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Published on December 5, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


Bits ‘n’ bobs – December 2018

Wine business the Lanchester Group is popping corks after unveiling a boost in turnover and profit.
Despite the previous year’s poor global wine harvest and heavy investments, the County Durham-based business – which includes Lanchester Wines and Greencroft Bottling – said turnover has increased 20% from £68.3m to £81.8m, while earnings before interest and taxes etc almost trebled from £2.3m to £6.3m.
The figures follow successive years of inward investment in property, personnel and infrastructure, and directors Tony and Veronica Cleary said the strong performance is set to continue.

Tyne Bank Brewery firmly believes that Sundays should be focused on chilling out.
The Walker Road, Newcastle, brewhouse, taproom and events space has installed bike racks and will open from 10am for coffee and cake (beer also available, of course), to relax with newspapers, or catch breath after a walk or a bike ride – then 12noon-6pm it’s street food with Nin’s Shack and live music for that relaxed, extended Sunday lunch (beer also available, of course).

The Gardeners’ Club which meets every Sunday at The Boathouse, Wylam, hosted its annual Tinned Fruit & Veg Show recently with raffles, an auction of produce (all in some sort of fancy dress) and a whole lot of fun.
The lunchtime session raised an astonishing £650 for Daft As A Brush, the charity that ferries cancer patients from all across Northumberland to hospital appointments.

Champion Bottles & Taps in Heaton, Newcastle, has been sold to a group of beers-from-the-wood enthusiasts, fronted by experienced landlord Rob Shacklock and is turning the premises into a micropub. Its former owner, James Andrews, is now working for a North East coffee roasting company.
The newly-named Heaton Tap subscribes to the aims and ambitions of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood (SPBW). Visit for society details.

The North East’s own Cafe Amsterdam pop-up bar heads to North Yorkshire to join forces with Yorkshire Dales Brewery to host its Christmas open day at the brewery tap in Askrigg on December 29.
Seven of Yorkshire Dales’ seasonal cask beers will be on tap along with a fine selection of Dutch beers, genevers and gins from Cafe Amsterdam. Open 12noon-7pm, there will be music and food available throughout the day and an endless supply of Christmas cheer.

The Trent House in Newcastle city centre – closest pub to St James’ Park after The Strawberry – is offering CAMRA members pints for £1.95 between the hours of 11am and 5pm, Monday-Friday, on production of their members’ cards. That’s just got to be good!

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Alastair Gilmour

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