The Town Wall, Newcastle, June 2017

It’s time for the final “quick pub trip” post from the flying visit to Newcastle. I was meeting up with a couple of friends from London. I had considered giving it a miss, but with the amount of rain falling from the sky, anywhere indoors was a welcome place to dry off before venturing out into the rain again.

The Town Wall is a housed within the elegant confines of Bewick House, a Grade II listed building which was once the home and workplace of famous Northumberland artist, naturalist and engraver Thomas Bewick.

The pub was named in recognition of the historical importance of the site, which formed part of the original twenty-four wards that fortified the original boundaries of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mentioned in chronicles dating back as early as 1280, the building’s boundaries include the site of the original Gunner Tower which was built by the ancient family of Swinburn.

In 1821 the building was converted into a hall for the incorporated company of Slaters and Tylers, during this workmen found a large quantity of shillings and sixpences from the reign of Edward I.

The Town Wall stands on Pink Lane less than 100 yards from Newcastle Central train station.

So a quick word about the beers. Star Child by Out There Brewing Co was a decent saison with a gentle flavour. Galatia by Wylam, was a good session pale ale.

townwall

A lovely pub, would be nice to come back when it’s not hammering it down. There’s a great function room downstairs too.

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BrewDog Newcastle, June 2017

I can’t really visit a city without popping in to BrewDog. In many cities, it is an oasis in a desert of Greene King IPA. In Newcastle, it’s just another great beer vendor that is well worth a visit.

There is always a good line up of guest beers at BrewDog, and this is where I turned tonight, for Knowledge by Rhinegeist Brewery.

Despite being advertised as a double IPA, this was more of a strong fruit beer. Massive peach flavours, the fruit really trounces the hops but it really works very well indeed.

No time to linger tonight, so it was back out in to the rain, and back down towards the station to meet a few friends for a catch up.

Box Social, Newcastle, June 2017

Another stop on my whistle stop tour of Newcastle drinking establishments. The great thing about many of these modern establishments, part of the so called “craft beer revolution”, is that beer can be served in smaller measures – thirds, halves and two thirds. This means that you can try three different beers in a pleasant hour of sipping, without worrying that you’ve slammed down three pints in a hurry and won’t be able to walk when you get up from your chair.

The rain was still hammering down outside, so this cosy little bar in a railway arch was welcome shelter. Whilst I gently steamed in the corner, a 008 Mosaic from local brewery Wylam started things off. This is the third Wylam that I’ve had, and they’ve all been delicious. This one is a good showcase for the Mosaic hop, full of juicy bitterness.

A trip to the south coast next (without leaving my chair). Freshman by Brighton Bier is a lovely pale ale full of delicious sharp bitterness.

Just one more third to finish things off. After I’d spotted this, I couldn’t not have it. Het Uiltje are a Dutch brewery who have some of the greatest beer names, such as F***, The Christmas Tree is on Fire. They also have great tasting beers, so when I spotted their Double IPA collaboration with North Brewing Co then I had to have it.

It turned out to be a great decision, a beer full of grassy, hoppy and orangey sweetness. A great way to round off this brief visit to Box Social, which is a must visit destination if you are looking for great beer in Newcastle.

Recommended!

Hop and Cleaver, Newcastle, June 2017

Oh the weather outside is frightful. Hopefully, smoked meat and beer will be delightful.

Despite being early June, and the start of summer, it is absolutely hammering it down with rain. It should have taken 3 hours and 5 minutes to get here by train. Due to crashes, things burning down, and a general build up of delays, it took more like 5 hours and 3 minutes to get to Newcastle. After a moist stroll from the station to the hotel, a quick dry off and then out into the rain again, back down towards the famous river and some dinner.

I’d already identified Hop and Cleaver as my dinner destination. Not even the horrendous rain could keep me from the gentle downhill stroll from Newgate Street to Sandhill. I did get rather wet. As I’m not a native of these parts, a coat was required. It protected me from the worst of the rain, but it was not enough.

Even when I got inside the Hop & Cleaver, a coat was still required. The ferocity of the rain was such that they had sprung a leak – the main bar area was rather soggy, and the large party of people arriving for an event were all milling about in a specific configuration that kept them away from the water leaking from the ceiling.

No time to worry about that, what with plenty beers to choose from. This menu needs studying…

I was swiftly shown to a table and ordered some food and drink. The first beer was Hop & Cleaver Rye IPA, a decent rye ale but not an IPA. The letters I, P and A get attached to far too many beers nowadays.

Food arrived. It had to be the “pit sarnie”, three kinds of smoked goodness in a very sturdy bun. Pulled pork, brisket and smoked sausage stuffed in a brioche bun with BBQ sauce. Man vs Food has come true on the banks of the Tyne. As you might expect in such an establishment, a distinct lack of plates, with dinner being served on some graph paper inside a bit of a seed tray, with chips in a kind of chicken wire basket…

It was utterly delicious. I love smoked and slow cooked meat. I love Man vs. Food. This was lovely stuff. And it paired well with the Hop & Cleaver Sorachi ale, although I couldn’t detect any Sorachi hop flavours, which is unusual for such a distinctive hop.

This is a great place if you like smoked meat, a quirky venue and beer made on the premises. It was definitely the right choice for dinner. I loved it, despite the lack of plates. If there weren’t other places to explore, I could have stayed here all night. Once more unto the breach my friends, once more…