Giveaway: Newcastle Winter IPA Merchandise

Giveaway: Newcastle Winter IPA Merchandise

Newcastle, known for 80 years for its Northern English Brown ale, has been expanding its portfolio to include limited edition seasonal beers.

So far, the brand’s owner, Heineken, has rolled out a Newcastle Summer Ale, and a Werewolf fall ale. Now appearing in store shelves is Newcastle Winter IPA. Like the other seasonals, it is brewed at Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh Scotland (production of Newcastle left its namesake town for Tadcaster, England, some years before).

Newcastle’s American PR people have sent me some Winter IPA to sample. They are also letting me give away some branded schwag to a reader. First let’s talk about the beer.

I cut the “One-Take Beer Review” video attached before I read further and found it was in fact made in Scotland, but I had already gotten the impression there was some Scots style to it. I pour straight out of the bottle to kick up some foam, and this beer offered a big, slightly brownish head over a brownish amber body.

A word first about India Pale Ales. The original version of this style had only slightly more hops than the standard British ale, and just a bit more alcohol, to help preserve it on the trip from England to the India colonies. We American beer fans found the style and decided it needed “more.” More hops, more bitterness, more everything. So the British IPA tends to pale by comparison. Just be prepared.

The brown beer body, nicely filtered, is more ruddy than most Pale Ale, and that’s where I started to see the Scots influence, or just a call back to Newcastle’s original “broon.” The smell was just a little amped in spicy English hops, but again, with a slight peaty note of northern brown malt. The taste was somewhat complex: Light carbonation mouthfeel, still with brown malt as it major taste component. A bit of smokiness. Hops were earthy, with a flash or two of mint, and some sweet orange. A slight edge of sourness, like some staled beer was blended in, Guinness style. So, despite the naming, it’s more malty than we expect from IPAs, especially we who are used to American hop bombs. And the alcohol is 5.2%, maybe stronger than an English session beer, but just a fraction above a Bud or Coors. A distinctive, slightly different statement on British beers. I've just checked to see that it is available at Binny's and has been reported at Jewel/Osco stores around here.

Here’s the giveaway. One reader of this article will be picked to receive the following gear:

Newcastle Cooler Bag

Newcastle Brown Ale Cooler Bag – A fitting and stylish way to make sure all your supplies and brews are kept cold and intact. A telescoping handle and wheels to make it easy to haul heavy bottles and ice.

Geordie SchoonerNewcastle Geordie Schooner – The official glassware of Newcastle, the Geordie Schooner ensures a perfect pour and taste every time it is served with the traditional Brown Ale or Limited Edition brews. It also has a laser etched nucleation pattern to help keep bubble flowing.

So here’s the deal. Add a comment to this article with a working email address. You can trick the address out so bots won't scavenge it, as in "Myname at email dot com." I’ll sort them out after the deadline of 6:00 p.m. Central, on Monday, January 2 and pick one winner at random. E-mail addresses will NOT be used for marketing or any other purpose by me. Winners must be residents of the United States. The prize package will be sent by Formula PR.  Good luck, and Happy Holidays.

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  • I have NewCastle on hand all the time. Would be great to pair it up with some cool looking merchandise. bknip1 at aol dot com.

  • IPAs weren't really brewed hoppier and stronger to survive an ocean transport to India. Many types of beers were successfully sent.

    However British tax laws on brewing caused brewers to weaken beers kept for local consumption. An exception for export beers kept them at the original level.

  • In reply to bd00:

    I was just popping in my history from memory, and I know the real history of IPA is way more complicated. I should have just stuck to the difference between English and American IPAs.

  • Thanks for the review and the contest, Mark! I'm: sevensweaters [at] G mail.

  • Just discovered your blog Mark. Good stuff. I certainly can't pass up on a drawing for good beer swag. emendels at yahoo dot com.

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    Thanks for all you do! Beer in Chicago has never been the same! deadpathology at gmail dot com

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    Darn- I wish I'd caught the logo deal sooner! I had 4 cases over the summer of the brown ale! I brewed a bit back in the 90's. A friend turned me on to the brown ale style while in the range of the Artesian wells of Olympia, WA. I didn't find out about NCBA until after I had brewed and imbibed my first keg of it and then had moved to Auburn. Didn't have the same water mineral and mud content... Turned out yucky... Spose I didn't do it quite right. Had a master brewer helping me do it right the first time.

  • In reply to MartinDean Sloan:

    I think most of the experts will say that a mild, or lighter, beer is among the hardest ones to replicate. A big beer with lots of malt or hops can cover a multitude of sins. Something like a Newcastle or a Bass, where the water profile is a big part of the taste, will stick out more when it doesn't match. Don't even get me started on light lagers. Be sure you're in touch with your local homebrew club if you want to try it again. Thanks for reading! I've got the Newkie Founder's Ale up shortly.

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