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Once Brewed or Twice Brewed is a small village just on the Military Road in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall country. It is a small village consisting of Twice Brewed Inn, the Northumberland National Park Centre and Once Brewed youth hostel where we stayed recently There are also a few farms nearby. It is the perfect place to explore Hadrian’s Wall, close to the main Roman sites of Vindolanda, Housesteads and The Roman Army Museum. The countryside around the village is certainly dramatic and Hadrian’s wall can be seen snaking along the hills in the distance.
There are a number of stories to explain how the village got it’s name. One of these comes from the building of the military road in the eighteenth century. The navies building the road wanted a nice strong ale but the beer in the local pub was weak so they demanded the landlord brew it again. This gave the pub the name Twice Brewed Inn. Interesting Once Brewed youth hostel, which was the first youth hostel in England was opened by Lady Trevelyan from Wallington Hall. She was a teetotaller and in her opening speech announced “Of course there will be no alcohol served on these premises, so I hope the tea and coffee will only be brewed once.” The youth hostel gained the name of Once Brewed.
During our stay in Twice Brewed we went for our evening meal to Twice Brewed Inn. The inn stands right on the main road and has plenty of parking, as well as being walking distance from the youth hostel. The inn was filled with walkers who were walking along the Pennine Way or Hadrian’s Wall. When we were in there were a couple of American families who were sharing tales of their adventures and the best places to visit along the route. The pub itself has a homily atmosphere with small tables and stools to eat at and chairs to sit at around the bar. A range of locally sourced beers and ales are on offer at the bar including Twice Brewed Bitter.
All the food is sourced locally and freshly prepared. There are two menus, the lunch menu is served till six pm and then the dinner menu takes over. We ate before six as we were starving, all that exploring makes you hungry. My husband and son both decided to try the local handmade sausage. (£9.25) . It arrived in a sesame bun served with chips, salad and tomato relish. You could add bacon or cheese for a small extra cost and my husband chose bacon whilst my son chose cheese. They both said that the meal was gorgeous and indeed nothing remained on their plates. The meal was served on a wooden board, which seems to be the in thing these days but added to the rustic look of the meal
I decided to try the wholetail scampi (£9.25). Again it arrived on a wooden board with the portions served in ramekins. The scampi came with a slice of lemon alongside so I could squirt it over them. Also on the board were chips, peas, salad and home made tartar sauce.
The meal was gorgeous, the scampi were perfectly cooked and the chips were light and crispy. The salad had just the right mix of different ingredients to make it interesting and the home made tartar sauce was the ideal accompaniment to the scampi. My only complaint was the peas were a little bit overcooked but that was a minor point. I still enjoyed them.
We enjoyed the meal at a leisurely pace, at no point did we feel rushed. It was lovely to sit for a while and soak up the atmosphere. After we had eaten we took our drinks into the beer garden at the back of the inn and sat in the sunshine taking in the view of the hills around.
It was lovely and peaceful, the only sound a distant bleating of sheep. If you are exploring Hadrian’s Wall I definitely recommend pulling into Twice Brewed Inn and sampling the food. It would be a great place to stop for Sunday lunch if you go for a Sunday drive in the countryside.
You may also like to read my review of Sunday lunch at The Boat Inn at Kielder Water which is not far away. Alternatively I have an overview of things to do and places to stay in Northumberland National Park.