Sausage, So Good – Brandling Villa Sausage & Beer Fest

8 02 2010

Beer and sausages is there no better combination to get you taste buds going? Well, maybe not but in order to test the theory what better event to attend than the Brandling Villa’s Sausage & Beer festival.  You know it made sense.

The event ran from 14th to the 17th January and rather give you a full blow by blow account of the proceeding I thought I would just throw up some photo’s and add a couple of observations filled out with a whole load of waffle.  OK, so what I mean is my memory is pants and I’ve lost my notes…they’re here somewhere but…

The Menu

First off I would like to congratulate Dave Carr, the manager, for putting on the event and making such a success of it, I’m sure it way exceeded his expectations, and also Stewart & Co for providing the wonderful sausages.

Cider Tart γ and I popped in on the Thursday to grab some tea and things were fairly quiet.  A couple of the regular faces were in place already sampling the wares and we partook of a deal which allowed us to try several of the varieties on offer for a damned reasonable price.  We tried sausages made with Durham Temptation, Allendale Beacon Fire and Mordue Workie Ticket amongst others (where are those damned notes?) and every one was great.  So good in fact we bought 3 packs to take home to enjoy later. The Wylam Haugh and Durham Sanctuary were both great and I’m told the ciders were also top notch.  We left after about an hour and a half and a goodly crowd and a great atmosphere was starting to build up

The usual suspects

On Friday we were joined by HH and Cider Tart σ and things were really busy.  It took us about ½ an hour to get served at the sausage counter but the good news was that the quality still up to scratch.  Finding a seat was a bit of an endeavour but we managed to dead man’s shoes a table after only a couple of minutes.  Beers sampled included both the Durham and Wylam again along with the Allendale Golden Plover.  There were other but my notes…well you get the idea.  Strangely the band arrived and appeared to have nowhere set aside to set up so started to erect their PA right in front of the toilet doors and next to one of the exits.  Thankfully sense prevailed and I assume some of the other punters were evicted from their tables to create space.  As things became even busier and the prospect of ever getting served diminished dramatically we decided to cut our loses and head back into town.


So pro’s and con’s?


Great selection of well kept beer.

Wonderful, well priced sausage also available to take home and cook yourself.

Great pub with excellent atmosphere on both nights.


Not enough bar staff to manage the numbers who attended or change barrels quickly.

Ditto for the sausage bar.

Band space needed to be arranged in advance.

In my view the pro’s well outweigh the con’s, many of which were due to Dave’s own admission that he had totally underestimated the number of punters the event would attract.  However everyone took the wait for beer and sausages in good humour, just soaking up and adding to the atmosphere.  I know Dave has more events planned and I doubt he will make the same mistakes again and would heartily recommend anyone to make an effort to attend if they are in the area.


Local Beer Fest News – Brandling Villa Update

14 01 2010

A quick update on the Brandling’s festival as we now have the Cider list in so I thought I might as well make it available to you all:

Crossman’s Somerset Sweet Cider 7%
Hartland’s Farmhouse Cider
Malvern Magic 6.5%
Ross On Wye 5 Apple Medium Dry 6.5%
Ross On Wye Dabinett Bramley 5.5%
Weston’s Old Rosie 7.3%
Weston’s Traditional Scrumpy 6%

I’m sure the Cider Tarts will be overjoyed at the prospect of 7 ciders, although CTγ may be more than a little annoyed given that she offered to drive me there today thinking there would only be 3 on.

The plan seems to be that CTγ and I will pop in tonight to grab a couple of drinks (or a half in CTγ’s case) and some sausage for tea.  We will then be back on Friday night for a longer session in the company of HH and CT’s σ & λ.


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Local Beer Fest News – Beer & Sausages, Brandling Villa…The Lists Are In

10 01 2010

After posting yesterday about the Brandling Villa’s Snorker and Beer Fest the inimitable Eric Larkham has emailed me with the list of delights available.  So without further ado…


Allendale – Golden Plover 4.0%

Allendale – Tar Bar’l 4.0%

Big Lamp – Prince Bishop 4.8%

Durham – Benedictus 6.6%

Durham – Evensong 5.0%

Everards – Tiger 4.2%

Hadrian Border – Tyneside Brown Ale 4.0%

Harviestoun – Schiehallion 4.8%

Jarrow – McConnells Stout 4.5%

Jarrow – Rivet Catcher 4.2%

Mordue – India Pale Ale 5.1%

Theakstons – Old Peculier 5.2%

Wylam – Dognobbler 3.9%

Wylam – Haugh Porter 4.6%


Three ciders as well as the usual Weston’s Traditional on handpump


Allendale Chilli Banger

Chainbridge Honey & Lemon

Duck & Orange

Ginger & Spring Onion

Lincolnshire Pork

McConnells Stout Sausage

Merguez (Spiced)

Mordue Workie Ticket

Northumbrian Beef & Guinness

Northumbrian Beef & Leffe Brune

Pork & Dijon Mustard

Pork & Leek

Pork & Old Rosie

Theakstons Old Peculier

Toulouse (Garlic & Black Pepper)


All the sausages have apparently been made especially for the festival by Stewart & Co Fine Food & Butchery who will also be providing packs available for purchase allowing you to continue the festivities at home on a later date.

ADB and the Cider Tarts plan to get along for at least a couple of the sessions so we may see you there if you can make it.  And judging by the lists above it would be a shame not to.