So, no sooner had we completed our little trip to Wales, it was time to take a couple of days off and head up to Newcastle for our second 'Big Hop'.
Now had time allowed, we'd have cycled up there and back, as well as between the breweries whilst we were there but there are bills to pay and day jobs to earn the money! So as it was, we drove up after work on a Wednesday evening with the bikes and gear in the car. We'd looked at trains as an alternative, but they were a) eye-wateringly expensive and b) chronically timed, so we had to resort to the motor.
We'd sorted accommodation out in Jesmond (very poor for decent ale by the way, but that's another story) for the few days we were going to be up here, so as soon as we'd found the hotel, secured the bikes in the conference room and dumped the bags, we went in search of suitable ride fuel for the following morning. As it was well past 10.30 on a Wednesday night, pickings were slim. But as is often the way, you can always rely on being able to get a curry. Nick has some sort of built in radar for them, I swear.
Anyway, with full bellies and slightly weary heads we headed back to the hotel for some shut eye ahead of hitting our first visit on Thursday morning.
This time we had four breweries lined up - Cullercoats Brewery, Tyne Bank Brewery, Anarchy Brewing and Out There Brewing, but this had increased to five on the journey up there due a conversation via Twitter with Marc of the newly set up Almasty Brewing. This meant two breweries on Thursday and three on Friday - but we were confident we'd manage them all.
We'd saved Saturday for a guided beer tour around Newcastle with some brewers and Twitterfolk - more on that at the other end of these visits!
So first up later this week will be Cullercoats Brewery. Watch this space!