On the eternal search for a fabulous micro-brewery I seem to have stumbled on a rare gem! With the genetics of your parents there is always history to be learned, to be unearthed and in rare instances to be forgotten. My mothers side of the family are from The Northeast (where the Tyne bridge,Jimmy Nail and Cheryl Cole all seem to have a place in every Geordie’s heart ( OK maybe not the last one!)
Beer has long since been the drink of the North and the fortunes of Newcastle Brown Ale have declined in recent years. The advent of craft beer has seen the popularity of flavour and characteristic from beer to be evermore diverse.
Wylam brewery is one such small brewery that is producing great beers, great flavours and very much ‘on trend’
Having organised a brewery tour on-line with my fiancé I was somewhat dismayed (or pleased😉) that she decided not to come at the last-minute. (Why would she ! The tour was made up of 50 people 45 men 5 women ) I asked my nephew, Tom ( an 18-year-old) if he fancied a beer tour ! – guess you know the answer. There is a growing market for female drinkers and the breadth of their range will encompass that.
We made our way to the brewery on the outskirts of Newcastle town centre and were surprised that it was situated in the leafy suburbs of Jesmond. Now situated in a leafy park. It’s origins in a small village west of Newcastle (Wylam) Set up by 2 guys who , I guess , wanted to make a beer that was more popular than Newcastle Brown ale ( and arguably taste better) became friends and decided they were onto something.
Now The current owner Dave (see below)
presides over this brewery and is a very passionate and engaging guy. It’s a pleasure to see the owner of the company take the tour and interact with every person.
Having turned up with the nephew we were shown around the brewing area and sampled some Citra hops. Citra hops are prominent hops used to promote , as you would imagine, citrus flavours A very good exercise for the tasting later
Having seen the tour of the brewery we were shown to the tasting areas. You have not seen so many smiles on so many men’s faces. Like children in a sweet shop Dave and the chief brew-master talked us through four beers 2 on draught and 2 on cask
1st Collingwood Pale Ale – honey in flavour with a slight orange/ tangerine aroma citrus and pinewood on the palate
music pairing -Miles Davis A kind of blue
007 – stone fruit and gooseberry sherbet yum yum
music pairing -think crazy rock group pairings
Jakehead IPA – rocket fuel IPA rich bright and lots of hoppiness bittersweet with complex hop characteristics
Music pairing Robbie williams mixed with troubled mind of Jim Morrison
Redkite – ruby ale rich and malty. Think Jamie Cullum
So one thing I loved about this new brewery was all the flavours from all the beers were different and exciting. I’m not even a beer nerd but it was their attitude to the consumers and the branding that made this discovery exciting. All the guys were engaging, were very passionate and were very determined in the direction of the brewery in the marketplace.
They want to service the northeast and to grow that market And I like that … They grow their market and also keep themselves a craft brew company. A prerequisite in my mind of a very loyal following. Very canny !
On top of that. They just can’t get any cooler