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2014
ESCAMRA visit to Sunderland Real Ale Pubs
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A Look At Real Ale Pubs Watching Everton
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ESCAMRA visit to Sunderland Real Ale Pubs (April 2013)

 

Everton Supporters in CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, like to visit pubs serving hand-pump cask ale on our travels around the country following the Blues.

The starting point for most pub crawls in the city centre of Sunderland tends to be The Borough on Vine Place and last season was no exception. On the journey up though, we did hope that there would be more than the one cask ale being served prior to the last visit for the FA Cup replay. That night just Wentworth Black Zac was on offer, a dark ale with chocolate and pale malts, basically a ready made 'Black and Tan'. This had proved quite disappointing.

The Borough is a one room pub with a square bar in the middle that serves from all four sides. It appears to be popular as an alternative music venue, probably angled slightly towards heavy metal, though the taped music playing usually tends to be from the punk/new wave era of the late seventies.

The beer on offer was mainly from the Maxim Brewery, which was formed by ex employees of the Vaux Brewery in Sunderland and Wards in Sheffield when they closed in 1999. So there was Double Maxim (4.7%), first brewed in 1901 and initially called Maxim Ale, this was created to celebrate the return of the Maxim Gun detachment from the Boer War, Lambton's Pale Ale (3.8%), the Lambton Worm is a legendary Sunderland tale and the name of one of the city's wetherspooons, Sansom Great North (4%) and Swedish Blonde (4.2%), Anna's Fruity Hoppy Ale named after Maxim Breweries own Anna Goransdotter - Bell.

There was also two widely sold ales, these being Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Sharps Doombar, along with the not so widely sold Jeremiah Weed brews.

The centre of Sunderland is actually mapped out like the Borough, the station being in a pedestrianised centre and the roads containing the pubs surrounding this in a square shape. So from the south side of the square, we headed to the west side and Green Terrace, quite a student area, for Fitzgeralds. This is one of a 22 strong chain of Sir John Fitzgerald's pubs in the North East, more so in Newcastle where this descendant from Ireland did a lot for the city in the 19th century

This is always crowded on a match day, so the outdoor terrace at the back provided extra space on a warm day. The walls had plenty of mirrors making the inside seem bigger than it was though on the wall next to us hung a black and white picture of Bobby Kerr lifting the FA Cup up in 1973.

There were plenty of beers on offer, handily written up on a board above the bar.

There were another two from Timothy Taylor, Ram Tam (4.3%) a dark beer and Boltmaker (4%). Surprisingly these both came from the one hand pump so presumably the bar maid had a button to press for which to serve. Another Evertonian had just asked for Ram Tam and queried that it didn't seem dark enough, so as could be expected the wrong one had been served. This was handy as it was in our round so it was passed over and quicker for us. Still don't understand this method though as if you wanted four pints of each, it would take twice as long getting eight pints from one pump as it would if they were on a pump each.

Anyway maybe they were out of pumps as there were plenty of other beers available.

Long Blonde (3.8%) from Long Man Brewery a light coloured golden Ale with a distinctive hoppy aroma and crisp clean bitterness on the finish, Cheddar's Totty Pot (4.5%) a dark porter and two pale ales Roosters Buck Eye (3.5%) and Durham White Velvet (4.2%).

The last pub, on the North side of this imaginary square was the Dun Cow, to complete all four sides we could have headed to The William Jameson, (another  Wetherspoons, east of the station and on the road that eventually leads to the big bridge over the River Wear to the ground. The Dun Cow is a small pub on High Street West, presumably popular with visitors to the Empire Theatre opposite. Very much an old style pub but with nice old fashioned décor, this was a good pub to visit and surprisingly fairly quiet for 2 o'clock match day, the only let down was that just one cask ale was on offer as two had run out.      

The Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh, was also born out of the closure of Vaux. Two of their range should have been available, Deuchar's IPA a well known pale golden session beer that goes down well and 80 Shilling, at least it was the old favourite that was on and 3.8% not a strong one for two quick pints before heading to the ground.  

Theakston's Paradise was the other that had the clip turned round

Not much can be said of the match, the pre-match pub tour was definitely the highlight of this trip to the North East.

Look out for more ESCAMRA trips following Everton.

 

Email Bluekipper at enquiries@bluekipper.com

Comments about ESCAMRA visit to Sunderland Real Ale Pubs
 
4
why not, ste? Ye fizz guzzling tit!
Paul Newton, Bootle, 3:20 PM 13/02/2014
 
3
One of the main misses in Phuket is real ale. However when I am back to the UK in May this year, Weetwoods Cheshire Cat is on the menue, a local brew from Tarporley. The word orgasmic doesn't cut it. Shame they don't have an outlet that corresponds with all our away fixtures. Great article, keeping getting it down your neck !
LES, PHUKET, 5:34 AM 13/02/2014
 
2
Love this. I like my real ale and go away so this is the gear .
Gus, Walton, 12:07 AM 13/02/2014
 
1
Is ESCAMRA an actual group or is it just one person (I can't believe whoever wrote this has actually got any mates)?
Ste , Crosby, 11:21 PM 12/02/2014
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