‘ New pub in a garage’
41A Warton Terrace,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Pub Number: 215
The first night I went out for a pint in Heaton way back in 2003, we had a quick pint in the old wood finished, partially boothed Chillingham, walked up to the Corner House and then to the Hussar where we made a sharp exit after my mates shirt (which was hideous to be fair ) offended some of the fashion conscious punters. It seemed Polyester Hawain shirts were “so last year”.
Over the coming years the Pigeon Club turned into Hyem, then an ill-fated Absolute Vodka bar (because who doesn’t want to get off their tits on vodka in a suburb) with the Hussar languishing in the 1980s and then closing.
The only two bars in the area were the Chillingham- which survived a refit where the theme was ‘ORANGE’ – Orange exterior, Orange interior and Orange customers. and, the consistently inoffensive Cornerhouse with it’s bi-annual refits and a suspected arson attack. (Which I am convinced was started by a CAMRA Black Hops Cask force).
Things started to slowly improve – with a revamped, reopened Hussar and The Chillingham went more up market with a remodel to look like the Pavilion. The cherry on the top was the opening of Champion Bottles and Taps. It ticked all the boxes, good selection of obscure beer, growler refills, knowledgeable staff. What could possibly make it better?
Well, when Champion was taken over and renamed The Heaton Tap, they got a canning machine, and perhaps the most welcome addition was the conversion of the old garage at the rear into an intimate and comfortable seating area.
When you enter the shop your eyes will be drawn to the well stocked fridges – overflowing with a wide selection of Craft beers alongside classic Belgian brews.
The small bar has a regular rotation of 8 beers on draft, with Budvar Yeast and Bacchus Framboise seemingly the only permanent fixtures. Surprisingly for such a small venue they are also supporters of Beer in the Wood, and they have at least one wood beer on at all times.
If you can pull yourself away from the bar and the fridges, towards the rear of the shop is a doorway that leads into the seating area. The back room has an alcove on the left hand side with high tables, the rest of the space is done out with pews, stools and a handful of tables.
The bar seems to have a good mix of people in, youngins, oldies and beerbores. Thankfully the bar isn’t echoey and doesn’t feel like drinking in a chest freezer. I have been informed that the Tap has a capacity of 60, which is difficult to believe, unless they are employing the same technology as circus clown cars.
When I popped in they had the Titanic Cherry Dark – Titanic’s flavoured beers are a revelation. British fruit beers are always a bit ‘What the hell is that meant to taste like?’ but Titanic have bucked this trend with the Cherry Dark which smells like black forest gateau – rightfully tart followed by a pleasant sweetness, dangerously easy to drink.
Heaton Tap is a nice pub, with friendly staff where you could happily sit with a book while enjoying a great pint.
- Great beer to take away and drink on site.
- Small but perfectly formed.
- Half way between the Chillingham and The Hussar.
- Spirits and mixers are a little on the expensive side.