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Thread: Newkie Moves

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    1,566

    Newkie Moves

    Newcastle Brown Ale will no longer be brewed in namesake city

    Manufacture of the famous Geordie brown ale, brewed in its namesake town of Newcastle for
    82 years will switch to Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, Scottish & Newcastle said.

    It wants to close the Federation Brewery, Dunston, Gateshead, with the loss of 63 jobs by the middle of next year, because of falling beer sales in the UK. The Dunston site is currently running at around 60% capacity.

    The famous bottled beer, with its iconic blue star label, first went on sale in 1927 and was brewed next to St James's Park football ground in Newcastle until 2005.

    The ale was also dubbed "dog" by drinkers, as they would make the excuse of going to "walk the dog" when nipping to the pub. Many Geordies will remember with affection the sweet yeasty smell rolling across the city from the plant, which was demolished last year to make way for a science park.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Liberty ME. USA
    Posts
    70
    Could Dunston possibly formulate some new brews that are more like the American pale ales and roll the dice. It seems to me that if the handwriting is on the wall they could do something different or drastic to save what they have. Do they have to be traditional? We make a beer called Cant DOG which could very well carry on the tradition of walking the dog. Come on step up!!!!
    Danny McGovern
    Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.
    Belfast Maine
    USA
    Danny McGovern
    Brewer
    Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.
    Belfast ME. USA
    04915

  3. #3
    mic_mac Guest
    Danny, this story is all about big business - I can't even keep up with the changes in the big-brew side of world brewing.

    Someone else regularly on here could probably do a better job explaining this, but I think it's roughly . . .

    Heineken now own Scottish & Newcastle (which means amongst other plants, they also own Dunston & Caledonian, Edinburgh - though they seem to run more independently than the rest of the group).

    Dunston is a big brewery & the group is way over capacitied (is that a word?).

    They've already announced plans to close another big brewery near Reading, Berkshire (brewing lakes of lovely Kronenbourg, Fosters, etc), previously S&N had closed both of their historic Edinburgh & Newcastle breweries too.

    I don't think they see craft-brewing & real innovation as their saviour!
    (not that fairly big breweries can't do "craft" - see Dogfish, New Belgium, etc - it just doesn't happen much this side of the pond).
    cheers,
    MikeMcG.

  4. #4
    mic_mac Guest
    admin wrote
    Newcastle Brown Ale will no longer be brewed in namesake city
    but it hasn't been brewed in its namesake city for years - not since they closed their original Newcastle Tyne Brewery & moved production to the former Northern Clubs Federation Brewery in nearby Gateshead.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3648627.stm

    ScotCo even petitioned the European Union to revoke their own hard-fought-for Protected Geographic Indicator status "Newcastle Brown Ale"!

    (PGIs are intended to protect specific regional food & drinks - Parma Ham/Parmesan Cheese, Champagne, etc)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
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    341
    I think the corporation needs to take a closer look at why their sales are dropping. The beer has not been the same for many years. It appears to have been lightened up quite a bit over the last decade, even more so since closing the Newcastle brewery.
    Today's Newkie Brown, IMHO, is a mere shade of its former glory. I beleive the alcohol strength has been reduced, and I am certain that the flavor profile is much less than it was.
    It would seem, as a result of the lightening up of the beer, it has become much more fragile, and less able to withstand the rigors of export. This one beer seems to be the single most likely to taste off, whether on draft or in bottles, of any beer I have had lately. Usually, I find a stale, sometimes oxidized, and occasionally sour character in all but the absolute freshest samples, and then only if served from the cleanest of lines.
    -Lyle C. Brown
    Brewer
    Camelot Brewing Co.

  6. #6
    mic_mac Guest
    Most fans of decent beer in the UK couldn't really care about Newkie Broon - some might have a soft spot for it, as along with Guinness, in the darker days of the 70s & 80s, it was seen as a safe choice in a pub serving no decent cask beer.

    Oddly enough - it's (almost?) never on tap - only in bottle in the UK.

    As to the recipe / quality being changed - I strongly suspect so, but someone on here could maybe comment with greater authority?

    Beer-writers, brewers & drinkers used to hold this beer in high regard, so I doubt very much whether the ingredients and peculiar production methods that previously made Newcastle Brown Ale a true classic remain unchanged today.

    (if memory serves, Michael Jackson's excellent New World Guide To Beer has quite a detailed explanation of how it's complex flavour, was in part derived from it being a blend of 2 ales of different colours, strengths & ages).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    I've been having a bit of trouble logging on for some reason, so a rather slow response

    Re Newkie - same maltster and malt, same recipe, same yeast, same style FVs, same water treatment, same fermentation and maturation profiles.

    Cheers
    dick

  8. #8
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by dick murton
    I've been having a bit of trouble logging on for some reason, so a rather slow response

    Re Newkie - same maltster and malt, same recipe, same yeast, same style FVs, same water treatment, same fermentation and maturation profiles.

    Cheers
    Over what period of time? I was thinking Newkie has changed from what it was ~15 years ago.
    -Lyle C. Brown
    Brewer
    Camelot Brewing Co.

  9. #9
    mic_mac Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by dick murton
    Re Newkie - same maltster and malt, same recipe, same yeast, same style FVs, same water treatment, same fermentation and maturation profiles.

    Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by beerking1
    Over what period of time? I was thinking Newkie has changed from what it was ~15 years ago.
    Apologies, Dick, I was referring to the changes presumably made several moons ago - some time after M.J. wrote about the odd long-winded production methods (incl. brewing & blending 2 very different beers).

    I've not really been following this, but the TV news one night this week had footage of some mildly p***ed-off Geordies, saying that they wouldn't drink it any more, now if it was brewed outside of Tyneside.

    cheers
    MikeMcG.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Tadcaster, Yorkshire, UK
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    As far as I know. the recipe and other conditions are still the same, given the inevitable physical difference between breweries and water supplies, changes to malts etc over the years. However, I have not been directly involved with its production so there may be some differences I am not aware of. Trouble is, Tyne brewery closed a good few years ago now, and most of the Tyne mob have retired or otherwise left the business. And I am not aware of a concious decision to change the recipe or other characteristics at any time.
    dick

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