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.

Expansion to Grainger Street is our recipe for success

Sintons Solicitors at mmm... and glug...

A North East artisan food and drink retailer, which sources products from around the world and has amassed a following across the UK and beyond, is targeting expansion through a move to Grainger Street and the launch of its online shop.

mmm glug stamp logo Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…was established in Newcastle in 2008 and has grown into one of the most highly-esteemed independent food and drink brands of its kind.

It attracts customers from across the country and earning name-checks in books by celebrity chefs, including Thomasina Miers

The business, based in the city’s Grainger Market, has earned fame in foodie circles for its commitment to sourcing the highest quality produce from suppliers around the world.

It is now known for being the go-to place for the most unusual of ingredients, and has a loyal and sizeable following both among its customer base and on social media.

Run by Simone and Ian Clarkin, mmm…and glug… – which started out in 2008, is now moving to a two-floor 1,500 sq ft retail unit on nearby Grainger Street.

This will allow it to have its own shop front on one of Newcastle’s busiest streets and dictate its own opening hours.

The move comes at a time of development for the business, as it introduces a ‘click and collect’ service for customers and online mail order to allow it to look at international trade.

Spanish paprika at mmm... Grainger Streetmmm…and glug…have also launched a range of its own-label spice mixes and cooking ingredients.

mmm…and glug…has been built by passionate foodies Simone and Ian, who have assembled a five-strong team who share their love of quality food and drink.

Simone’s background in sourcing fine food and wines from continental suppliers, coupled with Ian’s expertise in marketing – which has seen mmm…glug…named as one of the most influential independent businesses on Twitter – has proved a recipe for success.

Simone said: “This is a very exciting time for us, moving into our own shop on Grainger Street and having the freedom that comes with that is something we have wanted for some time.

“The Grainger Market has been a fantastic place to be, but we are delighted with the start of our new chapter.

“Our ethos is we source high-quality food and drink from independent producers wherever they are in the world, and strive to build long-term relationships with both our customers and suppliers.

“We do stock products from the North East and we source from Spain, Italy, France, America, we look across the whole world to get the quality we know our customers will want.”

Ian, who initially was ‘Saturday boy’ with mmm…glug…before joining his wife full time, said: “We have customers who come to us from as far afield as Liverpool and Manchester and even afield.

“Through the launch of online ordering in the near future we hope we will become accessible to people across the UK and even internationally.

Thomasina Miers at mmm... Grainger Street“Our customers are fantastic and are the biggest advocates of what we do.

Thomasina Miers first became aware of us when she remarked how difficult it was to find some cooking ingredients; one of our customers got in touch with her to tell her about us.

“Since then, she has mentioned us in her cookbooks and even held a book launch here.”

mmm…and glug…have been supported in its expansion by law firm Sintons, with Head of Licensing Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Partner in the Real Estate team, both acting in the transaction.

Sarah Smith said: “Newcastle enjoys a reputation as a vibrant and diverse leisure venue which attracts people from across the whole UK.

“mmm…and glug…is another example of something special we have here which again puts the North East on a national scale.

“Its reputation for its quality and variety of produce is well known far beyond this region.

“And the platform it has created on social media has also helped it to stand out in the very competitive culinary marketplace.

“We wish Simone and Ian luck in their new home for mmm…and glug…on Grainger Street and every success as they continue to grow and develop the business.”

Pictured (courtesy of Sintons Law and David Wood Photographer above: left to right –  Simone Clarkin; Sarah Smith and Laura Peace, Sintons and Ian Clarkin.

Want to know more before we move to Grainger Street?

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

  • 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
  • Saturday, 16 June: Firebrick Brewery meet the brewer – looking for a Father’s Day gift? Our Blaydon-based brewery will help you find the perfect bottles for him to enjoy.
  • 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.

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.

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 ?