Local Beer Fest News – The Free Trade Inn Midwinter Beer Festival

13 01 2011

OK so the first local festival of the year takes place in what in my opinion is the most improved pub in the region, the Free Trade Inn.  The festival runs from the 27th of this month through to the 30th but some of the beers (marked) will be on earlier.  So, some of you may think the place needs a lick of paint but I call it character and it has it in abundance as well as a great selection of beer/cider and a view to die for.

Some cracking beers on the list, I’m particularly looking forward to the Odell, Orkney and SWB offerings and the Cider Tarts will have enough to keep them quiet for a while…well…OK nothing ever keeps a Cider Tart quiet.  Both HH and I will be down there on a least a couple of the days so say hello if you spot us.  The pub itself is easy enough to get to from the centre of Newcastle by jumping on a Yellow QuayLink bus which will drop you only 50 yards from the door.


Allgates, Green Bullett

Arran, Dark

Blue Monkey, Guerilla Stout

Boggart, Rum Porter

Bowland, Hen Harrier

Brewdog, Riptide *Available from Tues 25th

Darkstar, TBC

Durham, TBC

Durham, TBC

Fyne Ales, Jarl

Fyne Ales, Hurricane Jack

Mallinsons, Motueka

Marble, Ginger

Marble, W90

Marston Moor, Implacable

Nelson, Loose Cannon

Orkney, Clootie Dumplin *Available from Tues 25th

Ossett, South Pacific IPA

Ossett, B2K

Rudgate, Northern Brewer

Salamander, Cloak and Dagger

Salamander, Slapstick

Stables, Monboucher Mild

Summer Wine, Boreas

Summer Wine, Heretic Imperial Black IPA

Titanic, Stout

Wansom, Millers Mirth

Wharfbank, Slinger

Wold Top, Against the Grain * Gluten Free Beer

Wold Top, Dawn Of Time


Westons, Organic Vintage

Westons, Winter Twist

Millwhites, Single Organic

Millwhites, Novo Pyrus

Millwhites, Pear Lite

Millwhites, Equinox

Mr Whiteheads, TBC

Mr Whiteheads, TBC

Broadoak, Perry

Broadoak, Bristol Port

Broadoak, Moonshine

Orchard Pig, Hot Mulled Cider

Guest Draught Bar

Erdinger, Urweisse

De Koninck, Winter De Koninck

Sierra Nevada, Celebration

Sierra Nevada, Northern Harvest

Sierra Nevada, Old Chico Crystal Wheat

Sierra Nevada, Brown Ales

Sierra Nevada, Porter

Odell, IPA


Local Beer Fest News – Durham 2010

25 08 2010

As has been the case for many years the festival is to be held in the Durham University Students Union building at Dunelm House on New Elvet from the 2nd to the 4th of September.

We have always found this to be a friendly festival with a good selection of local beers supported by one or two from further afield.  The selection for this year is as follows:

Beer List

Cider & Perry List

Bottled Beer List

There is not much on to get the local tickers overly excited but it is a great selection of good local beer and personally I’m looking forward to reacquainting myself with some old friends.  For the non local there are some real gems on that list that will be well worth making the trip for.  Durham is in itself a great place to spend some time and is home to a number of lovely pubs which always stock a good selection of beer if you fancy taking a break from the festival.

As with most of the local festival information I post the beer/cider lists came courtesy of Eric Larkham whose mailing list can be requested by dropping me an email and I’ll pass on the details.


Local Beer Fest News – Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival

13 04 2010

Well here it is the big one.  The 34th Newcastle Beer and Cider Festival will be held at Newcastle University’s Student Union on Kings Walk and runs from the evening of 14th April through to Saturday the 17th.

When this blog was first envisaged it was in the queue to get into this festival several years ago, although at that time it was planned to be a podcast.  It has taken enough years in the making that now I have a chance to blog about it I’m not going to let work or anything else get in the way.  I have my leave suitably booked and a laptop at the ready so post about it I will.

I will be joined by HH, the Cider Tarts and a number of usual suspects each day and will be doing a running commentary on Twitter (#toonbf) as well as possibly doing some longer posts ‘live’ via the laptop (each subject to sobriety).  Both the beer and cider/perry lists are looking good this year and they will be enjoyed in the presence of some great company.  Good times.


Local Beer Fest News – Trimmers Arms

24 02 2010

I’m afraid this festival has passed be by a bit so I’m late with the news.  The festival starts today and runs though until the 28th so there is plenty of time to get down there still.  In truth I’ve never been to the Trimmers, something I’ll have to rectify, so I can’t comment on the place but the beer list looks great.  There will also be 9 brews from the Bitter End Brewery whose Espresso Stout was a lovely pint at the recent Newcastle Arms festival.


1648 Brewery Brew-Master 3.9%

1648 Brewery Triple Champion 4.0%

Acorn Gorlovka Stout 6.0%

Acorn Motueka Ipa 5.0%

Allgates Hop Devil 5.5%

Banks & Taylor Dunstable Giant 4.4%

Banks & Taylor Shefford Old Dark 5.0%

Batemans Miss Canada 4.1%

Battledown Porter 4.5%

Bazens Zebra Best Bitter 4.3%

Beartown Ursa Minor 3.6%

Bowman Nutz 5.0%

Brentwood Blind Date 4.1%

Bridestones Dark Mild 4.5%

Burton Bridge Old Expensive 6.5%

Castle Rock Hairstreak 3.6%

Clarks Midwinter Mistletoe 4.2%

Corvedale Molly Morgan 4.0%

Elland Catch The Rainbow 4.1%

Empire Imperium 5.1%

Frog Island Croak & Stagger 5.6%

Golcar Guthlags Porter 5.0%

Green Jack Maheer Ipa 5.0%

Humpty Dumpty Porter 5.4%

Leeds Midnight Bell 4.8%

Loddon Penny Pond Porter 5.5%

Moles Moleo & Juliet 4.4%

Oakleaf Quercus Folium 4.0%

O’Hanlons Storkstay 5.0%

Ramsbury Pophams Pride 3.6%

Three Castles Love Beer 4.0%

Thwaites Hops & Kisses 3.8%

Wolf Remus 4.1%


Biddendens Bushells 6.0%

Biddendens Kentish Medium 8.0%

Moles Black Rat 6.0%

Thatchers Cheddar Valley 6.0%

Thatchers Trad Dry Cider 6.0%


Local Beer Fest News – The Duke of Wellington

24 02 2010

Just a quick one to say that there is going to be a small beer festival held at the Duke of Wellington on High Bridge Street between the 11th and 13th of March.  This used to be the Saturday haunt for HH and I but I don’t think either of us has been in for a number of years now.  No particular reason other than we thought the choice of beer took a bit of a hit and the décor change wasn’t to our liking…finicky blokes us two.  Anyway here is the beer list and you never know we may venture back in for a pint or two.

Abbeydale Moonshine 4.3%

Anglo Dutch Tabatha the Knackered 6.0%

Beartown Ginger Bear 4.0%

Blue Monkey BG Sips 4.0%

Cotleigh Old Buzzard 4.8%

Durham White Amarillo 4.1%

Fyne Ales Avalance 4.5%

Hadrian Border Reiver’s IPA 4.4%

Hadrian Border Tyneside Blonde 3.9%

Hornbeam Lemon Blossom 3.7%

Jarrow McConnells Irish Stout 4.6%

Mighty Oak English Oak 4.8%

Moor Somerland Gold 5.0%

Mordue IPA 5.1%

Roosters Yankee 4.3%

Saltaire Cascade Pale Ale 4.8%

Spectrum Old Stoat Wobbler 6.0%

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA 5.9%

Wylam Gold Tankard 4.0%


Local Beer Fest News – Big Pie Weekend

9 02 2010

Well after my last post reviewing the recent Sausage and Beer Fest at the Brandling Villa I can now add details of their next event.  Yesterday I speculated that sausages and beer may be the best combination to get your taste buds going, well Dave Carr is going to give us a chance to test that theory by hosting a Pie and Beer Festival on the 5th & 6th of March.  Now I’m rather partial to a pie and I’m going to have 25 different ones to try out.  25! Are there even 25 pie fillings known to man? I guess we’ll just have to turn up and find out.  I don’t have a listing for the pies yet but the beer/cider/perry list is below just to wet your appetite.


Abbeydale Absolution 5.3%

Blue Monkey Evoultion 4.3%

Brewsters Rutterkin 4.6%

Castle Rock Screech Owl 5.5%

Dark Star Espresso Stout 4.2%

Durham White Gold 4%

Harviestoun Bitter Twisted 3.8%

Hopback Entire Stout 4.5%

Kelham Island Pale Rider 5.2%

Magpie JPA 5.2%

Oakham Bishops Farewell 4.6%

Ossett Big Red 4%

Roosters Nector 5%

Salamander Mudpuppy 4.2%

Tim Taylors Ram Tam 4.3%

Wylam Gold Tankard 4%

Wylam Magic 4.2%

Jarrow Rivet Catcher 4%

Hanby Rainbow Chaser 4.3%

York Guzzler 3.6%


Broadoak Kingston Black 7.5%

Broadoak Bristol Port 7.5%

Moles Black Rat 6%

Whiteheads Midnight Special Perry 5%

Whiteheads Cirrus Minor 5%

Thatchers Cheddar Valley Dry 6%

Biddenden Dry 8%

Westons Old Rosie 7.3%

Westons Traditional Scrumpy 6%

Ross on Wye 5 Apple 6.5%

All in all it looks like another couple of rather stupendous days await us.


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.