Beer Review: Newcastle Brown Ale

November 26, 2008

Newcastle was kind enough to send me samples of their Brown Ale, though I’ve had it many times before, and some sample tips and recipes from their Holiday MAN-ual. I’ll have posts on that Holiday MAN-ual later. For now, I’ll give you a review of Newcastle Brown Ale.

According to the Newcastle Web site:

Newcastle Brown Ale was first brewed in 1927 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, by Jim Porter after three years of developing this special brew. Almost immediately after its release, Newcastle Brown won the gold medals at the International Brewers’ Exhibition in London in 1928.

The Pour
A vigorous pour gives this a 1-finger head with a good pillowy texture that leaves minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. The color can best be described as that of a somewhat watered-down cola or a glass of iced tea. Carbonation is definitely evident and leads you to believe it will definitely be present in the mouthfeel.

The Nose
This smells like an American lager with slight hops aromas and bitterness/sourness present. Some nutty notes are there as well, and you can almost detect very, very slight hints of oak as well. The nose is not exceptional by any means.

The Taste
This is a light to light-medium bodied brew with a noticeably carbonated mouthfeel. The mouthfeel does smooth  some by the finish, though. The nuttiness is definitely there. It tastes like a mix of various nuts…you can detect almond, pecan and walnut notes there. There’s an ever-so-slight burst of hoppiness at the finish that gives it a momentary dryness and crispness. The flavor of the beer almost seems to alternate between interesting nutty flavor in one mouthful to a slightly nutty American lager in the next.

Overall I would say this is an ok bridge beer. It has a lot of the characteristic flavors of American lagers but it also has a few of the interesting flavors of a nice nut brown ale. This could be a good introduction to brown ales and nut brown ales. A good thing about this beer is that it’s widely available at restaurants, so it’s a good alternative to Bud, Coors and the other major American beers out there. This is one of the first non-Budweiser beers I ever tried, so I have a soft spot for it. Drinkable with accessible flavors. I do wish it didn’t remind you so much of a generic American lager though.

Recommended: For the beer newbie, maybe.

Price: This was a sample sent by the brewery/PR folks.

ABV: Not on the bottle. Google searches turn up 4.7% ABV.



  1. Ha, I’m in the same boat. Only… I’ve yet to crack open my sample and post a review. But love that their marketing team thoroughly contacted the community. Nicely written!

  2. thanks Brian…..it’s funny, my sister-in-law asked me just last night if the breweries sent me free beer because my blog was one of the best ones out there….I told her, “No, they send it to pretty much everybody” 😀

  3. Ha. Everyone is right. Even me! 🙂

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