Shop of the Year announced this week

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

Grainger Street-based mmm… and glug… is one of just ten shops across the UK to make it to this week’s Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Judges from the guild, which recognises excellence in independent retail, recently visited the Newcastle store and carried out mystery shopping exercises, before announcing their overall winner in London this Thursday evening.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers, has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s judges, which included Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, have rated and scored mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

This Thursday (20 September), the judging will reach an exciting finale when Simone Clarkin and others from the world of fine food gather at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winner of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop, demo kitchen and event space in early 2019.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top 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.

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Oktoberfest beers recipe-fest

Welsh rarebit mmm glug oktoberfest recipe

You’ve got your Hacker-Pschorr, your Paulaner stein and a whole load of beers on reserve, it’s now time to think about the Oktoberfest recipes inspired from ingredients at mmm… and glug…

Here some of our favourite recipes we think you should add to your repertoire immediately in order to make the most of Oktoberfest 2018.

Often, we head straight to the sausages, shanks and schnitzels when thinking about German cuisine but here at mmm… and glug… we’re putting the beer on centre stage.

Ein – Beer mustard/Bier Senf

From experience, this is delicious with a steak, or sausages, or potatoes, or in sandwiches, or, just anything!

Don’t forget – every Friday we have freshly made Pink Lane Bakery pretzels our store.

Deliciously dunkable with a homemade beer mustard!

BBC Good Food recipe here.

Zwei – Oxtail stew/Ochsenschwanz-Eintopf

As the nights draw in, it’s well worth making the time to cosy up with this rich oxtail stew.

And, if you haven’t had a traditional German potato dumpling before, you haven’t experience comfort.

Delicious Magazine recipe here.

Swap your mash or regular flour dumplings with these beauties for an indulgent autumn supper.

Taste of Home dumpling recipe here.

Drei – Beer and cheese soup/Bier und Käse Suppe

Did someone say beer and cheese?

YES. Need we say more?

Beer and cheese is a match made in heaven.

Try our very popular Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock for a darker soup or a Spaten lager for a lighter one.

Food Republic recipe here.

Vier – Rarebit/Käse auf Toastbrot

Forget about Guinness, try adding one of our dark German beers (such as Schlosser Altbier or Paulaner Celebrator) to take your Welsh Rarebit to the next level.

Olive Magazine recipe here.

Fünf – Chocolate truffles – with beer, of course/ Schokoladentrüffel mit Bier

Trust us, this one may sound odd, but the bitterness that the beer brings to the table works like a dream against that rich dark chocolate.

Try using our German wheat beers  (such as Erdinger of Schneider Weisse) rather than an IPA for something truly delicious.

Bon Appetit recipe here.

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Oktoberfest Newcastle beers at mmm… and glug…

Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm and glug

If you can’t make it to this year’s Munich Oktoberfest have the next best thing, the best selection of German beers bar none at mmm… and glug… own Oktoberfest Newcastle.

As well as being able to reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form we will also have a free Oktoberfest Newcastle tasting (for over 18s only) at mmm… and glug… from 1pm on Friday, 14 and Saturday, 15 September.

The Munich Oktoberfest is one of the most famous events and the world’s largest fair, with some six million people attending every year.

According to tradition, the beer tents only sell original Munich beer, which is brewed in strict adherence to the “Reinheitsgebot” (Bavarian Purity Requirements).

What we will be selling at mmm… and glug… (from Thursday, 13 September)

Hacker-Pschorr 

The brewery was founded in 1417 and grew to be the leading Munich brewery in the 18th century under Joseph Pschorr and Maria Theresia Hacker.

After their deaths, the brewery was divided into the Hacker brewery and Pschorr brewery before being reunified in the 1970s.

Hacker’s 5.8% ABV beer is supplied in traditional flip top bottles.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Hofbräu München

Hofbrau Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm... and glug...Wilhelm V. founded the Hofbräu brewery in 1589.

Originally the brewery was at the Platzl where the Hofbräuhaus, one of the most important touristic attractions in Munich, is now located.

The beer at 6.3% ABV, is the festival’s strongest!

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Löwenbräu 

Lowenbrau Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm and glugFrom the 15th century, there has been a brewery in the Löwengrube.

Near the brewery is the popular beer garden Löwenbräukeller, founded in 1883.

The beer’s logo is a lion and a giant mechanical lion sits on top of the Löwenbräu Oktoberfest tent, which serves their 6.1% ABV festival beer.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Paulaner München

Paulaner Brauerei Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm and glugThis beer has been brewed since 1634 in the Paulaner monastery and was originally only sold on public holidays.

Today the Paulaner brewery is settled on the Nockherberg.

The Oktoberfest Paulaner is 6% ABV.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Spaten München

Spaten Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm and glugThe Spaten brewery was founded in 1397.

The logo of the label is a spade with the initials of Gabriel Sedlmayr, whose family also own the Franziskaner brewery.

Spaten’s Oktoberfest beer is 5.9% ABV.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Erdinger Weissbrau

Although not an ‘official’ Oktoberfest beer, Erdinger is always a popular one with lovers of German beers at mmm… and glug…

This seasonal beer offers a combination of two classic German styles, Oktoberfest and wheat beer; a surprising alliance that works very well together.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

Other German beers available all year round at mmm… and glug… 

  • Augustiner-Bräu (Munich)
  • Ayinger Brewery (Aying, Bavaria)
  • Schöfferhofer grapefruit wheat beer (Frankfurt)
  • Schlösser Alt (Dusseldorf)
  • Früh Kölsch (Cologne)
  • Berliner Pilsner (Berlin)
  • Berliner Kindl Weisse (Berlin)
  • Schlenkerla smoked Rauchbiers (Bamberg)
  • Schneider Weisse wheat beers (Kelheim, Bavaria)
  • Plus steins and glassware (seasonal deliveries and stocks dependent).

Why is Oktoberfest in September?

Oktoberfest hall Oktoberfest Newcastle at mmm and glugThe first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honour of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

In following years, the celebrations were repeated and, later, the festival was prolonged and moved forward into September.

Historically, the last Oktoberfest weekend was in October and this tradition continues into present times.

Thank you and ‘Prost’ to the official Oktoberfest website for information and images.

Want to know more about Oktoberfest Newcastle?

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mmm… and glug… in UK Shop of the Year finals

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

mmm… and glug… is one of a handful of grocery shops across the UK to make it to the finals of the Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Shop of the Year mmm glug logoJudges from the guild, which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, will visit the Newcastle store and carry out a series of mystery shopping exercises, before announcing the overall winner in September.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s panel of highly experienced judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

On Thursday, 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top 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.

Want to know more?

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

Want to work at mmm… and glug…? We are recruiting!

mmm and glug are recruiting

We are currently recruiting for two part-time Team Members/Retail Assistants to work an average of 12 hours per week (flexible shifts).

These would initially be temporary roles to cover maternity leave for a period of eight months.

There may, however, be the opportunity for the role to become permanent.

Our ideal candidates will:

  • Be comfortable engaging with people in a proactive and friendly way
  • Enjoy selling
  • Have an interest in food and drink
  • Show entrepreneurial spirit
  • Be prepared to work hard
  • Have basic IT skills
  • Be competent in maths.

Key tasks will include:

  • Greeting, assisting and advising customers
  • Being proactive in selling food and drink products
  • Making sure every customer is well served
  • Accepting and unloading deliveries (some heavy lifting involved)
  • Merchandising and maintenance of stock
  • Keeping the shop clean and tidy.

Other information:

  • You must be available to work weekends and Bank Holidays (Statutory Notice of Rights in Relation to Sunday Shop Work applies).
  • You must also be available to work up to and including Monday, 24 December, 2018.
  • As this role involves the selling of alcohol you must be 18 years or over.

Salary: £7.83 per hour.

How to apply

Please submit (a) your CV and (b) a covering note outlining three reasons why you believe you are a perfect fit for this role to jobs@mmm-glug.co.uk

Please note: When applying please quote Job Reference: PT80618 – we will not accept any applications that do not quote this reference.

Closing date for applications: 11.59pm Friday, 8 June 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to a larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.

Want to know more?

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Opal Sunshine tasting at mmm… and glug…

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free tasting on Saturday, 5 May with Opal Sunshine, so customers can taste her hot, fresh and zingy pepper sauces.

Opal Ward is Belizean – and her beloved Belize is her spiritual home, her roots and her inspiration for cooking.

Belize is such a beautiful country. with its pristine lush natural terrain, extensive marine wonders and its diversity.

As the only English speaking country in South America, the Caribbean Sea rests to the East, Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the South and West.

With a population of approximately 368,000 (tiny right!), it stretches just 174 miles long and 68 miles wide.

Opal Sunshine hot sauces at mmm… and glug…

It was about a year ago when Opal was at a food festival selling her Belizean tamales, and instead of buying a shop bought hot sauce she decided to make her own.

Opal started with the ‘Original Hot Sauce’, which took a lot of time and testing (and tasting).

Initially, she took a family recipe and experimented to create a balance of heat and more importantly flavour.

From the original came the ‘Lime-anero’, a heavily infused lime flavoured pepper sauce with plenty of heat and full of flavour.

The mildest of them followed – Opal’s ‘Mayan Mango’. a fusion of mango, lime and ginger – great flavours which fuse beautifully together.

A sweet, fresh milder sauce. Yet still hot.

Want to know more about Opal Sunshine?

More tasting events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm unless otherwise stated)

  • Friday, 11 May – 40 Kola: Taste the new north east made ‘proper’ Kola (11.30am to 3pm)
  • Friday, 11 May – Masons Gin: Taste Yorkshire-distilled tea and lavender gins (4pm to 7pm)
  • Saturday, 12 May – Parlour Made: Taste award-winning local cheeses, including Durham Camembert
  • Saturday, 12 May – Durham Gin: Taste locally-made Durham gin, vodka and liqueurs
  • Saturday, 19 May – Consett Ale Works: Taste Consett’s classic ales, as well as their newly launched beers
  • Friday, 25 May – Lisbon Wines: Taste our small producer Portuguese wines with Victor.

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Ananda’s Gourmet spice kits at mmm… and glug…

Ananda's Gourmet spice kitsThis Saturday (17 February 2018) we are holding a free tasting of Ananda’s Gourmet Indian curry spice kits at mmm… and glug…, with Indian-brewed beers to match.

Ananda’s spice packs are pre-mixed and perfectly proportioned to recreate the authentic flavours of India.

Each kit has its own shopping list (for any fresh ingredients) and an easy-to-follow recipe inside.

Ananda will be tasting her:

  • Paneer Masala
  • Hyderabadi Lamb Korma
  • Goan Prawn Curry
  • Indi Burgers.

We will also have the full selection of Ananda’s vegetarian, chicken, lamb and fish spice kits for you to choose from.

White Rhino Brewing Co.

We will also be tasting our new ‘White Rhino’ Indian-brewed IPA and lager on the day (over 18s only).

White Rhino Brewing Co, India’s first craft brewery, was set up by a team 
of young brewers with the aim of bringing both quality and variety to the Indian beer market.

Their goal was to make 
beer for India that would stand up to an international standard.

Want to know more?

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

  • Friday, 2 March – Spanish Cava tasting: Taste our amazing Villarnau Cava (Hint: ahead of Mother’s Day)
  • Saturday, 16 June – Firebrick Brewery tasting: Taste Firebrick’s Blaydon-brewed beers and sort the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Croft Twist tasting at mmm… and glug…

Croft-Twist-at-mmm-glug

Come and taste Croft Twist at mmm… and glug… this Saturday (16 September) from 1pm.

Croft-Twist-tasting-mmm-glugCroft Twist is a take on the refreshing Andalusian ‘rebujito’ (which is Fino sherry, lemonade laden with ice and a garnish of mint).

This British version is more elaborate as it blends natural, freshly made elderflower, lemon and mint cordials with Croft Fino and water; all gently sparkled.

The drink is best served with a garnish of basil or mint and lots of ice.

The packaging design evokes British confidence and nostalgia. It cleverly interprets the flavour of Croft Twist and the essence of the Croft brand into an original and contemporary design.

Its alcohol content is 5.5% and we are selling Croft Twist in 70cl bottles.

Want to know more about Croft Twist?

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

  • Saturday, 23 September: The Lakes Distillery tasting – come and taste Lakes Gin, Lakes Vodka and ‘The ONE’ whisky
  • Saturday, 30 September: Lisbon Wines – come and taste our new Portuguese wines.

Coming soon …

  • We are hoping to be in our new shop at 129 Grainger Street (opposite the old Barclays Bank) mid to end of October. Watch out for news and opening events.
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Beers and bees at mmm… and glug…

Rigg and Furrow beers at mmm and glug

Food and drink lovers can taste local craft ales and meet over 10,000 honey bees when mmm… and glug… hosts a ‘Beers and bees’ event on Saturday, 2 September from 1pm onwards.

Rigg and Furrow beers and beesRigg & Furrow, an authentic Northumberland-based farmhouse brewery, will be tasting their beers in the Grainger Arcade store.

Giving a new lease of life to an old milking parlour Ring & Furrow create new takes on Farmhouse beers – beers originally brewed for thirsty farm workers during the summer months.

Brewing by hand, this family run brewery celebrates the best of home-grown Northumbrian and British produce, whilst creating exciting and innovative beers.

Head brewer, Theo will be tasting some of his favourite brews, including:

  • Run Hop Run – 4.2% Simcoe Session IPA
  • The Pale Ale – 3.8% English Pale
  • Owl Porter – 4% Porter
  • Trickster – 4.3% Hoppy Amber Ale
  • Sham Pain – 3.5% Elderflower Farmhouse Ale
  • Rhuble Rhubarb – 3.6% Farmhouse Ale.

Beers and bees at mmm and glug...

The Hogarth Honey bees, which proved a huge hit at the store earlier this summer, are returning with the first of their precious Yorkshire Moors heather honey.

Youngsters (and those not so young) have the chance to taste the honey and find out more about protecting the much-needed insects.

Michael McCartney of Hogarth Honey, based in Wolviston Grange, said: “I would love to talk to as many potential beekeepers and amateur gardeners as possible when we visit mmm… and glug… so we can spread the word about protecting our local bees.”

Rigg & Furrow and the Hogarth Honey bees will be at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 1pm on Saturday, 2 September.

Grainger Arcade-based Pet Lamb Patisserie will also be providing hand-made Hogarth Honey bee flapjacks to taste at the event.

Want to know more about beers and bees?

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

  • Saturday, 16 September: Oktoberfest 2017 – come and taste our Oktoberfest specials
  • Saturday, 23 September: The Lakes Distillery tasting – come and taste Lakes Gin, Lakes Vodka and ‘The ONE’ whisky
  • Saturday, 30 September: Lisbon Wines – come and taste our new Portuguese wines and craft beers.

Coming soon …

  • We are hoping to be in our new shop at 129 Grainger Street (opposite the old Barclays Bank) mid to end of October. Watch out for news and opening events.
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.

Meet the Hogarth Honey bees at mmm…

Honey bees - Hogarth Honey

Food and drink emporium mmm… and glug…, currently based in the Grainger Arcade, will host over 10,000 local Hogarth Honey bees on Saturday, 24 June from 12 noon onwards.

Hogarth Honey bees at mmm and glugThe Hogarth Honey bees, which proved a huge hit at the store last summer, are returning with the first of their precious local summer honey.

The free event will give youngsters (and those not so young) the chance to taste the honey and find out more about protecting the much-needed insects.

mmm… and glug… owner Simone Clarkin hopes to not only get families to taste the honey, but also to find out how to encourage bees to their own gardens and neighbourhoods.

She said: “We certainly expect the Grainger Arcade to be ‘buzzing’ after last year’s meet the bees event literally stopped people in their tracks outside our shop.

“Bees are pollinators and play a huge part in the UK’s food chain. One third of the food we eat would not be available, but for the hard work of our bees.

“When the Hogarth Honey bees visited us last year (see photo below) we found many people, particularly children, who had never tasted honey before – and they loved it!”

Hogarth Honey bees visit mmm in 2016Michael McCartney of Hogarth Honey, based in Wolviston Grange, is looking forward to once again being asked lots of questions about his much-loved bees.

He said: “Bees fly about 55,000 miles to make just one pound of honey, that’s over twice around the world. And honey was even used as currency in Roman times.

“But, bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment. Farming practices continue to disturb the natural habitats of solitary bees and bumblebees.

“The honey bee is also under attack from the Varroa mite and it is only the care provided by myself and other local beekeepers that is keeping north east colonies alive.

“I would love to talk to as many potential beekeepers and amateur gardeners as possible when we visit mmm… so we can spread the word about protecting our local bees.”

The Hogarth Honey bees will be at mmm… and glug… 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QF from 12 noon on Saturday, 24 June.

Grainger Arcade-based Pet Lamb Patisserie will also be providing hand-made Hogarth Honey bee flapjacks to taste at the event.

mmm… and glug… recently announced plans to expand its business with a move to a larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre and the launch of a ‘click and collect’ online shop.

Want to know more before the Hogarth Honey bees visit?

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

  • 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).

Coming soon …

  • We are moving to a bigger shop on Grainger Street – watch this space!
  • Click and collect at mmm… and glug… To find out more sign up for news below.