I have typically stayed away from reviewing free products passed on from PR companies. It's not that I have a problem with the process, it is just that the things offered to me in the past never interested me. However, when the fine folks at Newcastle Brown Ale asked if I would like to try one of their Draughtkegs, I couldn't say yes fast enough! It was an easy decision. Beer interests me.
I have seen the Draughtkeg from Heineken the last couple years and was unaware you could buy Newcastle Brown Ale the same way. Seeing Heineken and Carlsberg bought Newcastle a few years ago, it is not surprising the Newcastle Draughtkeg found its way to store shelves.
I always have kegged beer in the house, but it's always homebrew. I was intrigued about having a commercial beer in quasi keg form.
The Draughtkeg, once properly chilled, can be dispensed either from it's own tap, or the Beertender system from Krups. I was using the built-in tap, which was in two pieces. The handle:
and the nozzle:
Lift the handle up and voila, you have beer:
A few weeks ago, we (meaning the Backyard Brewers) were discussing ways of transporting kegged beers to parties and get togethers. While a lot of times we may want our own homebrew, other times we may have to please a wider crowd of tastes. A system like the Draughtkeg make perfect sense. It makes the decision even better knowing it's Newcastle, a beer I happen to like quite a bit.
Not only can a DraughtKeg of Newcastle be conviently located in the main fridge for quick drinking access, it is also quite handy for cooking and grilling.
One of the features of the Draughtkeg is its ability to stay good for 30 days after opening. That's quite a feat, but sadly one I will not be able to test out. In fact, the only way I could even remotely evaluate this feature is if I were to take a 27 day vacation immediately after opening it.
Beer makes a great marinade, especially a malty brown ale like Newcastle. While grilling flank steaks last week, the Draughtkeg came in quite handy.
While I was out tackling lawn work, I marinaded a flank steak in a cup of Newcastle, with a mixture of minced garlic, brown sugar, crushed black pepper and salt.
About 4 hours later, I cleaned off the marinade from the meat, making sure I dried it thoroughly, and threw it on the grill.
About 10 minutes later, I had dinner.
Last night, I used the Newcastle to brine some swordfish steaks that were eventually smoked. They were fabulous.
I'm not just shilling here. I would definitely pick up a Draughtkeg of Newcastle again. In fact, I have several standing reservations for friends who want to help drink it. I love the ability to have it close to me in the kitchen and in my glass by the grills. In fact, next time we head out to meet up with friend's, I'll probably bring one with me. Its convenient, fun and like my wife, imported from England.
Disclaimer: I was provided this Draughtkeg of NewCastle Brown Ale free of charge for evaluation purposes. For the record, it has been well evaluated.