Gateshead – The Tilley Stone

This is from a visit I made a couple of weeks ago (my posting out of order does make it all a little confusing) when I was in Gateshead. I did look at visiting a Good Beer Guide pub there, but there is only one which was the Station East and that was shut. So, without too much disappointment, I headed instead to the JD Wetherspoon outlet that is The Tilley Stone. It’s an interesting name, with JD Wetherspoon explaining their pub is named after two coal seams:

“Tyneside and coal went hand in hand for centuries, with many mines in and around Gateshead. The ‘Five Quarter’ seam was worked at the Derwent and Gateshead Fell pits and the ‘Three Quarter’ at Dunston Colliery. The ‘Tilley’ and ‘Stone’ seams were also worked at Dunston. The wooden staithes at Dunston were built in 1893 for loading coal onto ships and continued to be used until the 1970s. Now restored and a listed monument, they form reputedly the largest wooden structure in Europe and a reminder of the busy days of the ‘Coaly Tyne’.”

The beer options here were really rather impressive. There’s the pint of Brewdog Punk IPA which came with the chicken wrap, that was of the usual perfectly acceptable standard. In the photo to the left of the Punk IPA is Maximus from Maxim Brewing, a well above average ale. But it was the Raspberry Porter, also from Maxim Brewing, that I thought was particularly notable (it’s the second photo, of the beer on its own). It was a drinkable and creamy stout, with a strong flavour of raspberry running through it, both as an initial hit and as an aftertaste. For a beer that cost me £1 for half a pint, I thought that this was exceptional.

Just for completeness (and for no other reason really), a photo of the southern fried chicken wrap….. The reviews of this pub are mixed, as they usually are for JD Wetherspoon outlets. Some are judgemental such as “was a decent pub when it first opened. Now it just seems to attract the dregs of society“, but most are about slow service or average food.

As a pub, this was a sufficiently well-run location for my requirements with several real ales available, as well as numerous craft beers. Service was efficient, the pub was relatively clean and everything seemed organised. Based on this experience, I’d say that this is an omission from the Good Beer Guide, especially as so many JD Wetherspoon outlets are listed.