Cheers 59

The days are lengthening and the air is warming up, so while it’s still not totally shirtsleeves weather, going to the pub has taken on another dimension. The brewery and pub sector is moving on at a quickening pace with a quiet confidence that
has put optimism right on the bar top.

There are people who’ll moan about 29 pubs a week closing – or whatever figure they dredge up this month – but they’ll never tell you about the new openings, the refurbishments, the railway arches being pressed into service, or the heady choice of beer now available.

Last month we heard from pub singer/songwriter Simma, who had achieved a lifetime’s ambition of playing on stage at Newcastle City Hall with the legendary Lindisfarne. Ambitions are strange beasts; they can sometimes be completely unattainable but more often tend towards the fairly ordinary. Then, when it’s achieved you invent another one.
If I can help myself to a line or two of self-indulgence, I’d like to reveal my journalistic lifetime’s ambition. Being one of those newspaper subeditors who relishes the excruciating headline, I’ve managed to get one of my favourite punchlines into print on page 14:

“A pint or a meringue?”. It could almost be a description of the variety of experiences you’ll find in today’s pub.

Elswhere in the magazine, we meet a man who is keen for every pub to have its own beehive, and we talk to students at Brewlab in Sunderland who have come from all over the world to learn how to make beer. They love it – so do we.

Alastair Gilmour
Editor, Cheers North East

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