From the Heaton Tap I walked the couple of miles down through Byker to the Tyne for my (checks spreadsheet) 69th Newcastle Brewery Tap. Coincidentally, ’69 was the last time Newcastle United won a trophy.

Byker itself, between the metro and the river, is a sharp contrast to the pashmina enclave of the Ouseburn valley and the beardy hipster taps. Look at this fella;

Sadly the Grace isn’t on What Pub, so you’ll have to look at their Facebook page here to get the picture.

Bykers’s highlight is Rington’s tea business (top) set up by Sam Smith (not that one) in 1907. though there’s some fascinating architecture around the swimming pool.

And a connection with film critic Barry Norman I’ve yet to understand.

The stroll down Raby Street will be a challenge for the more delicate of our tickers (particularly Colin the Cauliflower).

But once you reach Hoults Yard you’re back in 2022 Newcastle,

with shiny breweries that open at 4pm but it’s only 3.50 so I sit in the waiting area,

and table service and ordering by App.

It’s Full Circle, not the Free Trade, and the two are different worlds. I’d have gone back to the Free Trade, given the choice, but tickers gotta tick.

There’s a token cask on the bar which I can’t find on the App, so I pick a 6.2% IPA called Looper and wait till the clock ticks to 16:00 before entering the card details and pressing send.

At 16:01 the beer it “landed” (ugh) on my table. It’s wonderful, not too fizzy but sparkling with life. If it came in a Beer 52 delivery Mrs RM would have drunk it before the box was opened and left me the coconut chocolate sours.

The pizza oven was firing up as I left while “Songbird” played. If I’d come with Mrs RM two hours later I’m sure it would have felt like a pub.

Still, it’s all about the beer, isn’t it ?


  1. Should have stayed to eat – Stefano makes a mean pizza. And he gives the dog bits of wood fired bacon. Looper helped keep me sane during Lockdowns. That Raby Street walk can be very interesting after dark!

    Liked by 1 person

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