‘Out And About’ is series of chats with people we've gotten to know through our store in Tynemouth. We've been lucky enough to meet so many interesting people from different walks of life since we opened our doors. The series is a 'you've been to see us, let us come to you' concept - borne out of curiosity to find out more about our customers. It’s our pleasure to bring you their stories intertwined with info on the kit they love to wear.
Out And About | 6 BARRELS
Article by COMMON ILKE VINTAGE
6 BARRELS is a great local beer and ale distributor situated in North Shields, England. We met owner Neil when he popped into our store way back before lockdown occurred and he carried on his love for COMMON ILKE VINTAGE clobber during and after lockdown eased.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you got into the brewery industry?
Well, I’ve always liked beer and even before the craft beer boom I was always trying out independent craft beer and ale makers. I was also disillusioned with the corporate world I was in prior to starting up 6 BARRELS. So myself and my wife put or heads together and started to think about what we could do. Feeding off my love for independent craft beer and ale I decided to set up 6 BARRELS in order to bridge the gap between these great independent makers and local sellers. We started out in the simplest way we knew how. We bought some beer, bought a van, rented the unit we are in now and then we started knocking on doors. The Crown Pasada in Newcastle was the first place that bought beer from us, it was also the first place we went to. I thought ‘God this is easy, I’ll be sold out by next week’. Soon after that reality set in and we got a few no’s but we’ve carried on and things are going great.
If you had to drink one beer or ale for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
God…I do literally change my mind all the time. However, if I had to pick one to drink for the rest of my life it would be Lagonda IPA by Marble Beers. It was named after a car owned by the boss’s father; a beautiful looking car, and they’ve been brewing the beer for years so they’ve got the recipe perfected. It’s not a massively hoppy beer, it’s just a classic proper beer, you know a beer that just tastes like beer.
How has lockdown changed your working day to day?
We were left with a lot of stock and the biggest part of our business are the casks. It felt like squeaky bum time so we decided to press on and go straight to the customer. We started up a home delivery service for beers and ales. It was better to make a little money than no money and it allowed us to connect with a wider audience and existing customers. It’ll be great when we can get the distribution back up and running to full capacity but for now it's great to be able to adapt and carry on.
What do you get up to during your down time? What keeps you feeling positive and motivated?
I got back into my cycling. It’s kept me sane. It was lovely at the start of lockdown going out on the roads and there being no cars. So now that the cars are back I’ve been getting up at 5 in the morning just to carry on the enjoyment of cycling on quiet roads.
I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time with my daughter, taking her out on the bike, going to the park, having picnics, making a big positive out of a negative.
What are you looking forward to doing more of?
I really enjoy music so I can’t wait to go to a gig. It doesn’t matter who it is really as long as it’s just someone I like. I did have tickets to see Michael Kiwanuka before lockdown, so I couldn’t see him which was a shame. The last gig I went to was Chemical Brothers back in December, so yes it would be great to get back to one. Even if it’s just something small, just somebody singing you know, people around you enjoying themselves, the atmosphere of it all. I miss that.
We know you’re a fan of the shop, do you have a favourite item of ours that you’ve bought?
I remember the first time I found COMMON ILKE VINTAGE and it was by chance. I walked passed the window, something caught my eye and I thought ‘That looks like a bit of me’ so I just popped in. The pants I’ve got on now are one of my favourite bits of kit, they just go with everything and they fit great. My wife bought me this shirt through lockdown, not sure why really, maybe as a pick me up because I lost a friend during lockdown to Covid, so yes it was a lovely gift to receive. I love a good print. I think I definitely need to get back on the old Hawaiians as well before summer ends.
6 BARRELS now offer a takeaway service at their unit in North Shields from Friday 3pm-7pm and Saturday 2pm-8pm. We’ve tried and tested it, like all great beer lovers should, and we can safely say the beer is top drawer.
Location | Northumberland Street, North Shields, NE30
Instagram | @_6_barrels
Website | www.6barrels.co.uk