Published on September 3rd, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Bullish about beer
A Northumberland town’s tourist information centre is now better placed on the map as a micropub. Jake Castleman and Emma Bayne have only been in charge of the Cock & Bull in Amble since June but directions all point upwards.
“It’s going very well,” says Jake, formerly general manager at The Northumberland Arms in Felton, Northumberland. “We had looked at other places but when this came up we struck lucky. It’s a very unusual building and it’s so lovely to have that shape.”
“That shape” includes two dramatic skylights enhanced by the combination of red and dark blue paintwork which illuminate and delight equally.
Jake also brought George Devereux-Tinsley, one of his former bar team with him, along with so much beer, wine and spirits knowledge that this place is going to go places, no bull.
Four cask ales represent some of the North East’s finest – Anarchy Brew Co, Great North Eastern Brew Co, Allendale and Credence breweries – plus a unique rustic tower is reserved for Rigg & Furrow’s burgeoning keg collection, brewed a few miles inland at Acklington.
“We’re looking at getting five or even six cask beers in if we can find the space,” says Jake.
The bar offers cheeses from the region – Berwick Edge and Cuddy’s Cave – with wines from Portugal, Italy, Spain and Slovenia and gins from Holy Island, Alnwick, Hepple and Kelso (plus pies from Eyemouth). This boy Jake knows his onions.
The pub name derives from the old phrase for tall stories. Jake says: “Guys come into a bar and talk a lot of cock and bull. I woke up one morning and thought ‘that sounds like a pub’.
“We wanted to create a traditional Seventies and Eighties pub with a modern twist. Furniture has been recycled from a pub in Durham and it all hangs together very well. Local people have been very supportive; can’t believe they’ve got a pub like this on their doorstep.
“And the sunsets are picture postcard with pink skies over Amble Marina towards Warkworth Castle.”
That’s no cock and bull, by the way. AG