Monday, 14 July 2008

A Mixed Bag

Our first stop on Thursday is the Locomotion No 1 in Heighington. Only it isn't. It is nearly two miles away in Aycliffe. Well done the GBG contributor who did that one. It takes some finding and is somewhat disappointing when we do, with an unappealing Marstons mix of beers. We struggle with some below par Jennings. The Bay Horse is definitely in the right place on West Green in Heighington, an attractive and large village between Darlington and Newton Aycliffe. Beer range is Taylors, Cameron's Strongarm, Black Sheep and John Smith's Magnet. All are tried except the Magnet which leaves me with a twinge of guilt for not trying this all too rare beer. All are good, though Steve thought the Landlord "crap", while Malc and I both enjoyed it

Heading in to Bishop Auckland, we passed the closed Grand Hotel, home of the Wear Valley Brewery. It doesn't open until evening. Damn. Near the GBG listed Tut and Shive, a local baker supplied us with home made pies and pasties and for Malc, ever the traditionalist, a pease pudding and ham stotty cake, which he duly pronounced "excellent"! The Tut and Shive itself was quiet, but beers from Jarrow and Mordue kept our spirits up. The final GBG entry in BA, Pollards, is a bit of a curate's egg. The good part is the simple and well appointed public bar with its open fire, which was on, such has been our summer so far. This is a tied Marston's House and the range included their latest acquisitions in all their glory. We had both Wychcraft Summer Ale from Wychwood and Boondoggle from Ringwood. Both were pale and hoppy with the Boondoggle just shading it for me. This is a pub worth visiting, but ignore the large estate pub bit at the back!

Thus fortified, we set off for Durham and our overnight stay at the Victoria, another GBG pub.

1 comment:

Ted said...

Not sure if the Wear Vallet brewery is still running as it was. I understand the main brewer, Ian, is now working at the Captain Cook brewery.

A shame you didn't pop into Darlo. The Brittania, Quaker and No 22 are all worth a visit...