WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- When is an imported beer not an imported beer? When it is re-created by another brewer for a local audience.
Such is the case for the U.K.'s Newcastle Brown Ale, which owner Heineken USA will relaunch in the United States in March as a product of its Lagunitas Brewing Co.
The new brew will bring together a unique blend of pale and roasted malts with American hops, the company said, repositioning the drink as a craft beer.
“Lagunitas Brewing Co. is one of the most recognized and respected brewers in the craft-beer space,” said Amy Tay, brand director for Heineken USA's Five Points division. “Now with Lagunitas in the family, we have the perfect partner to reimagine our beloved Newcastle Brown Ale.”
The new liquid will be brewed with American Centennial and Chinook hops, and fermented using Lagunitas’ English house ale yeast. The medium-colored brown ale is smooth, crisp and slightly roasty with a hoppy twist, according to the brewer.
"We are not known for malty beers,” said Jeremy Marshall, Lagunitas brew master. “We are really honored and excited to reimagine the new Newcastle Brown Ale using our malts, hops and yeast for a silky smooth flavorful experience.”
To support the launch along with a targeted digital outreach, the Five Points team is leading with retail sampling, brew tastings at community events and fan influencer engagement.
In addition, a range of point-of-sale and merchandising materials for both retail and on-premise accounts will be available to encourage shoppers and on-premise drinkers to try this new brown ale.
Newcastle Brown Ale's history goes back to 1927 and has been brewed for decades in Newcastle, England. Heineken inherited Newcastle Brown Ale in 2008 with the acquisition of the Scottish & Newcastle company, moving its brewing to the Netherlands.
The new variation will be produced at Lagunitas’ breweries in Petaluma, Calif., and Chicago and will be available in 12-ounce bottles in six-, 12- and 24-packs. The brand will continue to be marketed by Heineken USA, White Plains, N.Y., and distributed through its network.