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.

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Father’s Day beers at mmm… and glug…

Firebrick Brewery Father's Day

A Newcastle store is helping shoppers who don’t know their blondes and bitters from their IPAs to find the Father’s Day perfect pint.

Grainger Street-based mmm… and glug… has enlisted the help of Blaydon-based Firebrick Brewery to host a beer tasting for non-beer lovers on Saturday, 16 June.

The free event, from 1pm onwards, will hopefully make it easy for local mums, partners, sons and daughters (aged 18 and over) to pick perfect father-friendly beers.

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

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

She said: “We regularly hold ‘meet the brewer’ events, but this is 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.

“Our north east beers are hugely popular and great local breweries like Firebrick are helping us to spread the word of just how good these beers can be.”

The free Father’s Day tasting (over 18s only) is being held at mmm… and glug…129 Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5AE from 1pm on Saturday, 16 June.

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.

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 about Father’s Day beers?

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Our ingredients – pomegranate molasses

We often get a whole host of questions about how to use the products and ingredients in our shop – from the extraordinary array of herbs, spices and chillies, through to the ever trendy black garlic…not forgetting the adventurous and curious flavours of cordials on hand.

So, we thought it was about time to start sharing some of our favourite hints, tips and recipes to get you going and maybe even debunk some myths along the way. 

Today we’re focusing on Pomegranate Molasses, why?

Well, too many times we’ve heard you cry, ‘I used it once and then it sat in my cupboard for a billion years unused’… a travesty!

There’s so much you can do with this ancient and wondrous ingredient – it’s sweet but sour, thick, sharp, rich, deep and completely versatile.

As a native fruit of Persia, the pomegranate (and pomegranate molasses) is synonymous with Middle Eastern, African and Mediterranean cooking, which is where the ingredient really does shine.

It adds a fruity almost citric taste to any dish meaning there’s no excuse as to why you can’t get creative with the ingredient.

It can work as a super substitute for balsamic vinegar, honey, or even lemon juice – anything you want to imbue with a richness, tartness, sweetness.

Think drinks, soups, stews, dressings and desserts…no longer may this ingredient sit sorrowfully in the back of your cupboard!  

Here are three recipes to get you going: – stick with it

1, 2, 3 BAKE!

Put a pin in this one

You could make your own at home, but we promise you it’s probably not worth it.

Pomegranate molasses is made from the fruits fresh juice, which is reduced to a thick, luxurious syrup to enhance and intensify the natural flavours.

Technically it’s not really a molasses, just a delicious concentrated syrup.

Now, it might sound easy to make yourself, but fresh pomegranates are really expensive and often a right faff, so why make your life difficult making it yourself?!

Oh! And looking for something a bit different? Don’t like pomegranate? Well don’t you worry – we stock Cherry Molasses too!

Want to know more about our grocery ingredients?

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

  • Saturday, 26 May – Hogarth Honey: Taste Spring 2018 honey and meet 20,000 bees who made it
  • Saturday, 26 May – Brinkburn Street Brewery: Taste beers from one of the closest breweries to our shop
  • Saturday, 9 June – Twice Brewed: Taste Bardon Mill-brewed beers, including their ‘Ale Caesar’ amber
  • Saturday, 16 June – Firebrick Brewery: Taste Blaydon-brewed beers, including ‘Elder Statesman’ bitter for the perfect Father’s Day gift
  • Saturday, 16 June – Fat Lass Jams: Taste Bridget’s locally made jams and preserves, including her ‘Newkie Brown’ chutney.

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Consett Ale Works tasting at mmm… and glug…

Consett Ale Works at mmm and glug

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free tasting event with the new look – but same great tasting – Consett Ale Works beers this Saturday (19 May) from 1pm onwards.

Leaning heavily on the town’s iron works heritage, Consett Ale Works has developed distinctive brands, such as Red Dust and Steel Town Bitter.

Their beers hark back to the days when prosperity could not be separated from the steel which built Blackpool tower and the nation’s nuclear submarines.

The recipes for the brews were created by Consett’s master brewer
Rufus, with the former ironworks in mind.

They wanted to have ales that would be flavoursome enough to have quenched the thirst of the ironworker’s as they left work after a hot and gruelling day in front of the furnaces.

Consett’s beers are for them and for you.

What we are tasting this Saturday

  • Red Dust – ruby red in colour and beautifully clear with a robust, full-flavoured malt and fruit nature.
  • White Hot – the perfect summer beer; highly hopped and sparkling with wheat-like cereal characteristics.
  • Consett Pale Ale – a quintessential English pale ale
  • Men of Steel – full flavoured golden hoppy ale
  • The Works – a dark robust ale
  • Consett Stout – a rich creamy stout.

Want to know more about Consett Ale Works?

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

  • Saturday, 26 May – Hogarth Honey: Taste Spring 2018 honey and meet 20,000 bees who made it
  • Saturday, 26 May – Brinkburn Street Brewery: Taste beers from one of the closest breweries to our shop
  • Saturday, 9 June – Twice Brewed: Taste Bardon Mill-brewed beers, including their ‘Ale Caesar’ amber
  • Saturday, 16 June – Firebrick Brewery: Taste Blaydon-brewed beers, including ‘Elder Statesman’ bitter for the perfect Father’s Day gift
  • Saturday, 16 June – Fat Lass Jams: Taste Bridget’s locally made jams and preserves, including her ‘Newkie Brown’ chutney.

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