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India Style Brown Ale - Foothills Brewing Company

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India Style Brown Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

81 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 34
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap during a Foothills session night in my hometown. Quite the enjoyable evening.

Foothills Festive is a clear, red-rust ale with an everlasting tight tan head that leaves generous amounts of lacing as the beer goes down my gullet.

Smell is very hoppy, lots of citrus notes and sweet malts fighting for dominance. I don't know what "style" this is supposed to be, but for a brown ale it's heavily hopped....

Taste is a wild mix of nutty malts, citrus hops, and possibly some spice thrown into the mix. The hops eventually beat the sweet malt into submission. I'm pretty sure I tasted some cherry in there amidst the melee... Is this a winter warmer? A well hopped American Brown ale? Who knows. Even the name hints at three different styles. While the hops are a bit stronger than I'd like, overall this is a good, if tough to define, beer.

Mouthfeel is mildly dry and clean with a citrus hoppy aftertaste. Cascade? It's drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

In sum, Foothills Festive is a lot like that cute, yet utterly mental redhead you dated for 5 months back in college -- fun and unpredictable, but the multiple personalities may grate on you if you keep going back to it. (or her.)

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice new offering from Foothills,pours a deep mahogany brown with a thin but well sustained off white head,called India brown for a reason a healthy dose of hops in the nose earthy and roasty I picked up a light herbal note in there as well.Wow the hops really shine in this brown,very earthy and dry quite roasted but not much sweetness its a earthy hop driven brown I picked up a touch of menthol in the finish wich was nice.It seems that Jamie over at Foothils is a good utelizer of hops,this really shows it well done.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great, great brown ale. Very sweet in the nose. Almost maple-syrup like scent.

The taste is superbly balanced between sweetness and bitterness. Both tastes are very noticeable. The sweetness hits your tongue at first, and then the bitter hops finish.

Very well-rounded, flavorful beer. I would have liked to have another. I believe this is a seasonal-only.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Brixx last night at the Triad gathering. The tap did not say it was an India Brown, just " Festive ". Presents a very nice dark brown but the light at Brixx is low. Sinuses are bad so I was unable to get any serious aromas.
Mouthfell starts with a nice malt flavor with mild sweetness and some dark roasted flavors but the hops come in and set up camp and stay to the finish. Very tasty, a little complex with the malt coming first then exiting as a nice hoppy bitterness becomes the dominant flavor. Very nice mouthfeel and I had two pints. Went down very nice, a sessionable winter warmer perhaps? I am always pleased with Foothills offerings and this is a great brew.

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's Taproom in Asheville

A - brown with a reddish hue; thick brownish head; great retention

S - coffee, caramel, pine, citrus, earthy

T - caramel, nutty, heavy citrus, faintly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, crisp

This is a rather solid brown ale. It has a tremendous hop presence, solid balance, and still maintains all the traditional qualities of a delicious brown ale. I'll definitely have this again.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, $2.50 pint night at Duckworths Charlotte

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a shaker pint, light mahogany body, light garnet hue, tan head with filmy lace

smell: lightly roasted malts, dry cocoa, earthy hop presence, dried dark fruits

taste: This was an enjoyable brown from foothills - though the hopping was less pronounced than anticipated. Woody, dried dark fruit, roasted malt, cocoa, earthy hops

mouthfeel: smooth medium-light body

drinkability: good

Photo of silver0rlead
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mahogany color with a thin tan head that retains OK. The aroma has citrusy and piney hops, along with french roast coffee, milk chocolate, dark fruits, caramel and toffee and some alcohol. The flavor is also hop forward, with a background of dark chocolate and coffee, toffee and dark fruits, along with some caramel and alcohol. The mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is good. A superbly tasty and drinkable beer, perhaps more suited to the Cascadian Dark Ale category.

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a deep reddish-brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and slight bitter hops. The flavor was of bitter malt, slight citrus/bitter hops. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Had a well-balanced flavor going on here with a good aroma to back it up. Not your typical brown ale, but hey, it's an India Brown so what do you expect? A must try if you can find it on tap somewhere.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to enjoy this one again. I love nearly everything out of foothills and this was no exception. Nice medium brown pout that when held up to the light gave off a nice glow around the sides and the bottom of the glass. Smooth, even head of light tan comes up and over the top, settling down nicely and really giving it a great look for the style as the lacing coats the inside of the glass. Aroma of caramel, nice bready undertones, a hint of caramel and touches of piney hops are all coming together quite nicely now. Really full and quite well done as it comes up to room temp the hops start to really show themselves and put on quite a show. Rich flavor now as the caramel and bready malts linger and meld with an earthy hop note that gives it just the right amount of bitterness and kick in the finish. Super session able, this one goes down like water.

Overall I love the style and the brewer, so what more could you ask for. That great session ale that works on a hot day but still gives you the complexity and keeps your interest. Great job here.

Photo of blackie
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearane: The beer is a deep, rich brown in color. The tan colored head has great retention and light lacing.

smell: Green American hops at the forefront with notes of a lighter malt sweetness and touches of toasted and roasted malt.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the high end of the medium range, and the body medium.

taste: The delicious blend of American hops and pale malts I find at first are gradually joined by toasted and then roasted malt flavors. After the swallow a wonderful, big bitterness joins the other flavors. The bitterness lingers long into the dry finish with roasted notes.

drinkability: a pleasure

Sampled during lunch at Foothills on my way back from Linville

Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Saucer in Raleigh.

a - deep brown color with a one-finger head, hazy, nice head retention with a little lacing

s - big hop aroma along with a nice backbone of roasted malt and nuts, sweetness is evident, no alcohol in the nose

t - starts out a lot like an IPA with lots of hops, then the malty body makes itself known, finish has a unique nuttiness and sweetness that is followed by a lasting bitterness

m - medium bodied with an ample amount of carbonation, but not too much, moderately dry finish

d - very drinkable, alcohol not evident when drinking, the sweetness might limit drinkability somewhat

Great brown ale overall. Foothills has another winner here. I can't wait until they start bottling their brews!

Photo of devilben02
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my home tap, the color is a rich reddish chestnut brown with a thick, fluffy beige head that leaves a crazy amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet and somewhat floral, with a caramel character that is expected. The flavor is richer than expected for the style, however, with a sweet, bready, caramel/toffee malt backbone that is contrasted by a subtle nuttiness and a present but restrained herbal, peppery hop character. Medium-bodied by well-carbonated, this one goes down smooth, especially considering the moderately elevated alcohol level. Overall, this is another well-made beer from Foothills.

Photo of plaid75
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a deep amber hue with a dense, tight one finger frothy white head. There was excellent retention and lacing.

The smell featured spicy herbal hop with toasted malts.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal bitterness with chocolate malts and a toasted breadiness offering some balance. Earthy sweetness detected as well.

The mouthfeel was creamy with a residual bitterness.

Overall a silky smooth hop driven brown ale.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottling day at St. Somewhere and someone was kind enough to bring a growler of this one.

Very nice and alive looking. Lacing rings after every sip, and nice globbage after a few swirls. Nice two finger creamy colored collar. Great retention.

Smell was very heavy with coffe bean at first after it warmed up a little I got a bit more of a dark cherry and wood aroma.

Taste is somehwhat the same as the nose. A kind of coffee grind flavoring at first with a darker,fruiter finish maybe even a little smokey.

Medium bodied, good carbonation and excellent balance.

This one was a surprise veyr enjoyable and very tasty. A solid brown ale.

Photo of CWiggins
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham. Intrigued by its description on the menu, I decided to begin my evening with this offering. The menu discussed the beer's affinity for both IPA and Brown Ale styles; not the sort of thing one easily imagines.

It was served in a Foothills pint glass. (Apparently, Tyler's serves each beer in a signature glass by the maker!) The color was dark brown with golden highlights. The off-white head was substantial, and had enough stamina to last throughout the time in its glass. I detected strong hops in the nose with some notes of toasted nuts and sugary malts. The flavor threw me for a bit of a loop: I wasn't expecting such a pronounced hop bitterness. It's called "brown ale," so I thought it should have more characteristics of that style. It seems to be closer to the American IPA with some dark sugary sweetness that's akin to Brown Ale. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. It's certainly good; there's nothing here to be offensive. And it's very refreshing!

There's a nice, dry finish with lingering notes of bitterness and a dark nuttiness as well. The texture is normal for IPAs.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Foothills Brewing Company in Winston-Salem, NC.

A: Pours a clear medium mahogany brown in color with some garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass and a couple of small patches of very thin film. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Upfront there are hints of a traditional brown ale (especially in the malt aromas) followed by moderate amounts of earthy and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there was a fairly sweet malt body with some notes of toffee and brown sugar followed by stronger flavors of earthy and herbal hops. Light amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Enjoyable though not my favorite hoppy offering from Foothills. It is a solid beer and quite easy to put down but was not as good as some of the others I tried while at the brewery.

Photo of Rifugium
3.27/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at Foothills

Clear mahogany pour, with a small beige head that sank to a ringlet, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass. Caramel malts in the nose, fairly roasty, light earthy and citrus hop aromas. This followed through in the taste, caramel malts, brown sugar, nutty, with notes of earthy, citrus, herbal hops, leaving a dry bitterness in the finish; pretty average brown ale with a slightly upped hop profile. Light-medium body, fairly crisp and somewhat drinkable, though lacking in the flavor department.

Photo of Paincane
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown color with off white head leaving medium lace. Served in pint glass.
S: Nutty and toffee aromas predict the flavors ahead.
T: Malt, nut and toffee flavors are present up front followed by a nice hoppy bitter finish.
M: Well-balanced medium bodied brew with mild carbonation.
O: Good brew that I am glad I tried and would have again.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.37/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown with a clear body, no head and a generally watery appearance.
The smell was very mild with notes of spice and possibly cherry.
Anise, burnt caramel and other malt notes dominate the taste, but hops are surprisingly absent altogether.
The mouthfeel was semi-sweet up front but finished rather dry and dull.
I'm a big skeptic of browns; I feel this is one of the styles American microbrews handwave to round out their menu but no one seems to make a decent one, and unfortunately Foothills fails to deliver. Somewhat drinkable but not anything to write home about.

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on tap at the brewpub. It was poured almost to the brim so it had almost no head. There was also not much lacing either. It was dark brown, a few shades darker than Newcastle. It smells hoppy with a touch of caramel. This is a strong brown ale that is on the hoppy side, but also has a touch of caramel in it as well. It feels heavy so I don't think I could drink more than two of these in a sitting. This is a good beer that seems like it is meant to be a combination of IPA and brown ale. I really liked the fact it was hoppy. I highly recommend trying this one but its a seasonal so you better act fast.

Photo of rodrot
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the good fortune of finding this on tap at a local watering hole in Blowing Rock. The beer poured a pretty amber/brown hue with a small head that stuck around. There was a good bit of carbonation despite the smallish head. Aroma was a good whiff of piney hops up front and some nutty malts. Taste was quite hoppy and citrusy with some caramel malt flavors mixed in and finished with a bitter note. Mouthfeel was medium bodied on the palate. The chalkboard above the bar had this beer listed as 7.9% abv but I didn't notice it as the alcohol was very well masked. Hops take center stage here and I love my hops, so I've got to score the drinkability pretty high. Curiously, this beer reminded me of Pete's Wicked ale when it first came out way back when. Back before the recipe was changed and it lost that hop character.

Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark mahogany color with ruby highlights; the firm ecru head left shards of lace around the pint glass

Smell: After it warmed, it provided a black cherry aroma

Taste: Spicy black cherry and roasted malt flavors dominate up front but are joined, mid-palate by earthy bitterness that builds into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting and complex flavor profile makes this one an unusual treat; makes up for the draining of the last of the Baltic Porter

Photo of Onenote81
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the pub itself. Came out a dark brownish red, with about a quarter inch head on it. This disappeared to nothing but an outer ring. Though there was some decent lacing along glass edge. Smelled sweet and caramel-esque. Faint hops in there as well.

This is a nice crisp, bold, hoppy Brown Ale! Wow! I'm glad I tried this one. It's hoppy and slightly bitter, but not too much that I'd mistake it for an IPA. Just enough to keep me sipping. Definitely some malty sweetness in there as well, as this is very well-balanced. Some butterscotch flavors pull through just a bit. Man, this is good. Too bad it's only around for a little while.

Photo of John1985
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Barley's in Asheville. Ale came out dark brown with a half inch white head. Aroma was dominated by hops, taste was a very well balance of rich, almost chocolate malt flavors and bitter citrus hops. A very interesting and delicious flavor profile. After taste was pleasantly bitter. Very drinkable-I could have had several of these.

Photo of gyllstromk
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is dark, yielding dark amber when held to the light. Nose is cherries, some floral hops, burnt malts, cloves. Taste starts with a smokey sweetness, transitions to a wet, dark fruitiness, like thin cranberry juice. Some hop bitterness follows. Overall quite wet; more so than I prefer, although it lends well to a nice drinkability.

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India Style Brown Ale from Foothills Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.