1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Santa Cruz Brown Ale - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Santa Cruz Brown AleSanta Cruz Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

113 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 113
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 6
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 02-01-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 113 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Liondiscs
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Photo of Chaney
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Release no. 3; 7.2% ABV (which is slightly bigger than the record for it here on BA.

Served in a Port City glass.

A: Saturated brown color, pretty much chocolate milk-like, with a slight off-white head and lots of lacing.

S: Sort of a CO2/rye cracker composite. I got a bit of brown sugar, but not much. Is there rye in this?

T: Good stuff. This is definitely not dessert-like, quite the contrary. Lots of hops in this thing, but it never claimed anything to the contrary.

M: Pretty bitter, but not too. The lacing was ridiculous.

O: The best non-dessert brown I've ever tasted.

Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of KohlbeckM
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of JMUbrewz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of KlayWey
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Chugs13
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Release #5

A: Pours a clear almost opaque medium to dark brown in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some reddish brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a couple of medium sized thick patch of medium sized bubbles, a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer, and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel and toasted malts along with light to moderate aromas of pine/resin hops.

T: Upfront there is a lot of malt flavors - moderate amounts of caramel malts as well as slightly less amounts of toasted malts. There is a light amount of upfront sweetness that is followed by moderate flavors of pine hops that contribute a light amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp upfront with a touch of creaminess in the finish.

O: Overall this is a nice and enjoyable hoppy brown ale that is easy to drink and available at a reasonable price - I would definitely have this one again... Well constructed with the hops mostly balancing out the sweetness of the malts and being quite complementary to the flavors/aromas.

Photo of brewski09
4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Release # 3 poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head standard pint glass.

A - a deep, dark mahogany colored brown ale. This looks kinda like a Newcastle Old Stock Ale portion of the recipe. The head pours a tight 1.5cm beige color. the head fades quickly, but maintains a thin covering of foam over the entire surface with heavy foam lacing left on the side of the glass from each sip.

S - This is where the beer really got me. I got a hop forward aroma as soon as I opened the bottle. The aroma is solidly hoppy, but with a curious earthy tone to it. There is some roast that is pretty unique too (reminiscent of a mild cedar), but its really the earthiness that I keep coming back too. maybe a little black pepper too.

T - sharp earthiness like a good french cheese that's been aged several years. That sharp earthiness melds into a unique hop combination with a firm bitterness that is balancing with the high residual sugar. The roast is more developed here. I am picking up some chocolate notes with light caramel sweetness too. There is some specialty malts here too, but I can't tell which ones. The hops are reminiscent of Bravo.

M - this is a very full mouthfeel. Quite probably the most pleasing quality of the whole beer. the carbonation is fine on the tongue and the oils and sugars coat the palate as well.

O - a surprising smash hit for me. One of those beers where you are done with the first half a pint before even noticing it and pouring the rest of the bomber trying to remember where you found it so you can get more. Not a beer that really tastes like anything I've ever had before, which is really why I find myself liking it so much. If this tasted like other stuff on the market, it would be unremarkable. its uniqueness elevates it.

Photo of wonothesane42
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of corby112
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release #5

Pours a cloudy, dark chestnut brown color that's nearly opaque with mahogany edges and a one finger, frothy beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks and spots of soapy lacing left behind. Nice looking beer.

Slightly smokey, robust aroma with floral hops, lactic cream and sweeter malt notes rounding things out. Some lightly roasted coffee bean along with burnt toast, roasted nut and oatmeal followed by caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Subtle resinous, earthy hops but they don't get in the way of the complex malt presence.

Full bodied and surprisingly hop forward. Much stronger than the nose suggested with a nice balance of dry, earthy hops and light roasted malt notes. Actually not as complex as the aroma because the hop flavors are really strong and the malt presence is slightly one dimensional. Dank, earthy and bitter with lots of dry, grassy pine flavor that lingers throughout into a dry, roasty finish. As it warms, the malt flavors really come through with hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut, chocolate and subtle roast. There's also some subtle lactic creaminess balancing things out. Aggressively hoppy for the style but is decently balanced after the palate adjusts. Could use a bit more roast and is hop pier than I prefer for the style, but this beer is enjoyable and easy to drink. A solid beer in an under appreciated style.

Photo of stealth
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of NickThePyro
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ESeab
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of nwatson
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa, having never tried this before. Brown Ales are usually easygoing beers for me but given that this came in a 22 oz. bomber, I figured that this would be a bit more aggressive and hoppy. That was indeed the case and even though I hadn't had anything quite like this before, this was one of the nicer surprises that I've had recently and even for it's larger size, I didn't have any trouble getting this down on a cold later Winter night!

Natrually, the pour was brown to this. A thick, tan head accompanied it and held on for a while before clinging nicely to the sides of my glass as I worked my way down. Usual soft aroma of molasses and caramel up front, backed up by more aggressive pine and citrus hop notes underneath. The alcohol was nearly undetectable and the carbonation was light but present throughout my drinking session. Not a lot of stickiness here nor was there any lingering burning or sharp bitterness from start to finish. Instead, this beer was strong enough to feel like an American Pale Ale while maintaining the lighter body and darkness of a Brown Ale, without seeing too complicated of over the top.

As I said before, the alcohol was perfect here and added just a hint of a warming effect once I finally finished this off. While there isn't such thing as a "Brown IPA" or an "Imperial Brown Ale", this would be a good start should those categories ever come to fruition. For now, it's a welcome change from the norm and likely to be enjoyed by most. No question that this was a nice find.

Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

One of the most attractive Brown Ales I've poured. Dark umber brown with an amber glow. Big frothy head piled high with great retention. Pleasantly sparkly on the tongue.

There is some malty sweetness to start, but this is all about the hops. Dark notes of roasted barley and a touch of burnt sugar. Lots and lots of bittering hops. In fact this gets quite bitter after a few swigs. It's better with food. Not a beer for the long haul unless you're warming up for a major IPA.

Another interesting and well-made brew from Epic. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bottleworks in San Diego. Label says Release #3 and 7.2% ABV.

Photo of im4beer
3/5  rDev -24.6%

Santa Cruz Brown Ale from Epic Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.