Newcastle Brown Ale, or power of marketing 1

Today, famous, great English export hit – Newcastle Brown Ale.


John Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster


Newcastle Brown Ale – beer-legend.
It is currently produced in John Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster (North Yorkshire, England). The brewery is part of Heineken.

After three years of perfecting, final recipe was approved in 1927 by its creators: Colonel James „Jim” Porter and chemist Archie Jonson. This took place in Newcastle upon Tyne (North East in England).

Just one year later, beer won gold at the prestigious International Brewers’ Exhibition in London, 1928.
Here’s how looked Newcastle Brown Ale (photo is taken from the website of Newcastle beer):


Newcastle Brown Ale 1928


At first beer was very popular in the North-East England.
After the merger Newcastle Breweries with Scottish Breweries in 1960, przestało być napojem regionalnym – it ceased to be a local drink became known throughout the country and began to reach outside the UK.


At that time created saying: “I’m taking the Dog for a walk”, which meant: I’m going to the pub for a glass of Newkie Brown”. Newkie Brown This, of course colloquial term of hero of today’s post, Dog is a slang name of Newcastle Brown Ale.


In 1996 beverage was protected geographical indication (PGI) just as today’s brand Spitfire or Master Brew. The beer was thus assigned to the place of production, that is Newcastle.
Unfortunately indication has been withdrawn, while in 2005 the production was moved to a nearby Gateshead.

When in 2010 the Scottish & Newcastle Breweries has been taken over by Heineken, the production was moved again, this time to Tadcaster, where the beer is brewed until today.

It must be mentioned that the beer experienced a peak of popularity in the years 1980-1995 thanks to the fashion for Newkie Brown among students. In the 90‘s it was the most widely distributed alcoholic product in the UK.


Since 2000, most of the production is sold on the US market despite the fact that in the UK still is selling 100 million bottles a year.
Newcastle Brown Ale is the #1 Brown Ale and #1 Import Ale in the United States!


It is worth comparing its labels yet.


Newcastle Brown Ale labels compare

Of course, the most characteristic is the five-pointed blue star that symbolizes the five breweries: John Barras & Co, Carr Bros & Carr, JJ Allison, WH Allison i Swinburne & Co, which merged in 1890 to create Newcastle Breweries Ltd.
Gold medals are obviously trophy from 1928.
Blue colour of star refers to the water in the river Tyne, in its interior we had Cathedral Church of St Nicholas in Newcastle and the bridge over the River Tyne (the label on the left side).
In the 80 anniversary of the beer label has been designed (the label in the middle of 2007). On the contour of the bridge at Newcastle has been imposed silvery Millennium Bridge from Gateshead, which will symbolize the connection of the past and tradition with contemporaneity.
On the right side: current label removed by me from the just purchased beer.


I still have to refer to post in which Newcastle Brown Ale I put in unfavourable light – it’s about List of banned beers by Organics.
I mentioned there that into its production are used caramel dyes derived from carcinogenic ammonia.
Yes indeed it was, but in February of this year, Heineken announced that he had removed caramel colouring from beer recipe.
Although such organisations as European Food Safety Authority, or US Food and Drug Administration recognized beer for completely safe and dyes for harmless, the company bowed to pressure from consumers (especially American) and replaced the caramel by roasted barley.
Personally, I think that will come out this beer just for good.


Before proceeding to review of Newkie Brown I mention yet about glass specially promoted to drink this ale.
In April 2010, Heineken USA introduced the Wellington glass, branded as the “Geordie Schooner,” for Newcastle Brown Ale consumers in America.

Geordie Schooner for Newcastle Brown Ale

Schooner in Australia or in Canada means a type of beer glasses that looks a bit different (schooner), in the US the name refers to the shape of Wellington glass (while the British schooner is a large glass of sherry).
Geordie is both a regional nickname for a person from the region of North East England and the name of the Northern English dialect spoken by its inhabitants.
The shape of the glass is enhance beer taste experience, specially shaped bottom with etched star has cause intense release of CO2 to build a high head with foam.
Its capacity is 350ml.

I unfortunately did not have such glass, so I decided to launch my snifter to add the beer a little dignity.


And finally, let’s get down to the facts, that is to my personal evaluation of beer.

In accordance with the producer’s incentive, I cooled this beer in a refrigerator (although usually I’m not doing this with ales). However, that I extended consumption deliberately, to allow the beer to warm up so I could compare it in different temperatures.
As regards the name of the breweryproducer on the label we have only enigmatic: “The Brewery”.


Name: NEWCASTLE BROWN ALE (Brown Ale, alc. 4,7% vol.)
Brewery: Heineken – John Smith’s Brewery, Tadcaster (North Yorkshire, England)

Expiration date: 30/06/2016

Newcastle Brown Ale beer & unopened bottle
Newcastle Brown Ale labels & cap


test-look-small Beautiful colour, brown with a slightly red tint.
Foam light-beige, quite high, slowly falling.
Carbonation visually medium
test-sniff-small In aroma caramel, delicate fruity notes.
test-drink-small Taste: malt, caramel. A little candy sweets.
Bitterness small.
However, I feel the carbonation as quite high
In my opinion it is too watery.
As far as warm up the beer starts to go a bit too much DMS


And what to do with this Newcastle Brown Ale?
Nice colour (hopefully from roasted malt), delicate but all in all a pleasant smell. But the taste is very weak not much going on there.
The producer recommends drinking this beer cold?
Well, if you are thirsty you can quench with this beer. But do not count on a unique tasting experience.
I’m sorry, but I have to write this: ales’ world is so rich, it is not worth going back again to this beer.
Concerns lagers are washed out from taste and it appears that with mass-produced ales is identically.



At the conclusion, to improve mood, a short advertisement of Newkie Brown (for the US market, of course) with a comedic actress Aubrey Plaza, who gives show of her skills.
This commercial and many other fun touches on Newcastle Brown Ale are available to see on the homepage of this beer, which has already been mentioned above:



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One thought on “Newcastle Brown Ale, or power of marketing

  • The Rev.

    I still disagree with calling it “NEWCASTLE” Brown Ale when it is not brewed in Newcastle upon Tyne.