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Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Brewer's Brown AleShipyard Brewer's Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

180 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2001)
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Peanut skin brown with orange highlights on the coaster, red-orange-bronze when backlit with weak morning sunlight. The cap is the color of malted milk and looks to be as thick as a coffee milkshake (but probably isn't). Arcing strands of sea foam lace decorate the glass just above the descending surface of the foam and look like they'll be washed away with the first wave of beer.

I want the nose to be much stronger than it is because I like what I'm smelling. The aroma is of sugar-crusted pecans sauted in butter (which go great with butterscotch-drizzled vanilla bean ice cream, by the way). Anyone with an aversion to diacetyl is likely to turn away in horror, but I love what it's done for BCSA's nose.

The flavor is different and interesting. Again, as with most all Shipyard offerings, Ringwood yeast is the determining factor in how one feels about the beer. Warning: it's front and center here. I like the personality that it provides to an often lackluster style, but I'm not sure that I'll feel the same once my d-tank has been filled. Which should take one beer, two at most.

On the palate, I get the same basic combination that was evident in the nose. The beer benefits, in my opinion, by being sweet with a trace of bitterness rather than by being bitter with a trace of sweetness. It makes the butterscotchiness more butterscotchy and more appealing as a result. If I know Shipyard, some sort of Brit hops were used, although it's tough to determine the hop bill for certain given the strength of the other flavors.

As alluded to above, I like the way that this beer tastes while having very little desire to drink more than the one that I bought. I couldn't see myself buying it in sixers for instance. I'm sure that Shipyard has their loyalists, but have to wonder if their use of such a polarizing yeast strain hasn't hurt their bottom line more than it has helped it.

The body is brown ale medium, perhaps a shade more full than that. If I don't notice a beer's mouthfeel prior to turning my attention to it, I usually consider that to be a net positive. Such is the case here. I consider the restrained amount of carbonation to be a positive as well.

I'm not quite sure that I'd use the word 'special' to describe what I believe to be Shipyard's inaugural Brewer's Choice Special Ale. By the same token, it is a tasty brown ale that kept me interested all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shipyard's Brewer's Choice pours a dark chestnut brown body beneath a tall head of foamy yellowed-white. The head retention is good, and it leaves some nice lace about the glass.

The nose welcomes you with some yeasty fruitiness, toasty malt, and a touch of dark cocoa.

The flavor is richer than the nose suggests with a very nice combination of yeasty fruit and malt. As it warms it becomes more cocoaish, and distinct notes of bittersweet chocolate become apparent at the swallow. It's balanced by a solid bitterness, and although some nutty malt sweetness lingers stickily in the finish, there's enough bitterness and acidic "edge" from the toasty dark malts to keep it from becoming cloying.

It's medium/medium-light bodied in the mouth with a moderate carbonation that's enough to tingle the palate but still leave it smooth.

Overall, it's a decent, enjoyable brew that's more American than English in style, but with some clearly English components.

Photo of jmz62565
3.45/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark mahogony with a small dirty white head. The smell is full of yeast and has a strong nutty quality to it. The taste is nutty as would be expected and also malty with some dark fruit flavors. The m/f is light with a flavorful first sip,but the aftertaste is watery and mettalic. This is an Ok Brown Ale, but I think I'm being kind in this review.

Photo of villainchiwwin
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into pint glass from 2006 'Brewer's Choice' 12 oz.
nice deep brown color with little head and even less retention.
smells good, caramel and sweet maple toffee. flavor starts out sweet with roasty and toasty malts but sharp bitterness comes thru strong from the hops overwhelming sweetness--not over-hopped but somehow unbalanced, maybe too acrid. mouthfeel goes from smoothness to astringency with an oily coating in the mouth through which some of the malt comes back in the finish.
hm, not bad - it would make a great session beer if it took one's fancy. hoppy and ornery for a brown ale.

Photo of Vancer
3.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamy, foamy, foamy! Damnest foamy brew I have ever seen. Even a lite pour would result in foam filling the glass. Once it settled a tad, the head turned into a respectable rocky tan dollop of suds on top of a clear oak brew. Malty and earthy in the aroma, hoppy and nutty in the taste. Not enough malt for a balanced character.

Dry and light bodied, just way too over carbonated. I’m not excited about having this one again – but I would not turn one down, either.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It seems a cut above the average Shipyard product. It was a dark red/brown color with a medium coffee-colored head and some nice lacing. It had a rosted grain odor, not too toasty. It tasted sweet, caramel/chocolate, with a little hoppiness. A fairly robust brew, very drinkable.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.25/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Captain's Collection, a real nice brown ale. Pours a nice dark golden brown color. Smells malty, not too strong. Taste? A real nice malt flavor, a little earthy flavor too. Mouthfeel is pretty nice. Finishes up nice, a great session beer. I'm quite surprised by this one. Shipyard's product seem to be a bit bland as of late but this one is a really great beer. A nice addition to their list.

Photo of jaluria
4.43/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First brew from Shipyard; quite excited to try it and I was not disappointed.

Appeared dark brown in my pint glass with an off-white colored head that left a touch of lacing. Seemed rather viscous in texture and opaque in color. Aromas of toffee, roasted malt, nuts, and hard candy; very appealing. The taste was dominated by roasted malt flavors, but other subtle flavors came out as well such as nuts and hard candy. Slightly bready in texture and coated my mouth nicely. Excellent drinkability; smooth and flavorful.

Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a deep, clear brown color with a small foamy tan head that leaves a some lacing in my glass, roasty nutty-bready aromas. Nutty, caramel and buttery flavors, finishes on the sweet side. Medium bodied with a soft mouthfeel, an average brown at best.

Photo of CherylM
4.35/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a welcome change this time of year. Much more flavor than other Spring offerings. Very rich brown color and is bursting with malts and hops. Medium body and not as heavy as the Winter Ales, but has just as much flavor and appeal. Very enjoyable and will be missed when it is off the shelves.

Photo of Ricochet
2.7/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another beer that I drink a lot of, but I'm not a huge brown beer fan. I like them when they taste pretty decent and are cheap. This was a little more but didn't have the sweetness of most browns so I give it a plus there. It was deep, ruby, brownish, with a decent head that faded quickly. Smell was sweet and wine-like. Normally wine like scent scrares me because I had just flushed half a case of my fave cheap brown because it was sour. Mouth was thin with a candy like aftertaste. This was a quality beer in the taste department, meaning it didn't have corn or rice added, even tasted a bit vague like a brown. The winey notes and toasted malts and the dryness were welcome, but I found myself wanting a cheap brown. Not impressed.

Sure, the quality of the ingredients were decent, but not enough to say I'd drink this again. Even JWD HB seems like a better choice.

Photo of Drew966
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice shade of copper from a twelve ounce brown bottle. It smells a bit hoppy. Taste is quite a bit hoppier than I would expect for the style. The malt is apparent, but at times seems overwhelmed by the hops, not actually a bad thing, but also not really true to style. I could drink quite a bit of this, I do think it's pretty good and definitely worth a try.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This rich brown brew had a full five finger head, which died down to a rocky foam. It took a while to really fill the glass.

Aroma was of lightly roasted malts, with some fruitiness and a little bit of an estery quality.

Taste was of rich malt, with slightly roasted notes. There was also some caramel, a little fruitiness, and a hint of hops. Nice.

Mouthfeel was light and creamy... it went down nice and smoothly.

Definitely gets good marks for drinkability. It was truly an enjoyable experience.

Photo of ybnorml
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clean dark brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a big foamy beige head. A smooth easy malt aroma with hints of carmel and coffee. A quick burst of coffee in the start of the taste followed by some carmel sweetness and a dry hop finish that gains momentum thru the glass.

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown translucent coloring, very slight head, that stays around the edge of the glass.

Hoppy nose with buttery aromatics. Not sure if I like the butter smell. It is definately a pungent smell.

Good flavor, sweet caramel and hops. Sweet aftertaste as the caramel follows through. Good taste, I enjoyed it.

Mouthfeel, has some carbonation in it, but easy to drink.
Overall a good year round brew.

Photo of Gavage
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Federal Jack's. Clear dark copper in color with a short off-white head. The aroma is of caramel and butter. Mild roasted malt, caramel, butter, and mild bitterness make up the flavor. The Ringwood yeast tones are quite prevelant here.

Mouthfeel is smooth at the start and finish. Medium bodied. The aftertaste has some caramel and butter riding the tongue briefly. I found this to be drinkable despite the strong butter tones.

Photo of ericj551
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

At 3.8 % ABV, a good session beer. Diacetyl flavors are hidden a bit. If you like Ringwood beers this is the one to try. Its not as dark as I would expect a brown ale to be, but it is very falvorful for a mild brown. Definatly worth a try if you're at Federal Jacks or in the Kennebunk area.

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a tight bubbled beige-white head (two fingers thick). Nice, but thin, lace.

Very sweet candy caramel aroma. Very rich in the body with a coyly sweet flavor that is well balanced with a hop that must be strong to cut the sugar but not overbearing. The carbonation seems low, but that could be because of the fullness of the liquid.

While this is a good beer, it's far sweeter than any other brown ale I've ever had. Now if it were considered a Scotch Ale...

Retasted on 4/25/10
I notice what I wrote five years ago still holds up except that the carbonation is very high. Now, it's almost spritzy.

Photo of merlin48
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the Captain's Collection sampler box. Pours a vibrant, coppery brown body with a minimal beige head that quickly drops to lasting collar and film. Decnt sheet and patch lace on the glass.
Aroma is subdued, with hints of toffee and spicy hop.
Mouthfeel is light bodied, with aggressively high carbonation.
Taste reveals a fierce carbonation that is distracting. Malt sweetness, with buttery toffee and a hint of chocolate, run the show but have difficulty poking through the overcarbonation. Buttery notes of diacetyl and ringwood yeast are prevalent. Just a hint of nuttiness and spicy hop try for balance. No offnotes, other than the diacetyl, but seems unbalanced and a bit thin for a brown ale.
Drinkability is slightly above average, but the overcarbonation is a major distraction. Seems out of kilter for style, but not a bad beer. Very little hops presence.

Photo of Hibernator
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The most recent addition of Yankee Brew News [Volume 16/Number 1] reports that this Shipyard beer is available through March and that this beer is 5.5% ABV.

It's always cool to see a brewery introduce new beers to their line- up. This is the first annual Brewer's Choice offering. Nice looking new bottle. I like the cat hangin' out on top of the keg.

I had this out of a 12 oz brown long neck bottle and served in a Shipyard imperial pint glass.

Pours a warm brown chestnut color with some very light brown highlights. Nice sized head on top that turns into a thick lace around the glass. Some scattered sticky lacings as well.

Aroma of butterscotch with a heavy dose of malts.

Very smooth and creamy brown ale. Juicy caramel malts with a creamy mouthfeel. The buttery tastes are nice in this brew from Shipyard. With some of their beers the Ringwood can be out of control. In this case it appears the diacetyl is controlled. Well balanced with a nice hop snap bite on the finish. Very good drinkability that could work as a nice session beer.

Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an off-white, three-fingered head, fades slowly and leaves some lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Deep, rich amber color. Malty nose. Starts malty with the underlying sweetness, has a rich finish. Nice brown. 83¢ for a 12oz bottle from Cumberland Farms Convenience Greenland, NH.

Photo of twelvsies
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brown ale isn't really brown. Dark amber, maybe brownish tints, but that's it. Smells sweet and a little malty, but mostly just sugary and sweet. Taste is not what I expect from a solid brown ale. Tastes a little fruity and I guess a little malty, but not roasty or toasty like I was hoping. Hops don't really play a big role in this beer. As for mouthfeel, this beer is too light bodied to be a brown ale, even an English brown ale. Very watery. Smooth yes, but not very substantial. As a side note, I bought a Shipyard mixed 12 pack and the brown ale, IPA, and Export Ale all tasted very similar, and equally uninteresting.

Photo of masterbruewer
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber with a thick off-white head. Moderate carbonation. Good lacing.

The smell is malty and sweet. A bit of piney hops.

The taste is a little nutty and sweet. A good balance with a light hop kick.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a subtle kick of hops and carbonation.

A very drinkable beer. One I'll look for again.

Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a red tinted brown (as the name might suggest to those sound of mind). Head was limited but there was a bit of lace that draped itself out as the beer level in the glass was depleated. The smell was of wheats and malts and I found a distinct woodsy nutty flavor to it. There was also a distinct buttery sharp smell, and a small hop bitterness lingered in the back. A very interesting smell overall. The taste was a dry burnt woody taste, with some small citruisy flavors, and a bit of bitterness which tastes more like a tart chalky apple than hops, but very subdued. I like the flavor although I find it hard to pinpoint. Mouthfeel is dry and smoky (without the actual "smoked" flavor) and pleasantly carbonated. When I see the alcohol content I can see that this beer lets you know its slightly less alcoholic that a "regular" beer, but its certainly not dramatically evident. Very drinkable.

Photo of NEhophead
3.38/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

'Best Enjoyed By Date' clearly marked.

Appearance: Off-white head that disappeared almost immediately. Some lacing at the start that mostly stuck together, but by mid glass was gone. Very nice auburn, red coloring; almost like a raspberry iced-tea.

Smell: Hints of malty sweetness. A sugary caramel nose, but nothing overpowering.

Taste: Caramel flavoring at the forefront that is quite strong. Big malty punch in the first few sips. Very slight almond hints in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very sweet, which on my palate is a bit much. Nice finishing bitterness at the end of the sip.

Drinkability: Decent version of the style with the caramel flavoring setting it aside from other Brown Ales. Too sweet to have more than a pint or two though.

Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.