We’re true believers in buying local where possible. Whilst we enjoy an Icelandic Einstok or an Australian HO (no jokes please – been there, heard that, got followed by a wierdo…), the growing abundance of local brewers in the North East means a Geordie beer lover need never go thirsty.
Outlets such as Coppers in Gosforth – which, quite frankly, is a dream – ensure that there is always something new to find!
This week, we’re featuring 7 of our most loved.
1. First up, a shining Mustang of a drink, Wylam Brewery’s ‘Supercharged IPA’ Jakehead (6.3%). It won 1st place in Britain’s Hottest 100 Beers in 2015 and deservedly so. It’s hoppy, juicy, full of grapefruit but with a caramel finish. The grapefruit is the real draw! This is a really special beer that relatives will drive around the region for to find a mini-keg to give as a Christmas present… Thanks Dad.
2. Sticking with Wylam Brewery, we also love Barrel Aged Billy (5.5%). A chewy beer that’s smoky and reminds us of a good toffee. Aged in port wine oaks, the dark fruits really come through to soften it. If you like a dark, smouldering beer with just the right amount of sophistication, this is the one for you.
3. Tusk IPA (5.2%) from Errant Brewery, a new one for us and a regular to reach for on the shelves! Another with grapefruit, it’s a thick brew with good rounded bitterness. The Brewery describes itself as being a ‘hardworking brew house’ in ‘Newcastle’s industrial playground’. It definitely goes down well after a long, hard day.
4. Another with hardworking industrialists and tradesmen at its core, Rivet Catcher (4.9%) from The Great North Eastern Brewing Co. is a simple beer to blow away the cobwebs after a back-breaking day. It is slightly bitter, slightly citrusy and has a lovely dry lingering finish. We love the comeback of this beer following the closure of Jarrow Brewery. Good luck chaps!
5. 60 Additions Continuously Hopped Pilsner (5.6%), a collab from Northern Alchemy with Bierrex, is a smooth and dry, lemony and hoppy pilsner. These guys describe themselves as ‘flavour led’ and it’s not hard to see with their mango, lime and cracked pepper beer blend… as just one example. For ‘punch-you-in-the-face’ beers, go to these guys. We also love their sours. Northern Alchemy have ambitions for ethical sustainment of international hop farms so if you want a brew that both tastes good and makes you feel good on the inside, Northern Alchemy is a good place to start.
6. Next up, Silver Darling (5.6%) by Three Kings Brewery. This one delivers marmalade, woodiness and some pepper. An unusual mix but very much based on traditional brewing techniques. We thought this one would be great on a summers day, maybe for a picnic. With a peppery porkpie. And some piccalilli. Ps aside, this would go down great on a warm day and would cut through lovely flaky buttery pastry and tasty meats. Don’t leave it until then to try though, you’ll be missing out.
7. Finally, mainly because we’re a bit scared of it (but we love it), Knuckle Dragger (8.3%) by Anarchy Brew Co. What a beer. A big bad, nasty beer that is just awesome. It is juicy and bitter-sweet with a touch of peachiness. It’s not all peaches and light though. It’s a big beer typical of the Anarchy Brew Co. approach. We hear it will be available in cans soon. A favourite for knock-out, packs-a-punch flavour.