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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Photos or tap descriptions used in this blog may not be misrepresented as your own. Photos may not be used for financial gain whatsoever, as the uniqueness of the photo would unfairly associate a seller's product and reputation with this site. Tap descriptions may be used word for word as long as this blog is cited as the source, and a link is provided to this site.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Tap Handle #214: Caledonian (Heineken UK) - Newcastle Werewolf ESB

I consider this the coolest tap handle ever's one of my favorites, if not my top tap. There is a small version and a tall version - this is the tall one. The detail and theme are simply awesome!

Newcastle was originally founded in 1890 in Newcastle, England. As it went through a series of mergers with other breweries such as Robinson & Sons, James Porter & Son, and John Barras, it was the Newcastle name that stuck. The 5 points on the star on the Newcastle label represent the 5 original breweries. In 1927, Lt. Colonel James ('Jim') Herbert Porter, a third generation brewer at Newcastle (grandson of James Porter, listed above), refined the recipe for Newcastle Brown Ale alongside chemist Archie Jones over a period of three years. When Porter actually completed the beer, he believed it to be a failure, as he had actually been attempting to recreate Bass ale. The day after the beer's release, police begged the brewery to lower the strength of the beer, as the prison cells were full, but the company declined. When first exhibited, Newcastle Brown Ale swept the board at the prestigious 1928 International Brewery Awards and was called "The One and Only"; the gold medals from these awards are still featured on the label, and the term "The One and Only" is still used today. Locals, however, referred to it as a "bottle of dog". If you've ever heard the expression "I have to go see a man about a dog", it's a very old euphemism about someone who's off to drink Newcastle. The success of Newcastle led to Col. Jim Porter becoming managing director of Newcastle Breweries, Ltd in the 1950's. He died in Newcastle in 1973. Newcastle Brown Ale became a brand of Scottish & Newcastle after the merger of Scottish Brewers with Newcastle Breweries in 1960 where it became a flagship brand.

Scottish and Newcastle announced closure of the Tyne Brewery in 2004, in order to consolidate the brewing of beer and ale at the Dunston site. In 2008, S&N acquired Caledonian; however, Heineken then bought S&N in a joint deal with Carlsberg, and Caledonian, now also known as Heineken UK, became Newcastle's parent company. In 2010, S&N closed the Dunston brewery, moving production of Brown Ale to the John Smiths Brewery in Tadcaster. The company cited the general fall in the market for beer, over-capacity in its plants in general, and the fact that the Dunston site was currently operating at just 60% capacity, despite the fact that sales of Newcastle Brown Ale had never been higher. Currently, Newcastle Brown is exported to over 40 countries, and is so popular in the U.S. that the brewery at times devotes half of its production to the U.S. market. In addition to Brown Ale, Newcastle also produces 4 seasonal beers.

Newcastle Werewolf is fall seasonal, blood red ESB that gets its color from Rye Malt. Weighted average on is 2.55 out of 5.

Newcastle Official Website

1 comment:

  1. I was tempted to bid on that tap myself, but it was just too damned HIGH.