On the trail of Newcastle Brown Ale
Newcastle Brown Ale isn’t only a staple drink of the city it takes its name from – it’s also an icon of the north of England as a whole. And while you can get it across the UK, if you’re planning a trip to Newcastle you should definitely make the effort to get to know the beverage in its natural home.
Today, we’ll be giving you the lowdown on this historic ale, as well as offering a few pointers on where to try it, while you can find accommodation by visiting this website.
Getting to know Newcastle Brown Ale
An English-style brown ale, Newcastle Brown Ale has a strong malty taste, being brewed with pale malt and crystal malt. It was initially created back in the late 1920s and for a long time it had Protected Geographical Status – but we’ll move to how and why that changed in a moment.
Originally, the ale was made in Newcastle at the Tyne Brewery. One of the first beers to be distributed in a glass bottle, it has traditionally been seen as a working man’s beer – though overseas it’s usually viewed as a premium product. The now-famous blue star logo was added the following year, with the points of the star representing Newcastle’s breweries.
The brewer, Newcastle Breweries, merged with Scottish & Newcastle back in 1960, which marked the start of a series of location changes for the ale – the Tyne Brewery produced its last bottle in 2005. The drink then moved to Federation Brewery, before being bought by Heineken and moved to the John Smith Brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, where it’s still made today.
And it was this final move that meant it lost its Protected Geographical Status, having been taken entirely out of its original location. Still, despite no longer being brewed in Tyneside, Newcastle Brown remains a symbol of the city and the north-east. It’s easy to see just how important it is to the local area when you consider the fact that it sponsored Newcastle United and has appeared in a number of TV shows set in the north.
Where to drink it
Being a staple of north-east England, Newcastle Brown can be found in most pubs in the city. Still, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeking out a few of the best watering holes to sample it in.
We recommend heading to the Centurion, which is actually the bar at Central Station on Neville Street. This is no ordinary station bar though; no, the Centurion is an amazingly renovated former first class passenger lounge, and it’s got a whole lot to offer.
It’s home to two main rooms – the Grand Room Bar and the Snug Bar. The former is the main room, while the latter is a cosier nook just behind it, and the perfect spot for having a quieter drink. Whichever you settle down in, you’ll have a great selection of draft bitters, cask real ales and more to choose from – including, of course, Newcastle Brown Ale.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can find it in local restaurants; in fact, last year one of the city’s top Indian restaurant used it to create a unique dish in celebration of the Tyne Bridge’s 85th anniversary.
The Newcastle Brown-infused curry was made with Northumbrian lamb, while the regional menu was crowned with a dessert spiked with Lindisfarne Mead.