Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beer Review: Newcastle Summer Ale

Many times on this blog I have mentioned the Theory of Time and Place.  The theory is simple: there is a time and place for every beer.  For me situation plays a huge part in what beer I will enjoy at the time I'm drinking it.  Here are some examples:

Situation #1: Mowing or having finished mowing the lawn.

Beer: PBR, Miller High Life

* Notice the trend here. I would go for something light, crisp, clean and refreshing.

Situation #2: Hanging out on the porch at night with the wife and kid late October.

Beer: Southern Tier Pumking, Sam Adams Octoberfest

* You see what I did there? Seasonals.

Situation 3# Throwing some bad ass Jamaican style throw down in my backyard complete with jerk chicken and reggae.

Beer: Red Stripe

* Again note what I did. The beer fits the situation.

Now of course not everybody does this and it really doesn't matter in the end as long as you're drinking beer. This is just me. I'm of the mindset that I can't drink a stout during 100 degree weather. Now 32 degrees and snowing? Stout me!

Recently I was contacted by Jack Follman from Formula PR Inc. who represents Newcastle. They wanted to send me a bottle of Newcastle Summer Ale to try and review. As a dedicated beer blogger I couldn't possibly turn down his offer so of course I accepted. I've done "business" with these guys before when they sent me some Newcastle Brown Ale. I love Newcastle Brown Ale. It was the import that turned me on to better beer. Situation played a HUGE part in that as well though. Sitting in O'Flaherty's Pub when it was open and drinking pint after pint of Newcastle was a big part of my life back in the day.

Anyways, I have never tried or even seen Newcastle Summer Ale so this was a great opportunity to try a new beer.  After attempting to do some research I really couldn't find much information on the beer.  I called Jack and he informed me "there is no official style" for this beer.  Newcastle Summer Ale releases in June and is off the market by September until the next summer.  It officially released in limited markets in 2009 and is not available yet in New Orleans.  Here is my review:

Brewery: Heineken International

Beer: Newcastle Summer Ale

ABV: 4.4%

Appearance: The beer poured a pale golden color with huge rocky head. No lacing present.

Smell: Slight grain aroma with no hint of hops.

Taste: Very grainy(corn)and grassy taste with a light malty sweetness, Not much hop bitterness despite the claim hops and glory on its bottle neck.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad beer. Good for after mowing the lawn or any other outdoor activity in the heat of summer.

Score: Photobucket 3 out of 5 Buddhas


The Beer Buddha


Riki said...

When I think Jamaica and beer, I think of Guinness. No I am not crazy, check it out.

Ilya Feynberg said...


Yep! There's a reason for that. Guinness is actually one of the most if not THE most popular brand of beer in the world.

Though it's not the typical Stout that most of the world drinks. It's their Extra Stout and something else I believe.

Riki, which Guinness did you find yourself drinking the most of down there in Jamaica?


Anonymous said...

Your taste description lacks the detectable fruit flavors such as apricot. This beer is so perfect for warm summer nights. It's still hot here in So. Cal...wish I got one last case. Summer Ale is already gone off the market and we're a long way till 2012.