Newcastle upon Tyne, located in the northeast of England, has a rich history when it comes to beer. The city has been brewing beer for centuries and has played a significant role in the country’s beer culture. From its origins as a bustling port city to its present-day reputation as a hub for craft beer, Newcastle upon Tyne has a beer scene that is worth exploring. In this article, we will delve into the city’s history of beer, the best pubs and bars to visit, the top breweries to explore, the best beers to try, the rise of craft beer, the best beer festivals and events, the best food and beer pairings, the best beer gardens, beer tours and tastings, and the future of beer in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The Rich History of Beer in Newcastle upon Tyne
Beer has been brewed in Newcastle upon Tyne for centuries, with its origins dating back to the medieval period. The city’s location on the River Tyne made it an ideal place for brewing, as it provided easy access to the necessary ingredients and transportation routes. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Newcastle upon Tyne became a major brewing center, with numerous breweries popping up throughout the city. These breweries played a significant role in the city’s economy and culture, employing thousands of people and providing a source of pride for the locals.
Some of the famous breweries from the past include Newcastle Breweries, which was established in 1890 and became one of the largest breweries in the country. The brewery was known for its flagship beer, Newcastle Brown Ale, which gained popularity both in the UK and internationally. Another notable brewery was the Tyne Brewery, which was founded in 1868 and produced a range of beers, including the iconic Newcastle Exhibition Ale. These breweries and their beers became synonymous with the city and contributed to its reputation as a beer destination.
A Guide to the Best Pubs and Bars in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne has a vibrant pub and bar scene, with establishments catering to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a traditional pub with a cozy atmosphere or a trendy bar with a wide selection of craft beers, you’ll find it in Newcastle upon Tyne. Some of the best places to grab a pint in the city include The Bridge Tavern, The Free Trade Inn, and The Cluny.
The Bridge Tavern is a popular choice for beer enthusiasts, as it is a microbrewery and pub rolled into one. Located on the iconic Newcastle Quayside, The Bridge Tavern offers a range of house-brewed beers, as well as guest beers from other local breweries. The pub also serves delicious food, making it a great spot for a pint and a meal.
The Free Trade Inn is another must-visit pub in Newcastle upon Tyne. Situated on the Ouseburn Valley, this pub offers stunning views of the city and the River Tyne. The Free Trade Inn is known for its extensive selection of cask ales and craft beers, with a rotating lineup of guest beers from local and national breweries. The pub also has a beer garden, where you can enjoy your pint while taking in the picturesque surroundings.
If you’re looking for live music and a vibrant atmosphere, The Cluny is the place to be. This popular bar and music venue is located in the Ouseburn Valley and hosts a variety of events, including live gigs, comedy shows, and film screenings. The Cluny has a well-curated beer selection, with a focus on craft beers from both local and international breweries. It also has a kitchen that serves tasty food, making it a great spot for a night out.
The Top Breweries to Visit in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is home to several top breweries that are worth visiting for beer enthusiasts. These breweries offer tours and tastings, allowing visitors to learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of beers. Some of the best breweries to visit in the city include Wylam Brewery, Almasty Brewing Co., and Box Social Brewing.
Wylam Brewery, located in the historic Exhibition Park, is one of the most renowned breweries in Newcastle upon Tyne. The brewery is housed in a beautiful Grade II listed building and offers tours and tastings, where visitors can learn about the brewing process and sample a range of beers. Wylam Brewery is known for its innovative and experimental beers, with a focus on hop-forward styles. The brewery also hosts events and live music, making it a popular destination for beer lovers and music enthusiasts alike.
Almasty Brewing Co. is another must-visit brewery in Newcastle upon Tyne. Founded in 2014, Almasty Brewing Co. has gained a reputation for producing high-quality and unique beers. The brewery focuses on small-batch brewing, allowing them to experiment with different ingredients and styles. Almasty Brewing Co. offers tours and tastings, where visitors can try their beers and learn about their brewing process. The brewery also has a taproom, where you can enjoy a pint or two in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Box Social Brewing is a relatively new brewery in Newcastle upon Tyne, but it has quickly made a name for itself in the craft beer scene. The brewery is known for its innovative and creative beers, with a focus on barrel-aged and sour styles. Box Social Brewing offers tours and tastings, where visitors can learn about their brewing process and sample their beers. The brewery also has a taproom, where you can enjoy their beers on-site.
The Best Beers to Try in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is home to a wide variety of beer styles, ranging from traditional ales to experimental brews. Whether you prefer a classic pint of bitter or a hoppy IPA, you’ll find something to suit your taste in the city. Some of the best beers to try in Newcastle upon Tyne include Newcastle Brown Ale, Wylam Jakehead IPA, and Almasty Simcoe IPA.
Newcastle Brown Ale is an iconic beer that is synonymous with the city. This classic English brown ale has a rich and malty flavor, with notes of caramel and toffee. Newcastle Brown Ale is a smooth and easy-drinking beer that pairs well with hearty dishes, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.
Wylam Jakehead IPA is a hop-forward beer that showcases the brewery’s commitment to producing high-quality and innovative beers. This American-style IPA is packed with citrus and tropical fruit flavors, with a balanced bitterness and a dry finish. Wylam Jakehead IPA is a bold and flavorful beer that is perfect for hop lovers.
Almasty Simcoe IPA is another must-try beer in Newcastle upon Tyne. This single-hop IPA showcases the unique characteristics of the Simcoe hop, with its piney and citrusy flavors. Almasty Simcoe IPA is a well-balanced and refreshing beer that is sure to satisfy any IPA enthusiast.
The Rise of Craft Beer in Newcastle upon Tyne
In recent years, Newcastle upon Tyne has seen a rise in the popularity of craft beer. Craft breweries have been popping up throughout the city, offering a wide range of innovative and unique beers. These breweries have gained a loyal following and have helped put Newcastle upon Tyne on the map as a craft beer destination. Some of the best craft breweries and bars to visit in the city include BrewDog Newcastle, The Town Mouse Ale House, and The Hop & Cleaver.
BrewDog Newcastle is part of the well-known BrewDog chain, which originated in Scotland. This craft beer bar offers a wide selection of BrewDog beers, as well as guest beers from other craft breweries. BrewDog Newcastle also has a kitchen that serves delicious food, making it a great spot for a beer and a bite to eat.
The Town Mouse Ale House is a cozy and welcoming pub that focuses on serving a range of craft beers. This traditional pub has a rotating lineup of guest beers from local and national breweries, ensuring that there is always something new and exciting to try. The Town Mouse Ale House also hosts regular events, including tap takeovers and meet the brewer nights.
The Hop & Cleaver is a brewpub that combines a brewery and a smokehouse. This unique establishment offers a range of house-brewed beers, as well as smoked meats and barbecue dishes. The Hop & Cleaver is known for its bold and flavorful beers, with a focus on smoked and barrel-aged styles. The brewpub also hosts events and live music, making it a popular destination for beer and music lovers.
The Best Beer Festivals and Events in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is home to several beer festivals and events that celebrate the city’s rich beer culture. These festivals and events provide an opportunity for beer enthusiasts to sample a wide variety of beers and learn about the brewing process. Some of the best events to attend in the city include the Newcastle Beer Festival, the Craft Beer Calling festival, and the Ouseburn Beer Festival.
The Newcastle Beer Festival is an annual event that showcases a wide range of beers from local and national breweries. The festival takes place at the Newcastle Cricket Club and features live music, food stalls, and a variety of beers to sample. The Newcastle Beer Festival is a great opportunity to try new beers and support local breweries.
Craft Beer Calling is a popular beer festival that takes place in Newcastle upon Tyne. This three-day event brings together breweries from around the world, offering a wide selection of craft beers to sample. Craft Beer Calling also features live music, street food vendors, and beer-related workshops and talks. The festival is a must-visit for craft beer enthusiasts and provides a unique opportunity to try beers from both local and international breweries.
The Ouseburn Beer Festival is a community-led event that celebrates the vibrant beer scene in the Ouseburn Valley. The festival takes place at the Tyne Bank Brewery and features a range of beers from local breweries, as well as live music and food stalls. The Ouseburn Beer Festival is a great opportunity to support local breweries and enjoy a day of beer, music, and food.
The Best Food and Beer Pairings in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is not only known for its beer, but also for its food. The city has a thriving food scene, with a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. Pairing food with beer can enhance the flavors of both, and Newcastle upon Tyne offers plenty of opportunities to explore this culinary combination. Some of the best food and beer pairings in the city include fish and chips with a traditional bitter, a juicy burger with a hoppy IPA, and a rich chocolate dessert with a stout.
Fish and chips is a classic British dish that pairs well with a traditional bitter. The crispiness of the batter and the flakiness of the fish complement the malty and slightly bitter flavors of the beer. The Bridge Tavern, located on the Newcastle Quayside, is a great place to enjoy this pairing, as they serve delicious fish and chips alongside their house-brewed beers.
A juicy burger is another popular dish that pairs well with beer, particularly a hoppy IPA. The hop bitterness and citrusy flavors of the IPA cut through the richness of the burger, creating a balanced and satisfying combination. The Town Mouse Ale House, located in the city center, is known for its selection of craft beers and delicious burgers, making it a great spot to enjoy this pairing.
For those with a sweet tooth, a rich chocolate dessert pairs perfectly with a stout. The roasted malt flavors and creamy mouthfeel of the stout complement the sweetness and richness of the chocolate, creating a decadent and indulgent pairing. The Hop & Cleaver, a brewpub located in the city center, offers a range of house-brewed stouts and delicious desserts, making it an ideal place to enjoy this combination.
The Best Beer Gardens in Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is blessed with several beer gardens where you can enjoy a pint in the sunshine. These beer gardens offer a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, making them the perfect place to unwind and socialize. Some of the best beer gardens to visit in the city include The Botanist, The Forth, and The Cumberland Arms.
The Botanist is a popular bar and restaurant located in the city center. The bar has a spacious beer garden that is adorned with plants and flowers, creating a tranquil and inviting space. The Botanist offers a wide selection of beers, as well as a menu of delicious food, making it a great spot to enjoy a pint and soak up the sun.
The Forth is a traditional pub located in the Ouseburn Valley. The pub has a large beer garden that overlooks the River Tyne, offering stunning views of the city. The Forth serves a range of cask ales and craft beers, as well as tasty pub food, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a pint in the sunshine.
The Cumberland Arms is a historic pub located in the Ouseburn Valley. The pub has a charming beer garden that is surrounded by trees and greenery, creating a peaceful and secluded space. The Cumberland Arms offers a range of cask ales and guest beers, as well as live music and events, making it a popular destination for beer and music lovers.
A Guide to Beer Tours and Tastings in Newcastle upon Tyne
If you’re interested in learning more about the brewing process and sampling a variety of beers, Newcastle upon Tyne offers several beer tours and tastings. These tours and tastings provide an opportunity to visit breweries, meet the brewers, and gain a deeper understanding of the beer-making process. Some of the best tours and tastings to attend in the city include the Wylam Brewery tour, the Almasty Brewing Co. tasting, and the Box Social Brewing tour.
Wylam Brewery offers guided tours that take visitors behind the scenes of their brewing process. The tour includes a visit to the brewhouse, where you can see the brewing equipment in action, as well as a tasting of their beers. The tour also provides an opportunity to learn about the history of the brewery and its beers. Wylam Brewery tours are a great way to gain insight into the brewing process and sample a range of high-quality beers.
Almasty Brewing Co. offers tastings at their taproom, where visitors can sample their beers and learn about their brewing process. The tasting includes a flight of beers, allowing you to try a variety of styles and flavors. The staff at Almasty Brewing Co. are knowledgeable and passionate about their beers,