Summer is in full swing, and the brewmasters at Newcastle have concocted a new recipe for the sunny months that is now available in Santa Barbara. Newcastle Summer Ale has hit the taps in bars around the county as part of a limited release that also includes Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties.
Southern Californians have proven to be rather dedicated Newcastle drinkers, which is why the beer company has decided on the area as the perfect place to test their first ever seasonal brew, according to Ralph Stamberger, Heineken area sales manager. “We are targeting popular Newcastle locations,” he said. “[Santa Barbara] is a place where the brand name is recognized, and we have received a very positive response.” Positive may be an understatement, as early consumer tests have shown that 92 percent of the people that tried the beer gave it high marks, Stamberger said.
With the release of the summer ale, Newcastle is conducting its first seasonal beer experiment, and with the widespread success of Samuel Adams seasonal beers, there could be a Newcastle for every time of year if consumers continue to demand calendar-specific beverages. Newcastle Summer Ale is currently available at Sam’s to Go in Isla Vista, Q’s downtown, Zodo’s in Goleta, and other select locations where the beer will served on tap for the same price as Newcastle Brown Ale until mid-September.
The summer ale itself is a delicious pale ale that carries a lot of flavor, in a much lighter ale than the popular Newcastle Brown. It is 4.4 percent alcohol by volume, and with a lighter malt and mild hoppiness, it offers a refreshing flavor, without the heaviness of the darker brew. Many people would agree that lighter beers mix well with summer activities, and this is a beer that would go down smoothest with sand between your toes and sun on your face. Unfortunately, Newcastle’s summer offspring is only available on tap, so enjoying the bubbly beverage on the beach won’t be an option for Santa Barbara’s beer connoisseurs. If the response continues to be so favorable, however, Newcastle will plan a broader release in the future, and you might see six-packs of the summer beer in the hands of happy beach goers in years to come.