34. Take a tour of Tyne Bank Brewery

A couple of months back now, our quiz team – the Heaton Hinnies – won tickets for a tour of the Tyne Bank Brewery. We initially felt pretty smug about our prize but then Les (our quiz master and basically my favourite person in the world) kind of ruined this by literally giving away as many tours as he could every week. Ah well.

Nonetheless we were still eager to give the tour a go and so headed down to the brewery yesterday daytime and enjoyed a couple of pre-tour pints!

Tyne Bank Brewery has recently moved to a new, much bigger building after a successful crowdfunding campaign. I don’t think you could visit the last brewery so I am not sure what it used to be like, but it is just LOVELY now. It’s a huge open space with a bar (obviously), books, board games, a dart board, football table and table tennis. 

The tour itself was pretty intimate and incredibly laid back. Our group included only ourselves and two other men and we were able to wander around with a pint in hand. Our tour guide was a lovely chap called Joe and he was more than happy to answer all of our questions (mainly from Bridie) let us take random photographs (again I’m looking at you, Bridie) and tolerate the stealing of stickers (anddd that’s Bridie again).

I was a bit foolish yesterday, I went out for breakfast but then skipped lunch and so I already felt a bit tipsy by the time the tour began. This could have left this blog post entirely devoid of any facts, but fortunately I had Newcastle’s greatest quiz team on hand to help me out. Between them they’ve managed to remember that:

One of the two brewers at Tyne Bank Brewery is genuinely called Adam Brewer. As in A.Brewer. Mind blown.

Japanese hops taste soapy, New Zealand hops taste like gooseberries and American hops are tropical.

A cask holds 30 litres and costs from £64 to £90.

The brewery experiment with all sorts of flavours to make new ales. They currently have a rhubarb and custard one on the go, had a Creme Egg one at Easter time and, most excitingly of all, are in the process of developing a Harry Potter ale! Apparently it’s going to involve butterscotch and be served warm. Wow.

Joe isn’t allowed to name the beers, but totally should be allowed to name beers because for a pint of gueuze he came up with the name Frankie Gueuze to Hollywood. You have our complete support, Joe!

Bridie and Molly also both had the number 72 written down, but none of us can remember why. If anyone does a tour please feel free to let us know its significance!

We hadn’t realised that alcohol was included as part of the tour, but once it was done we were given four tasters each! 

I am not going to lie – I’ve completely forgotten which ales we tried, I just know I enjoyed the light ones and struggled with the dark ones. What a sophisticated description of beer tasting.

I do thoroughly recommend the tour for anyone who has an interest in beer brewing or just enjoys a pint. And if my words haven’t convinced you then maybe this face of absolute joy will… 


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