Not much has been written about whether the Emperor Hadrian enjoyed a few beers, but the fact that he was large, bearded and spent as little time in Italy as possible clinches it for me. Indeed I'm willing to bet the man would have been extremely proud of the brewery that bears his name today, though I guess he'd probably have been struggling to get much walling done had it existed back in the first century!
Anyhow, nearly two thousand years later and it has to be said that my Tuesday lunchtime pint at the Huntsman in Chidswell is fast becoming the beer event of the week. Following hard on the heels of the sublime Great Heck Yorkshire Pale Ale was a very finely crafted session beer today from the aforementioned Hadrian & Border. The 3.9% Tyneside Blonde is as good a pale and hoppy quaffing brew as I've tasted all year, with mellow hints of citrus abruptly but skillfully balanced by a satisfying, slightly soapy, short bitter finish. More a drink for the summer months in looks and quenchability perhaps, but beer as good as this really should be available year round. Those seeking something more seasonal are also well catered for by this eight year old outfit with their Yule Fuel (5%) and Rudolph's Ruin (7.2%) currently doing the rounds.
Learn more about the brewery's history and output here.