Five pubs and a brewery

 As many of you reading this may be aware, this weekend was the bloggers gathering known as twissup. If i tell you the first word is Twitter, I'm sure you can work out the second.
Living the isolated life in Northern Ireland I missed the first pub (Bacchus) and headed straight to the Tyne Bank brewery where a large number of unfamiliar faces were supping the free beers. We were treated to a talk about the brewery and the beer styles before returning downstairs for further beers.

Panda Frog Pandazilla
At this point people had started to wander in the direction of other various drinking establishments; so i stumbled toward the river where I was met with the sight of a gaggle (what is the collective term for a group of beer bloggers) spilling on to the pavement outside of the Free Trade Inn. Here we were not only treated to a fantastic selection of beers, (including Summer Wine Covenant, Hardknott Vitesse Noir and epic new effort from Mordue's Rob under alias Panda Frog - Pandazilla, 7%ABV) but a fantastic view across the Tyne too which became more stunning as the sun set. Rob of Panda Frog was in attendance and I collared him about the hops, but stupidly neglected to write it down. I met Hardknott Dave, Ann, Sooty and Alex along with their American brewer friends. Spent plenty of time outside too with tuff86 (Paul) and some tasty cheese courtesy of Mr Drink Match, though most of it had been demolished by the time I got any. Thanks for bringing that!

Team Hardknott out in force
Such was the choice of good beers that a good three hours were spent at the pub and could happily have stayed longer but there were plenty of other pubs to see. We strolled up the hill to the Cumberland Arms and found a good selection on cask and I selected the interestingly named Warlock. I also got a  cheeky sample of Camden Wheat whilst sat outside courtesy of Young Dredge (though being a full two years younger, perhaps my epithet should be Stephanos the Younger).

Time to move on again we caught a bus to the Newcastle Arms and I ran next door to grab some spring rolls to satisfy my growing beer munchies. Met with another great selection I went for the unusual sounding Boggart Walnut Porter.

The Toon Wall
A select bunch consisting Mnsr. Mogg, The Young Dredge, the brothers Pickthall, Mr Lozman and myself went to find further decent pubbage and ended up in the Town Wall, which does indeed have a Toon Wall (See Pic).  and a house beer brewed for it. The lightweights had to goto catch their train and Jeff and Steve put up with my company for a while longer so that I could get a chance to visit the fabled Bacchus. I was not disappointed and tried a couple of breweries new to me, Offbeat and Tempest. 

Mark gazes into the middle distance,
dreaming of the beer that got away.
At about 9:30pm we called it a night and I caught my metro back to the hotel, for I had to get up at 6:30 am the following morning. My first #twissup experience was great, everyone "behind the avatar" being very friendly and perfect beery folk to accompany an afternoon's drinking in a new town. If you haven't been on one before what's stopping you? I shall certainly be aiming to get along to the next one. 

Big thanks to Andy for co-ordinating the day, the guys at Tyne Bank for their hospitality, all of the pubs for putting up with so many of us and Jeff and Steve for putting up with me in particular. Cheers and see you next time!

I'll leave you with a pic of the aforementioned view and a caption competition of sorts!
Sunset over the Tyne


(I may even offer a prize if I get some entries!)

"to the next pub driver!"


  1. Nice write up Steve. I need to have think about that caption! :)
    I'll be back

  2. Nice one, glad you had a great time...still amazed you made it all the way from Ireland

  3. Surely a mispelling....it should read "Howay Maintenance"

  4. SWB Diablo is a killer; wonderful IPA as you say - ridiculously easy-going.

  5. I assume this comment ame after reading the beer fest post? I really enjoyed it and hope to try other SWB beers ASAP