The steam billowing over the White Bear Hotel’s rooftop is sated with malted barley. It’s an aroma-rich appetiser promising flavourful beer to come, but there’s a catch.
We’re breathing deeply on Black Sheep ale from the brewery behind, while the pub is the “tap” for T&R Theakston... [READ MORE]
When a barman’s first job of the day is to fill coal into a zinc bucket, you’d be right in thinking you’re somewhere rare. The red-brick and sandstone Victoria Inn in Durham is indeed precious.
It has no external signage save for a small a swinging board, while a couple of coach lamps and a row of pansy-profuse window boxes indicate “pub”. But step inside and drink in 1899.
When I mentioned I’d had a couple in The Steamboat in South Shields, a friend said: “Oh, I love that place, it’s a great old boozer.” In most respects, the term “old boozer” is not a compliment, but a pub sitting by the River Tyne close to the Customs House arts centre and the historic Mission To Seafarers satisfies that description in both association and syntax... [READ MORE]
Meet and Drink writer Alastair Gilmour regularly conducts beer events throughout the UK and internationally – tours and tastings that have included a platform suspended 30 metres above the River Tyne and a real ale festival in a Moscow nightclub – and was for several years on the judging panel of the Pilsner Urquell International Master Bartender programme. [READ MORE]
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