BREWERS have seen silver turn to gold after their Newcastle-made American-style ale was picked to star on the shelves in Sainsbury’s.
Byker-based Tyne Bank Brewery‘s Silver Dollar conquered the Scottish region of the supermarket’s Great British Beer Hunt, wowing judges who gathered at Hibernian FC‘s Easter Road ground.
And now bottles of the 4.9% beer, which smells strongly of grapefruit and citrus, are flying out of North East stores – particularly in Heaton, where it has apparently proved a hit with students.
Brewery owner Julia Austin, 41, from Ponteland, said seeing her beers sent north of the border had turned out to be a fortunate move.
“We’re really part of the north region but its so massive there were too many to be judged in Manchester, so some of us moved up.
“It really wasn’t a problem as we’re so close anyway, but as it turned out it may have helped as there were not as many beers in that heat.”
Twenty one ales were entered, including Castle Gold, Monument Bitter and Silver Dollar from Tyne Bank and Wallsend-based Mordue brewery’s IPA.
Judges chose to taste eight of those on offer, deciding by name, description and bottle appearance, and then put forward four as potential winners.
For a judge’s take on the Scotland heat read Edinburgh-based The BeerCast’s account. (Opens in new window)
Silver Dollar came out on top and, like Untapped Brewing Co’s UPA in the South West, The Wolf Brewery’s Prairie Gold in the South East, Bird’s Brewery‘s Amnesia in the Midlands and Stringers Beer Delta V in the North, has now been made available in a select number of the supermarket’s stores for six months.
“We’re really quite chuffed,” said Julia, who used to work at Nissan before founding the brewery 15 months ago, “So far quite a few stores had been taking two cases a week – except for Heaton, where they’re selling so fast, we’ve just upped it to three.”
Bottles of Tyne Bank Silver Dollar are available from the Sainsbury’s stores in Cramlington, Durham, Fulwell, Gosforth, Heaton, Washington, Northumberland, Ponteland, South Shields and Sunderland.