Bass (Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire)
Bass is one of the biggest selling real ales in England, brewed with arguably the best natural water available for a bitter beer, that from Burton-upon-Trent. Bass is a full-bodied ale which exhibits strong secondary fermentation in the pub cellar, which contributes to enhanced flavour at the bar. Many Bass-owned pubs have ceased selling Draught Bass in favour of easy to look after ‘smoothflow’ keg beers which, unlike a real ale, require little expertise, but have precious little flavour.
Draught Bass was until recent years brewed by the famous Burton Union System, which was a patented system for yeast clarification during the brewing process, the yeast rising in swan-neck pipes to be collected in troughs above the fermentation vessel. Bass is now brewed in conventional fermentation tanks in exactly the same way as that deployed by all of the smaller brewers in the country. In fact, the only brewer left deploying the Union System is Marstons, also of Burton-upon-Trent. We sell more Bass at the Tynemouth Lodge than all of our keg products put together.
Since early 2005, Draught Bass has been brewed at Marston’s brewery under licence for Inbev UK, the owners of Bass.
Northumbrian Blonde (North Shields, Northumberland)
The brewery was set up in 1995 in nearby West Chirton and was moved to larger premises in North Shields to provide increased output.
Ironically the Tynemouth Lodge Hotel was in Northumberland for nearly 200 years until the county of Tyne and Wear was created in the 1970s, much to the general disapproval of the local population. Tyne and Wear sounds more like an industrial estate than a county.
So nice to see the name Northumbrian back behind the bar in the Lodge !
Northumbrian Blonde is not unlike Harviestoun Shiehallion beer from Scotland, as both ales look a bit like lager but taste superb.
Caledonian Deuchar’s IPA (Edinburgh)
Brewed at the former Lorimer & Clark’s brewery in Edinburgh, this pale-coloured 3.8% well-hopped bitter beer has won the coveted CAMRA Champion Beer of Scotland award twice. Extremely drinkable and refreshing, Deuchar’s India Pale Ale derives its name from the famous Deuchar’s Scottish beers which were sold widely on Tyneside during the first half of the twentieth century. The Deuchar’s brothers were Scottish farmers from the Border region, the most successful being James Deuchar with his Lochside ales which were shipped into the Tyne from Edinburgh. There was also a Deuchar’s brewery in Monkwearmouth and a Deuchar’s wines and spirits depot in Sandyford, Newcastle – the sign remains to this day at the entrance to a modern development.
IN AUGUST 2002, CALEDONIAN DEUCHAR’S IPA WAS VOTED ‘SUPREME CHAMPION BEER OF BRITAIN’ AT THE CAMRA GREAT BRITISH BEER FESTIVAL AT OLYMPIA IN LONDON. THIS IS THE HIGHEST AWARD THAT A BEER CAN GET IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
Sadly, the bottled version of this ale, which weighs in at a higher gravity is not ‘bottle conditioned’ and is distinctly lacking in flavour compared with the cask beer of the same name. It has presumably been filtered and Pasteurised.
The Tynemouth Lodge is one of the few pubs in the North East to sell Tennents Lager – Scotland’s No. 1, and we always sell a guest ale, usually from a local micro-brewery. Our favourite two Micros are Mordues (North Shields) and Big Lamp (Newburn on Tyne).
Some links you may find interesting…
The Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA)
For details of the forthcoming CAMRA Annual General Meeting in Newcastle visit Canny Bevvy, the newsletter of the Tyneside & Northumberland branch of CAMRA.