Over the bank holiday weekend, we finally saw live music again at the impressive Virgin Money Unity Arena. The Libertines were outstanding and the city was in fine form at Gosforth Park. Despite music being top of the agenda, we had to make time to visit as many of Newcastle’s finest brewery tap rooms. First up…Northern Alchemy.
Northern Alchemy – The Old Coal Yard
Ouseburn is a hotbed for talent; whether that be expert coffee roasters, artists or musicians, the area of Newcastle is known for it’s emerging brilliance. Nestled right in the middle, and one of the area’s leading lights is Northern Alchemy, a micro-brewery that was once situated behind The Cumberland Arms but nowadays have taken over The Old Coal Yard, one of the most understated but beautiful tap rooms in the city.
What’s available at the Old Coal Yard?
We headed down on Friday night as we arrived in Newcastle and was immediately impressed with their beer offering. Four beers direct from the tap, including an intriguing 6.5% Lemon IPA, and 6 keg beers were available when we arrived. I’ve been to many places on reduced menus so to have a pick of ten beers from the off was excellent.
“Run by two brothers-in-law Andy Aitchison and Carl Kennedy with an aim to explore what flavours can lend themselves to different beer styles.“
What struck me was the openness on the menu itself that they pride themselves on their vegan, organic beers. This is a of growing interest for both consumers and people within the beer industry but due to not being able to produce the same quality and consistency in flavour as larger outfits, many micro-breweries stick to finings in their beers. I had huge expectations then for the pale ales and the flavoured beers.
Northern Alchemy – The Beers
Between us we worked our way through the Keg and Tank versions of their US Session Pale (4.1%) which was well hopped with a combination of Chinook, Pallisade and Citra. Pale in colour, the beer was the perfect opening to a beer-fuelled weekend.
I moved onto the Citra & Mosaic Pale (5.3%) which impressed. The balance of these two powerhouse hops was inspired, and neither dominated in the way I thought they would. Top brewing and a nice progression. The only thing I regret is we didn’t spend more time at The Old Coal Yard and as our booking at Brinkburn was set, we each had one more beer – one more, rogue flavoured beer.
For me, Alchemy Pale (4.2%), a peppered passionfruit pale; for Leanne, their 3.9% Mango Lime and Pepper Pale. We both agreed the former came out on top, with subtle pepper flavours complemented beautifully by sweet, tart passion fruit. The Mango Lime and Pepper was lovely also, but just didn’t pack the punch of flavour the Alchemy Pale did – still a fantastic beer.
A fantastic start to the trip and the best compliment is I could have stayed all night and returned with happiness during the weekend.
Current Opening Times:
Thursday & Friday 4 – 9.30pm
Saturday 2 – 9.30pm
Sunday 2 – 8pm
(Last entry half an hour before end of service)
To book a table email: email@example.com