1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sheephead Ale - Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

Not Rated.
Sheephead AleSheephead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

154 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 154
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.11%
Wants: 5
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: morimech on 03-26-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 154 | Reviews: 71 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%

t0rin0, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +9.3%

nmann08, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."

--Bertrand de Jouvenel

Candied apricot with butter rum colored borders. Polished topaz would work as well since the beer has a gemstone-like glow when backlit with sunshine. The ecru colored lid looks fantastic and is no stranger to the laying down of lace. This is a hearty looking pale ale.

Brau Brothers says that this formerly seasonal (now year-round) brew is their hoppiest yet. The nose says that they aren't lying. It's moderately toasted malty and features a pretty impressive amount of American hops, at least one of which almost certainly starts with the letter 'C'.

SheepHead Ale is tasty stuff, which is something of a surprise. I've had almost everything these guys have bottled so far and consider only Ring Neck Braun to be worthy craft beer. Maybe the brothers Brau are getting the hang of things up there in Lucan, MN.

This APA reminds me, in some respects, of Three Floyds Alpha King. Same general idea, and not nearly as good, but tasty and drinkable all the same. Relevent differences are that SheepHead favors toasted-earthy malt over caramel malt, favors orange peel over grapefruit peel, and is about half as hoppy. Okay, maybe two-thirds. Alpha King is a beautiful buzzsaw-like beast when fresh.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite keep pace, especially given the slightly higher than usual ABV. It's silky smooth enough, but becomes a little loosey-goosey as the finish approaches. A ridiculous amount of lace makes the next highest appearance score an easy call.

In the end, SheepHead Ale is at least as good as Ring Neck Braun... and possibly better. The brewery made a wise decision in making this hopilicious ale a year-round release. Whoever decided to distribute it to Iowa was pretty smart too. And earns my thanks.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.55/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A robust IPA that straddles the fences of American IPA's, English IPA's and Amber Ales.

The pour delivers a strong amber-copper color with a very mild haze. The beer carries a glowing appearance. Great head formation, retention, and lacing give a very favorable appearance to the beer.

Toast, pine, and caramel immediately come to mind with the first sip. Resiny, spicy, and richly malty; the beer takes tone of strongly hopped English Ales. Fruity esters (much like the flavor of young Old Ales) further emphasize the point.

Malt flavors start with caramel, then grow into toffee like sweetness, and finish with a toasty or bread crust flavor- this gives a Strong Ale taste if not for the aggressive hop additions. Pine resins, strong bitterness, and heavy spice shys away from the classic citrus character of American hoppy ales and toward the more earthy English varieties. Moderately fruity throughout with yeasty, biscuity goodness.

The sweetness also ushers in a sugary weight, giving a fuller and richer flavor as if lower attenuated character prevails. hop bitterness and alcohol attempts to dry the beer in the finish, but it holds on to a lot of residual sweetness and weight going deep into the finish and aftertaste.

While a tasty beer, I cannot decide if it borrows what's best of these styles or if the beer is seriously confused. Better melding of flavor and lightening of body could have helped me make up my mind.

BEERchitect, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left some thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of piney hops and burnt toast maltiness.

T - Nice bitter piney bite on the tip of the tongue with some citrus kick. It had some sweet caramel and toastiness for a backbone.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice IPA. A nice brew from Brau Brothers.

zeff80, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed, deep ambercolor, big,boisterous, creamy-toned head. Long lasting, lace leaving.

Soft, hoppy aroma, gentle citricnotes...Cascade?Pungent pineapple, prickly pine, lemon rind. Lovely stuff. Just gorgeous.

Hoppy, spicy smack on the palate, then mellow, but never gone. Same flavors felt in the nose return on the tongue, mixed with lush, tasty caramel & pale malt. Medium bodied, great texture, long, hoppy finish, and terrifically refreshing.

A very interesting brew, the hoppiest yet from the Brothers. Wheat malt, too, eh?
It comes through, and aids the drinkability, yet the flavor and hop profile doesn't suffer.

Great brew, Bros! I'll be back for more!

feloniousmonk, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -18%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. Eh, this is disappointing and I keep hoping the Brau Brothers will kick up their beer from decent to a beer really worth talking about. This just tastes like a hoppy amber, but not that hoppy. The malts are dark bread crust with a hint of cocoa and the hops are a plain citrus punch. The hops dominate the aroma, thought that's not to say any of the flavors are that great. OK so the hops are pleasant and the malt has a little depth, but there's nothing that stands out here. Meh to this beer.

tempest, May 19, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

I honestly don't think this is a APA. I'll explain in my review.

Pours a 1 finger slightly tan head. Good retention, slightly splattered lacing. Color is a dark golden copper.

Aroma has an amazing floral/pine hops, like an IPA. Some musk to it as well as sweet sugar malts.

Taste very weird as compared the the smell. Doesn't taste like an IPA. The smell is a lot better. Carmel and floral hops. Reminds me of an ESB, not a pale ale. There is also alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is refreshingly bitter. Very smooth going down. Leaves a mouth full of hops.

Overall, I thought it was an IPA from the smell, then I tasted it and didn't think it fit the style, thought about it and figured it could be an ESB, not an APA. Hard to rate this beer, because I do not know what the real style is.

mothman, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to luxbwin for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is slightly hoppy, malty, with some slight citrus. The taste is hoppy, very nice malt note, with some citrus. Medium Body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. This is a tasty brew, glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

Wasatch, May 02, 2011
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

BillRoth, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, extra in IP trade with deleriumfest at DLD.

Pours a cloudy dark orange/amber, some light reddish highlighting, pretty thick off white head forms, tight bubbles, slowly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots but not much. Smell is alright, quite malty, very biscuity, some caramel sweetness, floral hops, a bit of grapefruit and orange peel, a touch yeasty, not a whole lot of complexity but decent enough. Taste is similar, very bready and dry up front, some toast/biscuit, light caramel sweetness comes through more in the middle, alcohol, some floral and citrus hopping, quite dry, but again solid though lacking in flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty nice in that department, medium to high carbonation, a bit much for the style, but pretty drinkable considering the ABV. Reminds me a bit of a not as good Hop Devil with the flavour profile. Thanks Brandon!

Viggo, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger cream colored head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Great aroma of caramel malt, citrus spicy hops with a hint of pine; the hops smell really good. Flavor follows aroma with nice semisweet caramel and bready malt and citrus, resinous piney hops, finishing with a lingering spicy pine bitterness. I don't know if they used rye in this, but there is light spiciness reminiscent of rye. Great medium to heavy creamy body. They advertise this as "tons of caramel malt and too many Cascade hops", and although disagreeing with the latter (how could you have too much cascade hops?), I think they nailed it. A very tasty, malty IPA with a nice hop bill that both smelled and tasted great. Even more to their credit, this was a bottle brought home to me by my sister and arrived after a month long road trip. Held up well and makes me hope I can try it fresh some time. Enjoyable.

LiquidAmber, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of ZAP
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange/amber...leaves a nice lace on glass as I drink

S-Great aroma...tons of toasted malts...also some candied toffee ...I guess that is what toffee is :)...some caramel notes too...very sweet aroma and a fresh hoppiness complements perfectly...great smelling beer.

T-Where the nose is malt forward, the taste is more balanced...some good hopping to this...a citrus like grapefruit rind bitterness is evident..but it mingles nicely with the great malt backbone..

M-Medium bodied....seems sessionable but still loaded with flavor.

D-I really like this...top notch beer....Doesn't really fit a style....a cross between an ESB and Red Ale in my opinion..I definitely would buy again...right up there with Ringneck as my favorite from this brewery....no off notes at all....

ZAP, May 08, 2009
Photo of drpimento
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of an odd, yet not bad brew. Poured at a good temperature with a huge, foamy, frothy, cream-colored head that slowly settled and decent lacing. Color is a clear medium amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is fresh beer, caramel malt, and mild hop. Flavor is like nose, hop flavor comes out a little more. There's more hop bitterness than flavor. Body/carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, on the short side, drinkable, yet rather forgettable.

drpimento, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of maximum12
2.48/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a single of this recently at Blue Max, in my quest to find a Brau brew that I'm fond of. C'mon guys, I'm willing, convert me! Let's hope this is the one.

Well, the pour is promising, gorgeous amber brew with a nice ring of foam. Damn. The label mentioned bitter twice, & I don't think it was kidding. Like a mix of bitter, ass-kicking roses, hops & pollen. Original, haven't had a nose like that in my bus before.

Well. This had some promise. The bitterness of the hops up front is nice, unbalanced & aggressive for a hop-head like me. Then comes the Brau aftertaste. Honestly, I don't know what it is. The water? Yeast strains? Contamination? But the sub-taste is unpleasantness underneath this promising start. It's musty, moldy, blech.

Dammit. This seems like a pretty doggone good beer. But I won't be able to finish it. The aftertaste simply doesn't agree with me.

maximum12, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy burnt orange color. The head is two inches in height, and recedes into a thick cap of lacing that leaves foam all over the glass. The aroma is of citrus, grapefruit, pine resin, and some nice floral notes. This is a very aromatic APA. The taste leans more toward the pine and floral aspects with a firm lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good beer on the border between APA and IPA. I really like that the hop bill seems to consist of more the just Centennial and Cascade. I like those hops, but it seems that every brewer is using nothing but them in their hoppy beers. Sheep Head is a refreshing change, and I would love to see it take the place of Brau Brother's regular APA.

KarlHungus, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +9.3%

twelveinches, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The latest in the Brau Brothers Single Batch Series. Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of white head that has good retention. The head settles to a thin cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of biscuit and toasted malt with some citrus, grass, and earthy hop aroma. Has a strong malt flavor foundation. The hops add a complimentory grassy and spicy flavor and moderate bitterness. Not nearly as hoppy and bitter as I was led to believe. Carbonation is present without being overbearing. Has a nice texture. I liked the malt profile in this beer. A nice APA that I would drink again.

morimech, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Florida9
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep copper in color. Very clear. Forms about an inch of off-white head. Decent retention and lots of lacing.

S: Lots of caramel malt. Some citrus hops and a faint tinge of pine.

T: Starts off with an appreciable earthy hop bitterness. Some pine. A little citrus. But really the malt dominates on this one - lots of caramel malt. Some burnt toast on the finish.

M: Heavier side of medium with appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: A decent beer, but more like a Red Ale than an IPA.

Florida9, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

Whiskeydeez, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber colour with a hint of brown, finger of head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Earthy cedar hops with a solid caramel malt sweetness that comes through alongside a spicy ABV scent.

T - Flavour is very bitter with the sour earthy hop notes dominating. Fresh greens and tree bark alongside some toffee and caramel notes on the finish. The bitterness lingers with hints of burnt sugar.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and quite dry.

O - I bought this expecting an ESB, but was pleased to find out it was an IPA, and not one for the faint of heart. This packs a load of bitter hops, so if you're a fan of IBU's, than this brew is highly recommended. The ABV is nicely hidden making is very drinkable.

andrenaline, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -18%

crobinso, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of jera1350
4.33/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the brewery.

Golden brown color with a fluffy tan head on top.

Huge and bright citrus comes from all of the hops in this one. Sweet caramel rears its head as well.

This is balanced, but contains huge citric hops with lots of orange and loads of caramel malt. It's satisfying for any hop head or malt head. The hops are so fresh and tasty, it's crazy. Nice bit of complexity to it.

Smooth feel, about medium bodied. Good clean finish.

Really drinkable beer. Lots of flavor going on and the alcohol is well hidden. Really refreshing and satisfying. My favorite beer from Brau and it will now thankfully be year round.

jera1350, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -18%

jenray, Nov 23, 2011
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
83 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.