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The Great British Beer Festival saw a North East contingent spreading the word about our great breweries and beers

Customers being served beer
Customers being served beer

The weather might not have been up to much this week, so it’s time to break out the liquid sunshine at one of the many beer festivals taking place across the North East in the next few weeks.

The annual Warkworth Beer Festival takes place next weekend, August 22-25, and will showcase some brand new beers.

Now in its fourth year, the event once again takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend at Warkworth Cricket Club, opening its doors on Friday evening and continuing through until Monday evening. The 10 beers come from the cream of North East breweries with highlights including brand new beers from Cullercoats, Allendale, Three Kings and Pandafrog Breweries and the Newcastle’s newest addition, Almasty Brewery run by Mark McGarry, making their debut outside the city. There will also be four real ciders and food available all weekend, and there will be cricket being played on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and a family fun day on the Monday.

Beers include Cullercoats Admiral (4.7%), a single-hopped pale ale using British Admiral hops; Dart Frog 48 from Pandafrog (4.7%), a German-style dark wheat beer; Sagrada from Three Kings (4%), a one-off beer using Simcoe hops; Super Pale Ale from new brewery Almasty (4.4%), and black pale ale Dark Exposure (4.2%) from Tyne Bank. Entry is £5 (free for CAMRA members) which includes a commemorative glass, and half pint tokens are £1.50.

Meanwhile the Berwick Beer Festival takes place next month. Part of the wider Berwick Food & Beer Festival, the beer festival is an integral part of the weekend and will take place from midday on Friday September 12 until 10pm on Sunday September 14 on the Parade Green opposite the town’s historic Barracks. We’ll have more detail closer to the time, but local brewers already confirmed include Bear Claw, Tempest, Scottish Borders, Wylam, Allendale, Hadrian Border, Tyne Bank, Jarrow, Mordue and Anarchy. Guests ales from north of the border will include Fyne Ales, Cromarty Brewery (Black Isle), Alchemy and Williams Bros.

Some of the North East’s finest craft ales and ciders will be on offer at a special festival being held at Cullercoats this month.

On Saturday and Sunday August 30-31, the Sandpiper, at Farringdon Road, will host its first ever beer and cider festival amid a weekend of family fun and entertainment, in collaboration with Wylam and Cullercoats breweries, Firebrick Brewery at Blaydon, Anarchy Brew Co. Morpeth and Matfen-based High House Farm Brewery.

Each will be showcasing three ales at the festival and there will also be a trio of ciders, along with food and family-based activities over the course of the weekend.

On Saturday 30 there will be a bouncy castle and face painter, followed by a barbecue from 4pm to 9pm. On Sunday there will be a magician, a carvery from 12-4pm, free curry from 6pm-9pm and live entertainment throughout the evening.

Well done also to the large contingent from the North East’s beer industry and community who headed down to London to spread the word about the great North East scene to the rest of the country at the self-styled Britain’s biggest pub – the Great British Beer Festival.

The 37th such gathering was held at London’s Olympia exhibition centre with an estimated 55,000 attending over six days.

And why wouldn’t they? With more than 900 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers, it’s no wonder it attracts brewers, pub traders and beer enthusiasts from all over the UK and beyond.

Although North East breweries have won awards in the past, 2014 wasn’t their year with none of the region’s brewers featuring in the Champion Beer of Britain Awards.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer