Published on April 2, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour0
No time limit
The Curfew has just about it all. Cosy and intimate interior, a suntrap of an outside terrace and a small area next door that’s ideal for hosting beer festivals and events.
It’s also child and dog-friendly and considerately, there are rolled-up blankets in the award-winning Berwick micropub for chilly evenings. Entering the pub through the passageway from the town’s Bridge Street, the counter (four handpulls) looks like it has served as a cupboard in a former life, but if it fits it works. Seating is sawn-off dining chairs creating practical stools – very welcome in small spaces. Elsewhere, the slim-bottomed pew seating tends to make the relaxed sitter gradually slip off – but it’s probably time for another pint by then anyway.
Brewing paraphernalia in the shape of metal signs is gradually filling up the walls in a range from Alaskan Amber through to Rochefort and Trappistenbieren.
This sets the tone for a quiet pint over a newspaper crossword or animated banter among a bunch of cronies.
The Curfew, owned by Gemma and David Cook, has been a regular Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) award winner since it opened in June 2014. It’s currently the Tyneside & Northumberland branch’s North Northumberland pub of the year and also overall cider pub of the year. This is testament to four handpulls serving well-kept real ale from across the UK and a craft beer fridge with world specialities and a particular emphasis on Belgium, plus a choice of three ciders and a handful of wines.
Meeting the visitor could be Oakham Black Hole or Abbeydale Daily Bread, Bear Claw Winding Spring, Tempest Long White Cloud from Kelso, as-local-as-it gets Bear Claw Saison, and Arbor I Speak For The Trees. Keg-wise it’s likely enough to be De Koninck Antwerp Pale, a classic in its own right.
“Paddles” are available – three glasses on a tray which is a great way to understand beer that might be unfamiliar. Food is limited to pork pies and sausage rolls (before they run out) but Berwick is renowned for its broad range of eating places anyway.
The Curfew name is steeped in Berwick’s history. Only a royal messenger or doctor was allowed pass through the town gates after 8pm.
Today? Best get there early.
The Curfew’s spring beer festival takes place from Friday May 3 to Sunday May 5.