Bottle sales and outlets on the up

Our bottle sales are increasing all the time, as the number of outlets grows, and we’re often asked why we bang on about them being bottle conditioned – what’s the difference between this and other bottled beers?

Most bottled beers (and lagers) are filtered (to remove yeast and any hop residues) and then artificially carbonated with CO2, as they are bottled. When a beer is bottle-conditioned the process is different. Instead of artificially carbonating the beer, bottle conditioned beer allows the yeast to naturally carbonate the beer after fermentation is complete. This is why CAMRA call it Real Ale

Fermentation works by the yeast eating the sugars in the wort and giving out alcohol and CO2 as waste products. During fermentation at the brewery the CO2 bubbles off and escapes. Once fermentation is complete and the yeast has magically transformed the sugary wort into lovely alcoholic beer, it’s bottled while still containing some live yeast in suspension. Sometimes a few grams of sugar are added to help keep the yeast going, and the bottles are then kept warm, at about 20 degrees celcius, to keep the yeast active. During the period of warm conditioning (about 2 weeks) the yeast produces a little more alcohol and CO2. Since the beer is now bottled and capped the CO2 produced by the yeast has nowhere to go and dissolves into the beer, carbonating it. The carbonation is smoother and creamier than the forced carbonation of filtered beers, and helps the beer achieve a creay head and lacing down the glass as it is drunk.

The best way to pour a bottle conditioned beer is slowly, down the side of the glass, in a single pour, to avoid disturbing the yeast sediment, which naturally falls to the bottom as the beer matures in the bottle. However some people like to mix it in and drink the yeast as well!

If you want to drink our bottle conditioned beers with a meal out, why not visit one of these lovely bars/restuarants?

Rene’s of Tynemouth
The View, Tynemouth
Boatyard, Cullercoats
Papa Ganoush, Whitley Bay
Kiln, Ouseburn
Staiths Cafe, Gateshead|
McKennas at Northern Stage, Newcastle
Evans Bistro, Whitley Bay
The Ink Spot Newbiggin

If you want to buy bottles, head to Boda Home, Centrale or Fenwick in Newcastle, Coppers of Gosforth, Blagdon Farm Shop or Nicholsons the Butchers in Whitley Bay.

Portland Porter in the Pipeline

We’ve just taken delivery of some expertly roasted “Black Middens” coffee from Tynemouth Coffee Company, ready for our next Shipping Forecast Ale PORTLAND. This will be a very special coffee porter, brimming with a cornucopia of different malts and fresh fresh coffee. Locals to the coast will know that Tynemouth Coffee Co supply  Cullercoats Coffee, our local coffee shop, which is well worth a visit for a tasty brew if you’re in the village. We’re planning on bottling a few Portlands, so if you miss it on the bar in July/August you might be able to try the bottle conditioned version later in the summer or in September.

Spring news and brews

Not quite sure where the last few months went, we seem to have been so busy! In spite of the chill factor we’ve enjoyed strong demand for beers, especially our lovely dark Polly Donkin and the super strong Fortification. It’s got us thinking/plotting about some local collaborations on the dark and strong side, we’ll keep you posted on that…Dubbel Dubbel Toil and Trouble….

We’ve had fantastic responses to our collaboration with Dog and Rabbit Brewery, Whitley Bay – two versions of Sea Dog, the strong American IPA. Then our Three Amigos American pale ale for the battle of the beers competition at Newcastle Beer Festival last week sold out very quickly. People seemed to have loved this beer, even though we didn’t win!  So our occasional foray into the world of foreign hops has been interesting and we’ll continue to complement our all English core range with these occasional beers

Our latest Shipping Forecast beer is called Wight, and will be out in about a week’s time. Our assistant brewer Sean Hardy says “Maris Otter, Vienna, oat and wheat malts combine to give this extra pale ale full body and malt sweetness. Hoppiness is provided by masses of Endeavour, Jester and new hop CF160 being added late in the boil and as a dry hop. Giving floral and soft fruit flavours with a bitter finish.” So there you go!  This beer is unfined, so may have a slight haze and it’s suitable for vegans.

Talking of which, our unfined beer output is rising month on month as more pubs ask for unfined cask ales. If you want to try these versions your best bet is to head to the Ship Inn, Ouseburn, Byker, where they get through an impressive number of casks each week! Of course all our bottled beers are unfined, and you can get them at Fenwick, Boda, Centrale and Coppers.

We’re delighted to be supplying a number of beer festivals coming up soon:

Ponteland beer Festival 20-22 April 

Gateshead beer Festival 4-6 May

Tynedale Beer Festival 14-16 June

They’re all great events with fantastic music and entertainment, well worth a day out by bus, metro or train! In particular, the Ponteland Beer Festival have the superb Baghdaddies playing tunes from their new album on Sunday, you can pop along just for this for £2.50 entrance, or free if you order Friday or Saturday tickets. It’s on frequent bus X78 from Haymarket (20 mins) and a 5 minute walk.

Other dates for your diary are:
Whitley Bay Carnival, 25-26 May – plenty of things to get involved in RIGHT NOW! Cloud Nine’s new play Rainbird  at the Exchange North Shields 23 -28 April
Mouth of the Tyne festival Tynemouth 5-8th July – Paloma Faith is sold out but plenty more on offer!

So there’s plenty going on in our area, we hope you have some fun in the sun and enjoy some Cullercoats beers while you’re about it. By the way we’ve just hit £37,000 on the RNLI totalizer – thanks to our fabulously loyal customers! RNLI - Fundraising in aid of the RNLI