Published on December 4, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


What in the world?

You readers are amazing! There are 101 things to think about while preparing for a trip, but you manage to pack a copy of Cheers, keep it in pristine condition, and flourish it for a photo-shoot at your destination. Thank you, we love it

Summit special
“Because it’s there” is the mountaineers’ response to the question of why they do what they do.  It’s what drives Alan Ross from Blaydon, Tyne & Wear – for example, on a month-long trip to the Himalayas during October, resulting in successful summits on Pokalde, Island Peak and Lobuje East. “But months of training, preparation and planning would mean nothing without the wonderful support of a great team of sherpas and porters,” says Alan, who’s secondary mission was to tell readers about the beer scene in Nepal. “As part of my training before and during the climbs, beer was off the radar, but once finished it would have been rude not to try and seek out a few drinks.

“Roads in the Khumbu area are non-existent, so everything has to come in by helicopter or more likely be carried by foot. It is not uncommon to see porters carrying loads of over 100 kilos to villages in the mountains. On the trail there are many Tea Lodges were trekkers and climbers can spend the night, eat well and replenish dwindling stocks of beer and the staple diet, Snickers bars and Pringles.

“Beer for sale is mostly San Miguel and Everest  – a European pale lager style beer brewed by Mount Everest Brewery in Kathmandu – which is certainly tasty enough when served nicely chilled.

“Over the last few years a new player has emerged which should encourage all those who appreciate a great tasting beer. Sherpa Brewery started brewing in 2013 in Kathmandu and their first beer is a wonderful Khumbu Kölsch produced in small quantities but widely available now throughout the Himalayas.

“More recently, the company has just started brewing Himalayan Red – a red ale brewed in the tradition of a British Extra Special Bitter. At the end of our trip we certainly sampled a few of these new beers and all agreed it was one to savour.

“Nepal is a wonderful country and a beer such as those from Sherpa Brewery that has been carried for nearly a week to get to a lodge in the mountains surely deserves to be tasted.”

*Alan Ross went to Nepal through Sheffield-based Jagged Globe tour company.

St Augustine preview
In November 2014, Brian Burgess from Sherburn Village, Durham, sent us photos from The Alamo in Texas then from the A1A Alehouse in St Augustine, Florida, pictured alongside head brewer Doug Murr.

Fast-forward four years and Doug has opened Dog Rose Brewing Company in the Lincolnville area of St Augustine.

Brian writes: “Dog Rose has just celebrated its first anniversary. The new brewery and bar is in an old Americana Museum. On October 10 this year was the Lincolnville Porchfest, a free event where eight porches are used as stages throughout the day for around 46 bands and performers.

“My picture shows local band Chemtrails – good friends of mine – playing on the brewery loading dock. You’ll see Cheers on the bass drum. Chemtrails are: Gary West, John Gray, Cleet Albertson and drummer Greg Milosz. 

Regular beers at the brewery include: Lincolnville Lager (5.0% abv), Ramble On Red (5.2% abv), Roadside IPA (6.2% abv), Palace Pale Ale (4.8% abv) and Speedball Stout (6.0% abv).

“There are now four breweries in St Augustine – Dog Rose, Old Coast, Ancient City and Bog Brewing, with a fifth coming next year. Most of the beers sell for $5 for a 16oz pour.”

Way down south
Nigel Williams took his magazine to a far-flung outpost.

He writes: “I’m on a visit to Christopher’s Bar in Ushuaia in southern Argentina, the most southerly city in the world.I’m drinking Beagle Ale and Beagle Red – served cool!”

South of the border
Dave and Julie Campbell, owners of the Mean Eyed Cat pub in Newcastle, sent us this from Playa Del Carmen in Mexico.

The barman/patron of Club de la Cervesa pictured in the middle is apparently keen to study brewing in the US or the UK. We just hope he saw the advert for Brewlab on page 33 of that issue. Julie says: “A few times that we intended to take Cheers out with us it poured down and I didn’t want to get it wet. This time we managed it.”

And back home…
… the other way round.

This group of New Zealand rugby fans popped into the Crown Posada in Newcastle one November afternoon en route for Dublin to watch the All Blacks play Ireland. They had been to Twickenham a few days earlier and decided to take a little UK tour while here with the Crown Posada on their bucket list where they enjoyed Allendale Pennine Pale and the house special Black Gate Bitter while being entertained by manager Andrew Nicholson’s pub anecdotes.

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Alastair Gilmour

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