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Richard Wells in Newcastle
"Newcastle Brown Ale is now part of European culture"
 real 28k

Friday, 25 February, 2000, 16:35 GMT
Newcastle toasts brown ale success

Nick and Newcy
Nick Brown toasts Newcastle Brown Ale's success

Newcastle Brown Ale has joined the ranks of Parma ham and Jersey Royal potatoes - and earned European protection.

The north-east brew has been granted the European Union's Protection of Geographical Indications (PGI) status.

It means Newcastle Brown Ale is protected from imitations and cannot be brewed anywhere other than in the north-east of England.

This acknowledges that Newcastle Brown Ale is starting to be recognised all around the world

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown
Agriculture Minister Nick Brown - the local MP - toasted the success on Friday during a visit to the brewery.

Mr Brown said it was good news for the beer - and confided that he enjoys a taste of brown ale.

He said: "It's great news for the city. This acknowledges that Newcastle Brown Ale is starting to be recognised all around the world.

"I'm a beer man and I enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale but I don't drink it exclusively, I like other cream-flow beers."

Newcastle Brown Ale Newcastle Brown Ale has been given a special European award
He was also asked how he would react if somebody ran in and poured brown ale all over his head - a reference to a recent conference where a protester threw an eclair in his face.

He answered: "I think it's unlikely to happen - I'm back home now and no-one would waste the beer. Besides I'm not worried about silly eclairs or silly tarts."

European laws protect the names of certain famous products such as Champagne, a title that can only refer to sparkling wine from the renowned French province.

But others, such as cheddar cheese, have become so widely used the EU says it cannot stop producers across the globe using them.

However, while any cheese can carry the name of the Somerset village the words West Country Farmhouse Cheddar are restricted under the EU's Protected Designation of Origin regulations.

The same rules have prevented British producers such as Yorkshire farmer Judy Bell from selling Feta cheese. An EU regulation says the term can only be applied to sheep or goats' milk churned in Greece.

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See also:
01 Dec 98 |  UK
Drama over Parma ham
30 Jan 98 |  Business
Asda sends ham producers packing

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