Northumberland Hussar reopens but brewery – and distillery – plans are on hold

The Northumberland Hussar in HeatonHeaton’s Northumberland Hussar pub is reopening – but drinkers will have to wait for it to become a brewpub.

Now owned by local businessman Magnus Wilson, who also owns the Ivy House in Sunderland, the former Enterprise Inns will welcome people in at 7pm tonight.

But for visitors hoping to try some of the pub’s own beer they will have to wait to next year – as its basement brewery will not be installed until at least January or February.

Yet for booze fans there is more good news – as managers are planning to follow up the brewery with a whiskey and gin distillery in mid 2014.

“We hope to open the distillery next year but it will depend on space and the equipment size,” said manager Nick Thompson. “But we hope to produce whiskey and gin.

“Obviously you can’t sell whiskey straight away, as it needs to be aged for at least three years, so we’ll be leaving it on the bar, so people can see it.

“Who wouldn’t see something like that and not try it?

“As for the brewery, it is going to be housed in the cellar and supply both us and the Ivy House.

“The idea is to brew a lot of different styles so that we have different beers at different times of the year.

“And brewing in-house, next to the kitchen, will give us a lot more control over what we sell.”

The Northumberland Hussar‘s transformation – both inside & outside – is already impressing locals with one former regular saying that the pub has “never looked better.”

Despite not yet brewing it’s own drinkers at the Sackville Road boozer will find guest kegs from the likes of Duvel, Arbor, Flying Dog & Brooklyn.

The launch night’s real ale is primarily locally-sourced according to assistant manager Kieran, with Out There Brew Co’s Laika & Valentina alongside casks from Mordue. Other beers include Rye-oh-Rye, Ritual & Rhapsody from Alechemy Brewing and Mirthless from Redwillow.

Opening night bottles include a limited edition beer from Kernel Brewery.

The bar, running with a slogan of “Real Ale In Heaton”, has been converted from its former three-room layout into a single open room with horseshoe-shaped bar in the middle.

To one-side is a visible kitchen, which will be serving a wide range of pizzas, burgers & pot dishes, all made fresh on the premises.

Highlights include “Heather” – a juicy beef pattie topped with Portobello mushrooms, streaky bacon, black pudding and a runny egg – and “Drunken Beef” – slowly braised chunks of Northumbrian beef served in a rich gravy with sweet potato, onion and made with a dark beer from the bar.