Pub Brown Ale - Sprecher Brewing Company

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Pub Brown AlePub Brown Ale

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172 Ratings
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Ratings: 172
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-08-2002

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 172 | Reviews: 114
Reviews by rkinsella:
Photo of rkinsella
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic glass, clear, ice tea colored, foamy white head. Better than average retention and lacing.

The smell was malty, nice notes of fruit and carmel.

Mild and somewhat delicate. Berry like fruit notes, with brown sugar. The softest hop trail that barely evens out the malt.

Medium carbonation, light bodied.

Very drinkable and a session beer for sure especially with the low abv.

I would call this a southern English brown ale. When a brewer gets this one right, it can be delicate with subtle complexities. It doesn't pound your palette with flavor, but it's a yummy treat.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange color with a nicreamy head,malty smelling but there is something different about it I couldnt point out.Nice balance of fruity maltiness and a well defined dry finish makes it a very appetizing brew,did leave a slight off aftertaste though.Pretty easy to drink and better than average I would be sure to drink again.

Photo of Popsinc
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear brown. fizzy head and it disappears very fast. it almost looks like a glass of iced tea.

Smell: the nose is malty sweet. hints of molasses and maybe some candycane. pleasant and appealing.

Taste & Mouthfeel: a nice combination of hop bitterness and malty sweetness followed by some sweet fruity notes gives this beer decent bacjbone. however, the mouthfeel is quite light and tends to water down towards the finish. a little big of tanginess towards the end of the sip as well.

Drinkability: i think the nose suggested a better beer than it turned out to be. the more i drank the more i was unimpressed. an average brew for my tastes.

Photo of weatherdog
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

It pours a deep amber/red with a cream colored, soap bubble head on top. Minimal lacing.

The aroma screams out rich toffee and caramel malts. The malt aroma seems a bit aged and has a faint wet cardboard factor to it.

The flavor confirms that beer is on the older side. I'm still reviewing it as I seriously got this bottle as a sample from the distributor today, so that's what he's selling. (I just looked it up, it was brewed nearly 2 years ago, 43rd day of 2010!) Sweeter medium bodied caramel malt flavors with that signature oxidized malt flavor I get often in actual English brown beers. It's still not offensive, just not a bright a flavor profile as it should be.

The mouthfeel is a little flabby and finishes quite watery which is detracting from the beer in a way. Overall it's just decent, I feel that if it was a bit fresher mid 3.5's might be a closer score for it.

Photo of grynder33
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on the Sprecher tour, so it was as fresh as possible. It was an Amberish color, had a hoppy fruit tinged aroma. The first taste was surprisingly and pleasantly sweet, a honey carmelly taste. This did not fade to much through the entire glass. I thought it was wonderful stuff, as did just about everyone on the tour.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light brown, average head, below average lace and retention. Aroma of nuts and standard beer.

Taste, extremely smooth, like a hybrid of a light beer and a brown beer. Nothing in the realm of hops here, and that's all good for this beer. The different thing is that this has ample carbonation, unlike a lot of brown ales that are thin.

I'd check it out again, nothing special, but cheap and easy to drink.

Photo of ADR
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown/amber. Malty aroma, leaning toward a brown-sugar. Yellowish head, settles at 1/4 inch for a little while. Pleasing caramel malt flavor. Muted hops at best, in the manner of a a mild Bitter. Very smooth finish, with a touch of fuller-bodied sweetness. Good carbonation (not too much or too little). Just a touch too sweet to be a "session" brew to me.

Photo of DarrellK
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was realaly impressed with this brew. I'd tried others from Sprecher and didn't expect such a good representation of a Brown Ale.

The pour gives the appearance of a medium head that hold on for a while and a whiskeyish amber color, just right for the style.

The nose is a bit malty and lingers

The mouth is quite substantial and the brew is quite carbonated.

The finish is malty and dry instead of a malt sweetness.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an Imperial Nonic)

A- The color of warm aged copper this body is clear but a bit dense. The tight carbonation of tiny bubbles raced around the glass and a smooth creamy head sat on top for quite a bit.

S- The smell is clean with a faint malt note and a hint of green hops. Not much depth to either smell.

T- Slight tartness to a light toasted malt flavor. The finish was a bit sour with no hops noticed. There was a faint biscuit note as the beer warmed but that was about it.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel had a nice fizz in the finish making it feel a bit more full.

D- Although the flavors and smells were nice they were very muted and I could hardly taste them.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher- Pub Ale

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

A- Dark reddish brown with a small foamy head. No lacing.
S- Sweet molasses malt with a dusting of black pepper.
T- Thick & creamy smooth sweet molasses/ toffee malt with spices like pepper and poppy seed.
M- Thick malt dominates this one with a sweet body and a spicy dry finish.

Overall- Tasty and sessionable. A solid pint!

Photo of Sammy
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber, drinkable, watery. Bit of bitterness in finish. Maybe better than Newcastle as less sweet and nutty and more on the bitterness.Carbonation significant. molasses; brown sugar. Can see it being popular in the pubs, as it is in Florida, and a decent transition ale.

Photo of pmcadamis
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This one comes in a big over sized bottle that looks like a normal 12 oz-er until you grab it and realize that it's actually a full pint like beer should be! It's semi-transparent and amber-ish in color....not really "brown" per se. The head is flismy and doesn't really last very long.

S - Caramel and sweet medium malts. No real hop aromas. Smells pretty average, but nice enough.

T - Much like the's caramely and sweet with a touch of balancing hops. Not complex by any stretch of the imagination.

M - Medium bodied and pretty tight on the tongue. Moderately carbonated with a neutral finish.

D - I found myself thinking of the words "moderate" and "average" a lot when drinking this brew. It's really not bad at all, but it's really ...well, average. This is a decently drinkable beer that somehow fails to stand out.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best enjoyed at cellar temperature, Sprecher's Pub Ale is a richly malty gem that makes a great session ale.

It's deep-chestnut body is slightly hazy beneath a yellowed ivory head that holds fairly well and leaves some thin walls of solid lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is malty with caramel and a bit of toastiness; infused with leafy, grassy, and floral hops; and gently fruity due to the yeast.

The flavor is obviously fuller than the aroma, and the maltiness displays more caramel, more gentle toastiness, and a hint of chocolate. There's also some apple, which is obviously coming from the yeast; and a touch of dull orange, that may or may not be coming from a combination of yeasty fruitiness and hop flavor. It's well-balanced and round from start to finish, backed by a firm bitterness, and it finishes dry with less malt than might be expected at first sip. It lingers shortly with some residual leafy, mineralish, and grassy hops drizzled with dull malt.

Overall, it's very rounded and drinkable; and although it's slightly basic, it has enough flavor to gain your interest, and enough complexity to keep you coming back. Enjoyable!

Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz single, Woodman's

appearance: pours from its 16oz stubby bottle into a great dane imperial pint glass...a mahogany-amber colour, a foamy beige head forms and retains itself pretty nicely

smell: lightly toasted malt, noble english hops, sweet bready aroma, light apple, slight toasted grain, defined nuttiness...pretty standard

taste: sweet malt, apple juice, buttery, nutty, mildy floral hop presence...toasted grain, mild hop bitterness. pretty good english brown all around, was worth the try, but i probably wont grab it again

mouthfeel: medium-light body, slightly creamy, light bitterness

drinkability: very easy

Photo of Boitnott
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher Pub Brown Ale pours a deep reddish brown color with a small amount of off-white colored head that quickly disappears. The colors actually match the color of the bottle (maybe I have just never noticed this before with other beers). Virtually no lacing which is probably due to the light characteristics of the beer.

Mostly it smells fruity with a hint of roasted malt and some barley. However the sweetness of the fruit overpowers these other smells. The yeast is what brings out this fruity characteristic and it follows to the taste.

The nose tastes mostly of yeast, and has a strong sweet taste. It finished with a mix of conflicting flavors. Bitterness, sweetness and some roasted barley notes, but they do not mix well together.

The mouthfeel is okay but the carbonation accentuates these already conflicting flavors. It is a lighter brown, and at 4.6% it is easy to drink.

overall, I was disappointed in this one. I had the Belguin Style Dubbel by Sprecher and really enjoyed it. This one has too many things going on, which leads to a mash of flavors. I will add a disclaimer and say that I did not know brown could be on the fruitier end of the spectrum, so this could all be just personal preference and not accurate reviewing.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

!6oz bottle purchased at Sam's Quick Shop in Durham, love the pint bottles. Pours a light brown color with a thin beige head that doesn't stick around long. The aroma is subtle but pleasing with notes of toasted bread, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruis, cafe latte, minerals and some toffee. The flavor is soft but not lacking depth, with notes of coffee with cream, caramel, toffee, toasted bread, plum and fig, brown sugar, slight herbal hops, minerals and a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is light, and drinkability is excellent. A supremely drinkable brown ale that is easy on the pallet but with a nice degree of complexity.

Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review based on notes, got this from Goebel's in Wichita.

Pours caramel with a finger of pearl colored head. Average head retention

S: Slight leafy hoppyness & fruittyness

T: Toasty malt, dryness, & some leafy hops up front. Some apricot fruittyness as this warms, along with leafy hops & a bit of brown sugar. Finishes fruitty with leafy hops. Almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Creamy light, almost medium bodied, balances pretty nice

Drinks pretty easy, could pose for an ESB as well, nice one to session on

Photo of Kegatron
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with 1 1/2 fingers of of creamy light tan head. Not much retention. Just some thin wisps that leave a decent looking spotty lacing behind. The aroma smells a little weak to me. Some light spicy malts and a touch of floral characters. That's about it.

The taste is a sticky caramel malt sweetness that definitely has a bit of spice to it. This is fairly well balanced by a surprisingly prickly hop profile. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a firm carbonation and relatively easygoing nature.

Decent. Nothing really jumps out here (especially the aroma) but the taste holds up all right and I found this to be pretty sessionable for what it is.

Photo of jackndan
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pub Ale: From Sprecher, in the traditional 16 oz bottle. I’d not have guessed that this is a brown ale, but when I poured it out, it seemed to be pretty close to the mark. Very little head on this brew, very little carbonation, and no lacing. Perfectly clear.

The aroma is clean, and light, with a bit of toffee and malts.

The tastes are extremely malty, as what one would expect from a brown ale like this one.
There are definite hints of toasted raisin bread, and caramel. The taste is not bad. As it warms, if anything, the malt tastes become even more pronounced.

Lightly carbonated, and somewhat easy to drink.

Photo of HalfFull
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I pour the Pub Brown into a pint glass from Sprecher's typical 16 ounce twist off bottle. The Brown pours a clear amber brown with caramel highlights and offers a thin off white cap. Somewhat thin in color for the style. Moderate retention at best with a light film typical through the pint.

Light grainy malts on the nose with just a bit of toasted grain and a light hop presence. Light overall and without any notable nutty or sweet notes.

Segue to the taste with light malts, touch of caramel and a bit of a smoky character. Overall the brew is somewhat watery in feel yet easy drinking for the same reason. A simple light bodied and lightly hopped brown ale that neither challenges nor disappoints, quite average.

Photo of beveritt
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Medium brown in color, with a slight red tinge. Decent sized white head, which fell to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Smells of roasted malts, almost a burnt charcoal. Some sweetness in there too, along with the grassy undertones you find in some other "pub ales."

Taste: A kind of grassy metallic taste dominates this beer. Very little bitterness or hop flavor. Not much malt.

Mouthfeel: Feels a little watery. Carbonation is medium to low.

Drinkability: Not a top choice. Low flavor makes it unoffensive, but nothing I would want to have much more of. I would drink it if it was around, but would rather a different example of the style.

Photo of shbobdb
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5


Not a bad beer, but in many ways it is kinda awkward. Sprecher is definately more of a lager brewery and is very much in the German tradition . . . so their take on a pub ale is very Germanic.

I mean, it kinda tastes like they used a pilsner malt base with a little bit of brown malt for colour and taste. The earthy, chocolately notes in this beer are very subdued, no real juiciness from the hops and very clean in terms of yeast presence.

So, basically, I personally like it more than a great many English brows I encounter, since I tend to like more German-tasting beers . . . but to style it is not. And even for a variation of the style, not really worth it. When I compare this to their amber (let alone their black bavarian) I've gotta ask why anyone would waste their time with it.

Not a bad brew, but Sprecher can and does brew better beers. And if browns are your thing, this probably won't be.

Photo of EagleTalon
4.26/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours to a beige head that starts out big but retreats to am 1/8" layer that persists and leaves very little lace. Aroma is bready, estery and very English with a nice, creamy nutty-toasty note at the end. Flavor is mild and "smooth" with toasty malts and sweet malts and a kiss of earthy hops and roasted nuts to balance it out. Mouthfeel is light to medium and CO2 is pleasantly light. Overall, this beer is a session brew that satisfies. I really enjoy this beer because it showcases the subtle nuances of British malts and the subtle flavor signatures of traditional ale yeast. Highly recommended.

I just moved out of the distro footprint of Lazy Magnolia, so I can't get Southern Pecan anymore. This is a nice replacement (no pecans notwithstanding).

Photo of Bung
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle.
Fair brown pour with not quite a finger of very thin bubble off white head. Actually stuck to the dimpled mug fairly well.

Aroma, straight forward, nut, malt, light roast and minimal hops.

Nothing wrong with the taste here, nothing to get too excited about either. Malt, toasted nut and peat/leather. Little bit of roast and barely a hint of hops to keep it even.

Pretty lively mouthfeel and pretty light bodied, to be expected I suppose. Goes down easy, no problem with drinking a few of this, though I would probably seek out something else. Not bad, a good sessionable example of the style.

Photo of Franchise
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This offering from the Sprecher 8 pack pours a rusty brown leaving a thin spotchy white head. The aroma is a bit sour, doughy, caramel, soft lemon citrus abound. The taste is soft on the palate again toffee, citrus rind tartness, smooth, mildly carbonated. The finish is smooth, malty, semi-citrus hoppy. This is a smooth session quality beer I could drink all day.

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Pub Brown Ale from Sprecher Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.