To start things off we ended up in the much tweeted about Brew Dog Newcastle. As my first time in a Brew Dog bar I found it to be more or less what I expected. Bright edgy fonts everywhere, uber trendy and not a single bar staff member looking over 16. If you're a Brew Dog fan you will love this place and I don't think I've ever seen a specialist beer bar try so hard with image. Besides this Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale proved to be an interesting twist on the original and Brew Dog Centennial Columbus IPA and Nogne Citra were both sound new world IPAs but for me seemed a bit overly chilled from the keg dispense.
Moving on it was time to hit the Broad Chare for burgers with some delicious Wylam Writer's Block which has enough attributes of an American pale ale to pull off that classic Pale ale/IPA-burger no brainer pairing. After this there was various options as the Toon is littered with great pubs, but with a heavily pregnant wife as our driver it was time to cut to the chase.
The Free Trade Inn is a classic geordie pub that I barely see enough of. It hosts a great range of beers and advocates new beer released around the region and further afield. So being in with what's current a Brew Star Anarchy was in order, along side a Mordue IPA for quality control purposes.
But after a not so long night it was time to head home. After all I am getting on being 28 and all. But the party wasn't completely over as birthday celebrations officially ended today (on my official birthday) with a beer dinner made by the wife.
To start things off smoked salmon, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad served with The Kernel India Pale Ale Stella. A beer chosen almost randomly that stangely seemed to work with the dish. The beer was mainly chosen because I have never tried any IPAs from The Kernel and because I'm unfamiliar with the hop variety Stella. It's a big naturally conditioned beer packed full of big resiny hops backed up by burly malt. The Stella hop seems moderately interesting, a tad like galaxy, a tad like centennial, a tad like various others but with a slight earthy, robust almost peppery character. A great beer.
Stepping down a notch with the hops it was time for some Mordue Nothumbrian Blonde (straight from the conditioning tank at work) served with a chicken stew derived from the cookbook Appetite for Ale by Fiona Beckett. Sierra Nevada Chicken was basically adapted to being Northumbrian Blonde chicken. Great stuff and very filling. But that just about sums up my twenty eighth birthday experience, my last birthday not being a dad.