Friday night down the Bigg Market downing a few “Newky Browns” is a long-established tradition for the young men of Newcastle. Somehow, Tadcaster Brown Ale doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
But cost-cutting took precedence over tradition yesterday when Heineken, the Dutch brewer, announced plans to close the Federation Brewery in Gateshead, where it makes Newcastle Brown Ale, and shift production to the John Smith’s brewery in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire....
Paul Hoffman, S&N’s operations director, said that it was “a sad day”, but the decline in beer sales and the resultant production overcapacity had made the move inevitable.......
The decision to move to Tadcaster comes four years after S&N created a furore by closing the Tyne Brewery and moving production across the river to Gateshead, to the much smaller Federation Brewery, which it acquired from a co-operative of local working men’s clubs.
In the wake of that move, S&N successfully applied to the European Union for the ale’s “protected geographical indication” status to be removed. An S&N spokesman said: “It’s a different kettle of fish to things like champagne and Parma ham, because we’re the only producer of Newcastle Brown Ale.”..........
Jeff Tate, regional officer for Unite, the union, said: “This is an appalling state of affairs. To see a day when Newcastle Brown Ale is no longer brewed on Tyneside is a disgrace.”
While S&N’s cost-cutting drive will undoubtedly save a few million pounds, the true test will be the reaction of the Bigg Market revellers. The S&N spokesman said: “We will be open and honest about it on the label. We hope they will see it as a beer that continues to have its roots in the North East.”
A matter of complete indiference to me Mr ORAVC must be over thirty years since one supped a pint in the Big Market and never was that keen on Brown Ale, one prefered Newcatle Exhibition Ale from the pump,one's only connection was installing the PA system in the Fed Brewery and Club. Par for the course now, the entire country is owned by dammed furriners,just think, we used to own most of them,we should never have given them their freedom.
Vaux used to make a brown ale as well, Double Maxim,horrible it were,drunk mostly by the citizens of Smoggytown and they knew no better.
I remember the real Newcastle Brown it only had a shelf life of a few days,literally it went off, it could not travel at all,that's why it could only be had in the N/E,then they started pasturizing it and that, according to the Brown Ale drinkers was when the rot started and brown ale was never the same.
I only knew a couple of blokes that drank the dog all the time,twas my observation most working blokes drank Draught beer,in its original form it was to potent,one would not last the night,a chap might have a couple of bottles to start then switch to summat more civilized with less anesthetic qualities.
I think it was around ’69 when I first saw Newcie Brown West of the Pennines. It had a pleasant “herby” flavour, as I remember. I had a bottle of it many years later and it had become sweet and bland. It may have been due to too many Madras curries on my part but I doubt it. Robbie’s Best stayed the same flavour (except on its off days) during that time.
As an undergrad in Leeds in the early 1970s, I couldn't afford both food and beer, so I was forced by circumstances to live on Newcastle Brown Ale. A good life it was, too. However, it never appealed to the Sheilas that I knew, so if I was buying, I had to buy them something else.
I used to drink in a pub in Ripon, (Yorks), that sold Vaux and a very nice drop too, just depends on how it is kept and prepared, very much like Marston's, could be nectar, could be filth, all down to the keeping and delivery. Another nice one in Ripon was Samson's, was that Vaux also or another brewery?.