Real ales and pies – perfect

The Echo's Georga Spottiswood (left) Stevie Derrick work experience and Cara Houchen trying the fayre at the Beer Pie tasting at Ashbrooke Sports Ground.
The Echo's Georga Spottiswood (left) Stevie Derrick work experience and Cara Houchen trying the fayre at the Beer Pie tasting at Ashbrooke Sports Ground.
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REAL-ALE and pie tasting. What a way to spend a Friday afternoon.

To promote the forthcoming Ashbrooke Beer Festival, being held at Ashbrooke Sports Ground on June 11 and 12, the club had decided to make a number of real-ale pies, get people along to try them out, and have the winning pie featured at the festival itself.

“A brilliant idea,” I though to myself. And so did Cara when I rang her to tell her what our plans were for that afternoon.

So the two of us, along with Stevie Derrick – who was on work experience with us – headed off to see what delights awaited us.

With six pies on the menu, we all grabbed a plate and a fork and got stuck in.

First up was Tom Fool, made with beef, root vegetables and short crust pastry. “Tasty,” we all agreed, and moved on to the next.

Ryhope Tug, with beef, mushroom and stilton, melted in my mouth. It was delicious and I’m certain Cara agreed. Or at least I think the word “Mmmmmmmmmh” meant she did!

Pedigree pie was next up. The dish was bland and the name was a little off putting!

Northumbrian Blonde, beef, thyme and crusty pastry, was okay, but Cara and Stevie both felt the dish was lacking in flavour.

Unlike Pavilion, made with beef, cheddar cheese and puff pasty, which was also really good.

Last up was Northern Kite, and you could certainly taste the whiskey short crust pastry.

Fed and watered (we also sampled a few different real ales), we all agreed that the Ryhope Tug was the pie of all pies.

It’s clear that everyone else agreed. The pie was crowned winner and will feature at the festival.

Ashbrooke Beer Festival runs from June 11 to 12, with a BBQ, cricket match and music and entertainment on Saturday and a BBQ, the Red Devils parachute team, live music and fairground rides on Sunday.

Entry is £5. Under 18s go free. Call 528 4536 for more information.