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 are selling at mmm… and glug… (while stocks last)

NEW – Augustiner 

Augustiner was established in 1328 making it Munich’s oldest established brewery.

We sell Augustiner beers all year round – but to date have never been able to get their Oktoberfest special, until this year!

Stocks should be with us on Wednesday, 10 October and will go fast so we suggest using the form below to reserve them.

Reserve Oktoberfest beers using our online form.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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Treboom Brewery tasting at mmm… and glug…

Treboom Brewery at mmm and glug

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free tasting on Saturday, 5 May with Treboom Brewery, so customers can taste the brewery’s award-winning beers.

Treboom was established in Shipton-by-Beningbrough near York early in 2012 by John Lewis and Jane Blackman.

John worked as a research scientist but hung up his lab coat to pursue his dream of producing great beers, while Jane, a practising ceramicist brings a creative side to beer making.

John and Jane wanted a name that showed they were going to make a big splash – a grand entrance – and what better way than by a drum roll? TrrrBOOM!

They, like everyone at mmm… and glug… want to bang the drum for great beer.

What we sell at mmm… and glug…

Yorkshire Sparkle – 4% ABV 

John and Jane have their son to thank for the name Yorkshire Sparkle.

It perfectly describes this Really Pale Ale, clear and bright with refreshing grapefruit flavours and hints of tropical fruits.

It surely is a moreish pint.

Kettle Drum – 4.3% ABV 

That huge drum at the back of the orchestra, the kettle drum, is the inspiration for our best bitter.

With great presence and robust flavours, it really bangs the drum for beer.

Copper coloured with a distinct fruity flavour from Cascade hops.

Baron Saturday – 5.2% ABV (Bottle conditioned) 

Dark and mysterious, Baron Saturday captured Treboom’s imagination.

This voodoo spirit likes his followers to leave small gifts of cigars or peanuts.

John and Jane think this strong dark porter would be his perfect pint. Brewed with five different malts it has hints of coffee, chocolate and liquorice.

Myricale – 5% ABV

Bringing an old recipe bang up to date this brew uses Bog Myrtle (Myrica gale), an ingredient used in beer in medieval times before hops became popular.

Treboom made it into a delicious wheat beer allowing the gingery herb-like qualities of this remarkable plant to sing through.

They also brew this beer to support the work of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and 5p per bottle is donated to them.

Hop Britannia – 5% ABV

A fanfare for the power and might of British hops.

This strong pale ale is brewed entirely with hops grown in the British Isles.

Bramling Cross, Pioneer and Northdown varieties are combined to give a full-bodied, tasty, hoppy beer.

NEW: Trommel lager – 4.2% ABV 

Treboom’s cask-conditioned version of a lager.

By using lager malt, German Hallertau and Tettnang hops and brewing at a lower temperature than their traditional ales Treboom has made a fresh crisp satisfying lager.

We will have newly-canned Trommel lager at mmm… and glug… on Saturday, 5 May.

Want to know more about Treboom Brewery?

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

  • Saturday, 5 May – Opal Sunshine: Taste Opal’s zingy, fresh Belizean-inspired pepper sauces
  • 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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Donzoko Brewing Company tasting at mmm… and glug…

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free Donzoko Brewing Company tasting this Saturday (28 April ) for customers to try a one-off German-style beer, along with locally made artisan beer bread and pretzels.

Based in Hartlepool, Reece Hugill (aka Donzoko Brewing) has a love of brewing beers in a German style.

Germany has produced amazing beer for centuries. Rich beer heritage is embedded in the culture.

Donzoko takes this beer tradition and combines techniques from modern UK and American craft brewing to create refreshing, unfiltered beers, packed with flavour.

Reece’s kegged beers have been going down well in north east hostelries, including The Free Trade Inn.

And now we are pleased to launch his new bottled beer – a limited run 8.5% ABV ‘Rock Bottom’ Doppelbock’ at mmm… and glug… this Saturday.

Rock Bottom is a showcase of rich German malt and crisp lager yeast and is the first of Donzoko’s limited release Doppelbocks.

Along with a tasting of the beer, Newcastle-based Pink Lane Bakery will be at mmm… and glug… tasting freshly baked German beer bread (using the Donzoko brew) as well as their legendary pretzels.

Beer, bread and pretzels – does it get any better?

Want to know more about Donzoko Brewing?

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

  • Saturday, 5 May – Opal Sunshine: Taste Opal’s zingy, fresh Belizean-inspired pepper sauces
  • 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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Lakes Distillery gin tasting at mmm… and glug…

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free Lakes Distillery tasting this Saturday (21 April ) from 1pm to 4pm for customers to try their new rhubarb and rosehip gin liqueur.

The word ‘gin’ is derived from the Dutch for juniper, ‘genever’ and the juniper berry is the botanical at the heart of gin making.

Fortunately for the Lakes Distillery juniper grows wild in the fells of the Lake District.

They use this local juniper together with other 13 botanicals native to the Lakes, such as bilberry, heather and hawthorn, to produce a gin which is complex, intriguing and above all else, delicious.

Lakes have infused their classic gin with tangy Rhubarb and Rosehip, to introduce another world-class edition to its delicious artisan spirits portfolio.

Their Master Blender, Dhavall Gandhi described the exciting new spirit as, “A warming and sweet infusion that complements the fruity and fresh characteristics of our juniper-led classic gin.”

The liqueur will be available in 20cl and 70cl bottles at mmm… and glug… this Saturday.

Customers buying a 70cl of Lakes gin this Saturday will also receive a free Lakes ‘rocking’ gin glass (while stocks last). 

Image above – the blushing Lakes Rhubarb & Rosehip Pink Lady cocktail.

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