Pie in the sky

TV Chef Stacie Stewart with Nick McCarthy of the British Body Guard Assoc. (centre) and Barry Hyde of Futureheads at the Beer Pie tasting session at Ashbrooke Sports Ground.

TV Chef Stacie Stewart with Nick McCarthy of the British Body Guard Assoc. (centre) and Barry Hyde of Futureheads at the Beer Pie tasting session at Ashbrooke Sports Ground.

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JUDGES didn’t mince their words in their search for Sunderland’s top pie.

The “steaks” were high as six real ale pies battled it out competition ahead of the Ashbrooke Beer Festival.

The Ryhope Tug pie was named the winner, with its mouth-watering combination of beef, mushrooms and Stilton puff pastry.

The winning pastry will join the menu at the festival, which takes place at Ashbrooke Sports Club, across the weekend of June 11 and 12.

The judging team was headed by BBC Masterchef finalist Stacie Stewart, ably assisted by members of the Parachute Regiment – whose freefall team The Red Devils will be performing at the event – as well as Camra (Campaign for Real Ale) members and The Futureheads’ Barry Hyde.

Stacie, from the Beehive Bakery, will be overseeing the gourmet tent at the festival.

She said: “It will be amazing, better than your standard festival food and all the ingredients will be local.”

Ashbrooke Beer Festival teamed up with The View Restaurant at Ashbrooke Sports Club to discover the best real ale pie in Sunderland.

Chefs served up a selection of pastries made from the region’s best ales to the team of tasters who voted for the winner.

Red Devil Lance corporal Danny Kelly, 25, and his fellow fearless sky acrobats will be dropping in on the beer festival on the Sunday afternoon.

And the fourth annual Cuthy’s 200 Bike Ride will also start and finish at the festival.

The 200-mile, 24-hour charity bike ride is in memory of paratrooper Nathan Cuthbertson, who was killed while serving with the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan in June 2008.

Each year family friend and ex-paratrooper Colin Charlton organises a cycle challenge to raise charity money in Nathan’s memory.

This year, the cash will go towards Sunderland’s new Memorial Wall in Burdon Road, which will remember servicemen and women who have died in conflict or, training since the Second World War.

Tickets for the beer festival are on sale and cost £5 per person, per day, which includes a commemorative glass and first drink.

Kids under 18 go free.

For more information, tel. 528 4536.

Tables can be booked at The View restaurant all weekend by calling 528 9820.

@janethejourno

l See Seen In The City for more on the beer festival – Page 36