Published on November 5th, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour


Ale house rock

Beers brewed specially for rock bands and music festivals have become regular features over the past few years. Think Röad Crew commissioned from Cameron’s Brewery by Motörhead; Sam Fender’s Wallop Lager brewed by Tyne Bank Brewery, plus Trooper from Iron Maiden, Piledriver by Status Quo and countless others such as with Elbow, Frank Turner and Madness.  

A couple of years ago, veteran heavy metal rockers Tygers Of Pan Tang commissioned the highly-successful Tyger Blood from Newcastle-based Box Social Brewing. The Tygers have joined forces with Brinkburn St Brewery to produce Ritual, while Northumberland brewer Allendale has teamed up with local band Dunes to brew Phantom Head.


Good things happen in a roundabout way. Lee Renforth, founder of Brinkburn St Brewery in Newcastle was contacted by Bruce Renwick from CentreAle who had been chatting to Tom Noble, who manages veteran metal band Tygers Of Pan Tang. 

Bruce is a huge music fan with some of the beers he stocks in his Central Station bottle shop even arranged in rock’n’roll categories. He suggested a beer to celebrate the launch of the Tygers’s new album, plus their appearance at the Nordic Noise Festival in time Square in Newcastle this month and thought of involving Brinkburn St.

Tom Noble then sampled some beers at the Ouseburn brewery and decided a light, easy-drinking IPA would go down well with Tygers’ fans across the world, so Ritual (4.8% abv) a West Coast-style IPA, was born.

Lee Renforth says: “We wanted to support the band – formed in Whitley Bay in 1978 – plus introduce our beers to a different group of drinkers by tapping into the ‘ageing rockers’ scene.

“We keep evolving our position in the marketplace; it’s a changeable market and at the moment we’re trying to get the right balance. We’re looking at the long game and the new Ritual beer is an opportunity to explore the export market where Tygers Of Pan Tang are still hugely popular.”

Brinkburn St Brewhouse & Kitchen is working so well that the upstairs area is about to be transformed into an events space which should open in January 2020.

Nordic Noise, originally an annual Scandinavian event, visits Newcastle for the first time, taking over the city’s Think Tank for two days of rock and metal. November 22 will see Blitzkrieg, Thorium and Repulsive Vision take to the stage, while the 23rd will see performances from Tygers Of Pan Tang, Statement, Lucer, Pectora and Alpha Delta.


Alt-rock band Dunes formed in 2016 and in their relatively short time have released several EPs, toured all over the country, and supported the likes of Mercury nominees Idles, plus renowned beer lovers Red Fang, North East music hero Ginger Wildheart, Monster Magnet, The Picturebooks and Boy Azooga  

With the release of their debut album Take Me To The Nasties in September (with Durham-based Sapien Records) the band decided they’d like to mark the occasion with a celebratory beer, so got in touch with their favourite North East beer producer Allendale Brewery.

Adrian Huggins from Allendale says: “The brewing team were very much up for the challenge. The guys came up to the brewery to have a look around and talked to the brewers about what they like in a beer, what flavours they prefer, and what styles of beer they like and what they’d like to drink if they could create something themselves. 

“Armed with this information, and an advance copy of the album blaring out on the brewery floor for extra inspiration, they set about creating a smooth and aromatic Phantom Head Cryo Hop IPA (7.6% abv). The can and font design features the album cover created by Dave Longford Kerr of Devil City Design.”

Dunes singer-guitarist John Davies says: “We’ve loved Allendale’s beers for years and we’re loving Phantom Head. We were over the moon when the team said they’d do this for us. We’re taking some cans to venues in Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and London when we’re gigging around the country in November and December.”

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Alastair Gilmour

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