The Silver Tankard


A warm Wylam welcome
22/04/2008, 10:08 pm
Filed under: festival, Real Ale | Tags: , ,

A few Saturdays ago, as snowflakes fell on the North East, wor lass, Gordy and I were cosied-up in front of a roaring fire at Wylam’s Boathouse Inn.

Tucked away in a sleepy corner of Northumberland, on the south banks of the River Tyne, the Boathouse Inn is the award winning brewery tap of the Wylam Brewery. We were there to take part in the Wylam Beer Festival, an orgy of real ales with 12 of the brewery’s finest tipples on offer.

Gordy and Dan at the Boathouse Inn, Wylam

In spite of its rural location, the Boathouse Inn couldn’t be easier to get to. We jumped on an eastbound train from Newcastle station, and headed into the wilds beyond the Metrocentre. After about 20 minutes, we rolled off the train in Wylam, and the pub was about 15 yards in front of us. Fortunately for us, we got there early and grabbed the best seat in the house next to the log fire, before droves of people arrived to revel in the atmosphere.

The twelve beers were lined up in pumps across the bar: Northern Kite (4.5% ABV), a ruby scotch; Wylam Bitter (3.8% ABV) and Rocket (5%), tasty best bitters; Landlord’s Choice (4.6% ABV), a single malt; Squire Blackett (4.8% ABV), a brown ale; Gold Tankard (4% ABV), award-winning golden beer; Haugh (4.6% ABV), a smooth porter; Wylam Magic (4.2% ABV), champion summer ale; Locomotion #1 (5% ABV) and Wit (4.5% ABV), wheat beers; Spring Thing (3.4% ABV), a light bitter; and Silver Ghost (5% ABV), a strong summer ale. For full tasting notes, visit the Wylam Brewery website.

We were torn between the whole lot when it came to picking a favourite. And by the time we got through our second tasting, our judgement was considerably impaired anyway. In the end, we settled on Northern Kite and Gold Tankard for joint top spot, just for the hell of it.

When we’d supped our last, we watched out for the descending gates of the railway crossing outside, and staggered to the platform to get our train: jolly well aled and ready for a good nap.

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