Historic Jarrow pub due to reopen this week

McConnell's Bar, Walter Street, Jarrow, formerly  The Jarrow Crusader
McConnell's Bar, Walter Street, Jarrow, formerly The Jarrow Crusader

A BREWERY’S crusade to get one of Jarrow’s oldest pubs back on the march is almost complete.

Time was called on the town’s former Jarrow Crusaders pub last year – but drinkers will be raising a glass to its welcome return under a new name this Friday.

The building was bought at auction by Jarrow Brewery, which has carried out months of renovation work to ensure it is ready for re-opening.

The community watering hole, based in the heart of the town centre in Walter Street, will be known as McConnell’s Gin and Ale House.

As the name suggests, it isn’t just the brewery’s traditional array of craft ales that will be on tap.

Jess McConnell, managing director of the brewery, said: “It is one of the oldest pubs in Jarrow.

“We have been working for months to get it ready to be re-opened.

“We are opening this Friday.”

The pub first swung open its doors back in 1865, when it was known as The Albion.

It was later annointed the Jarrow Crusaders in homage to the protest march of 1936, when over 200 people travelled nearly 300 miles from the town to Westminster to lobby Parliament over mass unemployment and extreme poverty in the North East. The pub will supply the brewery’s award-winning selection of ales and stouts, but they will be accompanied by 
speciality gin and tonic as well as international beers.

The big re-opening is at 5pm on Friday and a warm ambience is promised for visitors – free from the distractions of live football screenings, darts, pool and karaoke.

The acquisition is all part of the ongoing expansion of Jarrow Brewery, now based at Bede Industrial Estate.

The firm’s new beer plant was launched in October 2013, allowing the company to expand into a 5,000 square foot, 40-barrel facility.

The brewery had earlier secured £140,000 through the Regional Growth Fund to expand its operations, including the creation of more than a dozen new jobs.

Brewing capacity was expanded to 72,000 pints a week, while Carlsberg UK is making Jarrow Brewery ales available at pubs throughout the country.

The brewery is still finding time to whet the appetite of customers with tasty new beers.

Brewery bosses are working on a new tipple – which has come about thanks to a continental collaboration – and is due to be served up in the near future.