Having had a busy few weeks at work, we planned a quick city-break escape. The day of our journey to one of the liveliest cities in the UK, Newcastle, quickly approached! Prior to heading down on the train, I researched where the best craft beer bars were. One of the locations that repeatedly appeared on my browser was “The Bridge Tavern” – a microbrewery partnered with Wylam, which was another local craft brewery in Newcastle. This little venue in the heart of the North East, aims to provide a variety of fantastic beers, creating a beer-lovers paradise.
Whilst on the train, I scoured through the current draught list of ‘The Bridge Tavern’ on Untappd. This feature is fantastic – allowing you to see what’s currently available at different pubs/bars (providing the venue keeps their tap and bottle listings updated)! I saw “Jakehead IPA” proudly listed on the beer menu with an average rating of 3.91. An IPA with a huge rating? The prospect of this potentially incredible beer made me eagerly await a trip to the tavern!
We checked into the apartment and unpacked our minimal luggage – it was now time to visit the bars that Newcastle had to offer. This city is known throughout the UK for having a spectacular nightlife and is notorious for its party culture. Mid-afternoon, as the forecasted winter chill descended on the North of the country, my partner and I hurried from our apartment to the bar. Beer + Warmth = Significant Improvement (to being stuck out in the cold)! The Bridge Tavern was a mere few minutes away, is situated at the bottom of a hill. We got through the front door and found a quiet corner of the brewpub, lined by bookcases. Across from us there was a welcoming bar, a variety of sturdy wooden tables and boards advertising a good selection of beer. Along the back feature-wall stood shiny, brewing machinery, completing the cosy, brewpub look.
Having had a quick skim around the venue (primarily exploring the brewing machinery), it was time to sample the beers. A wide variety were on the menu and I was impressed to hear that some of the draught varieties were ales produced at the microbrewery site upon which I was standing – these are pumped directly from brewing vessels, straight into your glass!
Before choosing any beer, I had to see if ‘Jakehead IPA’ was available. I saw the name leap out at one of the beer taps and excitement flowed through my veins! A quick scan of the other beers ensued to ensure that I wasn’t missing another potential winning brew – I asked for a few samples of different beers to try whilst awaiting the main event.
During sampling I did exactly what we’ve all been told not to do – I judged the proverbial book by its cover. With its bright logo, I was instantly drawn to ‘Mango Green Tea Pale Ale’ by Black Lodge, based in Liverpool. Upon trying it, it wasn’t my cup of tea (sorry for the inevitable pun). Even as I type this I am getting chills down the back of my neck! This beer came in at 5.2% and was overly creamy in nature with a medicinal flavour to it. My partner, a green tea lover, confirmed that this flavour did not bear any resemblance to the real thing. Mango was non-existent in my opinion and I’ll be staying well-clear of this one in the future! Sorry Black Lodge, I’m happy to be persuaded by other brews of yours though!
Rating: 1.0/5. ‘Mango Green Tea Pale Ale’ really wasn’t for me. Texture and taste did not blend the way I was expecting, and I would happily never have this again. However, looking at its highly praised Untappd rating of 3.91, maybe my taste buds were off!
Onto a bigger, better, stronger beer and the main reason for The Bridge Tavern visit anyway… As mentioned earlier, I was eager to sample this. ‘Jakehead IPA’ is produced by Wylam. These guys are a microbrewery founded in the year 2000, based locally to this bar in the city of Newcastle. The beer is described as a “supercharged IPA”, with an alcohol content of 6.3% ABV. This instantly sounded promising. I may have looked a bit possessed, with wide-eyes and a manic grin, as I watched the beer being poured from the draught pump. Draught beer is recognised for giving the smoothest of textures, so I was super excited for this supercharged IPA!
On pouring, the beer is a bright bronze colour. A touch of pine with citrus waves are the first scents to alight from the bright white foam head. The beer hadn’t even reached the table and I was unable to keep my mouth away from the rim of the pint glass. It tasted incredibly juicy, with the American hops creating predominantly citrus-based flavours. My taste buds had been re-awoken. The typical slight bitter edge of an IPA nicely rounded off the pint.
Rating: 4.0/5. ‘Jakehead IPA’ packs a great hit of strength, is full of flavour and has just the right balance of citrus freshness vs bitterness. Wylam definitely earns beer points for this brew – I will keep an eye out for their double IPA version.
Thanks for reading! Absolutely loved this microbrewery and would highly recommend it to any beer fan looking for a drink in Newcastle!