EVERY NEW BEER BREWED IN THE NORTH EAST TO BE SERVED IN ODDFELLOWS!
THAT is the ambitious aim now that we have had a specialised and bespoke gravity dispense cabinet built on our back bar. The cabinet is kept at cellar temperature to enable the beers stored within to be served in perfect condition. The only beers to be sold via this facility will be new brews created by the micro breweries of Northumberland and Durham, hence our claim in the headline. Achieving this goal still depends on the breweries themselves but so far the signs are good.
The new cabinet means that we can serve up to nine casks at once (six in the cabinet and three handpulls) as well as one real cider and the ten strong bottle conditioned range amounting to an impressive 20 real ales potentially on sale at all times. As North Shields’ only representative in the 2013 Good Beer Guide we like to think that we know how to look after beer, so the need for throughput is as obvious to us as it probably is to you. The temptation of so many new and different beers, all kept in perfect condition, will hopefully be enough to keep beer lovers coming back in the longer term but initially we’d like to offer CAMRA members an exclusive introductory deal. On production of your membership card you will be given a saver card resulting in every fourth beer served from the gravity dispense cabinet being completely FREE.
This deal will run throughout December. The breweries that have committed to support Oddfellows by supplying all of their new beers are:-
- Three Kings
- Hadrian and Border
- Tyne Bank
- High House Farm
- Gun Dog
- Yard of Ale
- G N Porter
- Bull Lane
- Sonnet 43
- Black Paw
- Hill Island
Please help us in making Oddfellows the premier public house for all that recognise quality beer and enjoy tasting different and interesting beers.
NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY TICKETS
NEW Years’ Eve will once again see Oddfellows holding its usual lively party. Entry will be by ticket only so those at the party can guarantee a seat all night whilst relaxing amongst friends. The £5 ticket money will cover a buffet and a fireworks display as well as a late, late bar to see the New Year in with. Tickets will be available from the bar from mid November so get in early to avoid disappointment as every year has seen a sell out by mid December.
ODDFELLOWS are in the process of changing to using vari-head sparklers rather than the more common ‘angram’ type. These sparklers give staff the ability to quickly alter the style of serve between a pint with a tight ‘Northern’ head and a pint that has been served without the added agitation from a sparkler. These service styles can be selected in a second and without the need to remove the sparkler and all of the contamination issues this brings. Many beer lovers prefer their beer served without a traditional sparkler and we can now offer this to those that wish with much more ease than other pubs, whilst still serving most drinks in the style that is, whether you personally like it or not, the most popular way in the North East.
WE were the first pub in the North East to offer a dedicated real cider festival and still always have at least one real cider on sale for our customers. We constantly vary our offering, and try to bring you guest ciders that you may not have tasted before. All ciders on sale are announced on the pub’s Twitter and Facebook pages to ensure all our customers are kept up to date. Unlike many pubs we sell our cider via a chilled line rather than directly from a box in the fridge ensuring a better temperature and easier service.
BOTTLE CONDITIONED RANGE
FOR a number of years we have had a ten strong bottle conditioned range available for our customers. When we first introduced the range, bottle conditioned beer was a rarity and almost impossible to find even in specialist beer shops. Although this situation has improved greatly it is still rare to find it in public houses and even rarer to find it stored in a specially modified cooler that keeps the beer at an optimum 11 degrees centigrade. Bottle conditioned beer is beer that has a secondary fermentation in the bottle after capping and, although different in character to cask conditioned ale, it is, nevertheless, recognised by CAMRA as being real ale. If you’ve never tasted it before it’s well worth giving it a go.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK
ALL of the beers that go on sale at Oddfellows are listed on both Twitter and our Facebook page enabling you to keep up to date with what beers are on the bar as well as more general pub news. The bottle conditioned range rarely changes and Jarrow Bitter is always available but all the other beers (and real ciders) change much more frequently. By ‘following’ or ‘liking’ Oddfellows you can ensure you are always up to date.
An added bonus for those who ’follow’ us on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook is that you will be entered into monthly draws where the prize is Oddfellows beer tokens. One gallon is given away in this manner every single month – all for the click of a mouse. Given the advantages to beer lovers and the free draw entry that following or liking Oddfellows provides one question springs to mind:- Why wouldn’t you?
TWO festivals are held at Oddfellows annually, one at the end of April/start of May and the other at the end of September/start of October. We hold our festivals in our beer garden at the rear of the pub, with the average ambient temperature being the main reason for the timings of the festivals.
The festivals have been staged for a few years now with up to 25 extra real ales and ciders being a typical offering. We strive to find beers that are either new or rarely found in the region, making them a favourite with ‘tickers’. The festivals are set up with a bespoke bar so all products are always available throughout, giving the feel of a larger CAMRA style event, rather than the pub festival style where different beers are fed through the usual beer lines. Watch this space or the usual online listings sites for details of upcoming festivals.
IN the last edition of the Ronnie, whilst pointing out that we are North Shield’s only representatives in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide in 2013, we asked if anyone could name all of the North Shields’ pubs that, by our reckoning, had been included in the guide since it’s inception in the 1970s. The pubs to have been listed were: The Porthole, The Prince of Wales, The Wooden Doll, The Stag Line, The Magnesia Bank, The Teac Fiddlers, The Bell and Bucket, The Berwick Arms, The Garricks Head, The Alexandra, The Tap and Spile, The Chain Locker, The Colonel Linskill, The Wolsington House and, of course, Oddfellows. The only person to name 14 of the 15 was Paul Elsdon who kindly donated half of his winnings to the Stroke Association.
The beginning of October sees the return of Oddies broth to coincide with the beer and cider festival. For those that don’t know we provide freshly made ham and vegetable broth for all of our customers to help themselves to throughout the inclement winter months. We also provide a few fresh bread rolls every day but you need to be quick to get them before they go.
With Winter almost upon us we would like to remind the smokers out there that we are one of the few pubs where you can smoke in comfort all year round. Our heated shelter makes the outside as inside as it could possibly be.
BEER PRICES GO DOWN AT ODDFELLOWS!
They said it could never happen but, rest assured, your eyes don’t deceive you, prices are tumbling at Oddfellows. The pub has always stood for quality in terms of the beer sold and the comfortable surroundings that it can be enjoyed in but we are aware that it has also carried a reputation for being expensive. Whilst often overplayed we have decided to address this by bringing our prices in line with those around us, whilst maintaining the quality of our offering. We are, after all, the only North Shield’s pub recognised in the latest CAMRA Good Beer Guide. As far as the most popular keg brands* are concerned we are now at least as cheap or cheaper than any of our local competitors, The Low Lights, The 100, The Victoria, Tynemouth Lodge or The Bell and Bucket and during the day, if you take advantage of our daytime saver scheme, we are the cheapest by far! Not only are you able to drink of the highest cask quality at excellent prices but now you can be safe in the knowledge that none of our local competitors can match our offering. With the excellent Sam Smiths Dark Mild it is now possible to drink for as little as £1.73 per pint** which can fairly be described as a ‘club price’. If you do see any porcine pilots the chances are that they are on their way to Oddies for a refreshing pint at the new rates! See you in the bar.
*Brands compared – Fosters and John Smiths or equivalents
**When using the daytime saver scheme (buy 8 and get one free)
FANTASTIC NEW BAR MENU
We are proud to announce that a new range of fantastic bar meals are now available from Oddfellows from 11.00am to 1.30pm Monday to Saturday and 12.00 to 2.00pm on Sundays. All meals are freshly prepared by Sunflowers deli (3 doors away) to order and all meals are of the highest quality whilst offering excellent value. Here is a sample of the bar menu...
Lasagne - Made using lean ground beef and white sauce and served with fresh vegetables.
Fish Pie - Salmon, whitefish and tuna in a white sauce with a pastry lid.
Pasta Bake - Penne pasta cooked in a tomato sauce. Suitable for vegetarians.
Chilli con Carne - Homemade using Lean ground beef and served on a bed of plain rice.
Toad in the hole - Homemade Yorkshire pudding with hidden Cumberland sausage suprises, vegetables and gravy.
All meals come with a choice of seasoned potato wedges, fresh salad or garlic bread / Panini and cost £4.95 each. Sunday Lunch includes either roast chicken or the guest roast of the day together with four veg, roast and mashed potatos, sage and onion stuffing and gravy and costs £5.50.
This food offer is a new venture not to be confused with the aforementioned previous menu. Go on – give it a try – you know it makes sense.
BEER GUIDE 2013 – LAST PUB STANDING
The 40th edition of CAMRA’s esteemed Good Beer Guide has recently been published and we are proud to announce that Oddfellows is once again included in it. An accomplishment though this is. It does not tell the whole story. Oddfellows is now North Shield’s sole surviving pub to be listed in the guide – a sad state of affairs when you consider how many pubs were included just a few short years ago. Whether you blame the pub company business model, government taxation, supermarkets or the recession there can be no doubt that standards have fallen generally with some pubs falling by the wayside and some of the others, seemingly successful initially, proving short-lived and unsustainable. We are immensely proud of Oddfellows’ record of being included in every edition of the Good Beer Guide since the present management took over way back in 2003 but as a general warning we would urge everyone who cares about quality beer, or even just the principle of socialising in pleasant surroundings with others from their locale, should use their local pub (even if its not us) or lose it! We, in the meantime, will be here for the foreseeable future to provide you with your CAMRA recognised quality real ale.
FOLLOWING another season playing in the Midweek Cricket League the boys have once again entered the indoor league played at Tynemouth 6th Form. The format is a little crazy with nobody being out (even when they are out!) and the game being played against the clock as well as the opposition. This format certainly gets participants fit and is a lot of fun. If you are interested in taking part please give Mel a ring on 07875 477564.
FUNCTION ROOM FOR HIRE
SHOULD you be looking for a function room for any reason may we recommend The Berkeley Suite, above the Berkeley Tavern, in Whitley Bay. Holding over 150 comfortably and coming with its own entrance, bar, and toilet facilities as well as a sprung dance floor, car park and various entertainment, catering and room decoration options, we think it’s one of the very best around. It’s even free to hire to large parties! For further information or to make a booking please call 252 7755 and ask to speak to Lorraine or Dave
SHORT TERM CREDIT AT 0%
A new system of service is available in Oddfellows. The system is similar to the continental method where by customers can opt to pay at the end of their visit rather than after every order. We think that this is an altogether more civilised way of doing things but obviously its success is dependent on a level of trust between pub and customers.
Tabs accrued must be settled before leaving and cannot be carried over to the next day. We do hope that this way of doing things will be to everyone’s benefit and will lead to an even more relaxed atmosphere and an enhanced level of enjoyment for all.
THE Berkeley Tavern in Whitley Bay, Oddfellows’ sister pub, is well ahead on the food front and has been serving up top quality Sunday roast dinners for some time now. The lunches are a recession busting £5.95 for two courses and include the choice of two roasts. They are also looking to expand their food offer to the rest of the week so watch this space for details.
THE pub's very own fishing club meets every month. The strength of the club lies in the friendly nature of its structure. There is little in the way of competitive competition with the emphasis very much on friendly support and a good day out for all. Some of the competitions give you a chance to win Oddies drinks tokens. If you are interested in joining then check the pub notice board or speak to Dave Purvis.
ONE of the original, and now one of the few remaining, poker nights is still going strong on Wednesday evenings at Oddfellows. One of the reasons for its success is that we have kept it free and friendly. All are welcome whether practising pros or nervous beginners who need a helping hand to learn the game. Entry is free and supper is provided. Sign in is from 6.30pm and don’t forget we are now sponsored by Asper’s Casino so you can win entry in one of their games.
WORLD RECORDS SMASHED
WE are proud to announce that following an amazing evening three official World Records were set in Oddfellows. A Darts World Record breaking night was held and three World Records were not only attempted but smashed to pieces.
The first record was how many bulls and outer bulls can be hit in a minute. This record stood at seven and was comprehensively, not only beaten, but doubled by World Number 4 Gary Robson, so this now stands at 14. The second record was the highest score in two minutes by a pair of players using only bulls and outer bulls. This record was previously 475 and held by two French dart players. Oddfellows pair Mark Stephenson and Gary Robson are the new holders of this record with an amazing 1,225, almost tripling the previous record. The final record attempted on the evening was the highest score in one minute, made famous on 'Soccer am' as the sixty second darts challenge. A great evening of achievement finished with Gary Robson becoming a triple World Record holder with a score of 741 in sixty seconds against a previous record of 664.
FOOTBALL, DARTS TEAMS...ETC WE WANT U ALL!
ODDIES has hosted numerous football, darts, cricket and dominoes teams as well as supporting golf societies and fishing clubs over the years. At the moment we have some capacity to support another team or two with a generous level of support.
In return for a team's custom a team will be able to run a beer draw each week which has often been a feature of the pub with potential earnings in the thousands over a year. This would be on top of any support negotiated directly from Oddfellows. If you think your team or organisation could benefit please phone the pub on 0191 257 4288 and ask to speak to Graeme.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
TEAMS new and old are all welcome at our long running quiz nights that happen every Thursday from 9pm and every Sunday from 8pm. Entry is just 50p per person and our quizmaster, Reg, will keep you on your toes with an excellent array of novel rounds choosing from: general knowledge, pictures, music, blockbuster, chain letters, bingo, all or nothing, anagram and snooker rounds. Some of the rounds are self explanatory whilst others you will have to find out for yourself by coming along. Prizes include mystery spot prizes, beer tokens, booby prizes and a chance to win up to £300 in the Jackpot at the end of the night.
To all CAMRA members - If you enjoy your present surroundings and would like to support this privately owned freehouse, and what it stands for, could we tentatively ask you to lend us your vote the next time the Pub of the Year forms drop on to your doormat? For a small provincial pub to achieve recognition is always difficult despite stocking top quality cask for a number years and running successful beer and cider festivals.