June already, eh? Here we are at the middle of the year and looking forward to a cracking summer – fingers crossed – just like last year. June is the month of the summer solstice, the time when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky. It marks the official end of spring and the beginning of summer and is punctuated by holidays, festivals and rituals, such as going to the pub and getting your glass filled with whatever takes your fancy.
It’s also beer garden time; it’s about al fresco drinking and dining and slapping on the Factor 30. But don’t forget that the pubs with no outside area are quite often the coolest place to be (in every sense of the phrase). In hot weather, indoors among the handpulls and keg taps there’s often peace and tranquility – and no wasps.
And while we look forward it’s a good time to remember where we’ve been. In this issue, brewer Michael Hegarty looks back on a long career from pitman to pint drinker, while we acknowledge the demise 20 years ago of the North East icon that was Vaux.
But there are start-ups too, from a neat little brewery in Hexham to a passport scheme that helps drinkers save money.
Nothing stays the same but this summer we’d perhaps appreciate a repeat of last year’s sunshine.
Editor, Cheers North East