Aug 16, 2010

Newcastle Summer Ale

Note: this is a review of a promotional sample I received from a PR company.

Hops and Glory. That’s what the bottle says. See. Right there above the cool star with the farm scene in it.

Hops. Glory.


Look. I know my American palate is used to hop bombs, hop eruptions and just about every other hop explosion that any of our craft brewed IPAs have to offer. My tongue is spoiled in that regard. I also know what a well crafted, non-hoppy English Ale should taste so I wasn’t overly expecting any huge hop presence from this beer.

It’s just a bit disappointing that there really isn’t much of a hop character to be found in this beer. Even though the label clearly points out that I should be experiencing hops. Oh, and glory. But I don’t.

While Newcastle’s Summer Ale lacks in hops, it’s not an entirely bad beer. It’s a middle of the road, yet refreshing ale that would be perfect served cold after mowing the yard. Which is exactly what I did with it.


This Summer Ale pours a pale amber in color with a decent sized, frothy head.


Plenty of caramel malt greet you up front with a nice toasted character. There’s also a graininess that backs up the malt, but not a hint of hops.


The bready, caramel malts and grassy grains are there in the mix, but wait, what’s this? Amongst the grain and malt there is a slight hop bitterness, but it’s far from what I would call glorious. It’s just there to help balance out the malt I would presume. The mouthfeel is crisp on the tongue, making the beer pretty refreshing and quite drinkable. Oddly, not a bad beer.


Obviously, I’m disappointed that I experienced neither the hops nor the glory before, during or after drinking this beer. What I did experience was a fairly decent brew that would be perfect sitting on the back deck in the hot sun. It’s refreshing and crips — just want you really want in a summer brew. Beyond that, I’ll stick with a Newcastle Brown, thanks.

Rating: 3/5

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