|The Newcastle Brown Ale Mini Keg. Draught beer at home!|
Now, you may ask yourself, what is the problem with this? The clear glass bottle showcases the beautiful color of the brown ale! The issue is one of "skunking", which is a potential problem with any beer, but really rears it's ugly head when it comes to Newcastle.
Without getting into the chemistry of skunking (although it IS interesting), I will merely explain the phenomenon. A key part of beer is the hops. Hops adds both aroma and a bitter taste to the beer, which counteracts and balances the sweet malt. Without hops, a beer is sweet and lacks depth. The downside to hops is that they are very sensitive to ultraviolet light (aren't most of us?) and when exposed to UV, they form compounds that have a "skunky" smell and taste.
Now, most beer comes in brown bottle, which does an excellent job of filtering out UV and light in general - so the issue of "skunking" of the beer doesn't really come into play. But clear bottles filter out hardly any of the light, which means that your beer is being pelted with UV constantly, and by the time you get it nice and cold and to your lips - well, you guessed it. The beer has been skunked. This is unacceptable, and indeed, the reason why I simply won't buy Newcastle unless it's from a keg at the bar.
|Newcastle Brown Ale goes down easy.|
Writing this article right now, I almost feel like having a nice cold Newcastle! But I have to work..
Anyhow, the keg can holds 5 Liters of beer. It says this is 20 or so 8oz beers - but who in the world drinks an 8oz beer? You either drink 12oz out of the bottle as it comes, or if you're at the bar, you have yourself a nice 16oz pint! Not sure where they would get the 8oz measurement from - maybe it just sounds good. Comparing it to a 12pack of bottles from the store, the Mini-Keg is a bit more expensive, even when you consider the cost of the deposit on the bottles.
|I could go for a Newcastle right now..|
Note that this would not necessarily be the case with beer that comes in dark brown bottles - but as you may (or may not) have noticed, the beer that comes in dark brown bottles doesn't come in Mini-kegs :) At least not yet.
|Newcastle is also Beertender|
compatible, if you have that
apparatus set up at home :)
Anyway, if you're having a party or just want to enjoy some goes-down-easy drinking, you can do a lot worse than picking up a Newcastle mini-keg. It's tasty enough, smooth, and the draught mini keg (that's pronounced "draft" btw) is easy to set up and use. I was a little concerned that it wouldn't work and I'd be stuck with 5 liters of beer that I couldn't access, but no, it's very easy to set up and get going.
Go get yourself a Newcastle Brown Ale mini-keg - and for goodness' sake, don't forget to invite me over to drink it with you!
|Not a bad English beer, Newcastle. Goes down smooth.|