Hadrian would have been so proud of Wall's ales
Ales produced near Hadrian’s Wall are some of the region's finest. We pay them a visit this week and next.
ONE of Napoleon’s more memorable quotes was: “An army marches on its stomach”. Emperor Hadrian’s maxim went something like: “Get that wall finished by AD122 and I’ll buy you a pint.”
A nice thought, but unlikely. “That wall”, however, forms the backdrop to an initiative by Hadrian’s Wall Heritage to encourage businesses and visitors to buy locally-produced products and to offer business support to its members. Locally Produced is one of a “family” of brands under the Hadrian’s Wall Country “umbrella” which promotes the Hadrian’s Wall Bus, Train Line and the National Trail for cycling and walking. And, a handful of micro-breweries along its length lend themselves remarkably well to the strategy.
Maria Hindmarsh, sustainable development assistant at Hadrian’s Wall Heritage, says: “We have four breweries in the scheme so we felt it was valuable to focus on them for a ‘meet the producer’ tour.
“To raise awareness we invited publicans, restaurateurs and hoteliers and hopefully enable new business relationships to develop.”
Raise awareness it certainly did with representatives from the likes of The Black Bull at Haltwhistle; The Bairns at Chopwell and Vintage Inns, plus Jesmond Dene House Hotel and Blackfriars Restaurant in Newcastle having their eyes opened in varying degrees to a range of fine, cask-conditioned beers.
Tom Hick at Allendale Brewery in Northumberland has been brewing for only four years but has established a reputation for outstanding ales that have gained awards for their consistency along with personal commendations for entrepreneurship. Expansion has been like an exercise in perpetual motion with bigger plant and more elbow room constant companions.