Tag Archives: Brown Ale

820. Neighborhood Beer Company Alien Garden

Neighborhood Beer Co Alien GardenThis may have been my favorite of the three beers I tried from Neighborhood Beer Company. They describe it as a light brown ale which is a fair description of the appearance but it certainly does not taste like an American Brown Ale.

Appearance is a deep copper which could be considered light brown with a finger thick white head. Aroma was pretty light but what was there was bready and pleasant. Taste was also malt forward but relatively light for a brown ale style. You don’t get the big roasted malt or nutty flavors often associated with a brown ale but you do get a malt forward beer that is super smooth and easy to drink.

Really enjoyable but from a style that I don’t drink often so not something that I will seek out again. 
Pros:

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.9% ABV
IBU (Bitterness): 35
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Neighborhood Beer Company
Brewers Description: Alien Garden Light Brown Ale is a smooth and refreshing style featuring a nice herbal finish. This well-balanced ale is made in the style of a Westphalian country ale from western Germany. A limited release style, get your Alien Garden now because it might never return.

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599. Smuttynose Durty Mud Season

Smuttynose DurtyDurty started out as part of Smuttynose’s Short Batch series. Apparently it was successful enough to make it into a seasonal beer available in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles. I did not try the Short Batch version but heard plenty of good things and ended up picking up this bottle at Craft Beer Cellar in Portsmouth.

Smuttynose Durty is a hoppy brown ale with a fairly high 8.4% ABV. The beer is very dark brown with a solid tan head. Aroma may be the most interesting part of this beer as it has everything you would expect from a dark beer mixed with a solid amount of earthy hops. Very similar to a black IPA in the aroma. Taste I thought was an odd mix of chocolate, coffee, pine hops and a fairly bitter finish.

I’m not sure why but I did enjoy this beer more than I expected. As with everything from Smuttynose it is very well done.
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 55
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: Big, Brown and Hoppy. You never know what Mud Season is going to throw at you, so we brewed a beer that covers all the bases. We took the malty notes of a brown ale and balanced them with the hop aroma and flavor of a double IPA. Now we’re talking Durty!

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558. Long Trail Brewing Harvest Ale

Long Trail Harvest AleWhen thinking about Vermont breweries everyone thinks about Hill Farmstead and The Alchemist but Long Trail has been making quality beer since 1989. Their beers are easy to find and true to style. Harvest Ale is an English Brown Ale which is a style that I don’t often drink but it goes very well with a meal.

Harvest pours a deep brown with only a thin tan head. Aroma has loads of roasted malts and just a bit of maple as they did use some maple syrup in the brew process. Taste has everything you expect from a brown ale, loads of caramel malts, a bit of nut and maple. Finishes slightly bitter and at 4% ABV this was a very easy drinking beer.

Probably not something I would drink a lot of but if you enjoy a beer with dinner brown ales are usually a good bet. 
Pros: 

Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 15
Rating: 
Brewers Website: Long Trail
Brewers Description: In celebration of the autumn harvest we’ve brewed this brown ale with locally harvested Vermont ingredients… a truly unique Taste of Vermont™!

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374. White Birch Brewing Tavern Ale

White Birch Tavern AleAfter finishing (drain pouring) the remainder of my Sea Dog growler I moved on to a growler from White Birch of a similar but much better beer.

Tavern Ale has an interesting story (read brewer description below) and is brewed as an Imperial Brown with plenty of smoked flavors. The beer pours almost black with no head. Aroma is subtle but pleasant with smokey malts and maybe some dark fruits. Taste follows the nose with a mild smokey flavor and slight bitterness. Beer is easy to drink and masks the alcohol well.

Overall this beer was very enjoyable and at 8% ABV it is a little sneaky.
Pros:
Mild smokey flavor – not overpowering
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: 
Brewers Website: White Birch Brewing
Brewers Description: Butter’s Tavern was a fixture of Concord, NH in the eighteenth century. Inspired by their loggerhead ale, we’ve created a Smoked Imperial Brown Ale. Hearty malts, with a nuanced smokiness and smooth finish create our interpretation of this historic ale. We hope you enjoy this slice of New Hampshire history.

In November of 2011 we were proud to learned that Draft Magazine recognized our Tavern Ale as one of the Top 25 beers of 2011!

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340. Sierra Nevada Tumbler

Well the days are getting shorter and with the time change occurring this weekend many of my pictures will now be inside which I hate. With the sun setting before 5:00 from now until February everything will be indoors other than the occasional Saturday/Sunday afternoon beer. Also this means it is time to clear out the fall beers and make room for the porters and stouts. I have a few that I am really looking forward to.

This is one of the last “fall” beers I have in the fridge so I decided to finish it off tonight. The beer is a brown ale but looks more like an amber/red with a very thin white head. Aroma is mild but pleasant with some toasted nutty malts. Taste is smooth and a bit watered down with plenty of malt character.

Overall not a bad beer but I am glad I only got a single instead of an entire 6-pack. Had I purchased a sixer I am certain they would have lingered far longer than it should have. 
Pros:
Nice toasted malt aroma and taste
Cons:
Watered down mouth feel 
Alcohol Content: 5.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 37
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Sierra Nevada
Brewers Description: As the nights grow cool, the leaves on the valley oaks begin to turn and fall. In honor of this yearly dance, we bring you Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale and invite you to enjoy the show.

We use malt within days of roasting at the peak of its flavor to give Tumbler a gracefully smooth malt character. So pour a glass, and grab a window seat to watch as the leaves come tumbling down.

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336. Hill Farmstead George

Continuing on my string of Hill Farmstead reviews with their brown ale. This one was brought back to me by a friend that took a trip to Vermont and was nice enough to grab me a couple of 750s and bottles while he was there. Always great having friends that enjoy great beer and are willing to help out.

Color is brown with some hints of red around the edges (if you click on the picture here you will see the full size version). Great tan head that leave tons of lacing on the glass. Just a great looking brown ale. Aroma has lots of roasted malts with maybe a hint of coffee. Taste starts sweet with plenty of malt character and then hints of coffee and chocolate come in. The coffee and chocolate are certainly in the background, this is not a coffee/chocolate beer. There are some hops here but they are masked by the rich malts.

This beer is very smooth, well balanced and fairly complex for a brown ale. Very drinkable and one of the better brown ales that I have reviewed. 
Pros:
Appearance, Complex flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: George was our grandfather’s brother, and Hill Farmstead Brewery rests upon the land that was once home to him and his 13 siblings.

George is our American Brown Ale.  Hopped, rightfully so, with Centennial, Cascade, and a touch of Columbus…

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332. Hill Farmstead Holger Danske

This is an interesting beer from Hill Farmstead and entirely different from the other beers I have reviewed. Almost all of those were hop forward; pale ales, IPAs and Double IPAs so a smoked beer with little to no hop presence.

Appearance is a deep brown with hints of red. Aroma has lots of smokey malts and a bit of coffee. Taste is very complex with a fair amount of smoke but far from overpowering. There is also some sweetness with just a hint of a hop bite. The beer is smooth, lightly carbonated and very easy to drink. ABV says 7% but it seemed to hit a little harder than that.
Pros:
Complex flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Hill Farmstead
Brewers Description: Brewed in collaboration with our great friend and former colleague, Anders Kissmeyer. Anders personally smoked the malts over Beech wood.  A robust, malty smoked brown ale. 7% abv.

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331. Atlantic Brewing Company Real Ale

Found this one in my local country store’s cooler while picking up pizza the other night. I had sampled it at the brewery this Summer but never bought a bottle so decided to grab a single. Atlantic also owns Bar Harbor Brewing so it is interesting that each has a brown ale in the lineup.

Atlantic sells 6-packs while all of Bar Harbor’s beers are sold in bombers and it is apparent the recipes are different as well. The Bar Harbor Thunder Hole is a complex brown ale while this one is fairly simple. Color is a deep red but not quite brown with minimal head and almost no retention or lacing. Aroma is typical of a brown ale with plenty of malts. Taste is solid but nothing special and not as good as brown ales from Sebago, Smuttnose or even the option from Bar Harbor Brewing.

Overall this is a decent beer that is certainly drinkable but nothing that stands out in a crowded field of brown ales. 
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 5.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Atlantic Brewing
Brewers Description: A good, clean nutbrown ale with a malty body. This is our most popular ale due to its smooth and malty flavor.

We use a mixture of pale, crystal and black malts in this one, and our primary hop is Target, though we also add some Whitbread Goldings Variation as well.

The Real Ale is best fresh, so fresh in fact, that it’s great right out of the bright tank. 

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321. Bar Harbor Brewing Thunder Hole Ale

I picked this bottle up over the Summer at Bar Harbor Brewing’s retail shop in Bar Harbor. At the time I did not realize Bar Harbor Brewing was owned by Atlantic Brewing Company but after my visit I did a little research and found this happened a few years ago. The labels and beer appears to have stayed the same throughout the transition and hopefully that will continue as I like the Bar Harbor Brewing marketing.
Overall the beer is better than your average brown ale. I like this style with meals and with a fairly low 4.8% ABV it goes down easy. Color is a deep brown with a single finger tan head, looks like a nice brown ale. Smells like a brown ale as well with plenty of caramel, roasted and nutty malts. Taste is fairly complex with some light hop flavor in the beginning followed by the characteristic malts of a brown ale. This beer went well with dinner and would go very well with a steak or burger after work.
Pros: Complex for a brown
Cons:  
Alcohol Content: 4.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Bar Harbor Brewing
Brewers Description: Delicious. Full-bodied. Complex. Sure, you can say all those things. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to take a sip of this handcrafted brown ale and come up with your own superlatives? This is the brown ale that beat Newcastle, Sam Adams and more, at the World Beer Championships in Chicago.

WBC tasting notes
“Deep amber hue. Rich roasted, toffee-like aromas follow through on medium-bodied palate with assertive spicy hops upfront and toasted caramel malt flavors that finish in a mildly fruity manner. An elegant and complex Brown Ale.”
“An American classic brewed perfectly.” – Charlie Papazian

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312. Sixpoint Brownstone

Grabbed a single of the new beer from Sixpoint at Bier Cellar last week and now wish I had grabbed a 4-pack. Every beer I have tried from Sixpoint has been excellent and they have become my go to golf beer and my golfing partners all agree they are making some great beer.

Brownstone is their brown ale which is slightly hoppier than most brown ales which is a plus in my book. Appearance is more of a dark red than brown with a nice tan head. Aroma is fairly typical of a brown ale with some sweet malt but there is also more than a hint of hops. Taste has everything that a brown should have; caramel malts and maybe some nut and coffee tones.

After all these flavors the hops make an appearance and the beer finished clean. An excellent beer and something you could enjoy in any season. 
Pros:  
Very flavorful and nice hop presence
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 45
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Sixpoint
Brewers Description: …and coming out of the brownstone house to the gray sidewalk, the watered street, one side of the buildings rises with the sun like a glistening field of wheat.

Brownstone is our bedrock; the first fortress of Sixpoint. This mahogany-hued brew has elements of roasted barley and a hop-forward profile.
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