41st beer and cider festival preview 

Next week (wed 26th to sat 29th) the north umbria university student union once again plays host to the Newcastle beer and cider festival. This will be my second year volenteering but my first getting more involved organising and planning and whilst I could fill the blog for three months over with the strains of putting together a event of this size with nothing but volenteer’s a few with great understanding more with some clue and many making up with enthusiasm. Instead I thought I would offer a little insight to the varied and I have to say quite brilliant beer list out ordering team have managed to pull together. 

The festival beers fall into three catalogues firstly battle of the beers every cask producing local brewery is invited to enter producing a great range of new local beers. Secondly we have decided this year to throw the spotlight on the beers of Yorkshire and finally a few specials that we feel people would really enjoy. 

1. Battle of the beers , past entry’s in the battle of the beers have gone onto great things including radgie gadgie and workie ticket from mordue Allendale adder and Wylam’s jakehead all starting life at the festival over the years , this year the challenge was to produce a ipa between 4 and 6 % abv a simple instruction with a wealth of options and sub styles. 

Some of my personal picks in this catagory include Allendale – Thunderhead 5.5% , box social – peach burns 6.0% , Errant – kaiju punch 6.0% and Brinkburn – groovy juice 6.0% a fruity new England ipa that has been available in bottle for a few weeks 

The second catagory yorkshireally beers include a few eye catching beers in amongst the traditional and steady brews we have Blue bee brewery – ginger beer brewed with 30kg of fresh root ginger sure to pack a firey punch , Exit 33 – cookie monster  cookies and cream stout I have heard mixed reviews on this one seems to vary cask to cask but for a festival half you need to try it , Yorkshire heart Rhu bar beer if there’s three things Yorkshiremen are proud off its beer rhubarb and Yorkshire pudding and whilst I’m yet to find a Yorkie pud porter this fruit beer has the other two covered 

And the final Yorkshire beer ild like to bring attention to you may have had before but solitaire brewery triple chocoholic made with chocolate malts chocolate syrup and erm chocolate and guess what it tastes like? 

Rounding us off with a few specials and they are indeed quite special. 

Arcane bridge – world’s end the last beer for some time from this local brewery is a red ale aged in whisky cask and promises to be one you won’t want to miss 

Box social brewing – campfire porter this has been around Newcastle for a while now but it’s rarer in cask and never lasts much more than a day on any bar toasted marshmallows and coffee from pumphreys in the grainger market are amongst the ingredients in this sweet but well ballanced porter. 

Great North eastern brewing company- minikins stout the branch were lucky enough to have the guys from gnebc come and talk to us at a branch meeting and even luckier to have a few samples of this bottled stout and we were all agreed it’s tasty stuff but would be better served from a cask and so for the first time ever it shall be! 

And finally a beer that sold out incredibly fast last year and had a buzz around it on twitter swannay brewery from the Orkney Islands once again are sending there big boozy imperial stout 8.0% sold in thirds due to cost but still a bargain compared to what you may pay of you ever found this on a bar around town. 

So that’s it just a few hand pick’s from the list of over 100 to be found at the festival tickets are on sale at the door so come support your local festival as without you guys drinking it then we can’t run it and we would miss all the stresses so much ! 


North by north yeast 


March must try – make apple pie great again

This month’s must try is a collaboration between cloudwater and against the grain currently available online from all the usual suppliers and champion bottles and taps in Heaton. 

As I arrived at champion I had a fair idea of what I was going to fill the growler with something tropical and not too strong. It certainly was not going to be cloudwater and that may suprise you being a craft beer lover that buys into the hype for interesting beers cloudwater should be my amongst my favourite brewers however I have in recent months grown tired of nothing but murky double ipas at eye watering prices and miss the days when cloudwater would pop up at Fitzgeralds with a tasty brown ale brewed with seasonality and quality. 

But I was told I should try the latest offering make apple pie great again and as the fairly murky beer was produced for me I was far from excited however from first sip I was won over a opening taste of almost buttery sweet pastry the hit of cinnamon and the sweet apple finish it was a complex layered beer packed with flavour and absolutely what it says it is apple pie in a glass. 

I also made it to Tynebank Brewery great Brittish beer festival with a great range of beers from around the UK the star of the show being Tiny rebel cask golden ale juicy that had so much juicy fruit flavours packed into a lower abv beer another beer well worth looking out as the Newport brewery produce more beer and a new can range from the new larger premises and become much more readily available 


North by north yeast 

Feb must try bróđirblóđ 

This must try is certainly unlike anything I have had before a collaboration between Wylam and nothern monk a red rye and juniper infused Nordic ale coming in at 6% abv but carrying such a hit of flavour that it feels stronger. 

A dark ruby colour with creamy head and a fine fizz from the bottle conditioning the juniper and rye blend well to give a very bold flavour

This beer is currently available across the Newcastle bottle shops and at just over £2 it certainly provides something different and for my money much more exciting than the array of £5-6 murky double ipas that seem to be exciting everyone. 

Still we are lucky enough to have a choice of great beers endlessly renewing so there’s always something to discover whatever your taste 


January must try….. Champion 

Normally my must try is a beer that has won me over that month but this month I got to try a new bottle shop instead 

champion bottles and taps just of Chillingham Road in Heaton has not been open long and is not a very large shop it certainly won’t rival the quantity of beers available in some of Newcastles larger establishments however it does stock some very interesting brews indeed. 

The bottle and can range offers around 20 options for each beer type ranging in strength and price I left with three beers the first being wiper and true – milkshake a sweet syrupy milk stout that lived up to its name with chocolatey milk aftertaste, the second was a can of mikeller simcoe double ipa a strong bitter and resinous pale beer that was a close to eating a raw hop as you would ever wish to be 

The final beer was a growler from one of the shops four taps you can bring your own or buy one there (for £5) I opted to fill mine with a new Zealand brewed East coast double ipa at a price close to £4 a pint.

Overall Champion may not break the mould or offer too much you cant find anywhere else but it brings a range of interesting beers at a reasonable price in smaller fresher quantities especially with the growler fills and are well worth checking out 

Beery resolutions 2 

So this time last year,  still new to the blogging world I posted my ambitious 5 beery resolutions now a year older and non the wiser I thought it a grand time to revisit review and replan for 2017. 

My first resolution was to love the yeast being quite new to the understand of beer this was the missing element to my knowledge so what have I done to expand on it, we’ll I tried cloudwater dipa volume 4+5 same ingredients same brewing just a little late yeast in one,  and the nothern monk trilogy yeast that was a great beer in the Belgian triple style however my main understanding has come through my experimenting with homebrewing. Don’t get we wrong I’m far from a expert but then most brewers I have met don’t seem too much more knowledgeable on the subject so I feel I need to keep on experimenting. 

Visit a brewery well that got checked of by easter with a trip to Yorkshire and the Blacksheep and theakstons tours as well as Wylam Brewerys palace of the arts and I must say if you have not been on a tour it’s highly recommended but pick a smaller brewery so you see more than just a control panel. 

Help at the Newcastle beer festival I was involved with the build up of the bars and tapping 150 casks of beer, I shall probably do the same this year but I’m also involved with planning and shall be on site throughout serving social media updates 

Collect more badges on untapped well on this im sure I collected a few but with the blog and instagram I have moved away from the app a bit so I really need to double down on this one as it makes remembering a blogging a lot easier 

See more of the world from the bottom of a glass,  that I can also check off with Cardiff beer festival, craft beer calling and plenty Camra wanders around places I may never have drank including Gateshead,  low fell, Morpeth,  Wallsend and new Micropubs in Whitley bay however as this has been so much fun I see no reason to end at this point plenty more of the region and further afield to see. 

So to 2017 my resolutions are 

Try more pubs supporting local smaller brewers and publicans alike 

Save pubs,  to get involved with the campaign for real ales work to save pubs that I think regardless of what you like to drink can only be a good thing. 

Keep up the blog with at least a monthly must try every,  well month obviously and hopefully find plenty cool things happening around my native north east to keep getting excited about and to share with you all 

Thank you for reading have a great 2017 and a special thanks to the few people who took the time to message me on the blog or social media a little positive feedback can really make a bloggers day 



Top ten of 2016 

After a mammoth December 12 beers and a personally mammoth few weeks I thought I should sign off the year with a top ten beers list, what could be easier just look at untapped and jot down a few notes easy. 

So two days of moving things up down on and off the list here is my top ten of 2016 

10 brewdog – Elvis juice a grapefruit tasting ipa fairly standard example of brewdog however it’s a strong good example in bottles on supermarket shelves at very reasonable prices so it just makes the list 

9 nothern alchemy – dark chocolate mint milk stout like a milkshake of a beer its not to everyone’s taste but it’s a brilliant end of the night drink and stunning flavours 

8 Almasty – dry hopped stout a 6.5% stout dry hopped with a balance and complexity of a truely great beer 

7 box social – campfire porter see 12 beers of Christmas for review 

6 Newcastle brewing Co – satsuma ipa fantastic orange citrus and hop combo perfect summer beer 

5 nothern monk neopolitan pale the ice cream flavoured collaboration with little Leeds beer house a beer that so far no plans have been announced to rebrew and that is a crime 

4 tavernale (bridge tavern) still feel the butterflies a 6.8% brown ale with fruity hops and a fantastic ballanced mouth of flavours 

3 Wylam and the yeastie boys wxy a brilliant collaboration ipa from back in January and Wxy2 has been brewed and should be out in January 2017 

2 tiny rebel brew Co – stay puft marshmalow porter tastes like toasted marshmalow and this one off got requested so much it became a seasonal and now a core range beer watch out for it in a supermarket near you in 2017 

And the winner is garden of Eden – tool Danish brewed Fruity 6.4% ipa that blew my socks off back in March beers from this brewery are becoming more widely available and that can only be a good thing. 

So that’s it 2016 a terrible year for celeb deaths politics and a dark patch on humanity,  yes but my God the beer was good 


12 beers of Christmas 

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me……. 

Hops from yakima Valley (yakima gold) 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me 

Something brewed organically (Sam smiths winter ale)

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Beer and charcuterie (box social) 

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A can from Vocation brewery (life and death)

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Real ale from marksy’s (marks and Spencer Adnams Christmas ale) 

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A speach on sustainability (stu brew dissertation and craft beer event)  

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A can in a christmas tree (flying dog) 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A ipa from near Derby (amber ales) 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Something tropical and juicy (tropigamma – beavertown) 

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
A festive beer by anarchy (anarchy brew Co Rum and raisin porter) 

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Something pale and hoppy (radical Road – Stewart brewing)  

And On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me

A bottle from the Isles Orkney (Orkney brewery – Clootie dumpling) 

Merry Christmas