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Great British beer moves county

Newcy broon leaves toon

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Newcastle Brown Ale - one of Britain's most famous and recognisable beers - is moving from its home on Tyneside to Yorkshire.

Technically, the brewery had already left Newcastle when it moved to Tyneside, south of the river, in 2005. But the move south to Yorkshire is still likely to shock locals.

Brits drink about 47 million bottles of the blue starred bottles each year. Exports to over 40 countries account for another 100 million bottles. The US is one of its largest - and strongest growing - markets, accounting for over six million cases a year.

Scottish & Newcastle, which owns the brand, reassured beer lovers that it intends to continue to support the bottled brown ale.

The company said it was moving production from Dunston to John Smith's brewery in Tadcaster, with the likely loss of 63 jobs. It blamed the economic downturn and surplus brewing capacity. The Dunston brewery was working at about 60 per cent capacity.

Newcy Brown or brown ale, as it is known, is traditionally drunk from a half-pint glass.

The beer used to have protected regional status from European bureaucrats similar to that used by Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. But the company applied to have this protection removed in 2004 when it shifted the brewery over the river to Tyneside.

The closure is likely to be complete by the middle of next year. ®

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