the white lead

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of The White Lead: A Sonnet 43 Brew Pub & Restaurant.

Previously Dougie’s Tavern, Hebburn, the venue will be re-opening on Friday 4th October 2013 after months of renovation work and planning.

The pub will take a similar form to Sonnet 43’s first brew pub The Lambton Worm, Chester le Street, which has proved a huge success recently winning best cask beer pub in Scotland, North East & Yorkshire in the BT Sport Great British Pub Awards 2013. It will sell all the Sonnet 43 beers, as well as a selection of guest ales, and food-wise will serve traditional British fare with a modern interpretation using local food produce.

In keeping with our ethos of drawing on local history, as both Sonnet 43 & the Lambton Worm do, we chose a name relevant to the area. ‘The White Lead’ comes from original industrial heritage; though originally it was a Victorian pub called The Royal Hotel, it was affectionately known by people in Jarrow and Hebburn from the late 1800s onwards as The White Lead, as many of the properties in the area were covered with white powder from the local lead manufacturing plant. So we’ve taken the old epithet and christened it that officially.

Though property had become very rundown and required a lot of work to get it back up to code, we’re pleased to say the pub is now looking great! We’re hopeful it’ll be a great addition to the South Tyneside area.

This is number two of three planned brew pubs for 2013, the next in-line being the Kicking Cuddy pub which the brew house adjoins. And work has also begun at this site! We expect it to open for later in 2013.

Great Taste Awards logo

We’re celebrating the news that our American Pale Ale & Bourbon Milk Stout have wowed judges in Great Taste 2013 by being awarded a 2 star and 1 star respectively.

Great Taste is the world’s largest and most rigorous food awards scheme. It’s simply about taste, no branding or packaging, involving over 400 judges and thousands of hours of blind tasting.  The judges were presented with our beer in a glass, no bottle or label, and they tasted, conferred and re-tasted before making the decision to award the beers stars.  In total more than 12 judges tasted and commented on the beers.

American Pale Ale was commended by the judges for its hop flavour that ‘really delivers’ whilst the Bourbon Milk stout was highly praised for its ‘lovely nose’, comprising chocolate, oak & liquorice aromas.

We entered after only a few months of brewing as we were confident our beers are exceptionally flavoursome and individual – thankfully the judges agreed with us! Out of almost 10,000 products entered into Great Taste 2013 just 645 have been awarded 2-star and around a quarter gained 1-star meaning that Sonnet 43 are amongst a mere handful of producers with this coveted recognition. The Great Taste stars are the mark of a quality product and we’re thrilled the beers have received this accolade!

Our now award-winning beers are available to buy online via the online shop.

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Categories: beers Featured News Press
Insular Art's BAFF certificate

Our latest limited edition beer, Insular Art, is the official beer for the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham.

The beer began life as a mere 2 cask brew for entry into battle of the beers at Bishop Auckland Food Festival’s Beer & Wine Festival, in which the ale triumphed over some other very established & respected local breweries after it won over both the public and a judging panel, featuring celebrity chefs The Fabulous Baker Brothers. Being the winner, the brew gained the honour of the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham’s official while they are exhibited in the city this Summer.

While the name ‘Insular Art’ refers to the elaborate style of the Lindisfarne Gospels,  which is a masterpiece of medieval book painting, from receiving the competition brief  the beer we wanted he beer need to recreate key flavours of herbs and honey of the famous drink synonymous with the holy island Lindisfarne Mead. It uses herbal hops and honey within the fermentation and herbal, spice & honey notes really shine through.

Around 50,000 people have now been to visit the Lindisfarne Gospels in Durham but as it’s only around until September – as is Insular Art – you’ll need to get in there quick.

Insular Art is now available in 9 gallon cask & 500ml bottle & as a commemorative gift pack. Click here to buy online. Or to visit the gospels click here.

insular art bottle

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We’re pleased to announce our beers are now available to buy UK-wide as we’ve launched an online store!

The shop, available at, sells all our beers in a variety of 12 bottle packs as well as in 5 litre minikegs for those who prefer a pint at home. Gift packs and merchandise, including clothing, are also available. And we deliver throughout the UK so its now far easier to get your hands on Sonnet 43 beer!

Take a look….

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let me count the beers LE pumpclip blog

We are venturing into the unknown with an experimental range of brews! The range will use new ingredients and brewing techniques to create a number of limited edition beers.

The beers will be collectively entitled ‘How Do I love Thee? Let Me Count the Beers’ as a twist on the first line of the original Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnet 43 verse and inspired by her life and works.

Each brew in the range will produce upto 40 casks only and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

The first in the new line will be Hope End, a rum-infused ginger pale ale inspired by the Barrett family’s history of owning sugar plantations in Jamaica and named after the estate in Hertfordshire which they bought with the resulting fortune.

Hope End will be a natural beer, at ABV 6.2% per cent, made to an original recipe without finings to ensure it delivers an intentional hazy look in the glass.

It is available for the pub trade to pre-order now in 9 gallon casks, on a first come, first served basis,  and we expect deliveries to begin in early April.

Further releases in the How Do I love Thee? Let Me Count the Beers range will be made throughout the year.

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Categories: beers Brewery Featured
Paul D-

Paul Daniels is just confirming what we already know – that the  Sonnet 43 beers really are magic!

The master entertainer was one of the headline performers at the recent South Tyneside International Magic Festival which – along with two sell-out shows for the public – brought magicians from as far afield as Hong Kong and the USA together for a convention.

We pulled a rabbit out of a hat when asked to provide some of our superb brews for the delegates – apparently magic is very thirsty work!

The word is that our beers went down a storm which proves we also have a trick or two of our own….

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Categories: beers Events Featured

We are delighted to announce we have our first Sonnet 43 Brew Pub & Restaurant launching Friday 22nd February 2013.

The Lambton Worm in Chester le Street will open to the public at 12 noon tomorrow and serve all the Sonnet 43 craft beers on the bar, as well as other great guest ales changing regularly.

The food will be traditional British but with a modern twist – our own unique interpretation of dishes you know and love using the best locally sourced produce where possible. The bar menu has a great choice of snacks and meals, while the restaurant menu offers a full a la carte selection of British dishes.

The Lambton Worm will be the first of 3 Brew Pub & Restaurants we have planned, with the other planned to 2 launch later in the year.

We hope these will be the ideal setting for enjoying great Sonnet 43 beer & fantastic food in good company!

Find out more info about The Lambton Worm visit or find on the Facebook page and Twitter @TheLambton


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The Sonnet 43 Brew House core range of beers now all in bottle.

The Sonnet 43 core range of beers are now available in bottle. The IPA, Steam Beer, Blonde Beer & Bourbon Milk Stout  were all delivered last week in 300ml bottle. They will join our American Pale Ale & Brown Ale, which are currently in 500ml bottle.

They are available to buy from the brewery now and gift packs including the new bottles will be available soon.

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Categories: beers Brewery Featured
Sonnet 43 Bottles

We now have our American Pale Ale and Brown Ale available in 500ml bottles. It’s just these two in bottle at the moment but we’re busy making plans to get ALL our beers bottled in New Year, though we may down-size to 330ml bottles, so watch this space.

As well as the bottles we’ve also got gift packs. We have a 2 bottle gift comprising one of each bottle, a Sonnet 43 pint glass and a one of our collectible beer mats…

…and a four bottles gift which has two of each bottle.

Would be perfect as a last minute Christmas gift or if you just fancy trying the latest North East craft beers in the comfort of your own home.

All are available to buy from the brewery so pop in and pick up some Sonnets! Or for a store near you check our ‘Find a Beer’ map.

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Categories: beers Brewery Featured News
Bourbon Milk Stout

We’re launching our first really dark beer – Bourbon Milk Stout.

The first brew of the stout is currently in fermentation. Due to both the availability of the brew’s ingredients and the recent bout of cold weather slowing down its fermentation, the launch date has had to be pushed back more than once but everything going well the beer should be available for trade to buy from Monday December 10th.

We’ll be doing final trial of the brew in the next few days though from initial tastings we reckon the BMS will befit the more ‘seasoned’ dark ale drinker with its full-bodied chocolaty bitterness.

We’re already taking pre-orders so the BMS should be in pub near you and ready to drink very soon!

Categories: beers Featured

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