Back into the North East of England for week 19 we have County Durham to give it it’s commonly used title. It’s historic borders were the Tyne and Tees rivers but the years have reduced the county in size considerably. It has borders with Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and North Yorkshire these days. This was part of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the post Roman period, Durham, the county town, wasn’t founded really until 995AD when St. Cuthberts remains were brought to Dunhelm, a defensive position on the Wear, to protect them from Viking raiders. A fortified church was built leading to the founding of the city of Durham, the bishops of Durham acquiring surrounding land to form the County of Durham. The city of Durham was parliamentarian during the Civil War, supplying the Scottish Army for the attack on the Newcastle Kings Army. The county had a large coal mining industry, largely disappeared now but leaving an area looking for new industries for the working population. The county was also significant in the development of the Railways.
The North Pennines are the significant geographical feature designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are the two large dales of Teesdale and Weardale. Many of the fells in the county reach above 2,000ft, feeling rugged and remote. Durham itself isn’t the largest area of population in the county, these would be Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees.
In Durham we have a total of 49 Breweries with a large proportion of 20 now closed unfortunately. There are 8 Commissioner / Client Brewers amongst these.
The oldest Brewery we have is Cameron’s Brewery of Hartlepool (Est 1865), it became the largest independent Brewer in the North East of England at one point having 750 licensed premises. Due to the downturn of the economy of the area in the 70’s and 80’s the brewery struggled, losing its independence in 1974, from that point having a chequered history of take overs and buy outs. Eventually Cameron’s was sold on to Castle Eden in 2002, with the purchasers moving into the Hartlepool brewery and undertaking largely contract brewing production.
The Brewery with the largest range in Durham is Durham Brewery (Est 1994) with 153 beers on Ratebeer.
The 2020 Ratebeer awards gave us Donzoko Brewing as best Brewery and S43 Upper Hutt as best beer for Durham.
The Top 10 Beers for Durham are –
- Durham Temptation
- S43 Such Great Heights
- Durham Diabolus
- S43 Go Go Juice
- Durham Finchale Abbaye
- Steam Machine Treacle Toffee Stout
- Durham Redemption
- Durham Imperious
- S43 Upper Hutt
- Sonnet 43 Miss Scarlet’s Revolver Toasted Coconut Mocha Porter
The Top Bars / Pubs in County Durham are –
- Quakerhouse, Darlington – 81
- Rat Race Ale House, Hartlepool – 80
- Victoria Inn, Durham – 79
- Number Twenty Two (Village Brewer), Darlington – 77
- Head of Steam Durham - 76
- Station House, Durham – 76
The Top 5 Raters of Beers from Durham are –
You will require just 27 beers from County Durham to get into the top 50.
The Rater who lives in County Durham with the most ratings is –
@danlo – who is definitely still rating on here.