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The North East's Wonderful Breweries
Eat and Drink
March 2014
Reading time 5 minutes

There has been a revolution in beer over the past decade

Where once the major breweries and lager ruled the pumps, the smaller breweries are now taking over, and the North East is one of the best places to sample this wonderful phenomenon

Allendale Brewery Company
Created in 2006, the rapidly growing Allendale Brewery produces a wide range of craft ale from their brewery in a former lead smelt mill in the heart of the North Pennines. The ales are sold in pubs, restaurants, through the brewery directly and online, and are available in bottles, beer boxes, casks and kegs. Mobile bars are also available for parties.

Anarchy Brew Co
Set on luring lager drinkers to the world of real ale, the Anarchy Brew Co set up base at Whitehouse Farm near Morpeth and officially launched in 2012. The brewery is continually developing new beers and new methods, sometimes using unusual ingredients, and it opens its bar on the first Saturday of each month. Tours are also available by booking.

Big Lamp Brewery
The oldest microbrewery in the North East began life in 1982 at premises off Newcastle’s Westgate Road. Since its move to a site in the Tyne Riverside Country Park, Newburn, the Big Lamp Brewery has opened its own pub-restaurant-hotel, Keelman Lodge in a converted water pumping station. Head there for award-winning ales.

Black Paw Brewery
Black Paw Brewery is an independent microbrewery with enough space for ten barrels, in which they make several regular ales and some seasonal offerings too, including the Black Paw IPA, which is brewed to an authentic American recipe. The beers are sold bottled at pubs, fairs and shows regionwide, as well as through the brewery directly.

Durham Brewery
The oldest brewery in Durham and a pioneer of light and hoppy bitters, Durham Brewery supplies its real ales to the best cask ale pubs across the region and sells draught and bottled beers directly from its brewery or online shop. The portfolio includes light bitter, dark stout, wheat bear and Bavarian lagerbier, which takes three months to mature.

High House Farm Brewery
If you’ve never tried a spot of Matfen Magic, Auld Hemp or Nel’s Best gorgeous golden ale then you are in for a treat. The brewery, which is based at a 200-acre working farm, just half a mile from Hadrian’s Wall, is open to visitors. Families are welcome to take a 40-minute tour (and a tasting for adults), and there is a restaurant and tearoom on the site.

Jarrow Brewery
The Jarrow Brewery began brewing in the Robin Hood pub in 2002. It proved extremely popular and production was moved to a new premises, The Maltings Brewery Tap in South Shields. In 2013 the brewery acquired another premises, on the Bede Industrial Estate, and was able to expand their capacity five-fold. Rivet Catcher is particularly delicious.

Sonnet 43
Named after Victorian poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's most well known work, Sonnet 43 microbrewery, based in her hometown of Coxhoe, is focused on local history and traditional brewing practices. Their wide selection of beers are available to buy online, as well as from venues around the region, including their very own gastropubs.

Tyne Bank Brewery
Tyne Bank Brewery is the brainchild of Julia Austin and home to head brewer Mark McGarry, who combine traditional processes with 100 percent natural ingredients. The brewery can produce around 17,000 pints per week, and the selection includes ale that taste of pumpkin, mango and cherries – it’s a place that loves experimenting.

Wylam Brewery
Based in an old dairy farm, Wylam Brewery is the brainchild of Robin Leighton and John Boyle who started brewing in 2000. Sadly Robin died in 2005 but his three daughters retain an interest in the company and John Boyle’s son Matthew joined the family business. It now produces casks and bottles for the trade and private customers.

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