Published on October 16th, 2014 | by Alastair Gilmour


Fast Eddy is smo-o-o-king

The taps are open. The long-anticipated Bierrex Smoke & Tap House – formerly Popolo – on Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street is up and running. The sister pub to DatBar promises some of the region’s, nation’s and world’s best craft beers to complement high quality food cooked on a Fast Eddy FEC 120 wood smoker from Oklahoma – “simply the best piece of kit for the job” – for an authentic barbecue experience.

“Bierrex is certainly different”, says manager Joseph Harrop, right, whom beer aficionados will know from his days at the Cumberland Arms in Ouseburn Valley. “It’s a ‘grown-up’, civilised place that’s gone back to what the original Popolo’s had to offer in quality and style. And it’s great to be working with Joel Darby at DatBar – we’ve known each other since we were 13.”

Stylish Bierrex certainly is – marble counter and table tops with beer poured from a central pod create a sense of ultra-modernity without throwing comfortable tradition out of those high windows. The pub also retains its former light and airy atmosphere – even improving on it – while the Smoke House features beautifully crafted American diner-style seating. And, no need to be peering at pumpclips dotted all around – simply check the chalkboard, order a beer by its particular number and out she comes. The décor and fittings are all by local craftspeople, architects and graphic designers, too, so it gets top marks for “design miles”.

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Alastair Gilmour

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