Pros: Delicate malt profile, slightly sweet, tasty English yeast notes.
Cons: Limited seasonal brew.
So this week Newcastle Founders Ale was released in Georgia. The beer rolls out nationally in February from what I hear, and it hasn’t yet arrived in local liquor stores or supermarkets. The local Taco Mac chain is featuring Newcastle brews as beers of the month, though, and so they released Founders Ale about a week ago on draft. I finally had the chance to drop by the Alpharetta store for some wings and a few beers this week; the first beer I tried was Newcastle Founders Ale.
I didn’t really know much about the beer, other than what I had read on Taco Mac’s website. Here’s what the brewery says about the beer:
We bring you Newcastle Founder’s Ale, a unique Limited Edition brew with the drinkability you expect from Newcastle, Our Newcastle founders came together to produce beers with real star quality. This ale is a tribute to the heritage and authenticity of those top brewers of Victorian Newcastle.
Founders’ is a pale ale with a dry hoppy flavor and aromas It is sweet rather than bitter, with a clean short finish. What better way to toast the season of renewal!
My mug arrived amber in color with a light creamy head formation atop. A sniff revealed a very light hop presence and some soft malty notes. Taking a sip, I got a touch of malty sweetness at first with a hint of caramel and some decidedly English but not overstated buttery notes. The fullness of body reminded me of a Bass Ale (perhaps the brewing water was treated with salts to emulate the famous waters of Burton on Trent?), while the yeasty aroma and flavor resembled the flintiness of a Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale. It even called forth memories of my old favorite Double Diamond. A gentle hint of grassy hops from the Styrian Golding variety punctuate the finish very nicely.
This was actually a delightful little sipping brew with 4.8% alcohol by volume. The spring seasonal in the newly launched string of Newcastle specialty beers, I liked it a bit more than the Werewolf Blood Red Ale. Definitely better than the Winter IPA and Summer Ale. It didn’t stand up to my spicy wings that arrived when I was about three quarters of the way to the bottom of my mug, but I could imagine this going down very nicely with fish and chips or bangers and mash. Fairly priced at $6 a pint, too.