Thursday 5th December 2013
This is another likable pub in the Sir John Fitzgerald chain that is very smart having recently being refurbished.
When I entered I realised that this was a first time visit although I was sure that I had been previously in a pub in that street called Bacchus.
This turned out to be the case as this Bacchus opened its door in 2001. I wish I could remember more about the previous pub with this name although I have read that it had two rooms.
These premises were once a shop on the ground floor, type unknown, and offices on the upper two storeys. After entering I must admit to missing the superb set of doors from the street but was immediately impressed by the plush bar. When the pub was refurbished it was decided that the decor would represent the legacy of ship building on the Tyne. So the highly varnished woodwork and the shiny chrome fittings were designed to represent the appearance of an ocean liner from their heyday.
The bar has three sides and most of the seating is to be found at the front of the pub, where there are large picture windows. This area is a mixture of normal tables and chairs with the addition of some sofas and armchairs. There is a raised area at the rear and on the left of the bar there is a small room that looks very comfortable with the walls decorated with framed photos of some of the many warships built on Tyneside.
I was attracted, of course, by the considerable range of beers offered. these were: Yorkshire Dales (Askrigg, North Yorks) Bacchus Citrook (3.8%); Highland Brewery (Orkney, Scotland) Scapa Special (4.2%); Adnam's (Southwold, Suffolk) Old Ale (4.1%); Fyne Ales (Achadunan, Argyllshire, Scotland) Zombier Porter (6.9%); George N Porter (Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear) Twitcher (3.8%) and Astronomer Stout (5.0%); Milk Street (Frome, Somerset) Zig Zag Stout (4.5%) and finally: The Hop Studio (Elvington, North Yorks) Noel at Christmas (4.5%).
Actually there was one more cask offering that is almost impossible to categorise.
It's a collaboration between Thistly Cross Cider (Dunbar, Scotland) and Tempest Brewing (Kelso, Scotland). What is it? Well, I don't know if the world is quite ready for it yet, as it is the first ever pre-mixed Snakebite called Snakebite & Black. I don't think the Black necessarily refers to the colour of beer involved, but more to the added Blackberries. Oh no, yet another ingredient! I can feel the rancour created in the CAMRA Apple committee. I've never had a Snakebite in my life, yet I do regret not asking for a taster.
Food is served at lunchtimes only. This pub was CAMRA Tyneside Pub of the Year 2009-2012, which is a remarkable achievement when you consider the number of good pubs there are in the city itself, let alone the outlying areas. This pub is well worth visiting if you are in the city.
Bacchus, 42-48 High Bridge, Newcastle NE1 6BX. Tel: 0191 261 1008
Open: Monday 11.30-23.00; Tuesday-Saturday 11.30-24.00; Sunday 12.00-22.00
This pub is less than five minutes away from Monument Metro station and just over that from the Eldon Square and Haymarket Bus Stations. Ten minutes will take you to Central railway station and metro station. There are main line connections throughout England and to Scotland by many train operating companies.