Lagunitas Now Brews Newcastle Brown Ale — How’s it Taste?

Fans of Newcastle Brown Ale will notice a new flavor.

That’s because production has moved from the Netherlands to the U.S., where Chicago’s Lagunitas Brewery will now make the beer under a new recipe. Both brands are owned by Heineken, which made the switch as part of the U.S. relaunch of Newcastle Brown Ale.

So how’s it taste?

Heineken recently showed off the new flavor during a Lagunitas tour for distributors, retailers and media. We attended to sample the new recipe (and check out the Willy Wonka-does-beer experience that is Lagunitas).

Newcastle Brown Ale definitely tastes different. For starters, it’s less sweet.

Drinkers familiar with Lagunitas will likely think one word for this brewery: hoppy. It’s well known for bitter beers. So we wondered whether Newcastle Brown Ale might become much more bitter. After all, the new recipe includes classic Lagunitas hops: Centennial and Chinook.

But the end result is not extremely bitter. It’s perfectly balanced: roasted-malt caramel flavor with a subtle bitter backbone, more so than the old recipe. Lagunitas did add 8-10 more IBUs, but they blend in rather than stick out.

Newcastle Brown Ale has gotten a new flavor — and a new look.

Newcastle Brown Ale is also now an all-malt beer, made with Lagunitas house malt. Some fans may decry that this U.K. classic has become completely Americanized. To the contrary, Lagunitas Master Brewer Jeremy Marshal pointed out that the Chicago brewery uses a British-style house yeast.

He did not want to deviate far from what has worked for Newcastle Brown Ale. “We’re known for our super-hoppy beers, our barrel-aged specialties and other crazy brews, so the temptation was there,” Marshal said. “But this is not a beer you want to get that cute with. We said, ‘Let’s keep the soul intact’.”

The ABV remains the same (4.7%), as does the color.

Newcastle Brown Ale’s packaging received a modernized update. U.S. sales of the brand have slipped in recent years, prompting this rejiggering, and now it’s only available in 12-oz. bottles in packs of 6, 12 and 24, and 7.75-gallon slim steel kegs. When sales improve, the brand may consider extensions.

Bottles of the new flavor ship in March. Supporting marketing includes social media engagements, plus new POS and on-premise materials. The target demo is consumers who want accessible craft beer, rather than crazier styles.

Now a word on the Lagunitas Brewery tour. You enter through a long, black-lit, psychedelic hallway while Willy Wonka’s “Pure Imagination” plays on loop. Lagunitas has a pro-cannabis stance, and the eclectic, trippy décor does not disappoint. Nor does the beer-geek part, including a 500-barrel German-made brew system that looks like the massive gleaming engines of the Starship Enterprise.

The 500-barrel German-made brew system at Lagunitas.

The 300,000-square-foot brewery once contained sound stages for movies (which are still filmed next door), including the Dark Knight scene where the Joker burns a mountain of money.

Which is all to say: if you’re a beer nut, make the pilgrimage to Lagunitas.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz or Instagram @cheers_magazine. Read his recent piece 8 Craft Beer Trends in 2019.

272 COMMENTS

  1. I am SOOOOO bummed. The taste of this new Newcastle is disgusting. If I was a huge fan of IPA’s then I wouldn’t have been a loyal supporter of traditional Newcastle for all of these years …… and ENGLISH ale. I don’t know that I’ll ever buy Newcastle again …. unless I can find the original somewhere.

    • The new recipe sucks! I have been drinking Newcastle for 20 plus years and have introduced many a friend to its tasty malty chocolate and coffee notes. We all got together for a party last weekend and to a man agreed that the new recipe is trash. The “one and only” has now become the “same as many”. Why not keep the same recipe and just brew it here in America? I called Heineken USA and they told me that everyone else in the world will still be able to enjoy the Original recipe, but we Americans get to enjoy this new recipe swill!! I urge you the call or email Heineken and voice your displeasure and distaste. Let’s make them fix this and bring back our beloved Newcastle recipe!!

        • I was confused when I bought New Castle in a different looking box but the guy at the liquor store said it was just a new look. He was wrong. I’m not a fan of hoppy. The old recipe was sweet and refreshing. The new one hoppy. I’m sad to say now I’m looking for a new beer to replace the old New Castle. Please change it back.

          • Wow this is the most nasty shit in the WORLD!!! Newcastle WAS one of the best beers and quality beers I have ever had the pleasure to drink.. this is pure SHIT!!! And I will not drink this nor will I EVER buy a lugintas product for the rest of my life. They took a great genuine drink and trashed it and pissed all over it! I hope they go out of business!!!!!!!!!!

    • Exactly! My brain interprets IPAs as “soap” so I avoid them like a plague and deliberately chose NBA because it was a nice English brown ale. Now, to me, it has nothing to distinguish it from any of dozens of other hoppy American brews out there. The first time I tried this “New” NBA I took a couple of sips then poured the bottle out and took the 12-pack back to my grocer and got a refund. Will NOT be purchasing this, nor anything by Lagunitas and, if I can help it, anything from the Heineken conglomerate.

    • My wife had been buying 12 packs of Newcastle Brown Ale for me for some time. Our son and I had agreed that it was the best all-around good beer we had ever tasted. I had planned for it to be my go-to beer until my death. Now, someone decided to screw the pooch and change the recipe. There will be no more Newcastle Brown Ale allowed in my house. It is banned. I suggest you pour all of it back into the horses from whence it came

    • I have been a fan of Newcastle Brown Ale since the 1980s. In Europe & the States. It’s what we have bought when the English made it, Holland made it, until I just bought a 12 pack as usual & noticed It looked different. When my wife & I tried the 1st bottle, I tasted it, asked her to taste it, and we both poured it out. What nasty stuff. I poured the other 11 bottles down the drain. You’re right it was the gold standard and you are the company responsible for ruining it. We will no longer buy your version. You have just lost a long time customer.

    • Agreed. It WAS my favorite and I really don’t like this. There is no shortage of hoppy beers, we did not need another and even if we did, we didn’t have to loose a good brown ale to get it. Very disappointed.

    • Ever since Newcastle production moved out of England, it’s gone downhill. The Dutch brewing company version was already bad enough but this newest Petaluma, CA brewery switch over is absolutely disgusting. It tastes nothing like the sweeter, yeasty/bready, non-bitter Newcastle from England that I used to love.

      All American brewing companies are a joke. The best American beer is worse than the worst Czech beer, for example.

    • Wow this is the most nasty shit in the WORLD!!! Newcastle WAS one of the best beers and quality beers I have ever had the pleasure to drink.. this is pure SHIT!!! And I will not drink this nor will I EVER buy a lugintas product for the rest of my life. They took a great genuine drink and trashed it and pissed all over it! I hope they go out of business!!!!!!!!!! If this is what they do to a classic cherished beer then they have ZERO taste and ZERO class! They should at least have offered both recipes.

      • I have been drinking Newcastle for more than 25 years and I have considered it the best beer anywhere. Period. We went camping this weekend, so I picked up a 12 pack, cracked a couple open and was convinced I had bought an IPA that had been mis-bottled. So I bought another one. Same thing. Then I found this article and wanted to cry. I still want to cry, but right now I need to run in to town and buy a 12 pack of Stella. Please change the receipe back. Today.

    • What the HELL did they do to my beer! Newcastle was the best smooth English brown ale available. I’ve been drinking it for 25 years. the new stuff is rat piss. We don’t need more beers for “American flavors,” or whatever stupid excuse they give at corporate. the new label is crap as well, but at least it reminds me not to buy it, Ever Again.
      Well Done Lagunitas marketing, you have now alienated thousands of loyal customers.
      P.S. Are you by chance related to the people who destroyed the flavor of the original fire-brewed Stroh’s back a couple decades ago? You should get together and work on destroying some of the over-population of overly-hopped beers, instead of ruining a classic. I cannot express fully just how upset I am about this. There are not many things left in this world that maintain quality over time and can be counted on to always please. You took another one away. I will never buy any Lagunitas beer product.

    • Fall is approaching and cooler weather is here. Time for a nice Newcastle. NOT. Take the name off the bottle bc this shwill is not anywhere near the Newcastle
      I once knew. Working on last 12 pack ever!

  2. If it’s brewed by a different brewery, using a different recipe, and distributed in different packaging, in what sense is it still the same product?

    • Too right! I guess because Heineken now owns the name, they can put it on anything they want. But the reality is this is most definitely NOT Newcastle Brown Ale and is a fraud on consumers.

  3. Very disappointed. Newcastle was my favorite beer for years and years, now it isn’t. Now it just tastes like any other brown ale. So why buy this?

  4. Reminds me of New Coke, back in the day. At least the single New Coke I tried before switching to Pepsi. Who knew the world needed another lame hoppy beer? There’s only about 400 “local crafts” in any bar that taste just like this swill.

  5. Long time newcastle drinker of dutch version (20+ years spending $800 each year). The Lagunitas version is not the same. Too bitter. Heineken, you lost this baby boomer consumer.

  6. Before this, Newcastle was the beer by which all others were judged. Today you have turned it into just another mediocre, too hoppy, ho hum local craft attempt to copy the real Newcastle.

  7. Completely bummed out. Newcastle Brown Ale was my favorite beer. Now we get this trendy IPA wannabe??? They have ruined it. It’s all about money and making California left wings happy. Not happy!!!

  8. Newcastle brown and Stella have been my go-to beers…noticed the new packaging, thought nothing of it but did notice the new taste. Boy did lagunitas screw this up. Very disappointed. Won’t be buying any more.

  9. Way to go Heineken. Big money beer giant ruining an amazing beer. Well this trendy crap will probably make you more money in CA and NY but this NATIVE TEXAN who hated to admit that anything was better than SHINER BOCK but eventually had to will NOT being buying anymore Newcastle Brown Ale. Bottom line is all that matters I see.

  10. Heineken, you need to change the name of this beer and the label. This is NOT Newcastle Brown Ale. This is just another of a million terrible beers pumped out each year to please the people occasionally drinking beer that know absolutely nothing about beer. You’ve completely ruined my favorite beer. Total garbage.

  11. What just happened? I went to bed and Newcastle Brown Ale was amazing! I wake up and it’s terrible!!! Someone help!?!?!!?!!!

  12. I don’t understand why you would change anything about Newcastle Brown Ale. It was such a smooth, great tasting beer. So it doesn’t sell a billion bottles like Bud Light. This decision was made in a board room by a bunch of out of touch rich snobs that probably don’t even drink beer. Not only am I never buying this again, I’m never buying another Heineken product again EVER out of spite!

  13. Drinking my first of the ‘new’ New Castle Brown Ale right now and…..IT IS TERRIBLE!!!! I have enjoyed my One and Only Beer for years and it is a shame that your company ruined it for the masses of fans. You just lost the business of a couple of lifelong fans! So very disappointed…..

  14. Drinking my first of the ‘new’ New Castle Brown Ale right now and…..IT IS TERRIBLE!!!! I have enjoyed my One and Only Beer for years and it is a shame that your company ruined it for the masses of fans. You just lost the business of a couple of lifelong fans! So very disappointed…..

  15. I am very disappointed. Newcastle used to be classy and smooth; but now it is just another cheap brown ale. This new beer should not be called Newcastle. It is a cheap bitter, crappy beer that just happens to have the same name.

  16. This is terrible tastes like longboard. If that’s what I was looking for that’s what I’d by. Guess I’ll go to something elsr

  17. Hard day at work, head to the store for my favorite brew. I noticed a new packaging, but I didn’t think twice about it. I get home crack one open and….omg….no…please no. You ruined the Only beer I ever enjoyed. Please please bring back the original recipe. Or at least honor the orginal and change the name. This is not Newcastle

  18. I have been drinking Newcastle for over 20 years and today I tried the “new” one and it is horrible! The new recipe should NOT be called Newcastle Brown Ale at all! Thanks Heineken for completely ruining my favorite beer! Shame on you!!!!!

  19. This is complete bullshit – I’ve been drinking New Castle Brown Ale for over 20 years now, and this new formula does taste terrible – it tastes like regular shitty beer.

    I was able to buy a 12 pack of the old and new recently – I’m down to my last few of the old.

    After that, I guess I might as well drink Buttwiper.

    Why did they have to fuck it up?

    How long before they switch this back?

  20. Horrible!!!! Why change something that was sooo good. Can you say “New Coke”. Geez, I have to search to find it in my area, and now it tastes like every other IPA. I want my Brown Ale back.

  21. newcastle has been growing in availability and popularity in midwest now it has been changed into a mass produced overly hoppy run of the mill home brew
    by some millennial trying to reinvent the wheel. IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT DUMB ASS

  22. Nooooooo!!! The old Newcastle was perfect – the “new” Newcastle is too bitter and not evan close in taste. I’m out!

  23. What a stupid move! Fake beer. Has similar bottle name and label but is not Newcastle. No good. looking for another beer. Would not buy another bottle

  24. So disappointed. New recipe is awful, and now just tastes like Lagunitas. Newcastle was my favorite go to beer, but now I’m looking for an alternative. Nay suggestions?

      • I posted my own rage about the new recipe but in regards to your comment, all I can think to recommend you try is beer by Hacker Pschorr. Good luck finding it (it’s around…) but it’s the treat I wish I had to wash down this new stuff 🙁

  25. I normally never bother with leaving comments, why bother I think, they’ll never see this and what is the point?

    I am fulfilling my drop in the bucket, I stopped unpacking groceries to really try this and with every swig, I’m like WTF? No. Just No. Stop this nonsense and bring back the original. I’ve recommended this beer to so many people and now I’ve made my last recommendation. Why would you fix what isn’t broken? How is the ‘soul’ the same at all??

    I am no longer recommending Newcastle and am extremely disappointed. Original recipe will always be my favorite, this new recipe is akin to yuengling now.

    • my Yuengling and I are offended that is being compared/equalled to new-recipe Newcastle swill (fm chicago & california). No quarrel with ‘new recipe’ being shit, but no need to badmouth honest mid-range tasty Yuengling beers. Poor folks out west want it, and cant get it!! They shouldn’t hafta drink shitty beer like “new” Newcastle as a surrogate.

  26. heineken you really turned brown gold into a huge smelly turd.

    newcastle was the only thing I drank for the last 25+ years.

    wheres the line to kick the guy who made this decision smack dab in the nuts?

  27. How DARE you call this garbage Newcastle?!? I just dumped out the second half of my first bottle and will be returning the two twelve packs I bought for a refund. FU Jeremy Marshal. FU Lagunitas. FU Heineken. I am really angry that you’ve done this to my favorite beer

  28. I wrote to Heineken…never received a response. They don’t give a crap. They probably wanted to kill off the brand to eliminate any competition with their main brand of skunk water. I spent 30 years enjoying Newcastle at my favorite pizza joints and pubs, and at home on holidays and special events. It was THE BEST. I can’t believe the ONE beer I truly love has to get ruined by this bunch of corporate shit gibbons and hipster craft brew douches. All Newcastle lovers should BOMBARD Lagunitas social media pages with vitriol and rage until this travesty is ended.

    • I wrote to Heineken, to Lagunitas, and to those folks who are now represent Fake Newcastle Brown Ale (FNBA). Heard nothing from Heineken, a feeble response from Lagunitas, and an incredibly stupid response from the FNBA folks that started with “Well, at first folks didn’t like Kale either”! WTFingF?!? These are folks who are totally clueless. Just wish they hadn’t chosen my favorite beer to f**k with.

      • What contact addresses did you use? This is a complete travesty. It is a completely different beer which does not even approach what Newcastle was… Devastated.

  29. Terrible new taste. I thought I had gotten a bad batch (since that does happen time to time), but nope, it’s just that bad now. I’m so sad I can’t get my favorite beer anymore.

  30. I wrote to Heineken, to Lagunitas, and to those folks who are now represent Fake Newcastle Brown Ale (FNBA). Heard nothing from Heineken, a feeble response from Lagunitas, and an incredibly stupid response from the FNBA folks that started with “Well, at first folks didn’t like Kale either”! WTFingF?!? These are folks who are totally clueless. Just wish they hadn’t chosen my favorite beer to f**k with.

  31. Too thick and caramely. I have drank Newcastle for years and loved that it was a smooth and light, brown ale. It was my go to beer with meals and didnt weigh you down on Summer days. This new flavor ill treat the same as other craft beers, maybe one here or there but wont stock up on it like I did for the “One and Only”. I’ll be switching to Alaskan Amber now and hoping the original comes back!

  32. New taste is terrible! Seems to me that a chef got someone elses recipe and had to put their own spin on it because thats what they do. Well then change the F-in name and make a new one. Clearly whoever was behind this decision didn’t drink the original. They ruined it! I’m hoping this is a Coke/New Coke/Classic Coke marketing stunt because I honestly cant figure out why they would mess with a proven winner. Bring back the original new castle and trade this new recipe for a horse and shoot it!

  33. I’ve been a dedicated Newcastle drinker for over 20 years and they just ruined a great beer!! Way to go on making a shit beer!!!

  34. I knew that Newcastle had slipped a notch or two when they got bought out by Heineken but now it is not even in the playing field. I had no idea they changed the recipe and tried the new stuff yesterday and was terribly disgusted with this brew. I will now look for a new beer to enjoy. This used to be my favorite beer but never again. I cant return it so I think I will make a YouTube vid of my nasty beer getting shot up in the desert. Just aweful stuff.

    • UPDATE: I left a message for Lagunitas regarding my sincere thoughts on this beer a couple days ago and they have not responded. Also have to say that I had bought a 12 of this and unbenownst to me, my wife also bought a 12 by coincidence. I was excited and had hoped the second one was the “OldCastle” but unfortunately, just another 12 of this garbage. I have tried for two days to drink this but I have noticed that it leaves an awefull bitter aftertaste. Completely different than my one and only.

  35. Just adding my 2 cents with my negative comment. The beer I have loved for DECADES is gone! I knew it with the first sip… This is NOT NBA so change the name. I’m in beer mourning….

  36. I am devastated. Newcastle was my only beer. Only beer I bought. It was a classic English brown ale that I could rely on. The new recipe is a disaster. Of course their sales numbers have dropped. No dah people. There are now only 10 million beers selling across the US. Competition is ridiculous. Think of all the new craft brews that are selling. Every beer that is sold in the US has lost share. But the worst response to that is changing the recipe. That’s just plain stupid. Bad business decision because your core Newcastle lovers are what keeps your sales up. Now you have lost your core customer base. Bad business bad marketing decision. You’ve ruined the secret sauce that made this beer so good. It was unique in the industry and now is a me2 copy cat beer. This will be the demise of Newcastle in the USA.

    PEOPLE. WE DON’T WANT AN IPA. DON’T YOU GET IT????????

    When do we hold a funeral for my beloved English brown ale? I give it 1 year before they pull this off the market. Unless they bring back the real Newcastle.

  37. This is not Newcastle. This is some weird IPA. It’s not as creamy as the original. I will be looking for a new favorite. Any suggestions? I can’t see how sales had slumped if everyone that drinks it is complaining. If you follow the recipe it shouldn’t matter where it’s brewed.

    • Heineken ruins everything they touch. All they care about is profit. Quality beer is not a priority. This will eventually fail, and the Newcastle name will be lost. It’s a shame no one at Heineken understands that the original Newcastle is what will succeed. Absolutely no idea what they are doing.

  38. Raised in Manchester, England, I’ve been drinking Newc Brown for more decades than I wanna think about. Just bought my usual three cases (3 bottles a day with a good maduro cigar) at Wine Plus, Laguna Hills, Southern California, my regular booze emporium for the last three years ($24.99 a case). Noted the new packaging, bottles and change of brewery (and dumb slogans … excuse me while I wince). I’m returning the two unopened cases tomorrow. One taste and I’m spluttering, cursing and mad as hell. First mouthful is bitter, thin, astringent. The aftertaste is akin to the home-brewed medicine my crazy Aunt Ethel used to cook up when I was a kid. It was an antidote for what she called “the dire rear.” (My dad used to pour it down the sink.) Heineken (which I dumped years ago) and Lagunitas (IPAs make me puke), congratulations – you fouled up a product that’s been around and popular since 1927. Read my lips: UP YOURS!

  39. Newcastle used to be one of the few beers that jacked up my sinuses but now that they’ve switch I’m have the same problems as every other beer.

    The taste is garbage as well. Not sure what they changed but they need to go back. PLEASE!!!!!

  40. Like pretty much everyone else that made a comment I am absolutely pissed off! This was by far my favorite beer and I have been drinking it for 20 years plus. You have completely ruined Newcastle and I hope your brewery burns down so that someone else will make it right!
    By the way all your other beer sucks and I have never liked any of them!
    Luckily I still have Mississippi Mud and Arrogant Bastard who unlike you knows how to brew a legit beer!!!!

  41. What have you done to my beer!!! The new Newcastle is terrible.
    I read through the comments and it appears there is no one who likes it.

  42. This new beer tastes like crap…. Never buying newcastle ever again…. I’d rather drink bud lite than drink this generic tasting garbage… Bummer! I’m sure it won’t matter for Heineken, they probably did the math… this will cut costs and they will turn a higher profit in the end… typical these days…

  43. The new Newcastle sucks nothing like the old stuff just bought 68 cases from total beverage at 11.99 a case get it while it lasts R.I.P new castle

  44. Tastes like CRAP !!! and that’s being nice. I’ll never buy another bottle unless it goes back to the original brew.
    Jeremy Marshal should be ashamed of himself. He’s a better brew master than that.

  45. My long time favorite beer changed their label. I really did not like the new label but I don’t drink the label so what ever. Than I drank one…….WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!
    Just a week ago I was drinking a REAL Newcastle and for some reason this six pack tasted particularly awesome! I could not commenting on how good it tasted. I did not realize that it would be the last Newcastle’s I would ever drink.
    I also really loved to get it in the mini keg when available and have it on draft. That’s really the only beer I wanted to drink.
    Very Disappointed.

  46. I am so disappointed in the new taste AND the new bottle. I have been exclusively drinking New Castle for 20+ years and I will now have to change brands. You guys messed up big time

  47. I’ve been drinking NewCastle Brown Ale for 30+ years. What you have done is absolutley ruin a wonderful recipe. If you give one damn about sales you’ll fix this. As with all the other commentors, I’m moving on from this. You won’t another from me! Fools!

  48. I had no idea! Bought my monthly 12 pack quaffed 1 – little weird. Could not finish the second and poured on the ground. Copper and grapefruit, are you flippin’ kidding me! I was out doing an event and the venue carried Ellie’s Brown Ale | Avery Brewing Co.. I tried it, yummy but lacked the traditional copper the Nukie Brown has, or had. I don’t know if I can find it easily but I’ll buy it.

    The american beer market is a hyper-hipster fad fest at this point. Sour beer is a thing that only overly self satisfied ignorant folk drink due to boredom. “Hey look at me, I’m drinking an almost impossible to drink beer that’s turning my mouth inside out at a beer festival! I’m telling everyone I like it and I posted to Instagram! I’m so hip and cool! Wheres my water bottle?”

  49. This new recipe SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!
    Turn it back!!!. You have ruined the best beer. I will never purchase this bottle of piss water.
    I have touted and recommended the Newcastle beer for 20+ years as the best pure brown ale with a smooth flavor that coats your taste buds with no crappy after taste that the other American beers have.
    I will now turn my back on my favorite beer ever. Why? Because it is not the Newcastle Beer it SHOULD be.
    Lagunitas / Heineken, you cannot brew a good beer in the first place, so you bought this beer and destroyed it just like all of your other pathetic attempts at brewing.
    BAD DECISION. You will lose all sales and profits in this “New Coke” blunder.

  50. just wish I had read this before buying 4 cases…too bitter and just is not my old New Castle Ale…I’m gone!
    WHY?

  51. I’m truly stunned by this news. I’ve been drinking the new recipe and it is disappointing. The old recipe did not leave an after taste. This recipe is nowhere near as smooth as it used to be. What is going on with the new label?! It is plain ugly compared to the old one. I told my wife tonight I will be looking for another beer to enjoy. Sad day indeed.

  52. This is one of the dumbest decisions I can imagine. There are a thousand of these shitty hoppy beers floating around. Why would you take the one old reliable good classic brown ales and turn it in to one of those trending over hoppy swill beers? If I am in the mood for a hoppy fizz it won’t be yours. Bring back the Brown Ale!!!!!

    Fire whoever thought of this and respect your clients. This is a slap in the face.

    You have a good brand for a reason. I don’t drink Newcaslte because of the fuckin name!!! Because of the taste.

  53. I agree with every one who posted above me. This new formula sucks and I will not buy one more drop of it.

    Change it back to the original!!!!!!

    Did you not learn from Coke? Don’t change your fomula.

  54. Just had my first “new” Newcastle. It will be my last. Newcastle had been my favorite beer for over 20 years. Heinken and Lagunitas have destroyed it. I will make it a point to never buy any of your products. Idiots!

  55. OMG. What have they done to my beer!!!! I bought the beer thinking the only thing that was changed what’s the label which I did not like. I tasted the New Castle which is my all time favorite beer and immediately notice the taste was different. It like drinking Budweiser natural lights garbage total garbage bring back the original I will not buy another Newcastle ever again

  56. This beer sucks. Long time drinker of Newcastle is going to find something else to drink. I wii pour the rest to the chickens.

  57. And to add insult to injury, grocery stores are still selling this nasty Newcastle knock off under a premium ‘Import’ price.

    F_>k this nasty tasting swill.

    #Thisisnotmynewcastle

    Some one seriously needs their asses kicked for this.

  58. How can this be called Newcastle?! This is a new beer all together! Why ruin a Great tasting beer that millions of us enjoy?! Please bring back the original recipe as there is no other beer like it in the world!

  59. Thanks for ruining my favorite beer.
    I noticed it tasted different and thought I got a bad batch. After the 2nd purchase I realized it wasn’t only the bottle that changed, the brewery and flavor had changed.
    I jumped online to see what was going on and realized they completely 5#17 the bed.
    I haven’t seen one positive review.
    Who the hell decided it was a good idea to change the flavor of a classic beer?
    Brew that swill under a different name and give us back our delicious beer.
    Hopefully I can still buy the original recipe online and the Lagunitas Brewery here in Petaluma CA burns to the ground
    Weak af

  60. To answer the question in this article’s title (“How’s It Taste?”), in a word: ruined. I loved Newcastle. It was smooth enough when I wanted something light and had flavor and body when I wanted something more than a lager. In short, it was a great beer for any occasion and Lagunitas ruined it by turning it into yet another crappy overly hopped quasi IPA. Unless they go back to the old recipe, I’ve had my last Newcastle. You suck, Lagunitas.

    • Newcastle used to be one of my favorite five or six beers. This new recipe brings the word insipid to mind. What a ruining of a great brand and brew! I’ll never buy a case again.

  61. I was in my spirits store today picking up the last six pack of real Newcastle and noticed they had singles of this NewCRAPle on sale for $1.49 so I bought another one to give it another chance. Good God this stuff is awful. Just flavorless bitter water with absolutely no body, taste, or texture.

    I was a NBA fan, but always open minded and willing to find and appreciate new quality brew. This stuff is absolute toilet water. I poured it down the drain as I did with the first one I tried. My hatred for Lagunitas is even greater than it was a month ago.

  62. I was thrilled to find the list on this page of all the people that HATE the new Newcastle Brown Ale. At first I thought that it was just me. I fell in love with NBA about 30 years ago and am mortified at the new taste. I shall never buy another unless I see a new marketing campaign indicating that they have gone back to the old recipe. Note to Lagunitas: Please, please, please go back to the old recipe. I am now in a (rather expensive) search for a replacement. If anyone has found a good alternative, I would love to see it here.

    • I’m drinking ROGUE Hazelnut Brown Nectar – I’ve poured this into a New Castle glass that I have, and it looks just like the real thing!

      It also taste fine – I can drink this….

  63. Why would they change “Newcastle” ?
    Newcastle is Newcastle. There are thousands of other beers if you want another flavor. I so zero benefit to hanging the flavor of a well established, well liked brand. Just make a new brand if you want.
    See “new coke”
    Incredibly bad idea. Extremely disappointed customer.

  64. Why would they change “Newcastle” ?
    Newcastle is Newcastle. There are thousands of other beers if you want another flavor. I see zero benefit to changing the flavor of a well established, well liked brand. Just make a new brand if you want.
    See “new coke”
    Incredibly bad idea. Extremely disappointed customer.

  65. I replied after the first comment to add my disgust with the decision to change an otherwise perfect beer. I then continued on through all the comments above. I know that our comments are often disregarded and dumped into the waste basket. I also know that large companies do not care about our thoughts about their products as long as the money flows. I beg every person who was so open in your remarks about the repulsive change to our favorite beer to let your money do your talking. Do not buy this crap. Do not buy beer produced by the makers pf this crap. Only when the bottom live changes will the producers realize and pay attention to their once faithful customers. When you find a good beer that compares to the old BCA, please let me know.

  66. Sad really. The new one sucks. The one and only was sweet and I lived off it. Just because you put more hops in doesn’t make it better just bitter. Who is running things over there, Al Bundy? Just sad really.

  67. I totally agree with EVERY bad comment of this Newcastle Brown Crap….
    Did we need another IPA.?? Really!!
    I will partake no more, damn I’ll miss it.

    If someone does find something similar to the “Real/Original” Newcastle Brown Ale?
    Please post..

  68. What happened to ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’? There are literally thousands of IPA’s on the market. Why ‘break’ Newcastle Brown to add another?

    So disappointed to have to say I’m done with Newcastle Brown. My favorite beer for so many years!

    In my opinion, a huge fail in market research….

    I’ll pray for Devine intervention and a return to the original recipe.

  69. You ruined my favorite beer, never buying your crap again!! Just make a new beer you idiots, don’t take away one, smh. What kind of idiot factory are you guys running over there?

  70. You ABSOLUTELY SUCK!!!! Why in the hell did you change Newcastle you piece of shit, donkey sucking wads of asshole meat!!! You Suck FOREVER!!! HEY NEWCASTLE! COME GET THIS SHIT OUT OF MY REFRIDGERATOR!!!

  71. I have been drinking Newcastle Ale for more than 19 years and am DISGUSTED by the change. I will NEVER buy this horrible denigration of what was once a magnificent beer.

  72. I have been buying every old Newcastle packs I can find. The new recipe taste just like Budweiser.
    #bring Newcastle back

  73. Why in the world would you take a genuinely great beer with a long standing mark of quality and allow someone to substitute this rank, frankly disgusting backwash ? And charge the same price as if were an imported beer? It tastes nothing like Newcastle. In fact, it tastes like that Saranac swill people swooned over 25 years ago. This is sad, sub par and patently ridiculous. Change it back

  74. I went to my local pub and ordered a Newcastle. My bartender brought me a bottle, and not having heard about the change, I told her I ordered a Newcastle. She said it is! Oh, they changed the bottle, ok. I took a sip and thought it was an IPA. I don’t drink IPA because I don’t care fore the hoppy flavor. It tastes bitter to me. Now I can no longer enjoy Newcastle. I will have to find another brown ale that someone didn’t feel the need to “fix”. This sucks!

  75. WHY???!!! If a beer tastes great for as long as New Castle, why do you you think you can make it better?! My favorite beer now sucks. Bring back the original.

  76. I’ve been drinking New Castle Brown Ale
    Since 1987. Just purchased a 12 pack thinking new look only … big surprise. It’s terrible. Ruined a great beer. Will be the last I purchase unless it’s changed back.

  77. By the look of these comments, New Castle will be a thing of the past! This is definitely not what we have all enjoyed for many years. It has a very bitter after taste like an IPA. Heineken has surely screwed up this time! We have been drinking and buying New Castle since 1987, not anymore!

  78. Your new Newcastle is really disappointing. Why change perfection? There are plenty of great ales on the store shelves which will see an increase in sales because we will Not be buying Newcastle again. Who ever thought up changing the recipe must have their head in the sand. Thanks real Newcastle for 20 great years of great ale.

  79. For years Newcastle was my goto, now it will be my soso. I tried the “new Newcastle” a little hoppy for my taste. They should change the name because it in no way resembles the NEWCASTLE we all loved. The bottom line is “I like beer” since I do I buy beer when it is on sale, but if the price is right and the beer is sh** then I move on. The “New Castle” is passable just do not expect Newcastle and it will be ok. RIP Newcastle! Bottom line another customer lost.

  80. Been drinking NBA for 10+years. Turned a lot of friends on to it. Just stopped by to congratulate you and thank you on ruining mine and apparently so many others favorite beer.

  81. Maybe I missed the once respone that liked this Fake NCBA. But then that person’s other favorite would be Bud Light. There was a reason this Ale had been around for so many years, it tasted GOOD. So Heiniken said screw that, lets make it tase bad, I even hate the new logo. How about keeping the original receipe and new one, calling this other junk New Castle Light Brown. There is a great brewery in the Tampa are, Big Storm Brewing, they have a great lineup, my favorite is WaveMaker. Guess when I get up there I’ll have to stock up to fill the spots formally filled with real New Castle Brown Ale. Another option is New Belguim Brewery out of Colorado. Their main stays have been Fat Tire and Vodoo Ranger. Of cource sticking with something from over the pond, good ole Bass Ale. Too many choices out ther to worry about Heiniken mistake, screw them!

  82. So disappointing! This new taste is absolutely awful. I dumped out my beer! Did no one taste this first? Why mess up a great beer? YUCK!

  83. At first I was disappointed that Newcastle had changed their label from classy to garish. Then I thought maybe I got a bad batch, but no…my favorite beer for over 20 years has been completely RUINED!!!!
    I am going to try to return the unused bottles from the case I bought and am now searching for a replacement that is not as expensive as Rogue hazelnut. Michelob Amber Boch maybe???
    Please leave your suggestions as I will never buy another bottle of this new CRAP:(

  84. I have been drinking Newcastle Brown Ale for nearly 30 years! The new recipe sucks very badly. I cannot drink it! If I wanted a nasty IPA, I’d buy one. That’s what the new recipe tastes like to me. I feel like I lost my best friend. Newcastle needs to go back to the original recipe. The “new” Newcastle Brown Ale is disgusting! Bring back the real Broon!

  85. New Newcastle is horrible. I have been drinking this beer for 20 plus years and bought a six pack a few weeks ago and noticed new packaging never thought they would change the beer, why mess with perfection. I am very disappointed with the new beer, its terrible and I wont purchase any more unless it goes back to the original formula. You guys really messed this one up

  86. Well now I have to find another beer. Different taste, different color, couldn’t even leave the bottle alone. I’ve bought my last Newcastle.

  87. Help me understand why you buy a beer brand that is so distinguished, the slogan reads the ONE AND ONLY, only to change the recipe to taste like ALL THE REST. Why buy the name, just make your own shitty brown beer. How will losing every New Castle drinker help you sell more beer. What marketing geniuses you are! By the way, the new packaging is as cheap and shitty as your beer!

  88. It looks like I’m one of many disappointed fans of Newcastle; it’s been my only beer for 20+ years. I was served one the new ones yesterday in a restaurant and sent it back; googled it and found the bad news. Immediately went out and cleaned out two stores of their stock which will last me about 6 months. Hopefully they’ll come to their senses by then and bring back the original. Did I read online correctly that only the U.S.A. is getting this new recipe?? Maybe we can all figure out how to ship it to us directly from U.K.

    • Well add me to the lengthy list of the disappointed. This is really a terrible beer. I do hope that someone from Heineken reads these comments and realizes that Newcastle fans do not want a re-imagined beer that drifts into IPA land, but the beer we have loved for years. If this is the beer that Heineken and Langunitas is peddling, then they have indeed killed Newcastle. Bottom line, I won’t buy it anymore, they have lost a long term, loyal customer.

  89. Just how sucky is the new Newc Brown? Even the label wants no part of it! Just one day in the fridge and it peels right off the bottle. Real appropriate that Lagunitas, the brewer of this crap, has the word anus in its name.

  90. I tried the new version as well and let me tell you … it’s crap! I have been drinking it since 1975 while stationed overseas. Huge fan most of my life. I guess Heineken has taken on the Apple mentality. Shove something at us that we do “not” like because they know better. First they messed with Smithwicks and now my all time favorite. Onto greener pastures, just don’t know what it will be. Hoping for declining sales/stocks for Heineken.

  91. Why would you change the recipe people have come to love. Americans haven’t brewed a decent beer since George Washington. Not everything needs extra hops. This new recipe is horrible. Will never buy another bottle until the recipe is changed back. Newcastle is an icon of beer and you’ve completely ruined it.

  92. This new recipe sucks. I won’t drink it anymore and I wouldn’t offer this crap to my worst enemy. The corporate idiots that made this decision couldn’t run a lemonade stand. By no means am I disparaging lemonade stand owners with that comment. Way to go assholes. You take an established brand and dump it in the trash.

  93. I have been a Newcastle Brown drinker since the mid 80’s. Having mistakenly believed this was a just redesigned packaging (it looks lame) I bought my usual box of 12 bottles. How was it? It was just awful. I will not be drinking this pig swill from Lagunitas that is masquerading as Newcastle Brown. Avoid.

  94. What a disaster. This new beer is disgusting and we will not drink it. We have been drinking Newcastle for over 25 years and are loyal consumers and Newcastle fans. Why, why, why did Heineken choose Newcastle to change. This was a terrible mistake and this change will prove to be a huge loss for them. We have noticed the shelves are full of the new Newcastle because nobody will buy this crap. In the past, Newcastle was never sitting on the shelves. We have complained to both Heineken and Lagunitas. Unfortunately, they are not concerned with their loyal customers and think they can jump on the crap beer train and trick people into thinking they are drinking a Newcastle. Goodbye dear friend, we will miss you.

  95. This new Newcastle taste like pond water. Why would take an already great recipe and fuck it up by changing it? Great business plan Lagunitas, take an already great ale and wipe your asses all over it? Go back to brewing piss water IPA’s so overhopped to cover up shit brewing skill, and leave Newcastle to people who can actually brew a real ale that doesn’t taste like every other American piss-beer. Eat a fat prick Lagunitas for fucking up another great and time-honored recipe!

  96. I just tried the new “New Castle”……..well it was so bad I spit it out! What the hell is the mater with some businesses when take over some the first thing they think they have to do is fix it, hey dumbasses if its not broke DON’T fix it!!!!!! I won’t be drinking New Castle anymore, stupid change on your part!!!

  97. Previously I was concerned when “my” brown ale go to beverage moved from the UK to the Netherlands. Being Dutch I gave it a fair shot and although the flavor was slightly different, I found it very acceptable. More recently my usual New Castle retailer stopped stocking it and I was fortunate to find a source elsewhere. When my usual retailer stocked the ale again I thought it was just a packaging change. Wrong! Another brewer and a new recipe! I gave it a shot and, we’ll, I’m done. After over a decade of loyal New Castle consumption I am not drinking this hoppy domestic crap! I’m looking for a new brew.

  98. I been drinking newcastle for past 20 years I just bought The new Newcastle I open my first bottle and tested and it test like shit I had dump my 24 case in dumpster I would never ever by the newscaster again Please go back to the original newcastle.

  99. Have enjoyed this beer for 20 years, bought this 12 pack, after first sip I noticed the hoppy taste, just a replica of all the IPA beer being made now. One more same old same hoppy style beer👎🏻!! WHY?! Where can I buy my old Newcastle???????

  100. For those who are still looking for an acceptable replacement to Newcastle…
    I happened to be browsing the beer cooler at a local liquor store and must have looked a bit puzzled over what beer to buy. I started a conversation with a guy who was also pondering the available selection or brews and made my point about the spoiled Newcastle. Well, he was absolutely on point when he insisted I would love Kilt Lifter Scottish style amber ale brewed by Four Peaks Brewing Company in Arizona. We both left the store with a six pack of cans…. yes, cans! When I got home and trepidatiously opened a can and tried a sip I was sold! This going to be a new favorite and possibly my new “go to ” brew. Try it, youʻll love it!

  101. Why in the wide world of sports did they think this would be a good idea. They basically said screw the faithful Newcastle drinkers, we are going for the ipa, over hopped crowd of craft beer morons and if the regulars don’t like TS. I will be looking for the Kilt Lifter and give it a go.

    • I migrated to Kilt Lifter a while back but went back to Newcastle (when it was really Newcastle). Not bad beer but just got tired of it. Plus it has more alcohol so I am forced to drink less. Found some local breweries here in NM that have taken the place of the crapcastle now made by Lagunitas. GLTY

    • Bring back the old recipe……now.
      Like buying a Corvette then popping the hood and seeing a 4cyl in it, def false advertisement. I want my money back.
      This new stuff sucks, if I wanted an ipa I wouldnt have bought New Castle, now its half IPa.

  102. I stock the refrigerator for my ‘Men’s Club’. I’ve always had Newcastle Brown Ale on the self, because it was a personal favorite, going back to my traveling in Britain in the 1970’s. I guided many friends to trying Newcastle and they liked it!
    I accepted the ‘Brewing’ going to the Netherlands in 2018, because the taste remained!
    I do not like or drink IPA. The ‘Hoppy-ness’ tastes like cat urine. (Guinness Stout has way too much treacle and sweetness). The old Newcastle recipe suited my palate, just fine.
    Goodbye, new Newcastle, you’ve left me! (So much for Loyalty)!

    I’ll be replacing it with Dos-X Amber, Dirty Bastard, Black & Tan, Red Jacket Ale, Loch Down and Yuengling Amber.

  103. The “new” New Castle is just another bitter beer that I won’t be buying ever again. Lagunitas ruined the once great beer. Someone should kick the genius who thought this was a good idea in the a@@.

  104. Good news for me … Wish I could share but …
    I am just as sad as everyone about the new crap they are pushing as Newcastle. I don’t get it either and I certainly don’t get the US as the only country getting this crap while the rest of the world gets the old recipe. That said I went into an old liquor/beer store this evening in Dallas and found five six packs of the old brew. They were right along side the new stuff. Bought all five six packs so for awhile … I can enjoy the old stuff until it’s gone. Been a loyal Newcastle drinker since 1975 … After my find is gone … Panic?

    • I sent them a note in the comments section. Let’s all do the same. If enough people rise up, take the time and complain, maybe someone, somewhere will take notice realize they screwed the pooch on this one.

      • I did send fairly stern messages to Heineken (no response) and the new, fake Newcastle Brown Ale which I assume just goes to Lagunitas. I directed them to this page and the Newcastle Facebook page which is all it takes to see 99.9% of all comments are negative towards this awful idea.

        They did respond politely but they are standing by their new product and proud of the fancy hops they use. They did not address the fact that it tastes terrible and virtually every Newcastle drinker in the USA hates their guts. In their mind, they did a really great thing and the world is soon going to love them for it.

        • Exactly. They did the same. Copying here. Indeed standing by swill!
          Hey there, thanks for reaching out.

          We’re sorry to hear you feel that way.

          For what it’s worth, we had an opportunity to bring new life to an iconic brew. Our brewmaster reimagined the recipe using Centennial and Chinook hops, and brought to life by members of both brewery families, Newcastle Brown Ale reflects our take on a craft classic.

          We know it might not be for everyone and are bummed that you are disappointed.

          Thanks again for the feedback and perspective.

          Agreed, they love their fugly baby.

  105. “After a fairly shaky start to the day, Arthur’s mind was beginning to reassemble itself from the shell-shocked fragments the previous day had left him with. He had found a Nutri-Matic machine which had provided him with a plastic cup filled with a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.”

    The Lagunitas version is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Newcastle Brown Ale. It is a filthy drink.

  106. I thought it was just me on my first one, but while trying a second one I was thinking to myself that this tastes like a Very Poorly Made IPA, and then did a quick web search and found out I wasn’t the only one to have their Favorite Beer ruined. Truly Disappointed! Won’t buy it ever again! 😝 Bring back the Old Tried and True recipe. This Crap Sucks!!

  107. Thanks for ruining what was once my favorite beer. Dumped 11 and bought a 12 of modelo negra.

    Adios laguinitas! You fn suck!

  108. I used to love this beer. I’m a fan of Boddington’s and New Castle. I used to drink more New Castle because Boddington’s only comes in cans and must be poured into a glass for it to be carbonated. But, now New Castle taste like every other IPA beer. And I don’t like IPAs. Sales are going to go down the tubes. I don’t see how they can even keep the name when it isn’t the same beer. Yuck!

  109. This has been one of my favorite and most drank beers over the last 15 years. I didn’t know the beer changed any more than the ridiculous new label. After first sip, completely disappointed. It tastes nothing like the Newcastle I’ve known and loved for so long. Thank you Lagunitas for putting your own twist on an amazing beer. Guess I’ll be buying more Smithwicks

  110. This new recipe is awful. The whole point of enjoying original (imported from Holland) Newcastle, was the flavor and followup. This new recipe flavor has an unpleasant bite. The new recipe color is lighter. The new bottles are not easily used by a bottle opener, the lip is too round. Overall, a terrible decision. I will not be buying any of the new recipe ever again, neither will any of our many friends who lustfully enjoyed original Newcastle. I went to several stores today to find any old recipe Newcastle. All i find is the new version. Everybody I ran into doing the same, swore NOT to buy the new nasty tasting Lagunitas-made Newcastle. Bad decision on the part of Heineken and Lagunitas!!!

  111. Thanks for making my favorite beer tast like shit .you should turn it back to original .i will not purchase your bad beer again. Will not tell my friends about the Newcastle ever again.

  112. The new recipe is very disappointing. I am a long time Newcastle fan but will never buy this Lagunitas brand again! Hope they consider bringing back the original.

  113. Lagunitas Newcastle sucks. If you take old (good) Newcastle, leave it in the sun, add some dry bark and dirt, boil it down and put it in a different bottle, then you have new (bad, even terrible) Newcastle. I do not like it and will not be drinking it. How is this done to a fantastic beer? I have found out the old recipe is available in Holland. Why not ship me the Newcastle I like and serve this new crap to people who like beer that tastes like stale bark and dirt and call it something else?

  114. Earlier in this thread on June 2 – “JD” claimed that Heineken messed with Smithwick’s also. I love Smithwick’s but had a couple tonight after a long absence and it did seem different. Would love to know more info on that assertion. If Heineken actually ruined Smithwick’s as well, a major ass beating is due to those Dutch blowholes. Why don’t they “re-imagine” their own brand and actually make it taste better than a skunk anus?

  115. I hope the New Castle people read this. Because I just bought my last new castle ever. Pretty shi&$y to change the recipe and play it off as an updated logo/packaging change. I hope this recipe change fails miserably and disappears forever.

  116. I thought I had got a bad batch, now I know that they ruined Newcastle. Awful idea, awful taste. Did NOBODY learn anything from the “New Coke” debacle in the 80’s???

  117. Awful. Simply awful. Complete failure. I’ve tried and tried to like this new beer with the stolen name. Can’t do it. They’ve lost a lifetime customer.

  118. I just recently discovered New Castle Brown and it became my favorite beer. The first 6 pack was from Holland. I bought a second one a couple weeks later and it was NASTY. Then I noticed it was the new packaging. Now I know the full story and am devastated. Not drinking the new crap!!!

  119. Operation Urgent Fury was never as bad as the New New Castle Brown Ale. I am an Honorably Discharged United States ARMY Reservist with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division and the 505th Parachute Regiment and Native to Arizona. I like everyone else was “Shell Shocked” when tasting this disaster. I immediately complained to my wife about buying the wrong New Castle box.

    Thanks alot for “Never Notifying a Loyal NBA Drinker Since 1983” and I like everyone else well never buy this New NBA beer again. As a matter of fact, I doubt think I will buy any Heineken either… Until they bring back the Original New Castle Brown Ale Recipe.

    • Are there any lawyers following this thread?
      Isn’t labeling this new crap Newcastle Brown Ale, “False Advertising”..?
      With all the other BS lawsuits out there this pretty seems valid, to me?.?

  120. My buddy asked for Budweiser as soon as I gave him one of these New Castle beers while roofing shingles. Takes like shit he told me.

  121. Worst beer I have had the displeasure of ever tasting in my life. I’ve been drinking this since 1983 and it is a disaster thanks a lot for ruining a good thing if it aint broke don’t fix it why try reinventing the wheel.

  122. Jeremy Marshal should be offered a steaming hot, Newcastle Brown enema. What sort of ego driven dolt, has the balls to think that they can improve on an established favorite? This isn’t a new Kool-Aid recipe. Why would Heineken be stupid enough to allow some dim bulb, wannabe brewer, to tinker with the recipe? At least have the decency to dump the trademark “the one and only”, that’s now a lie. It should be either renamed or taken off of the shelves. Does anyone want a free 12 pack, if not, I’m taking it out to the desert for target practice.

  123. Can we move it back to the Netherlands? Please!?! We used to love Newcastle and now it’s terrible! Why would you want to ruin such a good beer like that???

  124. you mother fuckers!! my favorite and only – “…the one and only” beer for over 30 years. What the mother fuck – you ruined my fucking 4th!!
    I cannot even drink beer now.
    greedy hipster pieces of shite!!!!

  125. 20 plus years of drinking NBA as my number one beer, now I tried this garbage and I can’t “reimagine” what the morons at Heineken or Lagunitas were thinking. Fortunately I have found an alternate use for the remaining beers left in this unfinished 12 pack. It’s useful for cleaning my tools, killing snails, and in a pinch I can pour the beer in the toilet and use the bottle for a candle holder.

  126. The new taste is horribly disappointing! They have lost our business unless they change the recipe back. Hopefully, Heineken will see that sales have completely dropped off and change it back as soon as possible. If you’re looking for a taste somewhat similar to the good ‘ol New Castle, look for WeeMac from Sun King brewery … they are getting all the money that we used to spend on New Castle!

  127. They ruined Newcastle. I had to google ‘why does Newcastle taste like shit now?’ To find this article. I will not purchase this ever again.

  128. I just thought I got a skunk batch. I can’t believe they did this! And still selling at import price at my grocer. Someone in on the original formula should create ‘OLDCASTLE’ Brown Ale.

  129. I agree with Jerry Kindall: if the recipe and packaging are different, how can it still be called Newcastle Brown Ale? It does seem like consumer fraud. It was my favorite beer: we bought a 12 pack of the new stuff and we thought, “What the hell?” We noticed the packaging was different and thought maybe there was another product with the same name, but after being unable to find the original we loved, I googled to see what I could find out, especially when I noticed that it was now being brewed in Petaluma….and I found this thread with a host of disappointed fans of the real Newcastle.
    I wonder if the recipe of Heneiken has changed also, because it tastes more bitter as well.
    Will never buy either beer again: unless the old one is brought back. Like another person said, If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. ” New packaging sucks too.

  130. Will never buy this beer again: unless the old one is brought back. The taste is not the same it leaves a bitter after taste

  131. This sucks. Totally fooled me. I noticed when buying – “Oh, Newcastle has new packaging.” Opened one when I got home. Gagged on the first swill – what the hell?!?!
    Then I closely read the bottle. Heineken pulled a Beck’s on me – I don’t drink Beck’s brewed in St. Louis either. Bummer – there are an infinite number of hoppy ales available out there, Newcastle didn’t need to be another one. Newcastle had a distinctive individuality. Good luck, Big Business Brewers in Petaluma – your new pet project will be off the market within a year or 2.

  132. Dammit! The best tasting beer, I loved so much… Why did they change the recipe??? This new one is bitter and nasty. Taste just like most other American beers..Like piss!

    Plz bring back the old recipe! I’m begging!

  133. I agree…after having consumed many gallons of Newcastle Nut Brown Ale in my day, I am sadly disappointed with this new version. Bring back the original recipe…If Lagunitas is supposedly such a good brew house, they should be able to duplicate the REAL RECIPE! Get on it! My OTHER fave is Anheuser/Busch Amber Bock…it’s considered a “dark lager”, but has a real taste that I like. You gotta git yer local store to order it for you, but it’s worth waiting for. T

  134. Bring the imported stuff from Europe in.. they screwed this beer up and it tastes like crap.
    I used to like their beer, but its horrible now.. will not be buying it since they ruined by letting this company put their own spin on a classic recipe. It would be like letting Budweiser brew Guiness.

  135. Newcastle used to be a unique good beer. Now it’s just one more forgettable choice in the beer aisle. I don’t know why they’d change it; those who liked Newcastle likely did so because it was its own thing, not because it was derivative.

  136. I’ve been drinking Newcastle for over 20 years and could not find any other beer even close to the great taste. This change is unbelievably disappointing. Why would a company make such a major change in a beer and think that its followers wouldn’t notice. Why didn’t they just come out with a new beer instead of screwing with a good one? Maybe the sales were down, but they definitely weren’t dead. When I had the first taste of the new beer in a restaurant, I told the waiter it must have been a bad bottle so he brought me another and it tasted as bad as the first. I went home and went online and found this site and my heart sank. So I went out to our local liquor store a bought all their stock of 3-12 packs, then went to the grocery store and bought 2-12 packs, then to the last store and bought their remaining 1-12 pack so now I have 6- 12 packs which should last me about 6 months. After that I guess I’m SOL!

  137. Screw Heineken. I hate how they ruined my favorite beer. I used to import it in China at great expense because I loved it so much. Now, goddamnit. I started drinking Smithwicks because it is closer to Newcastle than Newcastle is. How long before the suits at Heineken buy them out and screw me over again. Never a Heine, wish those guys would go bankrupt.

  138. this is such fucking bullshit. My favorite smooth, thirst quenching and easy drinking beer in the world is now ruined by these douche monsters. NBA was the perfect blend of smooth, light, not too heavy, caramelly, perfect. My fucking favorite beer in that nice looking clear bottle. fucking ruined. FML. I couldn’t figure out why it tasted so weird, the new label shit. Now I know. FML. Won’t buy again until it’s changed back.

  139. Stupidity knows no bounds. Why is a significant group of ale drinkers fond of Newcastle Brown? Why is it their ale of choice? It’s the taste, the subtle flavors, sans the bitter aftertaste, the hoppy note. To all of the Heineken officers/managers who signed off on this abortion and to Lagunitas Master Brewer Jeremy Marshal, you should pull your heads out of the dark, smelly, places where you mistakenly inserted them and correct this disaster before it’s too late. Use the ORIGINAL RECIPE at Lagunitas, of course this assumes that Lagunitas is capable of duplicating that recipe. If those responsible are smart enough (which remains to be seen), you know that an advertising campaign will be needed to convince the Newcastle faithful that the original ale they love is back. If Jeremy Marshal is so enamored with his new creation call it “Jeremy’s Ale,” but don’t call it “Newcastle Brown.”

    • Larry, when I commented directly to Lagunitas the response was a non apologetic dribble about how their “master brewer” wanted to “reimagine the iconic Newcastle”and tried to make it my problem for not embracing it. Rubbish!

  140. I’m a diehard Newcastle fan. This new Newcastle is not the same, and I’m disappointed. But I’ve stuck with it and I’ve learned to like it. I miss the old recipe, and I wish it was back to that, but it’s not terrible.

  141. Gavin—get a grip man, there are a lot of brews out there better than that lie that is now Crap Castle. You can’t even feel good that the lable is the same, at least that is the first warning. What a high recommendation— it is not terrible! Just take what you have and give it to someone you don’t like and search for a worthy replacement. I thinnk that is the best thing for this blog, mention good replacements both local stuff (name the area) and that which can be found accros the country. Trying a few we can report back.

  142. SO DISAPPOINTED! The new packaging and label was a give away how bad this would be, but had to try it since I’ve been a Newcastle fane for several years. What were they thinking? I have a case and will finish but guess won’t buy again. WAKE UP AND READ THE REVIEWS. IT SUCKS!

  143. I have been drinking NBA for more than 20 years. It was the one beer that was dependably tasty and always the same; slightly sweet, malty, with great body. This moron brewer at Lagunitis has single-handedly trashed my favorite brew by changing it into a crappy thin, acidic, hoppy glass of piss. People like me drink NBA because we hate micro-brews because of the awful aftertaste it leaves in your mouth. No more Newcastle for me. I have changed to Modelo Negara or Michelob Amber Bock, or even Dos Equis Amber in a pinch.

  144. How can you sell this new recipe as Newcastle?
    That’s misrepresentation at least
    Fraudulent comes to mind
    Bate and switch ?
    You killed my favorite beer
    Why ?
    It now tastes like all the other shit beers on the market!
    I have never had leftover beers with the old Recipe
    If I bought a six pack I would finish it!
    Now I can’t even finish one!
    I’m trying to be nice
    But WTF?
    Corporations ruin another product!!
    I hope Heineken paid Newcastle a lot of money to buy the owners out!!
    Cause they killed your beer

    If I owned Newcastle (and I don’t)
    I would be ashamed of this product

    YOUR BEER SUCKS!

  145. I fell in LOVE with NewCastle Brown Ale several years ago.
    I don’t understand the Big FUSS over IPA’s.
    I’m devastated!
    What have they done with my beer!
    Ive just read 228 totally negative comments on the new New Castle.
    A deplorable move!
    Heineken: Get this poor excuse for a beer off the market and bring back a winner!

    I’m switching to Alaskan Amber….a Grand substitute!

  146. Scrap this “new” recipe and go back to the original! This crap doesn’t deserve to even be called Newcastle Brown Ale! Used to be my favorite.

  147. Way to ruin a perfectly good beer. I always enjoyed this beer every fall and winter and now it’s going down the drain. Thanks a lot for nothing. Quite messing with good recipes. Go back to the old one.

  148. Boo! I’m super sad. I loved Newcastle. It is almost impossible to find traditional English ales these days and craft breweries pretty much don’t try to make English ales. Heck, when I’m in London, I still have a hard time finding English ales. So this is now an American brown. Nothing wrong with that but don’t call it Newcastle. The only substitute I can find that is somewhat similar in taste and easy to find is Irish Smithwicks. I’ll buy that until they get gobbled up.
    Boo!!!!!!!!
    I thought I was done with my rant but I’m going to keep going.
    Found a twelver of the original stuff at the local store, currently drinking the last of the original. I know it is brewed in the Netherlands but they did retain the classic flavor.
    No more Newcastle purchases for me and Lagunitas, you are now on my sh*t list, it will be a while before I can buy any of your products again after this stunt.

  149. I thought I bought a skunky batch of Newcastle only to discover they changed the recipe. It is terrible. I will never buy Newcastle Brown again. This is devastating as it has been my “go to” beer for about 12 years now. I absolutely loved this beer. RIP Newcastle! This new recipe SUCKS!

  150. I suggest you rename your beer Newcastle IPA. Then bring back the original recipe for all of us who have been drinking NBA for years. I was surprised by the new packaging today when I bought my first (and only) 12 pack of the new recipe. But I was really bummed out by the taste.

    • Excellent suggestion Jim!!!
      I won’t ever drink the new crappy IPA but would love to have my favorite Newcastle beer back.
      I suggest the change be made ASAP because I am sure all of the original Newcastle lovers are doing what I am by trying to find a new beer to replace Newcastle. If they wait too long, they will have lost us forever.

  151. Pour this crap directly into the sewer where it belongs. Holidays coming soon…I have 18 originals on chill that are getting a bit old…..but old original NBA is light years better than Lagunitas ass-water. Let the hate and honesty continue until the LEGEND returns!!!!

  152. Newcastle has been my favorite beer for many years. I will never buy this new shit again. It’s absolutely terrible, disgusting. Please bring my beer back!!

  153. I’ll have to agree with everyone on this topic! I knew something was wrong when the bottle changed. I thought to myself how could a bottle change effect the taste? Well here ya go! This horse piss doesn’t deserve the Newcastle name and should be halted ASAP!

  154. You can keep this new recipe all to yourselves. I’m British. Grew up on Newcastle Brown and this is NOT it.
    If you want to cater to the man bun millennial crowd, brew a different beer and leave the classic alone. My wife bought a 12 pack thinking it was the same beer with a new label. WRONG! I took one taste…the rest went down the kitchen sink.
    Change it back!!

  155. Terrible. Please change it back. In the mean time, is there anywhere that imports the original?? So disappointed. Also poured out 11 out of 12.. literally couldn’t get myself to have another one.

  156. They have ruined perfection. I have drank and loved original new castle for decades and now the sell this junk under the same name and new horrible taste. I have tried to developed a taste for it but there is no developing a taste for piss. They have lost my business and it truly breaks my heart.

  157. Lagunitas could have produced this new Newcastle and marketed it by another name for those who like hoppy beer. Newcastle has sold, in years past, seasonal beers. Werewolf, a red amber and Blond Bombshell an IPA to name two. I knew there was trouble when HEINEKEN stopped producing the Newcastle mini kegs. Bottles would have to do. Now we cannot even get them here. Is it true that HEINEKEN is producing Old Newcastle for sale in Europe but not in the USA? Only beers I found that compares were Moose Drool from Montana and Alaskan Brown Ale, neither of which are available in my area. Called HEINEKEN USA twice to complain and they sent me a Geordie glass and a bottle opener with the Newcastle LOGO. That really satisfied me. So disgusted I switch to vodka. NCBA, Rest In Peace !

  158. I didn’t read them all but i did read enough to say I don’t think there’s one positive review here. I too was a big time Newcastle fan. After I recently picked up a 12 pack and tried the first bottle I thought something was funny but assumed it was me, so I tried another. Then I ran to the computer to discover the horror that they changed the recipe! Did Pepsi change the 11 herbs and spices when they acquired KFC?? Anyways, if any of you fine beer drinkers hear of any efforts to bring the original Newcastle back, like a gofundme, march to Heineken headquarters, etc, please post here.

  159. This “new” Newcastle absolutely blows! It’s god awful. More hoppy, bitter swill that is barely palatable. I dumped almost my entire bottle out and now have 5 full bottles taking up space in my fridge until I can find some dim witted “craft beer aficionado” stupid enough to drink it. How it passes for the same brand beats the hell out of me. It’s not even close. And if this is “balanced” then throwing shit against the wall is art. Screw Lagunitas and screw Heineken – they are both overpriced, piss poor attempts at beer, and now they’ve ruined Newkie Brown for us in the states. I hope they both fail miserably at this. This relaunch is to Newcastle what New Coke was to Coca Cola!! We want our old Newcastle back you assholes!! Damnit!!

  160. I was a new fan of the old Newcastle Ale, it became one of my favorites.

    Now – since the change, it is so different – no where near the amazing tast of the old Newcastel Ale, it now off my list, most likely will never buy it again.

    So sad

  161. As I stated before, this new recipe is crap. These new age brewers who are tied to this over-hopped, bitter tasting brew seriously need some re-education. Why any sane person would change a beer recipe that was as established, beloved by millions, and successful as the original NBA, I guess nobody will say.

    It is possible…even probable…that the purchase price for the Newcastle Brown Ale beer company only included the beer name, but not the recipe for NBA. They may have asked an additional price for the recipe that Lagunitas was not prepared (or able) to pay. It could have been millions or more. Who knows!

    Maybe the original brewers from the NBA company might begin marketing another beer with a different name using the original recipe (unless they are prohibited from doing that).

    All I know is that Lagunitas is definitely not earning the profit they anticipated by marketing this new crappy NBA recipe. At some point, they may be compelled to quit marketing this new crap completely.

    In any case, loyal drinkers of the original NBA must find some alternative beer. Personally, I am drinking Modelo Negra, Dos Equis Amber, or Michelob Amber, but none are as good as the original NBA. If anyone has any suggestions for something better or a better match, please feel free to reply to this note and let me know. Living in Hawaii means that not every beer type is available to us here, not to mention the cost.

    Anyway, one final comment. Lagunitas seems to have committed a fraud on us loyal fans of NBA. This new crappy recipe should not be identified under the original NBA name because it misrepresents the original product. The company should terminate everyone connected to this fraud. It is pretty obvious that it is not successful.

  162. Aloha e Mike,

    I suspect that you may be correct about the Newscastle Ale recipe not being available to Lagunitas. Why else would they change what they themselves call an “iconic” beer? The story they try and sell us is that the brewmaster wanted to “reimagine” Newcastle Ale with their special hops, blah, blah, blah…. It makes no sense!

    I consumed my last original Newcastle last night without fanfare. Found it a Palama Market at Aloha Tower Marketplace.
    My new go to brew is Smithwickʻs (pronounced Smiddicks) Red Ale. I now actually prefer it over Newcastle. Times Temple Valley brings it in at my request along with Guiness Extra Stout. These two beers have been very satisfying. Sometimes you can find Kiltlifter at Tamuraʻs. Itʻs a domestic in a can, but very tasty.

    I agree with you about fraudulent marketing. It is very similar to the manner that Aloha Beer has been marketed as a local Hawaiian beer although it is brewed and bottled on the mainland. At Safeway it was always located in the “Local” section just because it was called Aloha Brewing Co. I complained to the management of Safeway until they moved it further down the shelf.

    • Lagunitas is owned by Heinekin. Cannot see that Heinekin wouldn’t let them have the recipe. After Heinekin bought Newcastle they sold 7 million cases a year. That is down to 2 million cases. I suspect that Heinekin did some advertising and NCBA became the Fad beer to go to by those that listen to that stuff. Now it is back to those of us who drink NCBA because we love it. I hope that when new Newcastle fails , which it surly must, they bring back old Newcastle and accept the profits from us hard core fans!

      • Yeah, you are probably right. It just seems like such a bad business decision to trash a product that was obviously entrenched in the market and completely successful for a badly envisioned recipe that would alienate every loyal user of the original NBA. I cannot imagine that there would be enough millenials out there who would buy this new trashy recipe that they would both replace and exceed the loyal fan base of the original NBA. In my opinion, the entire decision tree who decided to change the original to this new bitter undrinkable crap should be terminated or demoted to janitor.

    • Thanks for the note. I could be wrong, but it seems like bad business to discontinue a successful product line that seems to be profitable in favor of an untested poorly conceived bad idea that is doomed to failure from the beginning. When a complete fan base is alienated and one relies on the popularity of a trashy new product to immediately replace the old line with better profits and volume…that is just absurd. What right-thinking business executive would even consider such a bad idea?

      I will try the Smithwick Red Ale…never had that before. I usually shop for all of my brew at the Navy Exchange, so if they don’t have it I will probably just move on. I tried the Guiness product already, but it was a bit heavy for my taste. The Dos Equis XX Amber or Modelo Negara is about right for me, but nothing can really compare to the original NBA.

    • Thank you for the recommendation. It appears they sell Smithwick’s Red Ale at my local Total Wine store and I will pick some up this weekend. Devastated when I tasted my first new “Newcastle”. Thought I got a skunked batch. It is so far from the original. Terrible decision…

    • I like the smithswicks Kiltlifter. It did lift my kilt a little bit but a little high on the alcohol content so now drinkin the Samual Adams Octoberfest . Unfortunately, it is only a seasonal 🙁

      There are some local Nut brown ales that are pretty good. Also, theres one called Moose drool by Bigsky thats not too bad.

  163. NEWCASTLE… my decades-long go-to, nice down-the-middle ale when I wanted something simple and good.
    Saw teh label had changed… wondered what was up.
    Holy Hellshit Lagunitas… this is HORRID, You’ve trashed a classic. What a Distinctly American Dumbshit move.
    I will be complaining anywhere I see this and ANY lagunitas beer… always.
    You’ve made one hell of an impression.
    And lost a customer who talks to beer stores and bars with taps who want to please.

    .

  164. The new flavor literally took away everything that made the pre-Heineken Newky worthwhile. I’m not sure exactly what all changed, but I don’t like it. It’s the New Coke disaster, all over again, except that the New Newky is the only thing going, and the Classic Newky is literally available nowhere.

    And, the new packaging wasn’t what I was looking for, either. I used to drink Newcastle starting when the weather turned in autumn, straight through until it got warm in late spring. The old packaging made me think of English pubs, which fits that mood. The new packaging makes me think of a scorching summer day at the beach with a big blue star on a beach ball …which doesn’t in ANY WAY make me feel like drinking an English Brown Ale.

    All in all, I was a loyal customer of that brand BECAUSE of its Englishness, the flavor, the pour, the look. Now I’m bummed because it’s gone. And I’m a little bit insulted. I’m an American, but I liked it just how it was. Now they say they’ve modified it “for the American market?” So apparently they think Americans are either insensate creatures of habit or masochists. Fine, and a warm and friendly f*** y** to you, too.

  165. Everyone should call the number on the bottle and complain. I have all the same gripes as everyone and I spoke to them for 10 minutes and let them know.
    They mentioned how many calls like mine they have had and that they are still taking input and may adjust.
    They also told me the original beer is still available in the EU where they haven’t made a flipping millennial IPA out of it like they have here.

  166. I have noticed the NewCraple showing up on draught in pubs. I’ve asked the bartenders and they all tell me that the customers hate it and noticed the change immediately. How long will these douchebags live in fantasy and denial before they get a clue and bring back the real formula?

    The Newcastle facebook page and pages like this are swimming in about 98% negative reviews. There are always 2 or 3 bozos chiming in who claim to like the new stuff better, and they are the only people that get responses from the overlords.

    The petition has had pathetic results. It has been live for over 6 weeks and only 54 have signed.

    keep trying: https://www.change.org/p/heineken-usa-bring-classic-newcastle-brown-ale-back

    • Thank you very much for posting this link to the petition.
      I just signed it but don’t have Facebook so I’ll share by email.

  167. I’ll pile on with the “New Castle Sucks” comments. Why the traditional recipe couldn’t make it across the pond is a mystery. The new recipe is very similar to every hoppy IPA that apparently sucks as noted by nearly all reviews. Please revive the old recipe so I can enjoy beer again.

  168. I will try and explain a couple things before I tell you how much this “new flavor” sucks sweaty donkey nuts. Ok I guess I will lead off with my opinion BUT if you are still reading this heres what I think. New Castle came in a clear bottle, if you got a 12 pack which packaged the bottles out of the light, it was the nectar of the gods, bottles buried in ice it was the ultimate summer beer. On the other hand if you got it I. The 6 packs that exposed the clear bottles to light, it had more of a green bottle beer taste. I saw the new packaging and was excited! No more skunky New Castle! But no, some idiot changed the recipe.
    Had you left the recipe intact and advertised the benefits of the brown bottle, you would have been a hero.

    Did I mention that it now tastes like the juice off a dead man?

  169. Never again will I purchase this crap! I have been drinking “the one and only” for over 25 years….I can’t stomach this bitter, hoppy taste labeled as Newcastle….it is not Newcastle! #donewiththisshit.

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