Newcastle, it’s not just home to some of the countries most passionate and knowledgeable football fans, it didn’t just give us, Greggs, Gazza and ‘Chezza’ Tweedy-Cole-Fernandez-Versini, it’s also the home of some of the UK’s best breweries. In fact, we’d go as far as to say we’ve never met a Newcastle beer we didn’t like.
To celebrate their brewing genius here’s a rundown of the 16 Funkiest breweries in Newcastle and the region’s best beers. Howay man!
Almasty Brewing Co
The brainchild of head brewer Mark McGarry, Almasty create smooth rich beverages and every year push the boundaries in search of exciting new flavours making them one to keep coming back to. The ‘Almasty’ was actually a Russian tribe of hairy, wild people. Seems strange until you meet the Almasty Brewing team, then it makes so much sense! But a friendly and brilliant team creating top beverages.
Smoking Brew, 4.6% – A dark German smoked ale made using malts smoked over beach, peat and oak with a tickle of hickory.
Black Storm Brewery
Run by blokes who still don’t consider brewing a ‘proper job’, Black Storm is building a growing reputation for great beer that (unlike Newcastle United) travels well but is best enjoyed within dancing distance of the Tyne. They’re being stocked in an ever-growing range of pubs and stores and are sure to keep going from strength to strength.
Tropical Storm, 4.2% – Tropical, as the name suggests, is a beer for a summer’s day down the beach. It doesn’t get more Newcastle than that!
Owned and operated by a father and son team, Ross and Steve Holland, this is perhaps every father’s dream, that one day he’ll be brewing his own beer with his son to help him. In reality, the dream is a good one as the beer is incredibly drinkable, it also looks really cool and yes, we want a beer that tastes and looks good.
Gentleman’s Nectar, 4.2% – Available in cans, ready to take home for your own Box Social, this is a great British beer that delivers on flavour.
The Bridge Tavern
Sitting in the stanchions of Newcastle’s most famous bridge, this Geordie institution should really have a blue plaque already because, in our humble opinion, this is a cultural as life gets. Great locals, serving fantastic food in a building packed with personality and history. It’s also packed with their own beer, brewed on site. The food is worth a mention too, you’ll go for the beer and stay for the grub.
The Bridge brews 360-pint batches so the range of excellent pints on offer are as changeable as Geordie sunshine.
Brinkburn St Brewery
Situated in the Byker area of the city (that gave us Ant and Dec), this friendly bar and kitchen is a must for people who love good food and good beer. Brinkburn not only do both, but they also do them exceptionally well. Leaving behind the snobbery of brewing, they are busy creating beers for everyone, best served with their own special ‘Northern tapas’.
Hop Grenade, 6.4% – A heavy hitter for sure but has light tropical notes and rich hoppy aroma.
Hidden away in an old Victorian railway arch, Errant is one of the city’s unsung heroes, made by beer lovers, for beer lovers. They’re also brilliant fun and recognise that people enjoy beer and enjoy the social fun nature of it. They’ve packed that into not only the marketing but also the fantastic flavours they create. Artisan beer at its finest!
Werewolves not Swearwolves, 4.2% – A pale straw wheat beer, carries notes of watermelon, banana and cloves.
Hadrian Border Brewery
With a brewing history dating back to 1994 when a small brewer was making just 2 barrels a week, the success of their brilliant beers means that the Hadrian Border Brewery is now putting out 200 barrels a week. A brewery that has grown as the demand and passion for its pints has increased, there is surely more to come from these guys in the future.
Farne Island, 4.0% – If you’re only going to sample one then this is definitely the beer to savour.
High House Farm Brewery
Ok, if you want a brewery with a feel-good factor, High House Farm it is. Not only is this a 200-acre working farm, but it also has a fantastic restaurant, stunning views, is heaped in history, they even host weddings. A wedding in a brewery…? Well if you’re going to be dragged kicking and screaming down the aisle it should be somewhere that brews its own beer.
Nel’s Best, 4.2% – A rich and formidable bitter for true ale lovers. Watch out for their Nettle Ale made from stinging nettles, available late spring.
This multi-award-winning brewery has bagged Champion Beer of Britain trophies and they are everything that is good about craft beer, showing the big boys how it should be done, focusing on the really important things, like flavour! When beer is this good it makes you wish weekends and evenings were longer. It also makes us wish we lived closer to Newcastle.
Pandamonium, 5.5% – An American style IPA that has a touch of California sunshine and vintage Buicks about it.
Newcastle Brewing Ltd
Another dream father and son team, they are proud to have 70 years drinking experience between them that they’ve put to good use. Having started in a garage (like all the best man ideas), Newcastle Brewing Ltd has grown to commercial sale, thank goodness, which means the likes of you and us can now sample its budding beers.
Thai Haze, 3.7% – With a hint of Thai chillies, ginger and lemongrass this is the perfect beer for a night in with a takeaway.
Newcastle Brown Ale
Even more Newcastle than Alan Shearer’s single raised hand, ‘Nookie Brown’ dates back over 90 years and is one of the city’s most famous and lasting symbols. It’s also delicious! Having made a recent resurgence, it’s now a huge hit in America but forget trends, class never fades, and this enduring drink is still available across the UK.
No introduction necessary.
The brewery’s back story is as inspired as its pints. Having started in an old shipping container they lovingly named ‘the lab’, the brewery uses 100% natural ingredients and is also suitable for vegans. It’s also suitable for people who love great beer, and it’s companies like Northern Alchemy that make British brewing so exciting. Run by two true alchemists, may their seemingly magical powers continue to prosper.
Grapefruit & Rosemary Sour, 4.4% – A beer of such quality it can be found in the Brewdog Bar, Newcastle.
Now for something completely different, a student-run brewery based at Newcastle University. Who knew students and alcohol would be such a great mix? Ok, so we joke, but the results are actually brilliant. You will probably have to head to one of the campus pubs to sample it, but it’s definitely worth it.
Lab Session, 4.3% – A light, refreshing pale ale with a rich, wheaty aroma.
Town Mouse Ale House
OK, Captain Pedantic, yes, the Town Mouse Ale House doesn’t brew its own beer, however, it is such a strong and passionate representative of craft breweries we simply had to include it. Well known and loved by local beer enthusiasts, if you’re heading to the Toon for a visit, this fantastic pub should be at top of your to-do list.
Ask the friendly team what they’re recommending this week.
Tyne Bank Brewery
A brewery that features ‘open mic nights’, ‘chill out Sundays’, live music, and more, why wouldn’t you love Tyne Bank Brewery? It’s one of the coolest places in the city that just so happens to produce a stunning beer which you can buy on draft or in bottle and cans to take away and enjoy at home. And oh, how you will!
Equilibrium, 4.1% – A delicate, hoppy pale ale with a light, fruity nose and wonderfully balanced flavour.
Another brilliant location, Wylam Brewery are the very heart of good times and good taste, residing in the Palace of Arts. Home to live music, exhibitions, even weddings, we would shed a tear or two if we had to give one of these away. Everything you would expect of the venue; the finished products are packed with style but also really delivers on substance.
Just About Midnight, 5.6% – A dark creamy porter with a raw cocoa punch and sweet hints of coconut.