mmm… and glug… best RateBeer retailer in region

Simone Clarkin mmm glug - Ratebeer award 1

mmm… and glug… has been named as the best place to buy craft beer in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.

The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.

mmm glug Firebrick Brewer RateBeermmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is delighted to have been recognised in the awards, which many see as the most accurate source for beer information in the world.

She said: “We are so pleased that beer drinkers from the region and beyond have taken the time to rate the bottles and cans they bought from us, as well as praising our beer knowledge and customer service.

“The award is also a testament to the many great craft breweries we have worked with in the North East for over five years to constantly bring beers that our customers want to enjoy.

“We are always looking to find new ales and to organise events where people can meet the brewers who make their favourite tipples.

“Our congratulations also go to Newcastle’s Bacchus and Bridge Tavern, named as the region’s best pub and brewpub respectively in the RateBeer awards – very worthy winners indeed.”

mmm… and glug… is set to celebrate its tenth birthday this May, after moving to its 1,500 square foot Grainger Street store in late 2017 from the Grainger Market.

As well as over 300 different bottles and cans on its shelves, the store sells small producer wines, spirits and a wealth of international food ingredients.

With over 30,000 followers on social media the store is also set to launch an online ‘click and collect’ and delivery website in 2018, as well as an event and tasting space.

mmm… and glug…, which opened in 2008, stocks locally produced food and drink and supports more than 200 small food and drink producers and distributors from the north east and beyond.

About RateBeer

Since May 2000, RateBeer has remained an active forum for beer lovers to come together and share opinions of beers, and beer retailers in a free environment.

Established and maintained by dedicated volunteers, RateBeer has become the premier resource for consumer-driven beer ratings.

It also hosts features on beer culture and industry events, weekly beer-related editorials, and the internationally recognized, annual RateBeer Best competition.

A vibrant community of hundreds of thousands of members from more than 100 countries have rated hundreds of thousands of different beers around the world.

Want to know more?

Sign up for news about our food, drink and tasting events …

Hepple Gin tasting event at mmm… and glug…

Hepple Gin at mmm... and glug...

mmm… and glug… are hosting a free Hepple Gin tasting this Saturday (10 March) from 1pm for customers to try their award-winning Northumberland gin.

Hepple are rooted in the Northumbrian Moors, one of the most botanically vibrant environments in England, where they pick their green juniper and other wild aromatic plants that money cannot buy.

Hepple uses three techniques to capture the full range of flavour from their botanicals bringing them as alive in the bottle as they were in the hills!

They are a copper pot still. a Co2 extraction system and a rotary evaporator.

But enough of that, what does it taste like …

Hepple Gin tasting notes

Hepple Gin tasting at mmm and glugOn the nose…
There is an immediate fresh scent of green apple, bright grapefruit and spicy juniper.

This then opens up to reveal underlying notes of Douglas Fir, and fragrant blackcurrant.

On sipping …
The initial fresh citrus flavours evolve into unexpected ripe cantaloupe melon, the spicy fragrant juniper continues to coat the palate.

There is a luscious sweet mouthfeel, which is both juicy and quenching.

The finish …
Extremely long and this is where the juniper reveals itself further with flavours alternating between sandalwood and cedar with a notable savoury presence that complements the sweet blackcurrant and liquorice.

The sweet juiciness is maintained throughout the finish.

Cocktail ideas from Hepple Gin.

Want to know more?

Muckle Brewing ales at mmm… and glug…

Muckle Brewing at mmm

Muckle Brewing is a tiny brewery with big values and mighty flavours – and we are delighted to be holding a ‘meet the brewer’ at mmm… and glug… on Saturday, 5 August 2017 from 1pm.

Situated close to Hadrian’s Wall, in an idyllic rural setting, Muckle select the best grains and hops to create ales with layers of flavour, a strong head and a refreshing taste.

Many years of brewing experimentation, testing, successes and failures have culminated in the development of Muckle Brewing’s inaugural five ales.

Definition: Muckle – Northumberland and Scottish dialect – great, massive, huge. In Northumberland used mainly as an adjective to describe big, large or mighty; muckle house, muckle tree.

What we sell at mmm…

Muckle Brewing ales at mmmMuckle Buster red ale
Windshields Crag marks the highest point of Hadrian’s Wall from where dramatic views open across Kielder Forest and the Cheviot Hills in the north; over purple heather moorlands leading to Cold Fell in the south; to the Solway Firth and Criffell in the west and to the east the Wall weaving and climbing along the Great Whin Sill ridge past mirrored loughs and roman forts.

Muckle Buster, a fruity red ale, is inspired by the radiant sunsets across the big skies of the Solway Firth where Hadrian’s Wall marches westward to the coast.

Muckle Chuckle amber ale
Haltwhistle Burn rises from the peaty uplands of Hadrian’s Wall Country in the shadow of the Great Whin Sill.

Gathering strength on its journey to the South Tyne Valley, it tumbles through a dramatic sandstone gorge with densely wooded banks, descending through an industrial heritage of wool, coal, lime and brick; now home to red squirrel, roe deer, otter, heron and dipper.

Muckle Chuckle, a refreshing amber ale with layers of flavour, is crafted around the sound of the burn bubbling and chuckling over and around the dark, mossy stones of Haltwhistle Burn Gorge.

Muckle Tickle bitter
During the summer months, wander through the graceful grasses and flowers of the upland hay meadows of Northumberland; bare calves brushed and tickled by the fescue grasses and flowers and seed heads of Wood Cranesbill and Meadow Buttercup; singing Skylarks hovering overhead and sun shining.

Muckle Tickle, a refreshing light bitter, is crafted of the calmness, tranquillity and colour of that sunny Hay Meadow in Hadrian’s Wall Country.

Muckle Moss Stout
Moss is the name used for the peat bogs and mires that scatter the hills and moors of Northumberland. Wrapped in myth and legend the mosses are places of unsure footing and deep, black peat-stained pools.

Muckle Moss, a National Nature Reserve, is situated in the undulating cuested landscape of Hadrian’s Wall Country and is a place of Curlew and Snipe, Bog Rosemary and Cotton Grass.

Muckle Moss Stout mirrors the character of the Moss. Rich, dark, aromatic with a good strong head the colour of Cotton Grass.

Whin Sill Blonde ale
The Great Whin Sill is a narrow, north facing ridge of hard dolerite rock running across Northumberland. Formed from cooled magma the rugged, rocky outcrop of the Whin Sill provides a dramatic backbone for Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans in 122 AD.

Whin Sill Blonde is brewed with Progress and Bramling Cross hops; giving an initial citrus flavour, followed by sweet grass and then a biscuity finish.

Refreshing and light, perfect for a warm sunny summers day.

Want to know more about Muckle Brewing?

Thanks to Muckle Brewing for the information and (c) images on this page.

Help offered for Father’s Day beer buyers

A Newcastle shop is hoping to help Father’s Day shoppers who don’t know their bitters from their IPAs to find the perfect pint.

mmm… and glug… has enlisted the help of Blaydon-based Firebrick Brewery to host a beer tasting for non-beer lovers on Saturday, 17 June.

mmm glug Father's DayThe free event, being held in the Grainger Arcade from 12 noon onwards, will hopefully make it easy for local mums, sons and daughters (aged 18 and over) to pick the perfect local beers.

Firebrick will be tasting some of their most popular beers, including ‘Wey-Aye PA’ pale ale and ‘Toon Broon’ brown ale.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is hoping to not only help out non-beer lovers find the right Father’s Day gift, but also to see new converts to local beers.

She said: “We regularly hold meet the brewer events, but this one will be slightly different as we are aiming it at family members who might not really know what they should buy.

“We will be helping out lots of local shoppers to pick the right beers – and hopefully try a few out themselves.

“Craft beers are becoming more and more popular and great local breweries like Firebrick are helping to spread the word of just how good north east beers can be.”

The free Father’s Day tasting (for over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 12 noon on Saturday, 17 June.

About Firebrick Brewery

Firebrick is the epitome of a good craft brewery and currently produces twelve beer brands.

Four of these brands are linked to the seasons and make its Mystical Range; the other eight belong to its Heritage Range, which is inspired by the history of Blaydon and the North East of England.

Want to know more before Father’s Day?

Other events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Saturday, 27 May: Lilliard Gin tasting – meet Kate the distiller and  taste her award-winning Jedburgh small batch craft gin
  • Saturday, 3 June: Flashhouse Brewing meet the brewer – come and taste Jack O’Keefe’s latest North Shields-brewed ales, including his new chocolate coffee stout
  • Patagonian wine tasting (date tbc)
  • Summer fruit beer tasting (date tbc)
  • Ooft! meet the maker – come and taste hot Scotch Bonnet pepper and smoky chipotle sauces (date tbc)
  • Meet the Hogarth honey bees – come and meet 10,000 of our honey making bees and taste this year’s summer honey (date tbc)
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Brinkburn St Brewery ‘Groovy Juice’ at mmm…

Brinkburn St Brewery Groovy Juice at glug...

Say hello to (and of course taste) Brinkburn St Brewery’s Groovy Juice at mmm… and glug… this Saturday (8 April) from 1pm.

This ‘New England’-style IPA comes in at 6.0% ABV and is made with seven different hop varieties – Azacca, Cascade, Simcoe (US), Olicana (UK) & Sticklebract, Wai-iti, Waimea (New Zealand).

Rolled flaked oats included in the mash give an enhanced mouth feel, together with an “orangey” appearance and a very juicy character!

It begs the question ‘CAN YOU DIG IT??’ 

About Brinkburn St Brewery

Brinkburn St Brewery was formed in January 2015 by founder Lee Renforth and started brewing in September 2015, after a nine month period of set-up and trial brewing.

Since then, Brinkburn has brewed over 20 different beers that they have tested in over one hundred pubs and clubs in Tyneside and further afield in an attempt to try to identify what real/craft ale drinkers like.

Their core range (all stocked at mmm… and glug… when available) are:

  • Session beers (ABV 3.6 – 4.2%) – Canny Sculler (ABV 3.6%), Byker Blonde (ABV 4.0%) and Byker Hill Bitter (ABV 4.2%)
  • Mid-strength ales (ABV 4.3 – 4.8%) – Byker Brown Ale (ABV 4.8%), Tino (ABV 4.8%) and Geordie Pagoda (ABV 4.8%)
  • Hop-head ales (ABV 5.0%+) – Fools Gold – Remastered (ABV 5.0%), The Pursuit of Hoppiness 2016 (ABV 5.2%) and Hop Gremlin (ABV 5.6%).

Want to know more?

Taste Northumberland-distilled Hepple Gin at mmm…

Hepple Gin at mmm... and glug...

Chris Garden – Head Distiller at Hepple Gin will be at mmm… and glug… this Saturday (1 April) from 1pm for a free tasting of his award-winning Northumberland gin.

Hepple are rooted in the Northumbrian Moors, one of the most botanically vibrant environments in England, where they pick their green juniper and other wild aromatic plants that money cannot buy.

Hepple uses three techniques to capture the full range of flavour from their botanicals bringing them as alive in the bottle as they were in the hills!

They are a copper pot still. a Co2 extraction system and a rotary evaporator.

But enough of that, what does it taste like …

Hepple Gin – tasting notes

Hepple Gin at mmm and glugOn the nose…
There is an immediate fresh scent of green apple, bright grapefruit and spicy juniper.

This then opens up to reveal underlying notes of Douglas Fir, and fragrant blackcurrant.

On sipping …
The initial fresh citrus flavours evolve into unexpected ripe cantaloupe melon, the spicy fragrant juniper continues to coat the palate.

There is a luscious sweet mouthfeel, which is both juicy and quenching.

The finish …
Extremely long and this is where the juniper reveals itself further with flavours alternating between sandalwood and cedar with a notable savoury presence that complements the sweet blackcurrant and liquorice.

The sweet juiciness is maintained throughout the finish.

Cocktail ideas from Hepple Gin.

Chris Garden - Hepple GinMeet the distiller at mmm… and glug…

Chris Garden – Master Distiller at Hepple.

Chris originally worked as head distiller at London-based Sipsmith for over five years before moving to the wilds of Northumberland with his young family.

Chris is a graduate from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh.

Want to know more?

Pirate Life Brewing Australian ales now at mmm…

Pirate Life Brewing at mmm...

Pirate Life Brewingmmm… and glug… has become the first north east retailer to stock ales from award-winning Australian brewery Pirate Life Brewing.

The brewery, founded in Adelaide, South Australia in 2014, is the brainchild of brewers Jared Proudfoot and Jack Cameron.

Pirate Life specialises in modern, hop-forward beers that include a 5.4% Pale Ale, its 6.8% IPA and a 3.5% Throwback IPA.

The company has also experienced acclaim, winning the “best new brewery in Australia” prize from Ratebeer in 2014.

It also saw four of its beers appear in the top 20 of the GABS Hottest 100 Aussie Craft Beers from over 1,600 beers nominated by Australian craft beer drinkers.

What we sell at mmm… and glug…

Pirate Life Brewing Throwback IPA (3.5% ABV)
Pouring a hazy golden colour the first thing that hits you is the aroma of fresh hops pouring out of the glass.

Light bodied with a lovely carbonation, this mid strength IPA certainly holds nothing back on flavour.

Look for a citrus/piney hit of fresh hops on the palate with a light.

Ideal for that Sunday BBQ.

Pirate Life Brewing Pale (5.4% ABV) 
While hops are central again here… they’re deeper and darker than those found in the Throwback or IIPA.

Add to that some of that pine forest floor character you expect from old school West Coast hops alongside the citrus elements.

They are joined by prominent sharp caramel malts to create a creamy lushness on the palette.

There’s something herbal there too and a hearty bitterness to wrap things up.

Pirate Life Golden AlePirate Life Brewing and Hilltop Hoods’ record label Golden Ale (4.7% ABV) 

Picture this. BrewDog brewery in Scotland, freezing cold and Jack and Red are arriving for one of their 12hr+ night shifts.

They get a message from home. Friends having beers at the beach. It almost breaks them.

‘What music do you want Redman?’ asks Jack. ‘Better make it The Hoods, Skip’ replies Red.

Five years later they are launching in Adelaide: The Hilltop Hoods’ home town. Pirate Life receive an email from the manager of their Record Label asking if we’d brew a beer with them. So here it is. The Golden Era Golden Ale.

Hopped up golden ale with plenty of body to it. Looks good in the glass with a vibrant orange colour and a big fluffy white head.

Citrus hops in the flavour leads to a long satisfying finish

Pirate Life IPAPirate Life Brewing IPA (6.8%) 
So Pirate Life has decided to make another hoppy American-style ale.

Seems a bit counter intuitive.

However, this is quite an important beer as it fills in a pretty big gap.

They have a smashable mid, a well-balanced Pale Ale and a big broody, dank hop-bomb of a Double IPA.

So what’s this IPA like? Bright, fruity and full of liquid fun.

Pirate Life Brewing Imperial IPA (8.8% ABV)
Pirate Life Imperial IPAPirate Life’s Imperial India Pale Ale comes in a 500ml can.

It comes on like a freight train, bursting with citrus aromas and belting you on the back palate with hop bitterness.

Fortunately all of that hop action is balanced by a strong hop base and what the Aussies call ‘fun juice’; that is alcohol.

This Imperial IPA is 8.8% ABV.

It is a lot – but it adds an important rounding quality to the beer. 

Want to know more about Pirate Life Brewing?

North east drinkers get secret ‘in-cider’ information

Acre 637 - secret acre

Acre 637 cider logommm… and glug… are giving north east drinkers the chance to taste a unique cider produced in a secret location.

It will be tasting ‘Acre 637’ apple cider this Saturday (18 March) from 1pm onwards.

On their Herefordshire estate, Farmcare Trading Ltd uses a special, rare selection of apples from an unmarked area of land, known only as Acre 637, to produce their ‘secret’ cider.

Farmcare rescued the rare apple trees in 2008 –and is one of only three farms in the world to hold such a wide variety of heritage apples.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is hoping to use the free event to highlight the importance of preserving rare varieties of UK apples.

She said: “We regularly hold meet the brewer events, but this one will be slightly different as cider fans are literally going to be tasting a bit of British history.

“As well as tasting the Acre 637 cider, our customers will also get the chance to meet Farmcare Trading Ltd and hear more about their business ethos.”

Alison White, Business Development Executive for Farmcare Trading Ltd, said: “We are delighted to be giving North East cider fans their first chance to try this unique cider and say ‘cheers’ to the future of UK apple farming.

“We’re all about producing high quality food in an environmentally responsible way for our customers.”

The free tasting (for over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 1pm this Saturday (18 March).

Want to know more ?

Help offered for Father’s Day beer buyers

A Newcastle shop is hoping to help non-beer lovers who don’t know their bitters from their IPAs to find the perfect pint for Father’s Day.

mmm… and glug… has enlisted the help of brewers from award-winning Tyne Bank Brewery to host a beer tasting for non-beer lovers event on Saturday, 20 June.

The event, being held in the Grainger Arcade from 12 noon onwards, will hopefully make it easy for local mums, sons and daughters to pick the perfect local beers.

Tyne Bank posterTyne Bank’s brewers will also be unveiling several brand-new beers at the event – giving buyers the chance to buy bottles that will impress even the most ardent craft beer lover.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin is hoping to not only help out non-beer lovers find the right gift, but also to see new converts to local beers.

She said: “We regularly hold meet the brewer events, but this one will be slightly different as we are aiming it at family members who might not really know what they should buy.

“We will be helping out lots of local shoppers to pick the right beers – and hopefully try a few out themselves.

“Craft beers are becoming more and more popular and great local breweries like Tyne Bank are helping to spread the word of just how good north east beers can be.”

The free tasting (for over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 12 noon on Saturday, 20 June.

The deli and craft beer store will also be tweeting out news of the new limited edition Tyne Bank beers prior to the event to its 18,000 plus followers using @mmm_newcastle