One of Newcastle’s oldest and most traditional pubs, The Crown Posada, has joined the “craft beer revolution” by installing it’s first guest keg line.
The tiny, narrow, Grade II listed tavern, between the end of Dean Street and Newcastle Quayside, has until now – for almost 260 years – been cask ale only apart from the usual mass market lagers.
But as more and more small brewers looking to produce good gassed beer, and more of his customers drinking it, pub boss Andrew Nicholson has added a keg ale font alongside his six handpulls.
“My motto with the Crown Posada has always been, ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’ and the customers like it that way,” said Andrew. “To me the Crown Posada represents hundreds of years of local character that people relate to every time they walk through the door.
“But while we have always been a traditional bar but that doesn’t mean our products should be stale and unimaginative for our loyal customers.
“On the cask front I try and have a mix of strong IPA’s, dark beers and session ales of all kinds to create the most interesting choice for this kind of bar. I never deal with mass produce brands and instead I try and support local breweries and microbreweries as I feel the products to be far superior in taste and passion.
“Now microbreweries are also hitting their stride with the keg beer revolution and some fantastic quality keg ales from local and micro breweries are readily available.”
The first local keg beer to hit the bar was Allendale Brewery’s Adder lager, but Andrew – who recently turned detective to track down a thief – hopes to bring in beers from a number of North East breweries.
” I can support the little guy and offer a fantastic – often locally produced – product to my customers through a guest keg line and increase the variety of drinks that we have,” he said.
“I believe that keg ale is more then a fad and the ever increasing discerning drinker will actively look for a keg guest option.
“We of course will always be a cask ale specialist with over 75% of our sales coming from just 6 hand pulls but I find that a local keg option fits right in at home on the bar and I hope it does well.”
The history of the Crown Posada
A pub has sat on the site of the Crown Posada since the mid-1700s and originally it was simply known as The Crown. Legend has it that the pub was bought by a Spanish sea captain for his mistress and Posada – the Spanish word for resting place – was added to the name.
The Crown Posada’s present guise stems from a rebuild in 1880, under the supervision of architect WL Newcombe, who reshaped the narrow, three story pub so that it had three drinking areas, one behind the other, including a snug and rear sitting room that have both long since lost their doors.
At the front the pub has two impressive Pre-Raphaelite style stained glass windows, which are believed to have been a later addition, with one window depicting a lady serving a drink and the other a Tudor gent about to consume it.
Since 1901 the Crown Posada has been in the hands of the Sir John Fitzgerald group, who have carefully refurbished the pub over the years, extending it in the 1950s into a disused warehouse to provide ladies and gents toilets at the back.
The most recent big change probably coming in the 1980s when SJF replaced the windows running down the right hand side, which only overlooked an alley, with a series of mirrors.
The Crown Posada is recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale as – like the Dun Cow in Sunderland – having a historic pub interior of national importance.