‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly

26 11 2009

HoHoHo Folks, I’ve just received this press release for what looks like a jolly good evening’s entertainment.  I’m not what you would call the most religious of people but I do enjoy a bit of a Christmas sing song (wonder if they know any Trans Siberian Orchestra?) and I have been known to have the occasional pint or two so this should be a perfect combo really.  On the plus side I should know most of the words (well the odd verse and chorus here and there) but on the down side it’s my department’s Christmas do the night before so I’m not sure what state I’ll be in.  As yet there is no word on what beers will be on offer but Big Lamp produce some really good ones including Summerhill Stout and the wonderful, if dangerous, Blackout.


Beer, Carols & seasonal music at All Saint’s Church Hall, West Avenue, Gosforth, Newcastle, NE3 4ES

Saturday, 5th December 2009

Carols + Beer = Christmas Cheer!

All Saint’s Church, Gosforth is inviting everyone to get into the Christmas spirit with a fun night of drinking beer and singing carols in their church hall on Saturday, 5th December.

The team promise a great evening with music provided by a live band and special guest speakers introducing the carols and songs.

To lubricate your throats and voices, a selection of real ales will be supplied by locally-based Big Lamp Brewery, with the emphasis being on traditional beers for the winter season.  Other drinks will be available for the non-beer drinkers out there.  The team are hard at work planning, choosing suitable beers and rousing music for this special pre-Christmas event.  Be sure to join us and get into the Christmas spirit early.

The inspiration for the event came after the hugely successful Beer and Hymns event in April when over 80 people came and raised the roof with their singing.

All Saints’ Youth Worker and Ales in Advent protagonist, Chantal Noppen, says: “There are many instances in the Bible where Jesus and his disciples combine theology with alcohol, so we are following in hallowed footsteps. This a great chance for people to get into the true Christmas spirit, while letting their hair down.”

Doors will open at 7pm, with singing starting at 7.30 – be sure to come early – and join with the happy throng raising glasses and voices in hearty song.

Tickets are £5 and include your first drink. The team are anticipating they will sell out, so to make sure of yours, book now by contacting beerandhymnsgosforth(at)googlemail(dot)com

I removed the phone numbers from the press release for security but contact me directly if you want them.


Local Beer Fest News – The Cumberland Gets A New Cellar

25 11 2009

Well I’ve been a bit lax in posting this week due to feeling under the weather…and no, it’s not man flu.  A bad back has been hampering me and a dodgy stomach has meant I’ve been off the beer too, so a miserable week all round really.  Still, things are improving and I hope to be able to sleep tonight with waking up in pain every time I try and turn over.  Which, handily, would be just in time for me to enjoy the following beers at the Cumberland Arms in Byker:

Allendale – Beacon Fire 4.6% (Chilli beer)

Big Lamp – Northern Star 4.8%

Bradfield – Farmers Blond 4.0%

Bull Lane – T.A.G 4.2%

Consett – White Hot 4.0%

Cumberland Breweries – Corby Ale 3.8%

Dark Star – Old Chestnut 4.0%

Dark Star – Winter Meltdown 5.0% (with ginger)

Durham – Evensong 5.0%

Durham – White Gold 3.9%

Geltsdale – Brampton Bitter 4.0%

Hadrian Border – Ouseburn Porter 5.2%

High House Farm – Matfen Magic 4.8%

Jarrow – Brown Ale

Jarrow – Swinging Gibbet

Mordue – 5 Bridge Bitter 3.9%

Mordue – Workie Ticket 4.5%

Old Bear – Sun Bear 4.2%

Summer Wine – Teleporter 5.0%

Wentworth – Bier Des Deutschen Ursprung 5.4%

Wold Top – Bitter 3.7%

Wylam – Northern Kite 4.5%

The beers are being put on from tomorrow as a bit of a celebration in honour of the new cellar at the Cumberland and the usual great selection of ciders and perry’s will also be available.  I imagine the beers will be available through to the weekend so even if I don’t feel up to it tomorrow I guess I’ve got a few more days to get myself down there.


Local Beer Fest News – Top Arms, Top Beer

19 11 2009

Today sees the start of the Newcastle Arms Winter Beer Festival which is just as well because they were down to a mere 3 hand pumps, in preparation, when HH and I popped in yesterday.  The Beer list (courtesy of Eric) looks very promising.

ACORN – Cashmere 4.7, Lebelski 4.7
ADUR – Rope Tackle 4.3
ART – Hip Hop 4.3
ASCOT – Winters Ale 5.2
BIG LAMP – Newcastle Arms Winter Pale 5.0
BLUE MONKEY – Amarillo 3.9, BG Sips 4.0, 99 Red Baboons 4.2
BOGGART – Big Ginger 7.5
BOTTLEBROOK  – Pot Luck 5.0, Sand in the Wind 6.0
BREWDOG – Belgian Trashy 4.1
DARK STAR – Choc Stout 4.5
DURHAM – Bede’s Chalice 9.0
EAST COAST – Hoppers number 2, 4.1, Scarecrow 4.1
FALSTAFF – Carina 4.3, Cetus 5.7
FULL MASH – Castle Gold 4.0,Monty’s Whistle 3.8, Mortimer’s Ale 3.8
FULSTOW – Beata Gold 4.3 Rossi’s number 9, 4.6
FUNFAIR – Hotdog 4.5
GREENFIELD – Gardeners Gold 4.0
HADRIAN & BORDER – Tyneside Brown 4.7 (new badge)
HAVANT – Dropped 3.9, Stopped Dancing 4.4
HEADLESS – 1st Bloom 4.3, 5 Gates 5.0
HOLLAND – Blonde Belter 4.5, Lipsmacker 4.0
HOOK NORTON – Old Hooky 4.6
HOPBACK – Entire Stout 4.5
ILKLEY – Grandma’s Pud 4.3, Ruby Cascade 3.8
KELHAM ISLAND – Easy Rider 4.3
KELTEK – Trystan’s Triumph 4.5
LYMESTONE – Stone Cold 4.7
MALLINSON’S – Motueka 3.8, Nile 4.5
MARSTON MOOR – Churchill’s Armour 3.9
MONTY’S – Maple 3.8
MUIRHOUSE – Stout Fellow 3.8
RUDGATE – Ashingdon Hill Porter 4.0, Dutch Courage 4.2, Good, Better & Best 3.8
SAMBROOK’S – Junction 4.5
SALTAIRE Copper 4.1
SPRINGHEAD – Snatch & Lift 4.2
THORNBRIDGE – Kipling 5.2
WINDIE GOAT – Bolt Hole 4.6

HH and I (along with the potential of a Cider Tart or two) will be in residence from about 19:00 so get yourself along if you can.


Multi-flavoured Swap Shop

15 11 2009

beer_swapLOGOGiven that my #Beerswap selection has finally reached its Collect+ arrival point I thought I would do a post about my experiences so far of the whole thing.   Well, for starters, I can’t say it was any easy selection process by any means.  The biggest problem was trying to get the balance of my selection sorted.  As I’ve stated previously I’m predominantly a dark ale man so my first thoughts were to go rushing off and by bottles of my favourite local darks but then I got to thinking, ‘what if my recipient is a hoppy, light beer lover?’

My dilemma was helped somewhat when I found out that my recipient was also supplying me with their selection.  So, the plan went, I would just wait for their selection to arrive, check it out and try and surmise what sort of beer they favoured.  Naturally, in the end, they had been very sensible and posted me a good cross selection of beer styles which, of course, is what I should have been looking to do all along.

Next problem, how the hell do you limit yourself to four beers? To solve this I took the scattergun approach and bought far more than I needed and drank my way down to four.  Not the most scientific of methods, I agree, but damned good fun.  Some of those that failed to make the final cut, for no reason other than I drank them, included Alnwick IPA, Durham Archangel and Wylam Rocket.  So what did make the final four?

Jarrow – Westoe IPA 3.8%

Allendale – Wolf 5.5%

Hadrian & Border – Ouseburn Porter 5.2%

Durham – Temptation 10%

All great beers, I think, but I’ll let @WindsorBeerFest be the final judge of that.

The chosen delivery method, via Collect+, has been a pain free experience although I am aware that other people have had problems with the service.  All I can say is that it has been great fun rediscovering some beers that, because they are local, I have tended to take for granted, which in my eyes has been the major plus point of #beerswap.  Well that and getting to try some beers I’ve never even heard of never mind tasted and I’ll post a review when I can finally find some time in my diary to sit down and enjoy them properly.


Local Beer Fest – Winter’s Here

12 11 2009

Tonight sees the start of the Gosforth Winter Beer Festival 09, held at Gosforth Civic Hall.  The event is to be opened by Alastair Gilmour, an award winning beer writer and journalist, at 18:30.  The selection looks to be an interesting mix of beers, both local and from further afield, although I was surprised to see only two beers at 5% ABV or over.  The local Cider Tarts are also catered for.

Opening times are as follows:

Thursday 12th November 4.30pm – 11pm

Friday 13th November 12 noon – 11pm

Saturday 14th November 12 noon – 12pm

I will be there from about 19:00 tonight and plan to go again on Saturday but as I’m playing cards with the boys on Friday evening I may not be in a fit state to make it.