Cheers 62

Predicting the weather is a daft game to play for a monthly publication, but now that summertime is well and truly upon us, warming our foreheads, necks (and bald spots) in beer gardens across the North East, we’ve sought out the best of the region’s festivals and events for your diaries. Our pubs are a seasonal playground, extending entertainment into live music, charity events, beer festivals, the comedy circuit, and barbecue-nostrilising hog roasts. It’s no longer enough to open the window another notch come a spell of sunshine; potential customers have myriad alternatives and a multitude of sweeteners dangling their wares at our spending power, so we have to try that bit harder to win support – and to keep it.

The Cheers team has been enormously encouraged lately by the opening of new pubs, the reinvention of previously stagnating ones, and the innovation and enterprise – not to say tidy investments – shown by people who firmly believe there’s life (and a lot of it) still in the licensed sector. The pub and beer scene is buzzing at the moment, whether it’s a mini-microbrewery, a micropub, or an audacious move into an iconic building (as Wylam Brewery has done at The Palace of Arts in Exhibition Park in Newcastle) or a seemingly straightforward railway arch pub conversion, the confidence is returning.

The message is as always – go to the pub, enjoy it, tell your friends, then go back again. And again.

Alastair Gilmour
Editor, Cheers North East

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