Real Ale is growing in popularity and there’s a stream of real ale festivals springing up all over the region. Fans of Real Ale are spoilt for choice in the North East of England and we’ve had a look around at what’s on offer to tempt taste buds.
Durham has a long tradition of brewing and The Stables Pub and Micro Brewery near Beamish is a real treat. There’s also The Durham Brewery with its citrusy Inspiration, smooth White Amarillo or the hoppy flavoured White Whooper. This brewery uses endless combinations of malt, yeast and whole hops from around the world to create amazing flavours.
2010’s winner of CAMRA’s Durham Pub of the Year award is the Surtees Arms that is attached to the Yard of Ale Brewery and proves really popular with real ale drinkers.
If you fancy taking a trip up the road, Northumberland is also home to a number of visitor-breweries. There’s the Northumberland Brewery in Bedlington that offers a superb range of seasonal ales along with a range of firm favourites such as Emotion Ale, Another Fine Mess and Pit Pony.
The Wylam Brewery, from its former dairy farm base, produces award winning beers and the Gold Tankard – champion beer of the CAMRA Tyneside and Daren Lancashire Festivals is a must!
The Hexhamshire Brewery and the Dipton Mill Inn are worth stopping off at too. Ale is brewed using a range of locally sourced speciality malts and English Hops.
Matfen’s High House Farm Brewery grows its barley on-site and is a definite winner with real ale lovers and if you visit, you must sample Lindisfarne Mead, an infusion of honey, fermented grape juice and herbs produced by St Aidan’s Winery.
If you fancy something with a twist, a few miles away from Matfen is the Alnwick Rum Company that offers a spicy, chocolaty beverage, a smooth tasting ale with a kick.
In Hartlepool’s Tees Valley, there’s Cameron’s Brewery, formerly known as The Lion Brewery. For over 150 years this brewery has been using water from its own well and locally sourced ingredients to produce delicious craft ales. There’s a dedicated visitor centre including a licensed bar, which tells the story of a social history, endeavour and innovation.
The oldest microbrewery in the North East is The Big Lamp, situated on the River Tyne in the village of Newburn. Close by is The Keelman’s Lodge serving Big Lamp Bitter – well worth a try.
The North East of England boasts some of the finest real ales and the following are also definitely worth a try: Hadrian and Border Brewery, Mordue Brewery, Maxim Brewery and the Darwin Brewery.
For help on planning an ale tour, just visit here for further information.