Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arguably The Best Pub In The World

So claims the sign outside the Boathouse, as we alighted from the train at Wylam (Northumberland, on the line from Newcastle to Carlisle).

I wasn't even aware that the Boathouse is the best pub in the Northeast - I personally have a soft spot for the Kings Arms in Sunderland; and to boast that you can better the Square & Compass (Worth Matravers), the Market Porter (Borough Market) or the Fat Cat (Norwich), you are going to have to be very special indeed....

The Boathouse used to be pretty much the Wylam Brewery tap, but a dispute between brewery and pub means you don't currently get Wylam beers here, so if you are looking for the excellent Wylam "Turbinia - 10 Years" you will need to search elsewhere. Nevertheless there are 14 hand pumps (+ 1 for draught cider), and most of the 14 on offer are rarities or northern beers that don't venture down to Yorkshire often.

Just about every beer was new to me, but four pumps took the eye, three from Scotlands Fyne - "Hurricane Jack", "Jarl" and "Avalanche", and one from Stables of Beamish, Co. Durham - "Corker". All four are the type of light and hoppy ales we in Huddersfield adore, with grapefruit bitterness associated with Nelson and Citra hops, the "Corker" with a balanced ginger taste. "Avalanche" shaded it, and at 4.5%, was my preferred strength.

All beers up to 4.5% are £2.50 a pint (£2.60 4.6%+, halfs all £1.30 - superstrong beers individually priced), pub grub is available all day, very useful with so many ales to tempt you to stay, but after three hours and a couple of halves of Hadrian & Border "Real Lager", it was time to return to Newcastle.

Rumour is that Mallinsons will be appearing on the bar sometime soon, so one or two of us might have to trail even further for those dry hopped specials. Best pub in the world? Certainly pushing for a top ten spot in the UK, an essential stop off if you are in the Northeast - open from 11 till late every day (Sunday opens 12).


ChrisM said...

Good post Aliain, the Boathouse is a firm favourite of mine - and indeed has won the overall CAMRA Tyneside and Northumberland Pub of the Year for the past 3 or 4 years, and last year was the North East Regional Pub of the Year. As for Avalanche, it's one of those beers I'd be happy to choose as the only beer I will ever drink again.

MusicRab said...

Best pub in the world - in Northumberland? In the Tyne Valley?
Well bugger me - when I lived there it was the LAST place on earth you'd expect to find a decent pint. (The Dipton Mill being the exception to prove the rule.)

If there's anywhere nearby to park a camper-van overnite and I'll be there in September.

Anonymous said...

That sounds great. Do they do accommodation?

Anonymous said...

No accommodation as far as we could tell.
We have stayed in Corbridge to visit the Dyvel's Inn next to Corbridge railway station, as well as the Boathouse, the Rat Inn at Anick and the Dipton Mill.

ChrisM said...

Correct, no accommodation at the Boathouse, but there are plenty of other pubs around Northumberland that do. Check the pub database at http://www.cannybevvy.co.uk/