If you find yourself in the North east of England, you will find the beers an acquired taste.
Possibly reflecting the raw climate and the past of heavy industries, the beer can be a heavy experience. newcastle Brown Ale is the most famous and one of the biggest foreign brands in the US. These days it is no longer brewed in the centre of Newcastle, but there have sprung up, as a result, a load of good quality microbreweries. Northumberland, Durham, Wylam, Mordue, Dipton Mill, High House and Allendale Breweries all make acceptable stuff.
The best however is the oldest microbrewery in Newburn-on-Tyne, just outside Newcastle - the Big Lamp. It was started in a building which previously housed the undertakers, before moving to its current premises, the old water works. There is a pub called the Keelman attached. The omens were good as I walked through the car park for my pint of Blackout (11%), which in those days was only served in half-pints and a maximum of two halves per customer. The rule must not be rigid, I thought, judging by the couple of people asleep, face down in the snow near the entrance doors.
Times have changed, but the beer is still delicious. The best in the North East.