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Brown Ales
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Brown Ales

The public house is one of England’s gifts to the world. Public houses, or pubs, are traditionally cozy places, usually unique to their geographic location, where people gather for friendly conversation over a couple of drinks. The regulars are passionate and very loyal to their pub. They know the bartenders, the publican, and the other regulars. Pubs are often the focal point of the community, especially smaller towns, taking a prominence similar to that of a church in some communities. Pubs are often controlled by breweries, so while they serve anything from spirits to soft drinks, beer remains the prominent drink of choice. The clients can spend quite a bit of time in their favorite pub, so the breweries began to craft beers that are smooth, lower in alcohol content, easy drinking and could please the masses. One such variety was born from grains that were roasted brown, affording a sweet yet roasted flavor. It came to be known as brown ale.

Here, you can browse through some of the brown ales we've featured over the years. The selection will grow over time as we feature more, but if just can't wait to see what we have to say about your favorite beer, send us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and let us know!



Moose Drool PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Brown Ales

Big Sky Brewing Co.
Missoula, Montana


They
Say: “It’s chocolate brown in color with a creamy texture. A malty beer with just enough hop presence to keep it from being too sweet. The aroma mostly comes from the malt with a hint of spice added by the hops. Moose Drool is brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate, and whole black malts; and Kent Goldings, Liberty, and Willamette hops. It has an original gravity of 13 degrees Plato, and is 4.2% alcohol by weight, 5.3% by volume.”


We Say:
If you’re looking for a fantastic, please-the-masses pub brown ale, this is the one. It pours like a manly beer, with its deep brownish-red, semi-opaque body and medium to full amber head. It has a very sweet, almost sugary aroma and a velvety, creamy mouth. The taste is also predominantly sweet, but balanced off with a tart hint of hops. The beer is easy to consume, very drinkable and has very little aftertaste.


Photo by: Joe Szebeni - True Image Photography

 
Klaster Dark Beer PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Brown Ales

Klaster Brewery
Czech Republic


They Say:
“Clear, sweety taste, with carameliness and slight hop bitterness.” [We love their use of the English language.]


We Say:
So, I went to a second import for the next brown ale, from a Czech brewery called Klaster. You might expect that finding a good brown ale from a Czech brewery would be like finding a good Irish whiskey coming out of Russia, but they have done it. Unlike the Newcastle, you’ll find this beer in a green bottle—much better for keeping out the pesky sunlight. I am pretty sure that the bottles that I sampled from were pretty true to the taste that was intended. This brew shared the characteristics you would expect from a traditional brown ale. The pour revealed a lighter, reddish body with a medium full, off-white head. The scent was light and fresh with a slightly caramel odor. It felt light on the tongue with a crisp, yet smooth bite. Klaster Dark tastes sweet, light and somewhat fruity. It finishes with a mild, almost “appley” (to use their nomenclature) aftertaste. I think a bit more pronounced hops flavor would have made this a perfect beer, but it’s light, sweet and fruity taste makes it very drinkable.


Photo by: Joe Szebeni - True Image Photography




 
Newcastle Brown Ale PDF Print E-mail
Featured Beers - Brown Ales

Picture of Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcactle Breweries, Ltd.
Newcastle, England


They Say:
Well, this beer must be so widely known and consumed that they apparently didn’t feel the need to write up a true description of their famous beer. Their web site does contain phrases like “smooth, never bitter,” and “full flavored, yet easy to drink.” We guess that will do.


I Say:
This is the most popular brown ale in the world, and it is the standard by which all others are measured. It stakes claim to being the best-selling bottled beer in the UK, as well as all of Europe. It has a link to English pub lifestyle so strong, that it is nicknamed the “dog.” This comes from men using the excuse, “I’m going to walk the dog,” or “I’m going to see a man about a dog,” which really meant they were going to the pub. Newcastle boasts a gorgeous, reddish-brown body under a light golden head. It should be sweet, mildly hopped, with a creamy mouth and smooth finish. It should be one of the easiest drinking beers you can have, and has long been one of my favorite brews. Unfortunately, that was not my most recent experience with the fabled beer. I sampled two bottles of Newcastle for this article from two different stores, and each one was flat-out spoiled. Spoiled by light exposure, and spoiled by heat. It just has to be hotter than 65 or 70 degrees Fahrenheit to damage the beer’s flavor. Long shipping overseas, trucking across country, sitting in warehouses, and then the time on the store shelf all leaves the beer vulnerable to mishandling. Inconsistency in the quality of imports is always an issue, but Newcastle’s use of clear bottles only compounds the problem. You see, nothing is more damaging to beer than sunlight, and clear bottles not only allow all of that gorgeous reddish-brown beer shine through, but also allows all of those UVs to be soaked up, too. Nevertheless, this beer is still the king of all brown ales, and I encourage you to try it, but I would find a pub that serves the beer on tap, cleans their lines often and goes through a lot of it. That’s the best way to assure that you’re getting the best quality import you can.


Photo by: Joe Szebeni - True Image Photography