Week 8 takes us to the Metropolitan County of Tyne & Wear, created in 1974 it comprises of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland. The Metropolitan county was made up of regions from Northumberland, north of the River Tyne and Durham, South of the River Tyne. This is a maritime and industrial area where shipbuilding was the major industry with ship-yards all along the Tyne, there was also a monopoly of coal shipments down the east coast. The main geographic features would be the 2 river mouths that the county is based around.
Newcastle was originally founded by the Romans as Pons Aelius (Hadrian’s Bridge) around 2nd Century AD, Hadrian’s wall starts from what is now Wallsend in Newcastle. After the Romans left it was settled by Anglo Saxons creating the kingdom of Northumbria, with Pont Aelius becoming Monkchester. The area was later ravaged by the Danes and the settlements along the Tyne destroyed over this period and with subsequent battles against the Norman invaders. The Normans realised the strategic position and built a castle at the crossing calling it Novum Castellum, subsequently New Castle. During the Civil War Newcastle was a Royalist stronghold but became besiege by Cromwell’s Army and Scots allies. Sunderland was founded around early settlements at the mouth of the Wear, the most significant being the monastery of Monkwearmouth mentioned by the Venerable Bede. This also became a ship-building area and also an exporter of salt and coal.
The Angel of the North is a dramatic monument as you approach Tyne & Wear from the South.
We have 34 currently active Breweries for Tyne and Wear and 18 closed, for a total of 52. There are 6 of these which are Client / Commissioner brewers.
The oldest active Brewery we have for the area is Big Lamp Brewers (Est 1982). However this really ignores a couple of historically important brewers in Tyne & Wear. Firstly Newcastle Breweries (Tyne Brewery) the originators of the famous Newcastle Brown Ale were brewing as far back as 1749, their celebrated brand coming much later, but more of that later in the week. In Sunderland the principal brewer was Vaux (Est 1806) lasting for nearly 200 years within the city. The Brewery had expanded into running hotels by the 1990’s and was persuaded by Deutsch Bank to close their brewing operations and renaming to Swallow Group, which was subsequently eaten up by the disastrous Whitbread company.
The brewery with the largest range in Tyne & Wear on Ratebeer is Wylam Brewery with 245 beers listed.
Wylam Brewery was also named as Ratebeer’s Best Brewery for 2019 for Tyne & Wear, their collaboration with Buxton – Northern Powerhouse Brew Series 001 named as the best beer in 2019. The best new Brewery for 2019 was named as Alpha Delta Brewing.
The Top 10 Beers for Tyne & Wear are –
- Wylam Thank Your Lucky Stars
- Wylam / Finback Paying the Price for My Smooth Ride
- Wylam / Old Chimneys Summon up the Blood
- Wylam Imperial Macchiatto
- Wylam Intracitra Overdrive
- Wylam / Other Half is There Music in your Dreams
- Wylam / Track Open (2) Persuasion
- Wylam / Anchor Kill Phil Pt. 1
- Wylam I’m Not Mary
- Wylam / Hawkshead Pleasures in Darkness
In fact the whole of the top 30 is made up of Wylam beers, I checked this a few times to make sure it was correct.
The Top 5 Places for Tyne & Wear are –
- Free Trade Inn, Byker, Newcastle – 90
- Bacchus, Newcastle – 90
- Wylam Brewery, Newcastle – 89
- BrewDog Newcastle, Newcastle – 86
- Lady Grey’s, Newcastle – 84
The Top 5 Raters for Tyne & Wear are –