Published on October 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Man crèche set to expand

Snuggled in the snug at the Great North Eastern Brewing Company (GNEBC) in Dunston, Gateshead, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re relaxing in a gentlemen’s club or the lounge of a country hotel – and not a former car showroom. You’re surrounded by soft furnishings, upholstered settees, tapestry-backed chairs, frilly lampshades and gilt picture frames. It’s carpeted throughout and candle-lit with a functional fireplace.

“We installed Sky TV and had so many people in for the Newcastle-Brighton match we’ve decided to push one wall back and extend it,” says GNEBC managing director Paul Minnikin.

The 20-barrel GNEBC brewery is the producer of the renowned Rivet Catcher (“flying out”), Red Ellen, Westoe IPA and Swinging Gibbet, all overseen by head brewer John Stubbs. Paul Minnikin is eager to report that the business is doing very well with sales up week on week.

“We call the snug the Man Crèche. What we suggest is for wives to drop their husbands off for a couple of hours at a weekend on their way to the Metrocentre while they go shopping. We’ll give them a ticket which they can exchange later for their menfolk. We put ‘geordie tapas’ on each table – cheese, crackers, Branson Pickle and pickled onions. All pints are £3 and we’re open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am till 11pm.”

Paul adds that the brewery shop and large, well-equipped taproom – where there’s regular live music – are also performing well.

“We have plans to install a five-barrel experimental brewery to develop new beers,” he says. “The brewery tap is the ideal way of judging what the public want. At the moment we’ve got special beers on called Dripping Tap and Golden Tap along with Clasper’s Citra Blonde.”

Paul Minnikin believes in nurturing latent talent and creativity, particularly from those who perhaps haves come under negative influence.

He says: “We’re about to take on an apprentice brewer and have earmarked a youngster for the role. He’s a good lad who has taken to all the jobs around the brewery. Through Gateshead Council and The Wright Group we’ve taken on Caine Robinson as a trainee brewer. He got his head down straight away and is learning fast – another really good lad.”

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Alastair Gilmour

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