One of the best pub views in the world has to be from The Freetrade Inn. OK, there are some over in our part of the world, with The Lakes on our doorstep, that trump it. But for an urban pub, the view over the Tyne, especially when the sun is setting, makes for a nicely augmented drinking experience.
Tomorrow night, Thursday, we are holding a tap takeover at this particularly delightful place. We'll have the great array of Hardknott Beers.
We will have, on keg - Vitesse Noir, Queboid and Colonial Mayhem and on cask there will be Infra Red, Azimuth, Code Black, Cool Fusion and Katalyst.
On a related topic, we keep getting asked about Hardknott Sooty, I think a little bit of history here might be useful. Sooty started out as a toy for one of our children. As such there was already a little bit of affection for the glove puppet. We have little idea why he happened to be in Ann's bag the day we went to the Manchester Twiss-up, I think we'd been having a tidy out of something and found him. Stuffed in the bag he later became useful to help attract attention of other twiss-uppers at Manchester station.
After a while he seemed to become engrained into Hardknott's line-up. We gave him his own twitter handle and he developed a rather entertaining persona, surprisingly easy for either of us to tweet as him without you lot guessing who was doing it. He attended several twiss-ups in the end.
Now, one slight problem was, as was pointed out by a curmudgeonly and pessimistic friend, that Sooty is a brand owned by some TV company or other. At first we didn't care, and even thought it would be a bit of a laugh if someone did try to sue our asses off. However, partly due to a decision to reign in a bit on anarchistic behaviour, and the real danger of the probability of a costly legal battle, we were already trying to think of a way of replacing his character with something else, but similar. We have still failed.
However, his fate was sealed one day at the first Leeds International Beer Festival. He was proudly sat on the bar, looking after things during that busy event. At the close, we couldn't find him anywhere. We can only assume some drunken reveller thought it a laugh to steal him. We have not seen him since.
A few people have asked for Sooty to come back. In particular some of the drinkers that are planning on attending the Freetrade Tap Takeover have asked. Sorry, although we could no doubt hunt down a new glove puppet, it'll never be quite the same.