The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

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BEER Quarterly Quartet A fter Newcastle Brown Ale was introduced to the U.S. market in 1988, the brand saw double-digit growth for two decades. While the traditional beer from Tadcaster, in northeastern England, continues to be a strong seller for parent company Heineken USA, Newcastle Brand Director Charles Van Es says that consumers are always on the lookout for something new. That’s why the English brewer has recently part- nered with Caledonian Brewery—the last operating brewery in Edinburgh, in business since 1869—to create the new Newcastle Limited Edition ales. The first of this quartet of beers rolled out this season: Newcastle Summer Ale, a golden beer with citrusy hops and a dry finish. It will be followed in the fall by Newcastle Werewolf, a blood-red autumnal brew with berry overtones that, come Halloween, should take a Wolfman-like bite out of the market. Next up will be Newcastle Winter IPA, which Van Es says is brewed in the style of IPAs from northern England—nice and malty for cold weather, but not as hopsy as some American versions. By spring of 2012, Newcastle Founder’s Ale will roll out in tribute to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne’s five founding breweries. This one will be brewed by an English partner brewery (yet to be determined) and will be a traditional British ale that Newcastle founder Colonel Jim Porter, who established the brewery in 1927, would instantly recognize. “It’s important to hit the right tone with consumers,” notes Van Es. For the initial launch, the Limited Edition portfolio is destined only for select markets where Newcastle already has a large and avid following, including California, the Carolinas, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta. “We feel we’ve got a great partnership with Caledonian Brewery,” says Van Es. “They are very innovative and make a whole range of interesting, unique beers.” As with original Newcastle Brown Ale, drinkability is a big factor in determining the style and alcohol content of the new limited edition series. All will be moderate in alcohol, in keeping with Newcastle’s reputation as “the dark beer that’s easy to drink.” Heineken USA will be providing support for the new beers on-premise with full range of POS materials, and will also be promoting the Limited Edition series in tasting events with bloggers, wholesalers and key retailers. “We’re getting a lot of good activity on social-networking sites, too,” claims Van Es, and good buzz from consumers.” Colin Westcott Pitt, Vice President of Marketing for Newcastle, adds, “The Newcastle Limited Edition Ales satisfy our adult drinker’s quest for authenticity and variety while providing our trade partners with the opportunity to generate excitement, build store traffic and increase their sales of Newcastle—not once, but four times throughout the year.” june 201 1 / the tasting panel / 75 NEWCASTLE’S NEW LIMITED-EDITION ALES CHANGE WITH THE SEASONS by David Gadd

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