Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Beer Spotlight: Newcastle Werewolf

Praise be to the Sweet Sweet Goddess of Love and Beer that seasonal autumn brews can be more than pumpkin-spiced bottles of fizzy cinnamon. Newcastle Brown Ale is now nationally distributing its Newcastle Werewolf. It’s an Irish-style red ale (even though Newcastle’s brewery is in Scotland these days). Think along the general lines of Smithwick’s.

Here’s a PR quote from Newcastle Brown Ale Brand Director Charles van Es. “Unlike the mythical wolf-like creature said to roam the bleak moorland surrounding Newcastle, England, this Werewolf is real. Everyone loves a good urban legend, so we’re hoping to take advantage of the werewolf story to sell more beer this fall.” Hey, at least he’s honest. If only he’d added, “Twilight, Skyrim, True Blood … gotta get some of that wolfman wampum.”

The label promises “blood red,” but Newcastle Werewolf is really more a coppery tan. That color comes from the roasted rye malts that hit you on first sip - eventually letting a crisper, almost fruity flavor come through. Werewolf is lightly carbonated, but you can still feel a light bite on the tongue. The original Newcastle Brown Ale is too sweet for my taste, but Werewolf is drier.

I imagine we’ll be seeing bar specials on Werewolf as we get closer to Halloween. It’s not a beer you’ll hunger for after it rotates out and Newcastle Winter IPA rotates in, but at least Newcastle Werewolf is an alternative when someone tries to hand you a candy corn shooter.

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