Newcastle – Mean Eyed Cat

As I’m in Newcastle for the day, I thought that I’d visit a few of the pubs in the Good Beer Guide and I started with this micropub near to the Haymarket metro station. When I went in it seemed to be quite busy internally and externally, but there was a friendly welcome from a member of staff who said that there was space in the rear garden area. That sufficed me as I wasn’t sure that I could get in at all on a Friday evening.

The friendly staff member told me to have a quick look at the beers at the bar and she’d then come and take the order. I took one look and decided instantly, it had to be the Cherry Trifle from Brew By Numbers. A cherry imperial stout is one of my favourites and I’m a fan of Brew By Numbers and have been working steadily through their beers, as well as having visited their taproom in London. There were a range of beer styles there though to cater for most tastes, all nicely balanced and thought out.

As it was a walk by photo this is a bit blurred unfortunately, but there were some cask options as well which looked tempting. As I wanted to meander around a few pubs, I had decided just to have one drink here, but not because of any shortage of options. The decor was sufficiently quirky to make it interesting and the whole atmosphere felt inviting, somewhat different to its previous use as a newsagents.

The rear garden wasn’t the most salubrious of environments if I’m being honest, but they’ve made it bright and colourful. The beer was good, not quite as rich as I had expected, but it didn’t taste its 10% with the flavour being sufficiently moderate. The cherries were there though in some form, with a bit of vanilla in the taste as well. I was perfectly pleased with this smooth and slightly decadent beer, but I wanted a slightly more powerful punch from the cherries.

Anyway, back to the pub itself. Not being inside meant I couldn’t quite get the same experience of understanding how the regulars interacted and the like, but I always felt welcome and the environment was on-trend without trying to be. The beer selection was thought through, the staff were friendly and I’d most certainly visit here again. Indeed, a few of us have decided a trip to Newcastle in November 2022 will be a really good idea, especially as the Head of Steam and Brewdog here are currently closed, so a revisit is required. This pub is though a quite worthy addition to the Good Beer Guide in my humble view.