Say Hi to Helen
Our first lady of BrewDog in Newcastle...
At the helm of our Newcastle parlour of chaos is Helen, BrewDog’s youngest bar manager. Punky, irreverent and a lover of craft beer and the first lady of BrewDog Newcastle.
“I discovered BrewDog a few years ago through a music focused bar I used to work at, called the Tyne Bar, in the Ouseburn Valley Byker. Josie came to the bar and hosted a beer school one evening, where I was able to try even more beers and discovered Tactical Nuclear Penguin and Sink the Bismark!
With Newcastle synonymous as a party town, it was always going to be tricky opening a venue where stuffed squirrels were more of a permanent feature on the bar than shot glasses. Luckily the team at BrewDog Newcastle have worked hard to combat preconceptions and misconceptions associated with drinking beer and it seems to be working…
“Walking into a bar and not recognising any of the beer is understandably daunting, so it’s important for us to be approachable. We hold regular beer tastings and understand that not everybody is as passionate about craft beer as we are, at least not in the beginning! Similarly we don't want to be seen as parvenu on a well-established beer scene, as we’re still learning too.
“The atmosphere of the bar is something that almost everyone comments on. The décor is heavily influenced by our staff and our customers.
And it aint all about the beer either. Just like the décor, BrewDog Newcastle has also created its own unique line-up of events, reaching out to local artists, musicians, DJs, graphic designers and pop-up bakeries:
“During the DIY Day we had in August (a celebration of local art, music and business through the ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos) we met loads of cool people including Pet Lamb Patisserie. They are an amazing two woman operation, baking the most extraordinary cakes from their shop in the historical Grainger Market. They initially started selling cakes from a pop-up stall – a bit like James and Martin when they first started out.
“We tried their brownies and decided they would be the perfect accompaniment to stouts and porters. From there we’ve tried Toffee & Pecan loaf with Barrel Aged 77 lager, Spiced malt and orange blossom with 5AM Saint, Citrus lemon drizzle with Dead Pony Club, and double chocolate brownies with Riptide or Alice Porter. A slab of cake when paired with beer works really well, and fits in with our stripped down, locally sourced food menu.”
Clearly, cake is something Helen is passionate about; in fact she’s almost as passionate about it as she is about beer. After reading this you’ll probably understand why she came to be our youngest BrewDog bar manager:
“As for the beers we stock, I’ve tried pretty much all of them. We were recently blessed with a selection of Alesmith beers that were all awesome, especially the Speedway Stout. I'm a huge fan of Stone; my favourite of theirs that we currently stock is Sublimely Self Righteous. I loved all the Cantillion bottles we stocked, but Newcastle is mad for lambics, so anytime we get any, they go straight away. BrewDog wise, I'm loving our Cocoa Psycho at the moment, and can't wait for the return on Jackhammer!”
Want to say hi to Helen and chat craft? Drop her a line – [email protected]