Newcastle Brown Ale has been re-imagined by Lagunitas. Re-imagined = ruined

Newcastle Brown Ale, a tasty British import Ale was a very good mild ale. Now the geniuses at Lagunitas has made a new formula for the US market and it is just bitter. No taste of ale at all. The only thing they got right was at least it is finally in a brown bottle.

Now get off my lawn you damn kids.

That’s … horrible. Newcastle is one of my all time favorite beers. :frowning:

You mean the new version actually has a flavor? Amazing!

Needless to say, I fucking hate Newcastle.

I remember being surprised at how mild Newcastle Brown was, for a beer that color. I expected it to have some kind of standout character. As it turns out, its mildness was what stood out. Then I read that the brown color was not achieved by roasted grains but by a coloring agent, and I felt hoplessly deceived and swore off of it.

Probably more people drink Newcastle brown in the US than in the UK these days - joke of an ale tbh. Roughly equivalent to us importing pabst blue ribbon to the UK and declaring it a fine example of American beer.

Although tbf that sweet mild ale style is well out of fashion nowadays so if you like it there may not be anything good to choose from.

Bought a 6 pack and didn’t know about the change. Took one sip, spit it out, and poured the rest out. If I wanted a bitter super-hoppy beer there is only about 100 different ones. Why you gotta ruin a perfectly fine sipping beer.

Not sure what I’m going to do with the other 11 bottles. I got through 3/4s of the first and dumped the remainder. Wasn’t my go to ale but one I enjoyed from time to time especially when it was on sale.

I do, too, except for cooking, but if they did hop it up, I can’t even use it for that! I’ll have to try it to see what they did with it.

I was in Newcastle this year and drank much better beer. Of course, there was a time when Newcastle, Becks, and Molson were the only ‘import’ beers you could get in most places.

I actually was reading up a bit about this. When did Newcastle exit the US market? I somehow didn’t notice. Even though I’m not a Newcastle fan, it seems really weird to me to keep the name and change the formulation that much. It’s only bound to disappoint the folks who love that beer.

I’m confused. What makes anyone think Newcastle Brown Ale is being brewed at/by Lagunitas Brewing Company? “Newcastle” is a product of Heineken, and has been since 2008. Lagunitas BC is owned by Heineken (part owners since 2015, sole owners since 2017). But the Lagunitas website doesn’t advertise Newcastle.

Newcastle Brown Ale is not brewed exclusively in England at all any more. Production moved in 2017 to Zoeterwoude, Netherlands. The company (Heineken) gave as a reason that this would reduce transit times to the US, which consumes more of the product than any other single country, apparently. So it would appear that, if there has been a re-formulation, it’s being done by Heineken at it’s brewery in the Netherlands.

If you google “Lagunitas newcastle,” you’ll find plenty of explanation. Here is one.

Here’s a more in-depth report, including the change in recipe.

Also, read the comments about Newcastle drinkers complaining that the recipe change is significant, despite the article downplaying the changes.

I think Lagunitas make a lot of really good beers, but if they changed the recipe they really should give it a new name. God knows they have no problem coming up with stoned new names. Lagunitas: those who brew Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale.

Your Google-Foo has failed you this time. But **pulykamell **summed it up well.

I was drinking Lagunitas on the 4th of July 1994 at the High Sierra Music Festival in Bear Valley CA., less than one year after the brewery had started operations, and while there is nothing actually WRONG with their beers, they are all fairly generic, middle-of-the-road American “microbrews”, with nothing particular to make them stand out from the 100’s of others virtually identical to them (Fat Tire, Stone Brewing, Dogfish, Full Sail to name but a few) all of which can be perfectly fine for what they are, but to hear self-impressed snobs wax poetically about this essence or that finishing note is a mollyfocking joke.

And Waldo’s Special Ale…And so many more great brews!

And yet you name 4 breweries that I can distinguish by taste in blind tastings (and have, repeatedly.) Only someone with a naugahyde palate could mistake a brew from Stone as something New Belgium produced. Ditto Dogfish and Full Sail.

FWIW this says that the UK product is still brewed in the UK. (Mind you, it also says that it smells of chocolate digestives and goes well with pork scratchings. Hmm.) Nevertheless, in the spirit of research that the SD is known for, I shall go and buy a bottle for testing purposes.

Thing is, in recent years it’s been a rather bland drink - nothing offensive about it but…meh. But if I think back to when I first knew it, forty or so years ago, it was an extraordinary beer. I always used to describe the flavour then as “twisty” - there seemed to be a swirl of different notes competing for your attention. Either it changed or I did. I think probably it.


How terribly impressive.

I have been to tastings at both Full Sail Brewing in Hood River and New Belgium in Ft. Collins, both 25+ years ago, long before the American microbrew hit Critical Mass and every wannabe who lived within 20 miles of a Liquor Barn fancied themselves the Anthony Bourdain of beer critics (I freely admit that I was more than a bit of a know-it-all beer snob in my early 20’s, apparently not everyone grows out of it like I did)

Tomorrow at this time I will be drinking dunkles bier in Munich, so I am pretty happy with how my tastes in beer have developed.


This kind of pisses me off. Not because Newcastle is all that special (though I did like it), but because Lagunitas was one of the brewers at the forefront of the popular trend to completely over-hop every. single. beer. they. make.

It’s not uncommon to go into a bar with 10 taps, and they’re Bud, Bud Light, and 8 IPA’s. Some of us have taste buds that don’t respond well to bitterness. You can’t let us have one fucking malty ale?