Ale trails – take a tour of some great tasting north east brews

No matter where in the north east of England you choose to stay, you're never far from some great locally brewed ales! From city centre breweries to rural micro pubs, with more than 50 independent breweries operating across the region, the variety and quality on offer is vast.

Brewery visitor centre experiences

Many breweries run tours, where you can see the production process, chat to the brewers and of course, sample a few beers!

Wylam Brewery in the historic former Palace of Arts in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park epitomises the recent resurgence in popularity of beer and the craft of brewing. Incorporating a brewery, taproom and kitchen, this visitor centre runs tours every Saturday at 11am which include an introduction to the brewing process, a brief history of the Brewery and the opportunity to sample four beers. The brewery’s Grand Hall regularly plays host to food, music and pop-up events.  

Established in 1865, Camerons’ 150+ year journey has established it as one of the north east’s leading brewers with its products available across the region in their Head of Steam branded pubs. Set in what is thought to be Hartlepool’s oldest pub, the visitor centre’s daytime and evening tours offer insight into the brewery’s history in a magnificent marble-lined brew hall. Be warned, they are so popular pre-booking is essential! 

High House Farm Brewery sits on a 200 acre farm on the line of Hadrian’s Wall near the village of Matfen. As well as boasting a fine selection of specially named ales, the visitor centre offers a history of the farm, restaurant and tutored tasting in the bar. A selection of short walks from the site unearth Roman remains and the visitor centre is only a short stroll from Matfen Hall Hotel, the finest country house property in the region.

Brewhouses, micropubs and quirky hangouts!

What could be better than combining sightseeing with an opportunity to visit microbreweries and sampling craft beers producers - all with a local provenance…

With uninterrupted views of the edge of the Roman Empire, the Twice Brewed Inn is a Hadrian’s Wall institution. Recently refurbished to include an on-site Brewhouse, this is the perfect base for the seven mile circular walk that takes in Roman Vindolanda, Housesteads Roman Fort, Sycamore Gap, Steel Rigg and the Northumberland National Park’s Sill Landscape Discovery Centre – must-see sites of the most dramatic stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. 

Within a stone’s throw of Beamish, the north of England open air museum, The Stables Brewing Co is a fully operational microbrewery in the 18th century stable block of the Beamish Hall county house hotel. Tours are available, with the Gold package including a nine-pint mini cask to take home with you!

On the Gateshead banks of the River Tyne beneath the iconic Tyne Bridge, the By The River Brew Co. has emerged as one of the city centre’s most popular hangouts. The site features a Brewery & Tap Room, restaurant, bike shop and vibrant weekend hawker market.

The Split Chimp is the latest microbrewery to emerge in the North Tyneside coastal town. Set in Spanish City, the historical seafront venue which has been lovingly restored to its Edwardian glory, the venue has excellent views of the landscaped gardens and North Sea. Perfect tonic after a wander along the coast!

A visit to The Marsden Grotto is just reward following the brisk 30 minute walk around Marsden Bay from Souter Lighthouse. Fashioned within a disused cliff-foot cave, this South Tyneside coastal pub may not have a home brew, but it’s quirky design and stunning views of the 250 million year old Marsden Rock make it well worth the effort.

And these are all within very easy reach of Newcastle’s modern international airport. Popping out to your local has never been so enjoyable!