A TASTY Tyneside Blonde is heading for London to try and tempt MPs into trying North East ale.
Brewery manager Martin Hammill – whose hair is decidedly greyer – is reaping the benefits of a December trip to Westminster to debate the effects of rising beer duty.
And today five firkins of Newburn-based Hadrian Border’s best selling beer have set off on their journey to the House of Common’s exclusive Strangers’ Bar.
“It all came about from my meeting Hexham MP Guy Opperman back in December as part of Camra’s mass lobby against the Beer Duty Escalator.
“He also agreed to meet me as a brewery manager to discuss the other social and economic implications as a result of the tax.
“We had a good walk around the Palace of Westminster – but I didn’t get to see Guy Fawkes little hideout – and we spent a good deal of time looking at the building, with him taking the time to explain much of the history and significance of the various areas. I found it all fascinating.
“I asked if I could have a pint in the famous Strangers Bar, and he said he’d arrange it, which he did.
“I gave my business card and some tasting notes and samples to the manager there – I’d taken a few bottles of Tyneside Blonde down with me and Guy also said he would try to promote the product. He was good to his word and and the next thing I knew, they’d ordered five casks of Tyneside Blonde.
“It might not be the biggest order we’ve ever had, for Tyneside Blonde is one of our best-selling favourites up here, but it’s certainly one of the most prestigious.”
The beers served in Strangers’ Bar comes from a list of specially requested ales put forward by MPs – with the 3.9% blonde collected by a wholesaler today and taken to London in time to appear on the the blackboard some time next week.