a big effort to

attract their owners’ custom. Even those of us who don’t posses a dog like to visit pubs where Towser is made welcome after a brisk walk along the river bank (The Boathouse, Wylam springs to mind) or the seafront (we’re thinking Cock & Bull,

Amble). The ambient tolerance for the world at large is evident. Pubs displaying the skills of the canine taxidermist are no exception. Stuffed dogs have a way of looking at you. So one pub that titles itself The Stuffed Dog simply had to be visited.

Wandering Willie (pictured left) is the star attraction at The Turk’s Head in Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear, though the traditional front street pub’s beer choice, comfort, tidiness and friendly approach all vie for that top spot. Willie is/was a sheepdog immortalised in song and theatre who takes pride of place in a glass case in the public bar. According to the accompanying citation, one day in 1873 he and his master were driving a flock from the Cheviots through to North Shields when the sheep, frightened by the noise of the town, scattered in all directions. While rounding them up, Willie got separated from his master and by the time he returned to the quayside where they had been loaded on board ship, the shepherd had gone. Inconsolable, the dog remained on the spot for months, refusing to allow anyone near him, existing on scraps of food thrown to him by passers-by. Eventually, almost starved to death, he was taken on to the Shields ferry and thrown

South Causey Inn Tap Room & Distillery

“A secret bolthole for an after-work bevvy!’’ South Causey Inn has a new cosy hideout Bar! The Causey Brewery & Distillery is housed in an original stable block conversion within South Causey Inn and is now open to the public as a Bar Monday to Friday from 4 pm till 7 pm and Saturday and Sunday 12 pm till 5 pm. You can enjoy the delicious selection of home-distilled Gins and home-brewed Ales whilst the very beverages you are drinking are ‘cooking’ in the Stills and Vat! Get exclusive discounts on all drinks by becoming a Causey Brew Club Member! Head to www.southcausey.co.uk and sign up.

Make it a very Merry Christmas this year with South Causey Inn’s selection of Gin Hampers and Mini Packs! GIN HAMPER £44.95 2 Engraved RIP GIN Goblets, 2 Tonics, 70cl Bottle of Gin & a discounted RIP GIN Drinks Voucher. FESTIVE GIN HAMPER £44.95 (limited edition) 1 handcrafted RIP Gin Goblet, personalised RIP Gin http://T.Shirt & a 70cl Bottle of Gin. FESTIVE MINATURE SHOT PACK £12.95 (limited edition) Handcrafted RIP GIN Shot Glass & 50ml Bottle of Gin MINIATURE DOUBLE PACK £11.95 2 Tonics & 2 50ml Bottle of Gin

Beamish Burn Road, Stanley, Co. Durham. DH9 0LS For more information, and to purchase a Gin Hamper or Mini Pack, please contact South Causey Inn on 01207 235555!

www.southcausey.co.uk 12 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk


PUB NEWS

overboard to put him out of his misery. However, he scrambled ashore on the other side of the Tyne and for months went back and forth to the ferry in the hope of finding his master. The story goes that about a year later the shepherd returned to North Shields but missed the dog by a few minutes. Willie finally died in 1880 and his body was stuffed by the brewers who then owned The Turks Head. As for the pub itself, our reviewer was immediately impressed by the superbly efficient staff who ask all the right questions, wiping up and polishing as they go. OK, that could be construed as “upselling” but when it’s done in a polite and friendly manner it’s damned good customer service. Hand-pulled beers on the day our reviewer visited included S43 Seraphim, Rudgate Viking, Greene King Abbot IPA and Draught Bass. The pleasantly timbered Turk’s Head features large screen televisions, mainly for sport, and our reviewer particularly liked the small area off the main bar; intimate and

cosy with a chequered tile floor full of nautical references – plus there’s a very pleasant room at the back end of the pub if you prefer somewhere quieter. Ships’ ropes and knots hang around, tied into a turk’s head knot of interwoven strands from where the pub takes its name. Elsewhere, in The Sun Inn at Beamish Museum, County Durham, among the pre World War I preserved paraphernalia pictured below, a portrait of jockey Fred Archer peers across the bar at a pose struck by bareknuckle boxing champion Tom Sawyer, a ten-stoneten bricklayer who would fight anybody at any weight. Stags’ heads, stuffed birds in cases and huge advertising mirrors follow a similar framedin-time theme. And there’s a stuffed dog. Jake’s Bonny Mary is a whippet in a glass case above the door. Apparently she won nine handicaps in races as far apart as Benwell, Carlisle, West Stanley and Cowdenbeath, so when you think about it, her owners and backers certainly knew a thing or two about stuffing rivals.

FRESH AND HOME COOKED FOOD Family friendly - Sky Sports - Outstanding Beer Garden Pool table - Darts Board

Private functions - Dog Friendly areas - Live music/musicians Themed days and nights as well as specials board. MONDAY CLUB - £2.50 - Fosters, Coors and John Smiths. WEDNESDAY - 20% off wine, steak night two steaks and bottle of wine £25. THURSDAY - Buy one get one free on all burgers FRIDAY - Fizz and Fishy Friday. £9.99 for bottle of Prosecco and 2 fish n chips for £14.99 SUNDAY - Sunday Lunches served 12-4pm Collection/delivery is also available

JOIN US FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON Open Christmas and New Year Festive Menu / Christmas Day Bookings Now Available Bank Top, Crawcrook, Ryton NE40 4EE Tel: 0191 649 0873 www.crawcrookrisingsun.co.uk

Domaine de Palejay A wine-producer originally from Newcastle Established 1987 We are now offering zero emission deliveries within a 3 mile radius of Newcastle, see our website for details.

EVENTS Quorum Christmas Market - NE12 8BU 4th Dec 2019 - 12 noon - 3pm Cobalt Christmas Market - NE27 OBY 6th Dec 2019 - 11am - 2pm Heddon Christmas Market, Knot Hall - NE15 OBH 6th Dec - 6pm - 9pm North Shields Victorian Market - NE3O 1QU 7th Dec 10am - 5pm & 8th Dec 10am - 4pm Our wines are stocked at CentrAle, Central Station, Newcastle.

www.palejay.com

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 13


PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Tea time: John Chilton with a Scoby 'hotel'. Photo: Peter Skelton

KOMBUCHA? BLESS YOU North East consumers are taking big note of a different style of fermented drink, as Alastair Gilmour discovers

Fermented food has soared in popularity thanks to the ever-increasing interest in gut health. We’re familiar with yogurt as a fermented foodstuff controlling digestion and supporting the immune system but others include kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and tempeh. Beer, wine and cider are fermented, too. Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened tea and a specific culture known as a scoby “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts”. Kombucha is slightly sour and can be either non-alcoholic or contain up to 0.5% abv. Health conscious consumers looking for an alternative to processed fizzy drinks that are often packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners 14 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

have been turning to kombucha, particularly in the US – but we have some significant producers and suppliers here in the North East. John Chilton, owner of Sunderland-based Funk! Kombucha, says: “We’re fermenting tea in the North East. Funk! is small-batch, handcrafted and brewed from ethically sourced tea and fermented with a mixed culture of bacteria and yeast.” John has had a long and varied career in IT and as a business analyst but it was while working with Peter Briggs who was making gluten-free beer in Castle Eden, County Durham, under the Autumn Brewing brand, that he became absorbed with kombucha. “Peter had a distributor in London who took

us round six breweries where we tried some kombucha,” says John. “I’d never had it before and was blown away by how good it was; it had a real depth of flavour. So I started making it at home in the utility room and the shed but with limited success as it ferments at a higher temperature than beer.” A start-up brewing course at Brewlab in Sunderland got him going, as did a four-day kombucha workshop in Canada to where he bunked off from a family holiday in California. “I would never have started this business if I hadn’t done that,” he says. “I developed the product over six to eight months using tea from the Estate Tea Company in Newcastle run by Tom Webb.


PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

“It can cost £50 a kilo for tea, but you only use five grams per litre. It’s quite exciting experimenting with different ones. Northern Alchemy Brewery have done a hybrid kombucha beer which is the direction I’d like to go in.” Now John has a line-up of fivelitre containers sitting on heat pads, making 35-litre batches at a time over two to three weeks. Straight tea kombucha is as versatile as the tea variety (and there are certainly lots of those), but his latest is flavoured with raspberry and hibiscus. He says: “I’ve done a traditional Chinese Oolong kombucha and also tried adding fruits, but you have to be careful not to get a second fermentation going as you risk creating alcohol. You have to filter your water and the alcohol content can range from .01% to 2.0%. The trick is to keep it under 0.5%. “A lot of kombucha production goes out in apothecary-style bottles to reflect a wellbeing theme (which has never been fully proven). The name Funk! came from me saying there was a lot of funk going on in the fermenter. “Stockists include the Free Trade Inn and Arch 2 Brewhouse & Kitchen in Ouseburn, Newcastle, which we’re told can’t keep up with demand. I’ve been asked for a keg of kombucha from both of them but it’s difficult to fill a keg when you’re only doing 100 litres at a time. I just can’t ferment enough.” The exact origins of the kombucha tradition are not known, although is thought to have originated in Manchuria, or in Russia, Japan or Eastern Europe, so take your pick. As a response to this increasing consumer demand for health conscious, low- and no-alcohol beverages, County Durham-based

Lanchester Wines has re-launched its Dragon Tree Kombucha – 16 years after its first incarnation. Served in a recyclable 250ml can, Dragon Tree Kombucha is a gently sparkling fruity tea with natural flavours of hibiscus and rosehip, which also gives the drink a light pink colour. Andy Stephenson, who handles the Dragon Tree brand for the Lanchester group, says: “Dragon Tree was well ahead of its time, but never really got anywhere. The wave is taking off again driven by its Far Eastern heritage and a curiosity over fermented drinks. “We’ve designed ours with a nod to heritage and tradition but made it a bit more on-stream with a versatile flavour profile. It’s a drink you can have on its own or mixed with spirits. “We tested it through a national sampling campaign which has blown us away with its universal appeal. Results show that 82% of people really like it, from 18-yearolds to 50-plus. We just sat there going ‘wow’.” With a light and fruity taste similar to strawberries and cream, Dragon Tree is gluten-free and suitable for vegans, with each 250ml can containing 50% daily NRV* of vitamins C, B6, B12, thiamin, folic acid, niacin and biotin. Each can contains only 93 calories which is less than an average apple. Furthermore, Dragon Tree is made with rosehip extract which has been shown to help increase joint mobility. Rosehip is also rich in the antioxidants vitamin C and polyphenols. Both John Chilton and Andy Stephenson are keen for kombucha to be served in pubs and restaurants in a wine glass – a positive and fun alternative to fizzy, sugar-laden soft drinks. *Daily NRV (Nutrient Reference Values) of an average adult.

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SHRINKAGE

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THE DISAPPEARED

There’s no limit to what people will steal from pubs, writes Vincent Zeller According to leisure industry publication, The Morning Advertiser (MA), pub and restaurant customers pinch £186m of glass and tableware each year, with glasses the most common item to disappear. Costs obviously add up in extreme cases and there is little option for the publican or restaurant owner but to pass this “shrinkage” on to the customer in the same way as other overheads. The MA reports that, apart from glassware, some of the items reported missing were a knitted baby Jesus, an urn full of someone’s ashes, a credit card reader, a goldfish from a tank (later found dead in a pint of cider), soap bottles from the ladies’ toilets, a six-foot inflatable penguin, and a signed photo of Nigel Farage, The MA asked Robin Freer,

general manager of St Mary’s Inn near Stannington, Morpeth, about the constant irritation. He said: “Luckily we don’t see a lot going missing from the pub, but over my years in the industry I’ve come across a few circumstances where we have been aware of it happening and had to deal with each circumstance differently. “I think the best way to go about it is to make a bit of a joke; we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable, but let them know we’ve seen them take the glass. Typically, people don’t want to steal from the people they know and like, so I think service is really important. That’s why we don’t see a lot go missing at St Mary’s; we have a very friendly team and want them to make connections with our guests.” Over years of pub-going, however, we’ve come to accept there’s hardly a thing that


SHRINKAGE

customers won’t pinch from a pub. It seems the more useless the object, the quicker it will disappear. Our long-term survey revealed some gems, including the obvious things such as pumpclips, ashtrays, light bulbs and toilet rolls. “You can hear them unrolling the toilet rolls from behind the bar here,” said one Gateshead landlord. “I once had a piano stool stolen. I had just got it done up and it was lovely.” A large clock once fell off the wall in the same pub. “Somebody just picked it up and walked off with it.” Neither object has been clocked since. And you’d be surprised at the number of “respectable” people who get light-fingered after a few pints – with some of the more dignified professions having their unfair share of tea-leaves. A set of four bar stools and a table were once loaded onto a Newcastle United supporters bus following a post-match pint – so their now grown-up and respectable ringleader informs us. We set up a confessional, starting with a work-study executive: “Air freshener cubes from the toilets. I really liked the smell, so I kept them in my handbag. “And bar towels when pubs used to have them. They were easy, you just put your elbow on one, swivel round to talk to

someone and flick it to the floor. You then bent down and popped it in your bag.” The civil servant: “Our lass once shoved a bunch of flowers down the front of her trousers in a pub in Sunderland. Her mate did the same with a dinner plate in Cleadon.” “Brollies,” chorused his two colleagues. “We lose that many of our own, we’ll just pick up any that are left lying around.” The list goes on. “China dogs,” said an ex-publican from Ebchester (who apparently mentions them every time Antiques Roadshow is on). The black ball from a pool table; red lights from a Sunderland pub (the thief apparently had a fascination for flickering ones); the carpet from a pub in Whitley Bay; a stone of cheese from a Midlands pub; drip trays and signs and topups of beer when the barmaid’s back is turned. Without condoning any of this pilfering, we must admit to a sneaky admiration for the elevator engineer. He had accumulated such a vast collection of bar towels over the years, he got his mother to sew them together to make a dressing gown. When the gown – or smoking jacket as it turns out – is drawn together, one lapel reads Marl while the other matches up with Boro. Give some people an inch and they’ll half-inch it. www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 17


ALBUM REVIEW

SHOWADDYWADDY’S LOSS, OUR GAIN

The Hammond organ and crashing guitar at the start of Tony Bengtsson’s latest album, West Elizabeth, set up a powerful piece of work (writes Simma Singer). In a time when every genre is available at the tap of a finger, many artists flit from style to style and never seem to settle, Tony is firmly rooted in classic Americana and Country, complete with steel guitars, fiddles and heartbreak. This is, however an undeniably contemporary album, tackling subjects like discrimination and austerity while never losing sight of its home. Tony is a forthrightly political writer. “There’s a lot more politics on this album,” he says. “The song This Little Country was a response to a UKIP councillor getting in in South Shields. Scary times. It’s scary times again right now. “ Anyone who has seen Tony Bengtsson live will immediately comment on his voice. He’s an

Powerful songs: Tony Bengtsson

absolute powerhouse as a vocalist which suits belters like I’ve Got A Friend and No Place. He says: “I had to find a balance on the tracks where I was singing loud, between replicating a live performance and overpowering the studio microphones.” What becomes apparent on record is that there’s a whole other side to his singing; deep and rich on Through Your Eyes and Sometimes A Man, it exudes honesty, smartly sidestepping the over-sentimentality that country music so often falls into. And he consciously decided to write some more laid-back songs for this album. “I tend to write powerful songs,” he says, “but I was listening to Neal Casal, who’s sadly just passed away, and I thought I’d love to write something like that.” He wrote Through Your Eyes the same day. The arrangements are unashamedly luscious

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NEWS

and he’s surrounded himself with some outstanding players. “It was so important to me to get the right people around me,” he says. The result is boundlessly listenable, and it’s very satisfying to hear songs that never outstay their welcome. In the spirit of early Country, these songs say what they have to say, and don’t hang around.  But how does a good ol’ boy from Shields end up being a Country artist anyway? It turns out it’s down to his late Dad. Listening to his old Country records had a profound influence on a young Tony. “He liked Showaddywaddy as well, mind, but that didn't seem to stick.” Lucky for him – and for us really. West Elizabeth is out now on Boomchang Records; it’s available on digital platforms, but anyone splashing out on a CD copy will be treated to some beautiful cover art by the man himself.  www.simma.co.uk www.tynesidemusicians.com www.newcastlepoet.com

Eyecatchers: Tom Proud, Crafted Projects

SOCKER STARS' NEAT FOOTWORK Those who know Tom Proud, front-of-house bars manager at Crafted Projects (whose venues include Newcastle bars Lady Grey’s, Red House and Pleased To Meet You), will be aware that this is a man who loves his socks.

Striped, patterned or plain picked out with fruits from his passion for cocktails, he’s a chap with the world of snazzy legwear at his feet. Here’s a small selection (including a nod to his artistic side with an outing from David Sock-Knee).

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 19


COVER STORY

GOOD GAME, GOOD GAME There’s more to board games than Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit, as Alastair Gilmour discovers When Mike Taylor and Jo Little invite you to play some board games, don’t expect Snakes & Ladders or Ludo. Theirs go by the names of Exploding Kittens, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Fluxx and Total Rickall. Together, Mike and Jo are That’s How We Roll and have ambitions to introduce the best in fun and games to the pub environment. They’ve started with every-other Sunday at the Free Trade Inn in Newcastle and have secured a regular Wednesday evening slot at the brandnew Full Circle Brew Co a short distance away in Hoult’s Yard on the eastern fringe of Ouseburn. The plan is to eventually roll out the sessions (pun intended) to attract board-gaming beer lovers and beer-loving board gamers alike. Their games can range from simple cards to intricate balancing acts with dice-rolling, building, sailing ships and camel racing in between. Mike is an IT technician working behind the scenes at the Apple shop in Newcastle. “Basically I’m a genius at Apple,” he says. “I fix iPhones, Macs and iPads – pretty much anything. I’ve been working there for ten years and would like to do teaching and training as well.” Jo works in Peterlee buying steel for the construction industry. “We built the Gateshead College development at Baltic Quayside,” she says (which is as fine an example of modern structural activity as you would want in your portfolio). 20 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

Mike also admits he’s a “tinkerer by nature” so it’s no surprise they got into something that requires thought, quick answers and dexterity. He says: “We met when we were about 15 and either already had or acquired board games over the years. We’re still getting more and more involved. We’ve got fifty-odd versions of Monopoly. I just kept getting it. “One of the great things about these games is that they’re mostly for three or four players – even more – so they’re ideal for groups, particularly in pubs. There’s just more happens when there’s more than two of you. “Jo likes the very pretty ones like Takenoko which has lots of pink colours, bamboo houses and little pandas. When she first saw it she was already buying it when she realised it had a little panda in it.” Jo gives him one of those “heard it all before” looks. “We tend to look on Amazon’s everexpanding list of interesting games then check them out in local shops. They can start anywhere from £20 to £30 or up to £65. But compare that with a night out for the two of you. I’ve seen one I’d really like that costs £480.” But it was on a trip to Burnley in Lancashire with the intention of climbing Pendle Hill that brought their love of board games to life. The trials of the Pendle witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history and some of the best recorded of the 17th

Board and lodgings: Jo Little and Mike Taylor pictured at the Free Trade Inn, Newcastle. Photos: Peter Skelton


COVER STORY

century. Twelve women accused of witchcraft lived in the area surrounding Pendle Hill and were charged with the murders of ten people through their supposed use of black arts. “Later on we found this brilliant games shop,” says Mike. “The people were super-friendly and we stayed for a few hours. We started playing Rhino Hero with a couple of regular customers and realised it was quite fun playing games with random strangers. “We thought about doing it at home and in the pub because I like drinking beer and playing games with people. Jo is more into her rum. Now we’ve got five Ikea Kallax bookshelving units at home virtually full of games. “We got talking to Mick (Potts) about it as the Free Trade has a very family atmosphere – particularly on a Sunday – and it’s not full of hard drinkers. People can bring their own games along if they want. It’s just a pound cover charge which goes towards replacing any that get damaged. “We’ve also been borrowing them from the City Library in Newcastle – some of the guys from there came and played them with us. It was brilliant.” Mike has also invested in a 3D printer so he can build different terrains for games. “We’ve got computers plugged in all over the house,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun being in a room playing games with your friends.” Most of them can be played by anyone from nine years old. Mike is particularly excited about one that you can spread out and build train tracks all across America. Then there’s King of Tokyo, Camel Up, Colt Express, Riff Raff, Goat Lords, Celestia and Adventure Time Munchkin. Betrayal of the House on the Hill involves horror stories with ghosts, demons, monsters and angels. Tiny Epic Games takes regular games and miniaturises them. Mike says: “Some games can last about twelve hours. Eldritch Horror took us an hour just to set up then six hours to play. One Night Ultimate Werewolf is played with your eyes closed.” The couple have plans to go to a four-day board game convention in Essen, Germany, next year. “That’s basically us,” says Mike. “That’s how we roll.” www.thatshowweroll.uk www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 21


PUB NEWS

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LITTLE BELGIUM TAKES PRIDE OF PLACE One Gateshead pub is working hard to serve its customers with something different – and something they’ll really enjoy – while at the same time promoting its beer with a unique historical tie. The Railway Hotel in Birtley has begun stocking beers from Blaydon-based Firebrick Brewery. Both lie in the Blaydon parliamentary constituency, but that’s not the main reason landlady Karen Timney decided to invite Firebrick to take up space on the bar. The heritage-led brewery has produced Little Belgium, named in honour of the “Birtley Belgians” who were recruited from their homeland to work in armaments factories during the First World War, principally to a purpose-built township called Eisabethville – part of Birtley. Belgium had long been renowned for the quality of its armaments, mortars, artillery and landmines. Little Belgium (4.7% abv) is a Witbier (white or wheat) style;

pale and opaque with a crisp wheat character and refreshing orange peel notes laced with spicy coriander. So, when Corbridge-based Cheers readers Chris Roberts and Sheilagh Matheson heard about Little Belgium, they offered to take samples to Belgium’s National Hop Museum in Poperinge, near Ypres. The couple spend two weeks every year on a working holiday at Talbot House, a WWI museum, close to the museum which features 2,300 bottles of beer, all brewed in Belgium. Little Belgium thoroughly impressed Peter Cleenewerck who runs the museum and has encyclopaedic knowledge of each exhibit. Poperinge is the centre of hop growing in Belgium, with 18 farms in the vicinity which have been growing hops for generations. Peter said: “Firebrick’s witbier is a very good example of this Belgian style of beer. It is the only British beer we have ever received.” Inevitably, another Cheers reader took up the Little Belgium story.

“THE ONLY THING I’M WORRIED ABOUT NOW IS HAVING A FEW BEERS. AND AFTER WE HAVE A FEW BEERS TODAY WE’LL PROBABLY HAVE A FEW MORE BEERS TOMORROW. AND THEN PROBABLY MONDAY.” EDDIE JONES, ENGLAND’S RUGBY COACH, FOLLOWING THE WORLD CUP FINAL DEFEAT AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA


PUB NEWS

Poperinge on September 7. His father built St James & St Basil’s Church in Fenham, Newcastle, in honour of Basil and his other son James. “However, we can say that hundreds of Geordie lives were saved by hops. The German artillery bombarded any movement on the road and casualties were high. So the men ‘borrowed’ hop poles from the surrounding fields and made screens to conceal any movement of troops. “This and many other amazing and interesting facts will feature in the upcoming seventh and final volume of the History of Northumbrians.” Chris tells us that the previous six volumes are available on Amazon, along with the popular “Singin Hinnies – The Story of North East Song” plus the e-book Innheritance – the story of local pub names. Now it’s the Railway Hotel’s turn to take its place in the amazing story of the Birtley Belgians.

Birtley best: Railway Hotel manageress Karen Timney. Photo: Peter Skelton North East historian Chris Kilkenny tells us that Poperinge (previously Poperinghe) was well known to North East folk since many fought nearby with the Northumberland Fusiliers during the First World War. Chris says: “It was a place for

rest and recreation and had a hospital and a main station for the Ypres Front. Deserters were shot in the town square.  “Some stories were tragic, such as that of Basil Knott, son of shipping magnate Sir James Knott

who built Knott's Flats in North Shields in the 1930s (to house low-income families displaced by slum clearance on the Fish Quay). Basil arrived at the Front on September 5 1915, was wounded on September 6, and died at

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CULTURE

TWO MEN AND A DOG

To many people this painting sums up what artist and social commentator Norman Cornish was all about. The simple composition – two men and a dog at the bar of a Spennymoor, County Durham, pub – has bulk, style and flair. It also says a lot, even though the two men’s conversation is muffled into their pints. They’re pals, muckers and blood brothers and they shared an extraordinary life experience. The painting is currently on show at a Norman Cornish centenary retrospective exhibition at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, among many of the artist’s most recognisable works. John Cornish, Norman’s son, takes up the tale. He says: “Joe Hughes and Thomas (‘Toss'’) Angus were young lads

living in Spennymoor. They worked at the local Whitworth Pit and decided to join the Territorial Army (TA). One of the attractions of being in the TA was the annual camp in Scarborough at the end of August. To them it must have seemed like a holiday – and they also got paid. “In 1939 they went to the Scarborough camp, but both lads were immediately conscripted into the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) as full-time soldiers rather than remain as miners with ‘reserved occupations'’. They were full-time soldiers until about 1946 and had remarkable careers with the Army, seeing action in France and Belgium. They also saw action at the Dyle River canal complex in central Belgium before retreating to Dunkirk.

Class image: Men At The Bar With Dog, a theme that artist Norman Cornish returned to again and again

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CULTURE

“Joe and Thomas were amongst the last of the men to leave the Dunkirk beaches from C Company, 6th Battalion DLI. A large number of men from Spennymoor were either killed or taken prisoner, but they were amongst the few who got back. “The battalion was reformed and soon the pair were off to the Middle East where they subsequently saw action at Mareth, North Africa, where there was hand-to-hand fighting. Then they landed in Sicilly and fought in the battle of Primosole Bridge before being involved in more action as they moved up the east coast of Italy. “Eventually, they were recalled to the UK for further training then landed on the beaches on D-Day 1. They fought in the allies advance and finished the war in Nijmegen in Holland. “During the war, the new commander of the platoon, on inspecting the remaining 24 of the 36 men, said he was amazed at how the young soldiers looked like old ‘grizzled’ men. “Later, to settle a debt, Joe accepted a whippet pup which he named Piper. The dog became the top racing whippet in the country and Joe travelled all over with it – wherever Joe went, Piper was with him.” *Visit Norman Cornish: The Definitive Collection at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, until February 23 2020.

PANTS ON FIRE IN CUMBRIA The significance is for all to enjoy – The World’s Greatest Liar competition was held in the run-up to the general election. The contest, held annually in Cumbria and sponsored by Jennings Brewery, is open to all except members of parliament, who are deemed to be “professionals” in an amateur world. Lawyers used to be barred but managed to find a loophole. The 2019 winner was Phillip Gate, a “data information architect” who won on his first attempt. He prevailed with a convoluted story about how west Cumbrians came to call each other “jam eaters”, an insult traded between Whitehaven and Workington folk about not being able to afford meat for their sandwiches. The competition has its roots in the 19th Century, when shepherd-turned-publican

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Will Ritson became known for serving up a yarn with every pint at his pub in the Wasdale Valley. It now takes place in the Bridge Inn at Santon Bridge, seven miles inland from the Sellafield nuclear facility. Entrants take to the stage and must lie for between two and eight minutes. The competition tends to be dominated by men, with the comedian Sue Perkins the only female victor in 2006. At least Phillip Gate has only a year to spin his lies – the rest of the country has five.

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BOOKS

REAL ALE IN RYHOPE

A river runs through it: The Guide Post in Ryhope. Opposite page, the Railway Inn. Photos Peter Skelton

Novelist Glenda Young’s books are set in the pubs of early 20th Century Wearside

Researching historical novels set around North East pubs is a tough job, but as the saying goes, someone’s got to do it. My novels are set at the end of WW1 in the excoalmining and farming village of Ryhope, south of Sunderland city centre. Ryhope is where I was born and bred and anyone who has ever visited will have noticed there are a lot of pubs. Well, coalmining and farming were very thirsty work. A long line of pubs runs from the top of the old colliery down the bank to the village and around the village green. My research shows that in 1919 there were at least 14 pubs in

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BOOKS

Ryhope and that’s not counting the social clubs. Inevitably, a handful of the pubs have shut down over the years. Others, such as The Wheatsheaf – which was next door to the Colliery Inn (now The Top House) and the village green’s Ship Inn and Salutation Inn, were demolished decades ago. But there are still plenty of pubs which thrive. Researching for my next novel, The Paper Mill Girl, I visited The Guide Post Inn which has been included in The Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) Good Beer Guide 2020 as it now offers three handpumps. It’s fascinating researching Ryhope and its pubs for my books. After I’d given a talk at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens about my books, a lady from the audience told me that her family had run the pub in the 1940s and asked me if I knew about the stream running through the cellar. She told me her father used to cool the beer in the stream. Intrigued, I set off for a look and sure enough, there is water flowing through the cellar, although thankfully well-channelled these days. Next door to The Guide Post Inn is a former bootmakers workshop which pub landlord Keith Dewart told me he’s keen to turn into a microbrewery.

Many more Ryhope pubs feature in my novels. In Belle of the Back Streets, a girl takes on a rag and bone round to prevent her family from being thrown on the streets. The action is centred around The Albion Inn on Ryhope village green. The Colliery Inn features in Pearl of Pit Lane, the story of a girl who tries to leave a life of working the streets. In The Tuppenny Child, a girl escapes to Ryhope by train and works at both The Railway Inn and The Forester’s Arms. I found the original floor plans for The Railway Inn at Durham County Records Office when I was researching The Tuppenny Child. Like many

pubs of the era, it had stables at the rear and included a Snug and a Select Room inside. The Select plays an important role in the novel; a place where secrets are revealed. There’s a smashing anecdote in Ron Lawson’s book, A Historic Look at the Pubs of Ryhope and Silksworth, about The Railway Inn. Back in 1874 a chap called Nathan Noble was fined 20 shillings plus cots for refusing to leave the pub. He denied being drunk and attempted to prove so by standing on his head on a table. He failed. www.glendayoungbooks.com

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 27


PUBS REVIEW

THE PUB IN ALL ITS GLORY They’re big, they’re small, they’re new, they’re well established – let’s celebrate the pub, writes Alastair Gilmour.

FRONT STREET TAP HOUSE, MONKSEATON Next door to Front Street Tap House in Monkseaton, Tyne & Wear – a former florists – is a betting shop. A fish-and-chip shop is a few doors down, a Chinese takeaway is round the corner, the local Metro station is barely 100 metres away and you can call into a newsagent on the way to the pub. It’s about location, isn’t it? James Benson opened the micropub in December 2018 and despite his assertion that most new businesses fail within 18 months, he and the pub are still here. “It’s all really good,” says James. “We’ve done a lot to the place since.” New timber laminate flooring throughout has replace red-painted concrete and new tables and chairs have been installed, lending the place has a more “lived in” feel. “We’ve even started a new wall of pumpclips 28 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk

so it’s all filling up nicely,” he says. “Our tap takeovers have been really successful with beers you don’t normally find on the coast from the likes of Ridgeside in Leeds, Turning Point from North Yorkshire, ShinDigger from Manchester, and some of the more unusual ones from S43 in County Durham. They all bring in new custom as well. “I’ve taken on a full-time member of staff who has worked here since last April and a girl who does mainly weekends. I’ve even started paying investors back – family who helped out originally. Looking back over the year it’s been good and we’re really getting established in the area.” James has continued his intention of regularly changing the framed movie and music posters on the walls and recently auctioned some off for Children In Need. He says: “Cullercoats Shuggy Boat Blonde is pretty much the house beer on cask and keg

and we have regulars from Two By Two and Almasty. We’ve started doing private functions – the travel agent down the road is hosting an evening in January where people can get to know what’s best in cruises, etc.” With gins and rums also a speciality, the idea seems to be staying in Front (Street). Front Street Tap House, Monkseaton, Tyne & Wear NE25 8AQ. THE YARD, BLAYDON The region’s newest micropub sits along a corridor and downstairs from a hairdressers, a gentlemen’s barber and a physiotherapist. The Yard, which opens mid-December on Blaydon’s Shibdon Road, is also handy for public transport – bus and rail – and promises local ales in a conversion that uses natural materials to promote a feeling of cosiness and warmth. “We’ve done absolutely everything ourselves,” says Alison Cappen, who is running the pub


PUBS REVIEW

A GREAT SELECTION OF DRAUGHT BEERS

with her husband Stephen. “Everything we’re using is secondhand and upcycled. We’ve been at it for months – it was a bank canvas – after looking all over the place for premises from Hexham to as far up the coast as Seahouses.” A snug and bar area are complemented by a rear pergola which is double-glazed with a log burner. Beyond that is a landscaped garden area with full disabled access for the whole pub. Back inside, a fireplace has been brought back into use, with pewstyle seating and a standing area created. A fully-fitted kitchen will create pizzas and eventually the pub’s signature dish, Yorkie Wraps. It’s an ambitious undertaking. Alison says: “Our beers are from Hadrian Border who helped us set up the bar plus Box Social, Firebrick, Wylam and Great North Eastern Brew Co – all local and none of them very far away from here. We’ll also serve ‘proper’ coffee from Pumphreys – they’re local too. On the keg lines are George Ridley, a specially badged beer brewed from Camerons (Ridley wrote The Blaydon Races) plus Heinken lager, Beavertown Neck Oil and Lagunitas DayTime. Alison has a very good relationship with the Changing Lives charity at Westerhope in Newcastle where she has sourced much of the furniture and fittings – including a set of curtains donated by a Malmaison hotel.

“Changing Lives help put people back on track in all kinds of ways,” she says. “We’re also involved with the local churches in Blaydon and have sponsored the Christmas tree. We want to do as much as we can for the community.” The first things customers see are a couple of large, graffiti-style paintings on the corridor and staircase. They point the way to something unusual. Blaydon is hip. The Yard, Shibdon Road, Blaydon, Tyne & Wear NE21 5AE. TIPSY TOAD, HEATON, NEWCASTLE Darren and Paula Williams opened The Tipsy Toad micropub in November and since then it’s been “going great”. The couple also run The Pele in Corbridge, the three-storey ancient tower now deeply entrenched as a pub. And already there’s something of a circuit developing in Heaton, the Newcastle suburb. “We’ve started seeing the locals settling in which is a good thing,” says Darren. “We’re near The Chillingham and Heaton Tap and we’re getting people coming from The Northumberland Hussar which is quite a walk away.” The Tipsy Toad’s premises previously served bustling Heaton Road as a takeaway and the original aim was to offer homemade pie and peas, with a cheese board and pickles as back-up. “But really it’s a drinking pub,” says Darren.

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www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 29


PUBS REVIEW Colourful bar: Darren Williams at the Tipsy Toad

There’s no cellar as such but a rack of casks clad in cooling jackets does the job – beers are gravity poured from an everrevolving range of beers from the likes of Firebrick and Tyne Bank breweries, but there’s a line-up of craft keg beers as well, plus a fridge full of bottles and cans behind the bar.

“Different people like their beer in different ways,” says Darren. Then there’s more than enough of a selection of gins, rums and whiskies sitting on a back bar cleverly constructed out of wooden crates to give the appearance of an altar.

The working area behind the bar is fairly large for a small pub but Darren says he learned from The Pele’s tight squeeze and decided there would be some elbow room in the new place. “As for what to call the pub, we had thought about a lot of names and Paula came up with Tipsy Toad and it just stuck.” The range of furniture is possibly the widest in any pub in the region – from tables topped with fairground images, to low Ottoman-style stools, leather bar chairs and high-backed driftwood pieces in another small room at the rear appearing like something out of Game of Thrones. It all hangs together nicely, though. Darren Williams certainly has an eye for a bargain – and how to create some out of nothing. Tipsy Toad, 76 Heaton Road, Newcastle NE6 5HL (07565 801 463).

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PUBS REVIEW

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PUBS REVIEW BIRD IN BUSH, ELSDON, NORTHUMBERLAND A year after fully reopening, the Bird In Bush has appointed a new management team. Owners Katie Bland and Steve Shaw are taking a step back from front-of-house duties to concentrate on other things. Experienced operator Dale Messenger has been appointed general manager. “I’m doing a bit of cheffing as well as running the pub,” he says. “We’ve got someone training (in the kitchen) at the moment, so we’re looking to the future. Dale held a similar management position at Le Petite Chateau in Otterburn (formerly the Percy Arms Hotel) a weddings and special functions venue. He says: “I’m still getting my feet under the table. It’s quite a different role coming from a multi-million pound weddings venue and I’m here to breathe a bit of life into the pub. We’ll start by concentrating on the local trade then introduce a few functions and community events such as a quiz night and charitable occasions to bring people back in and be part of the community. We’re going back to basics.” The Bird In Bush is a Grade II-listed building sitting within the Northumberland National Park that can boast mid-1700s origins in the days when drovers’ roads crisscrossed the rugged, rolling landscape.

Dale says: “We’ve still got First & Last Brewery beers on the bar – three and four at a time; a couple of pale and a couple of dark ones.” He worked previously at As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, so he knows what people want from a pub and how that particular pub can deliver what it promises. He says: “My job is to identify the parts of the business we need to capitalise on. Is the signage right, do people know where we are, are we marketing in the right places? It’s so difficult

these days with social media, you need to know who your customers are.” The Bird In Bush and similarly named pubs such as Bird In Hand have been popular descriptors since the 17th Century, derived from the saying, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. As an addition to the region’s rich pub culture, this Bird In Bush is sure to fly high. Worth two of a lot of others, some might say. Bird In Bush, Elsdon, Northumberland NE19 1AA (01830 520804).

Buy one Great North Brewery Guide and receive a second free! TWO DEFIN ITIVE B RE W E RY G UID E S B R O U G H T TO YO U BY T H E T E A M AT C H E E R S F O R J U ST £ 1 5 . Take a trip around the North East and North Yorkshire and explore the stories behind some of the UK’s most innovative breweries and the people that run them. Head over to www.cheersnortheast.co.uk/the-great-brewery-guides to purchase your guides today. Individual price £15. Offer available until January 31, 2020.

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PUBS REVIEW THE GREY HORSE, CONSETT Consett in County Durham was famed worldwide for its steel which once formed the backbone of the country’s construction work – notably Blackpool Tower and Britain’s nuclear submarine fleet. Folks at the Grey Horse and elsewhere in the town have never forgotten their history and heritage which has been celebrated with new signage at the pub created by Bob Olley, the North East artist renowned for his mining subjects and humorous drawings, paintings and sculptures of everyday life. But it has caused some controversy, as Grey Horse manager David Wilkinson says: “Bob Olley understands how important identity is to a street, town or region, and therefore we felt he would appreciate how important a sign is to a pub. Initially there was a lot of criticism, and many (including us) felt it was too modern for the pub. “But everyone has warmed to it. Once you realise that the horse depicted is made of steel with the steel works in the background you realise that it could only work at our Grey Horse. What we got from Bob was something truly personal and unique. “It also ties in nicely with the Consett Ale Works branding. The Grey Horse is Consett Ale Works, and Consett Ale Works is the Grey Horse.

“My wife and I are from the Bishop Auckland area, but we’ve learned very quickly how proud the locals are of ‘The Works’. People talk fondly of the steel works,

and the fact that written on some of girders produced there is, ‘You can see Consett from the top of Blackpool Tower’. It matters to people. “If we can keep the memory alive through the brand and the pictures in the pub, its a little nod to history, especially given how many pubs are being 'modernised' to fit a corporate profile.” Earlier this year The Grey Horse was elected the Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) North East Pub of the Year, so this must have been a real thrill for customers, staff – and David Wilkinson in particular. Yes and no. “My wife Sandra was devastated,” he says. “She wanted second place so there would be no pressure and we could all smile and concentrate on winning next year. After all, we have only been here a year. “I was a lot happier. To achieve this in a year in the pub is something that shocked us, but something we’re very proud of. Our mantra in all the pubs we’ve run has always been, ‘We do what we do to create the pub that we would want to drink in’. “A lot of credit must go to (pub owner) Jeff Hind for his trust in our ability to deliver a shared vision of the Grey Horse, but also to Consett Ale Works which we are proud to share an identity with.” The Grey Horse, Sherburn Terrace, Consett DH8 6NE (01207 502585).

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PUBS REVIEW

The Perfect Accompaniment to Any Pint!

INSIGHT NORTHERN

ISSUE 43

JANUA RY 2019

NORTHERN

ISSUE 44

NORTH ERN

FEBRUARY 2019

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MARCH 2019

INSIGH T YOUR EYE ON THE REGION

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Causey and effect: Brewer/ barman John Taylor, right, at the brewery tap

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SOUTH CAUSEY BREWERY & DISTILLERY, STANLEY One of the country’s leading weddings and functions venues installed a small brewery and even smaller gin distillery during 2019. Producing beer at the luxurious South Causey Inn is under the careful eye of highly experienced brewer John Taylor – and he has now persuaded its owners to create a small pub inside the brewhouse. “We’ve started opening the brewery tap from four in the afternoon until seven o’clock,” says John. “It’s five days at the moment plus 12 till five on a Saturday and Sunday. I’ve changed my shifts to accommodate that because I know it’ll work – and it’s got a lovely atmosphere. We only sell here what we make here, so it’s simply beer and gin.” Phil and Susan Moiser, who own South Causey Inn and have developed it over ten years from an equestrian centre, are also pleased with the development. “We love it, it’s really good, really pretty,” says Phil. “Were looking to the spring and summer when we can hopefully open the doors out wide.” John Taylor, a restless soul, is booked on a three-day start-up distilling course at Brewlab in Sunderland to get to grips with the basics and to find out how distilling and brewing are viewed differently by Customs & Excise. He says: “Our monthly Brew Club is going well and we’ve already had Brewlab here doing a presentation on yeast which was absolutely fascinating. They’re back in February with a talk on distilling then in March it’s traditional beers

of the North East with a look at Vaux Brewery.” South Causey Inn offers brewing days as part of wedding packages where the groom – or bride for that matter – gets the opportunity to brew a favourite beer for their special day. “We’ve got our new Christmas ale coming out which is likened to Terry’s All Gold with plenty of orange in it, plus a craft keg lager which I’m excited about,” says John. Current South Causey beers are Blonde (4.4% abv), IPA (4.4% abv), Dark Brown Ale (4.0% abv) and XB (5.0% abv) with a selection of home-produced gins which will increase in production during 2020 when an attractive copper still will come on stream. No holding your horses here. South Causey Inn, Stanley, County Durham DH9 0LS (southcausey.co.uk) GUNNER TAVERN, NEWCASTLE The area around Newcastle Central Station – Neville Street and its offshoots – has turned into the city’s most diverse cask ale and craft keg circuits. That’s the opinion of not only discerning drinkers and diners but also Janine Latchford, who manages the Gunner Tavern. The area is now an enviable beer and food adventure with the Town Wall pub and The Forth around the corner; Victoria Comet a couple of doors along, then Central Oven & Shaker, Newcastle Tap and Head of Steam. Janine previously managed Lady Grey’s on Shakespeare Street in the city – a bustling bar with high expectations and few quiet moments, so she is well placed to


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PUBS REVIEW

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Building business: Janine Latchford at the Gunner Tavern

MR TIGHE’S, BEBSIDE, BLYTH Cheers reader, beer lover and musician Brian Keegan has composed a love letter to a micropub near Blyth in Northumberland which has stolen his heart. He writes: “There is a gem of a little craft ale bar in Bebside called Mr Tighe’s, tucked away between Porkies and The Fat Butcher on Front Street. Owner Claire Dalgarno-Todd opens this unique little place dedicated to music on Thursdays to Sundays. There is live music every Saturday night and Friday nights while Sunday afternoons are given over to buskers where everyone is encouraged to get up and play if they can tear themselves off the sofa in front of the wood burner.   “Claire has six keg lines featuring Anarchy, Wylam, Chasing Everest and others. James Denton and I started going to Sunday buskers earlier this year and because of Claire’s and her customers’ encouragement we started a band – 13 Miles North*. After a couple of support slots at Mr Tighe’s, 13 Miles North have our own gig on December 7. To celebrate how much they love the bar and playing at buskers we wrote a cheesy rock song called Sunday Afternoon Rockstar. “We’re very good friends with Zack from Chasing Everest, who also helps at Mr Tighe’s. A few weeks ago after a few drinks in the bar – which we know is where all great ideas originate – we asked Zack if he would help us brew a beer. “Every Chasing Everest beer is named after a song, so we thought why not Sunday Afternoon Rockstar? Thankfully he was up for the idea and a few weeks ago he started brewing. Sunday Afternoon Rockstar is a 5.0% abv Mosaic Pale brewed with Cascade and Citra hops and is available at Mr Tighe/s from December 7. “Why not get yourself along, try the beer, enjoy the atmosphere, and don’t forget to bring your guitar or whatever you play.” Mr Tighe's, Bebside, Blyth NE24 4HW *Brian Keegan is from Gateshead, 13 miles south of Bebside…

run a complex operation like the Gunner Tavern. She says: “We didn’t originally aimed at one type of customer but wanted to appeal to craft beer drinkers aged from about twenty to forty. But we’ve also been getting a really wide range of customers since we opened in July such as people attending Arena gigs – we had our highest weekend take when Liam Gallagher was on – plus the 02 Academy, Central Station passengers, match day supporters and loads of students; all ages really. “We get on well with the other pubs, particularly the Town Wall. We share a lot and customers love it. We’re getting busier all the time and Sundays are just getting better and better. We’re dong a collaboration with 71 Brewing, then hosting a Women In Beer event and brewing a beer of our own.” Until mid-2019 the Gunner Tavern was Gotham Town but its delightful woodwork was carefully stripped of its black paint by hand, paint stripper and wire wool. Exposed brickwork, tiling and huge people-watcher windows which open up in summer are enviable features. “We have plans to expend on the food and install a small sandwich shop and deli in the new year,” says Janine. But we still want to be a wetled pub. It’s Gunner be great. The Gunner Tighe's and tested: Left to right: Tavern, Newcastle James Denton, Zack Nolan and NE1 5DF (0191 731 Brian Keegan 7087)


WINE: COMMERCIAL FEATURE

THE FUTURE’S ORANGE

The first thing to remember about Orange wine is that is not made of oranges. The second is that it’s not really orange. Confused? We turned to our friends at Lanchester Wines for some helpful guidance on what is fast becoming the trendiest shade of wine: Mark Roberts, director of sales at Lanchester Wines, says: “While we’re all used to selecting a white, red or rosé wine, orange wine is increasingly being talked about in the world of wine. Unlike high fashion or craft beer, things move a little slower in the wine world. Over the past decade, orange wine has gone from ancient and obscure to insider favourite to increasingly available. “Orange wine is a type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice, creating a deep orange-hued finished product.

In other words, it’s like making red wine with white grapes. “When making white wine, you typically remove the skin from the grapes before fermenting; with red wine, you leave the skin on. Orange wine mixes up this process by using white grapes but leaving the skins on. The result is a far richer and more full-bodied drink than regular white wine. This is also how it gets its colour, which is much deeper than a white wine and ranges from pale amber to deep orange. “Most orange wines taste like a bolder, more savoury version of wines from the same white grape. Generally speaking, orange wines display mild flavours of stone fruit like peaches, tea flavours like strong oolong and an impression of honey, without actually being sweet. “If you’re interested in trying

an orange wine, you’re in luck. At Lanchester Wines, we’ve recently introduced a new orange wine to our range and its already a big hit – even winning a prestigious silver medal in the latest International Wine Challenge competition which has been called ‘the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential wine competition’. So, a tough crowd! “Introducing Origine Bianco IGT Terre Siciliane. This unusual orange wine is a blend of Grillo and Zibibbo vines from Lake Arancio in Sicily. Origine pays homage to traditional winemaking and is the result of several years’ worth of travelling, research and new experiences by winemaker Alessandro Gallici. “His mission was to rediscover wine’s ancient flavours and aromas all too often lost through modernity

and advances in technology. The paper wrap of this bottle maps Alessandro’s journey across Sicily learning from the oldest producers and understanding the ancient winemaking techniques. His quest was for a wine which could have been produced 1,000 years BC or could have been produced today – and Origine was born. “Origine truly is a labour of love with each bottle taking almost four years from conception to release. There are three fermentations in total, the last of which takes place in half-buried clay jars. Next is gravity clarification, followed by ageing in old chestnut casks which have been used to age wine for at least ten years previously.” For more information on Origine Bianco or Lanchester Wines, please visit www.lanchesterwines.co.uk

www.cheersnortheast.co.uk / CHEERS / 37


FUN STUFF

THE DIRTY DOZEN

SIGN OF THE TIMES As if a red wine weighing in at 15% alcohol by volume wasn’t enough of a warning, this one comes with a rather graphic statement about its potential effect.

TWELVE QUESTIONS TO TEASE THE PUB BRAINBOX

1. Former world heavyweight champion George Foreman has five sons (and seven daughters). He called his first son George Jr. What are the names of the other four? 2. Leroy Rosenior holds the record for the shortest football management reign at Torquay United in 2007. How long was he in post?

TWO MEN WALK INTO A BAR… …AND THE BARMAN SAYS:’WHAT CAN I GET YOU?’ ONE OF THEM SAYS: ‘TWO PINTS OF LAGER AND CAN YOU MAKE SURE I HAVE A CLEAN GLASS?’ THE BARMAN SAYS: ‘I’LL BRING THEM RIGHT OVER.’ TWO MINUTES LATER HE APPROACHES THE TABLE WITH THE DRINKS AND SAYS: ‘NOW WHICH ONE OF YOU ASKED FOR THE CLEAN GLASS?’

3. Cecilia is the patron saint of what? 4. Which musical film featured the pupils of Ridell High? 5. Whaam! is a painting by which artist – Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or Andrew Ridgley? 6. What colour is most of the toilet paper in France? 7. When swallows fly south from Britain for the winter, where do they go? 8. What is the Swahili word for ‘journey’? 9. Which animal is the symbol of the American Republican Party? 10. Brains Brewery is in which city? 11. Which weapon was chosen to assassinate Leon Trotsky? 12. What was the first item sold on eBay?

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The pub with the longest name in Britain is The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn (in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester). 13th: A musical interval comprising of an octave and a sixth. 13th Floor Elevators were a 1960s prog-rock band from Austin, Texas. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (1865) formally abolished slavery.

“MY FAVOURITE COCKTAIL IS A MIXTURE OF WHISKY AND CARROT JUICE. I’M ALWAYS DRUNK BUT I CAN SEE FOR MILES” ROY ‘CHUBBY’ BROWN

QUIZ ANSWERS: 1 George III, George, IV, George V and George VI. 2 Ten minutes. The club was sold shortly after he signed. 3 Music. 4 Grease. 5 Roy Lichtenstein. 6 Pink. 7 South Africa and Namibia. 8 Safari. 9 Elephant. 10 Cardiff. 11 Ice pick. 12 A broken laser pointer. 38 / CHEERS / www.cheersnortheast.co.uk


MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HOPPY NEW YEAR.

WE WISH ALL OUR GUESTS, NEW AND OLD THE VERY BEST THIS CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!

2020, BRING IT ON!

blackstormbrewery.com


facebook.com/o2academynewcastle twitter.com/o2academynewc instagram.com/o2academynewcastle youtube.com/o2academytv

Thur 5th Dec • 6pm

Sat 28th Dec • 5.30pm

performing ‘The Eight Legged Groove Machine’ & ‘HUP’ in full

ft AC/DC GB… A Tribute to AC/DC, Alice Cooper’s Nightmare… A Tribute to Alice Cooper, Blakk Sabbath… A Tribute to Black Sabbath, Deep Purple In Rock… A Tribute to Deep Purple, The Crue, SITN - UFO

The Wonder Stuff Thur 5th Dec • SOLD OUT

The Lathums Fri 6th Dec • 6.30pm

From The Jam + The Wainstones + The Good Souls Fri 6th Dec

Christmas Rocks Day 2

Sun 29th Dec • 5.30pm

Christmas Rocks Day 3

Sat 22nd Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

The Dead South Sun 24th Feb 2020

Supergrass Fri 28th Feb 2020

+ Stu Penders + Spladoosh

Emo Night Newcastle

Wed 11th Dec

Fri 10th Jan 2020 • SOLD OUT

+ UB40 Tribute Set

+ The Twang Thur 12th Dec

D Block Europe Fri 13th Dec • 5.30pm

A Tribute To The 80s ft The Breakfast Club, Beyond Madness, The Vinyl Chimes & Beyond Blondie Fri 13th Dec • 6.30pm

The Fillers

(The Killers Tribute) Sat 14th Dec

The Darkness + Rews Mon 16th Dec

RULED BY RAPTORS + Tired Of Fighting + Fowl + These Broken Temples Tue 17th Dec • 6pm

Dan Reed Network | GUN | FM Thur 19th Dec

The Smyths

Fontaines D.C. Tue 14th Jan 2020

Chase Rice

+ Madison Kozak Mon 27 Jan 2020

Bombay Bicycle Club Tue 28 Jan 2020

The Wildhearts & Backyard Babies + CKY Thur 30th Jan 2020

No Time For Reason + The Escapades + Connor Haley Fri 31st Jan 2020

Miz Cracker’s American Woman Sat 1st Feb 2020 • 6pm

The The The The

Clone Roses, James Experience, Courtbetweeners, Charlatunes

Sat 1st Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

Goldie Lookin Chain

Fri 28th Feb 2020 • 10pm

Sam Fender Shed Seven

Sat 18th Apr 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 25th Apr 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 29th Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 7th Dec • SOLD OUT Sun 8th Dec • SOLD OUT

Elbow

The Reytons

ft Bon Jovi Forever… A Tribute to Bon Jovi, We Are Champion… A Tribute to Queen, Lovehunter… A Tribute to Whitesnake, Hysteria… A Tribute to Def Leppard, Brian Adams Exposed, Van Hailen

The Midnight Beast

Thu 16th Apr 2020 Fri 17th Apr 2020 • SOLD OUT

The Southmartins (Tribute To The Beautiful South & The Housemartins) Sat 29th Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

The Marley Revival

The Lancashire Hotpots Tue 28th Apr 2020

Craig David TS5 Thur 30th Apr 2020

An evening with The Buzzcocks’ Steve Diggle Fri 1st May 2020 • 6pm

Sat 29th Feb 2020 • 11pm

Casual featuring QFX

Lioness AKA The Amy Winehouse Experience

Tue 3rd Mar 2020

Fri 1st May 2020 • 6.30pm

Jonas Blue Sat 7th Mar 2020 • 6.30pm

Ghetts

Thur 12th Mar 2020

The Subways

Pale Waves - HTN Opening Party Sun 3rd May 2020 • 2pm

Hit The North

Sat 16th May 2020 • 6.30pm

+ Art Brut

Fleetingwood Mac

Fri 13th Mar 2020

Fri 22nd May 2020 • 6.30pm

Michael Kiwanuka Sat 14th Mar 2020 • 6.30pm

Sex Pistols Experience Wed 18th Mar 2020

Fell Out Boy & The Black Charade + We Aren’t Paramore Sun 21st Jun • 6.30pm

Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash

A Night of Soul and Gospel

Thur 19th Mar 2020

Mon 27th Jun 2020 • 6.30pm

Ash

Jax Jones

Fri 20th Mar 2020

Stiff Little Fingers + The Professionals + TV Smith

Nirvana UK

(Tribute)

+ The Creep Void Sat 4th Jul 2020 • 6.30pm

R.E.M By Stipe

The Monster and More Tour

‘Hatful of Hollow’ 35th Anniversary

Guns 2 Roses

Fri 20th Dec • 6.30pm

+ MOTLEY CRUED

Blossoms

Sat 8th Feb 2020

Fri 27th Mar 2020 • 6.30pm

The Animals & Friends Farewell Tour

ft. Sonique, Scott Bond, John Kelly

+ The Panic Report

Sun 20th Sep 2020 • 7.30pm

Tue 11th Feb 2020

Fri 27th Mar 2020 • 6.30pm

Definitely Mightbe + Ocean Colour Scheme Sat 21st Dec • SOLD OUT Sun 22nd Dec • SOLD OUT

Sam Fender Mon 23rd Dec

Gatecrasher Classical Bowling For Soup + Simple Plan + Not Ur Girl Frenz

Slade: The Rockin’ Home for Christmas Tour 2019

Wed 12th Feb 2020

Thur 26th Dec • 9pm

Clubland Boxing Day Newcastle Fri 27th Dec • 5.30pm

Christmas Rocks Day 1 ft Novana… A Tribute to Nirvana, Green

Steel Panther

Wed 25th Mar 2020 • SOLD OUT

Bad Manners

Bulsara and His Queenies Sat 28th Mar 2020

William DuVall

Fri 2nd Oct 2020 • 6.30pm

Hue and Cry + Toyah Sun 4th Oct 2020

W.A.S.P. - 1984 to Headless

Fri 14th Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 28th Mar 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 17th Oct 2020 • 8.30pm

Sat 15th Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 4th Apr 2020

Example

Prince Tribute Endorphinmachine

Roachford

Dutty Moonshine Big Band

Peppers…A Tribute to The Red Hot Chilli

Sigala

Sat 11th Apr 2020 • 5.30pm

Peppers, Punk Pop Disaster, Pearl Jam

Fri 21st Feb 2020 • 6.30pm

Sat 11th Apr 2020 • 6.30pm

GB…A Tribute to Pearl Jam, Little Devil

Rend Collective

(of Alice in Chains)

Sun 16th Feb 2020

Days… A Tribute to Greenday, U.K Chilli

Sat 11th Jul 2020

Flash: Tribute to Queen

Duran an Duran The Rezillos

o2academynewcastle.co.uk Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 1SW • Doors 7pm unless stated Venue box office opening hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-4pm ticketweb.co.uk • seetickets.com • gigantic.com • ticketmaster.co.uk

Ultra 90’s Dance Anthems Live Fri 23rd Oct 2020 • 6.30pm

Cock Sparrer

Sat 24th Oct 2020 • 6pm

Soul II Soul Club Classics Sat 21st Nov 2020

The Skids

Profile for Offstone Publishing

Cheers North East magazine #96 - December 2019 / January 2020  

Cheers North East magazine #96 - December 2019 / January 2020  

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