I agree. And, actually, Newcastle, as the OP uses, is pretty much my perfect cooking beer. Just the right amount of malt, very low on hops. Brown ales are my least favorite beers to drink, but they are my favorite to cook with. Stuff like Bass or Sierra Nevada lend a bitter hoppy note that I find conspicuous and don’t like in stews/chilis (although, converse to the brown ales, I love to drink 'em.)
Belgian ales would also work quite well, like a nice abbey dubbel of some kind. If you can find New Belgium’s Abbey, that has become my beer of choice for a lot of cooking applications (and it is nice to drink, too. I used to hate the New Belgium beers and still dislike Fat Tire, but I’ve since warmed to some of their other offerings. It’s also usually cheaper than Newcastle, and a hell of a lot nicer to drink.) The Belgians tend to go light on hops, while playing up the malt, yeast, and herb/spice characteristics of their beers.