A very good day to you all, its Wednesday again already and we are now in December! (Hoooorayyyy)
Have you all opened up your first door on your Advent Calendar!
I really hope you’ve been enjoying my latest content, if you think my previous posts were amazing, well you are going to be in for a treat for the next month.
It’s nearly Christmas, and I’ve got some fantastic posts lined up to get you all into that Christmas Spirit.
We all love a drink at Christmas, whether its beer, whisky, vodka or wine, but I can guarantee you these posts will make you very merrily indeed.
Today’s post is on a historic beer called Newcastle Brown Ale!
Newcastle Brown Ale was first launched in 1927 in the heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne, it was produced and founded by Colonel Jim Porter, who was born in the capital town of brewing, Burton Upon Trent, my hometown believe it or not.
It all started in 1927 when the beer was first produced at Tyne Brewery in 1927, the Newcastle Breweries Ltd had occupied the site since 1890, with brewing on-site dating back to around 1868.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed on a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, there is a blue star logo, this logo was launched onto the bottle on its first anniversary, the five points on the star represent the five founding breweries of Newcastle.
In 1960, a merger between Scottish Brewers and Newcastle Breweries took place and it was then revealed that Newcastle Brown Ale became a flagship brand of Scottish & Newcastle.
By 1997, Scottish & Newcastle had stated that the beer was the most widely distributed alcoholic product in both pubs and off-licenses within the UK.
In 1999, Tyne Brewery invested in a state of the art bottling plant which cost around £16.6 million, however, this was shortlived, Scottish & Newcastle announced the closure of the brewery in 2004. The last batch of Newcastle Brown Ale came off the production line from Tyne Brewery in May 2005.
The production was then transferred over to The Federation Brewery in Gateshead, trial brews commenced this was to ensure that there was no change to the beer once the move was complete.
Next, in 2007, bottling of Newcastle Brown Ale moved to the gigantic John Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster, I’ve actually been past this site before, and I can honestly say it was one of the biggest breweries I have ever seen!
A few years later in 2015, it was announced the caramel colouring which has been used since the beer was launched would be removed from the beer due to health reasons, the brewery decided roasted malt would be used to darken the beer.
Then, in 2017 Heineken which bought Scottish & Newcastle in 2008, decided that some production would move from the Tadcaster Brewery to Zoeterwoude Brewery in the Netherlands. The reason being was to allow faster transportation to the U.S.
Towards the end of 2019, America decided to make a different version of the Brown Ale, they ceased importing the Brown Ale from Europe.
As of September 2019, Newcastle Brown Ale is still brewed at the Tadcaster Brewery for the UK, EU Markets and also in the Netherlands for the export market.
I can honestly tell you, I do think this is such a fantastic journey of a classic, heritage beer, it’s like Bass Ale, it has importance if customers love something, then it will always remain.
On the other hand, this beer does have an advantage, Newcastle Brown Ale is a bottled beer which can be bought from pubs and shops, it’s easy to find because it’s widely available, it’s not a draught product which is a shame because I wish I could try a Cask Ale version of this beautiful beer.
Now, if you are from the North East in the UK, Newcastle Brown Ale is referred to as ‘Dog’ or known as ‘seeing a man about a dog’, this was to give an expression that your partner is basically going to the pub for a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale. Elsewhere in the UK, the beer is referred to as Newkie Brown!
Newcastle Brown Ale is a full-bodied and smooth beer, showing restrained caramel and notes of bananas and dried fruit.
This is what you call a luxurious sweet beer, it’s bursting with flavour and aroma, incompletely it is highly moreish and makes your mouth water!
I still have tonnes of bottles left in my stash, and if there is one thing that I know my beer collection never becomes empty, there is always something available for me to drink.
I was able to purchase a bottle of Newcastle Brown from my local store and the promising news I can tell you is it’s cheap! It cost me £1.50 and unbelievably you are paying that for a perfect pint!
As soon as I opened up the bottle, you could smell the bananas straight away, it was literally clinging around the top of the bottle, the aromas were so immense!
Yes, I am using my Christmas glass once again, well why wouldn’t you, I mean you have to get into the spirit don’t you!
Now, if you are after a beer which is completed with a foamy head, then, unfortunately, this beer isn’t probably for you, I mean the flavour is the priority, but because it’s not bottled conditioned, you won’t get that creamy head at the top of the glass, but I suppose its not the end of the world!
As soon as I took my first sip, bearing in mind this was the first time I was trying this beer, I didn’t really know what to expect, but the taste was sensational, it was gorgeous!
In my opinion, there were hints of honey, along with a pinch of cinnamon, again just like my previous whisky posts, this beer tasted like Christmas, the after taste was far more appealing, it delivered a nutty feel which lingered on the palate, leaving a bittersweet finish.
Before you know it, my glass was empty, what I basically just had a pint of was joy and happiness, something which we all look forward to around Christmas time!
Well, what do you think?
Would you ever try Newcastle Brown Ale?
I have to admit, I have tried some fantastic beers over 2020, but this beer comes in close to being the greatest, it has flavour, it’s not boring and most importantly this beer delivers a story!
This beer could have been scrapped many years ago, and people like myself, wouldn’t have had the chance to try it, but I am truly so lucky to be able to sample Newcastle Brown Ale and long may it live forevermore!
So basically, when you’re next in the supermarket and you stumble across this beer, why not give it a try and let me know your own personal thoughts, or if you have tried it, why not pass on your recommendations to your friends.
I really hope you enjoy the rest of your week, I shall return again at the weekend for a Christmas Gift Idea post!
Take care everyone and stay safe
I’m thrilled that I can actually get one of your reviewed beers over here in Canada! Newcastle is very enjoyable and I’ll look for it again on my next trip to the store. Many thanks for the background and review, cheers!
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It is a remarkable beer and I am so happy to see it being distributed around the world, just shows what a marvellous beer this is with a fantastic background 😁
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My dad’s all-time favorite beer — and one I’ve actually had before in the US! This is a solid beer choice and a good fall-back no matter where you are. I had no idea it had been around for so long and had such a rich history!
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What do they call it over at the states?
It’s crazy to see this beer being so popular not just in the UK but around the world! It is a remarkable beer with so much history to it 😁
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I love this article. To be fair, the so called New Castle Brown Ale being sold in the United States is not the Original. Laganitas reimagined the iconic brand and the result is a horrid knockoff swill! Shame on Laganitas for dishonoring this noble brand and shame on Heineken for allowing it!