Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sounds That Soothe the Soul; BEER

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sounds That Soothe the Soul; BEER

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD FLETCHER

THERE are some sounds that just lift the heart - not simply pleasurable, but that tap directly into your being, cutting out the middleman of your brain and liaising directly with your soul.

I'm not talking about abstract poetic sounds, like pattering showers that soak the woods or a nightingale singing in full-throated ease. I'm thinking of the plump, rounded glug of beer or wine vacating a bottle as it heads glasswards - wonderful because of the anticipated drink.

The hearty "chunka-chunka" sound of a fruit machine paying out pound coins is definitely another, the anticipation this time of getting your hands on the lovely dosh.

And now I think I've found another: the satisfying "hush" and slight leathery squeak as you settle back into one of the large armchairs in the front room of 3 Wise Monkeys, Alnwick. Try it and see what I mean.

Again, perhaps it's anticipation of what's to come that makes the sound so pleasurable. As Roger Moore says when he dines with a beautiful woman in The Man With The Golden Gun: "To this moment, and the moment to come". He was, however, probably talking about something else, rather than a pint of high-quality North East cask beer.

It's the latter that's on offer at this new Northumberland drinking hole, and what a treat: a selection of gravity-drawn cask ales on full display, along with some simply superb bottled beers, fruit ciders (cover your eyes, CAMRA), and a handful of interesting inventions as owner Justin Pringle sets out his USP.

A unique place like this excites me.

We're already spoilt for choice with wonderful pubs in Newcastle, but I wish this was one of my locals. I'm very jealous, Alnwick.

I've talked in the past of brewers such as Durham Brewery and Brew Star taking history and redefining it, being on the cutting edge by innovating with the past, and 3 Wise Monkeys is the pub equivalent. …

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