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Farmer Brown Ale - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Farmer Brown AleFarmer Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

65 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.57%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great River Brewery visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This nut brown ale is mildly hopped to allow dark crystal, chocolate, and biscuit malt to dominate the flavor of this malt brew. A robust, rich, and nutty ale dominated by true malt flavor.

(Beer added by: beerdown77 on 06-19-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beerdown77:
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -11.5%

This pours almost black and seems a little under carbonated. The taste is slightly hollow, but drinkable. It is very dark and has a caramel smoky and slightly sweet flavor. I shared a growler of this and it just wears on you. It’s smokier and less sweet than most brown ales, but lacks in refinement.

06-19-2011 21:39:21 | More by beerdown77
More User Reviews:
Photo of schoon


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

03-11-2013 22:15:39 | More by schoon
Photo of augustgarage


3.88/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from a pint can into a Central Waters pint glass.

Nearly opaque seal brown liquid with faint ruby highlights is topped by an active desert sand creamy cap. Soapy lacing, good retention.

Roast malt, chocolate, hazlenut, and toast in the nose - smooth and inviting.

Good depth of malt on the palate with layers of malt suggesting light roast coffee, cocoa nibs, and bread crust. Mild clean earthy bitterness adds interest. Finishes with a tangy gentle astringency and a subtle nuttiness.

Creamy, medium-bodied, very well carbonated, and roast-y but not quite puckering. Fairly warming for the ABV.

A decent American brown - balanced and tasty.

06-09-2012 22:25:42 | More by augustgarage
Photo of pmcadamis


3.2/5  rDev -16.2%

A - Dark brown with a small brown head and a lot of lace. Almost looks like a stout....it's that dark.

S - Milk chocolate, charcoal, a hint of campfire.

T - Woody and smoky for the style. Almost like a smoked porter's little brother. A little on the sweet side with some thin and reedy hops off in the distance.

M - Medium bodied due to what seems like a high sugar content. A little cloying at the finish.

O - Smokiness is odd for the style, but really interesting on the nose. Finishes thin and dextriny.

01-22-2014 22:31:22 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of dbossman


4/5  rDev +4.7%

A: Dark, dark brown; nearly black with a large brown foamy head; lacing is good

S: Lots of rich roasted malts: chocolate and coffee especially; some subtle sweet aromas underneath like brown sugar and molasses but the roasted malts dominate

T: Rich roasted malts again especially chocolate and a bit of coffee; some bitterness on the front end that's eventually balanced by the sweet malty breadiness

F: Creamy medium body with good texture overall

O: A very nice roasty and malty brown ale; another solid offering from Great River

06-05-2012 00:34:14 | More by dbossman
Photo of MynamesRickJames


4/5  rDev +4.7%

05-25-2014 00:35:35 | More by MynamesRickJames
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.85/5  rDev +0.8%

16 oz. can poured into a pint glass. Thanks to GraniteSkunk for this extra.

Appearance - Pours a deep brown with a khaki head. Not too big. I like pouring pint cans into British pint glasses because it leaves room for the head, but this one doesn't use all the extra space. No real lacing.

Smell - Nutty caramel and chocolate. Slight hop presence. Biscuity malts as a base, but the darker malts really stand out.

Taste - Solid nutty caramel and biscuit malt flavor. Light on the bready flavors and much more of an emphasis on the chocolate malts. Hop flavor that transforms to bitterness in the finish. Really nice flavor for a brown.

Mouthfeel - Light, but slick enough to keep the flavors around. I find myself gulping this down. Decent carb, but maybe a little bit lower than average.

Overall - Solid brown ale. I like it. Reminds me that there are plenty of not-so-extreme beers out there that taste great.

04-19-2012 00:53:16 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of morimech


4.3/5  rDev +12.6%

No mention of "Organic" on the can. Not that I care. Also the can lists 7% ABV and 22 IBUs. Pours a dark brown color with a massive tan head that quickly settled to a thick cap. Lacing is not sticky to the glass very well.

Big malty aroma. Rich with caramel and toffee. Hints of chocolate, tree nuts, and earthy/floral hops.

This is a big brown ale. I taste caramel, toffee, a touch of roast, nuts, and finishes with some floral, earthy notes. Brought the malty goodness a lot better than the stout I just had.

Bigger body than what typically is found in brown ales. A little overcarbonated but not much to complain about.

Great River beers are becoming regulars in my fridge. Farmer Brown will get plenty of action as well. I believe I paid $5.99 for this 4-pack of pint cans. A tremendous value when you consider Surly Bender is generally $3-$4 more for the same volume. Great River can really produce well-crafted, affordable beers.

06-03-2012 19:17:32 | More by morimech
Photo of pitch31

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

07-13-2012 01:31:57 | More by pitch31
Photo of Kunstman


4/5  rDev +4.7%

05-01-2013 03:53:43 | More by Kunstman
Photo of ineedafirkin


4/5  rDev +4.7%

12-15-2011 22:30:47 | More by ineedafirkin
Photo of DCdevyl78


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

03-17-2014 22:43:50 | More by DCdevyl78
Photo of Beestin


3/5  rDev -21.5%

05-03-2014 20:29:39 | More by Beestin
Photo of yamar68


3.18/5  rDev -16.8%

I think this is the right beer? Doesn't say "organic" anywhere and the ABV listed is 7%. Poured from 16oz can to imperial pint glass:

Pours a dark inky brown with a medium, thick brown head - great lacing and low retention.

Nice, soft chocolatey malt presence. Nice and fresh.

Taste is all in order but a bit weak... tons of potential but it just seems dull. I'm doubtful that the ABV is as advertised.

I'll certainly revisit this one after they've got a better rhythm for it.

07-08-2012 04:32:52 | More by yamar68
Photo of tvv375ia


4.05/5  rDev +6%

poured from 16oz can into pint glass

A-very dark brown with some mahogany edges, about 1 finger of head that fades to a partial ring

S-some dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar. A lot more than I was expecting

T-like the smell there is much more complexity than I had anticipated, the aromas follow through in the taste dark fruits like figs and maybe some raisins and dried plums and some sweet malt brown sugar and molasses

M-medium body and carbonation sweet but good clean finish

O-impressive brown ale, much better than I was expecting

10-31-2012 05:23:01 | More by tvv375ia
Photo of bismarksays


3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

03-02-2014 22:12:08 | More by bismarksays
Photo of MN_Beerticker


4/5  rDev +4.7%

06-24-2013 03:48:45 | More by MN_Beerticker
Photo of FreshHawk


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

A - Dark cola brown with a full, creamy, sticky, slightly chewy looking, off-white colored head. Nice retention leaving a nice, sticky lace.

S - Plenty of cocoa and nuttiness. Earthy, caramel sweetness. Dark, bittersweet chocolate. A bit of a roasted grain aroma, but not much.

T - Loads of earthy cocoa and nutty flavors. Some caramel and dark chocolate malt with just a hint of toasted/charred malt. Slight bitterness toward the finish. Hints of coffee and maybe vainilla making this lean a bit more toward a porter.

M - Medium to light body. Average or a bit below carbonation. A touch on the thin side and fairly drying on the finish.

D - Nice combination of flavors and fairly balanced. Pretty easy to drink although I don't know if I'd necessarily grab another right away.

Notes: Interesting beer as it definitely leans toward a porter. Nice mix of flavors. Goes down pretty easy although it doesn't inspire me to grab another. Definitely worth a shot.

05-09-2012 03:10:03 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of ackeeper


2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

05-12-2014 19:06:50 | More by ackeeper
Photo of vidguy17


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

05-04-2014 20:19:53 | More by vidguy17
Photo of nkp765


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

04-17-2012 19:11:42 | More by nkp765
Photo of Cramerican

North Dakota

4/5  rDev +4.7%

07-11-2014 22:47:17 | More by Cramerican
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

06-04-2013 17:22:19 | More by Rand_ale_Thor
Photo of skubas86


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

06-27-2014 21:03:55 | More by skubas86
Photo of woodychandler


3.94/5  rDev +3.1%

CANQuest review # 999 coming right up! CANned beers have become my life's work and I thank Another6Pack for including this in a mixed box of CANs. I have had a lot of Great River's CANs over the years and I always look forward to Crack!ing open a new one.

From the CAN: "Farmer Brown Ale"; "Chocolately Nummiliciousness"; "Smooth-Rich-Malty-Nutty"; "Legendary Craft Brews Made in the Quad Cities"; "These days, people are more [CAN]cerned about the food and drink they are [CAN]suming, what's in it and what the origins might be. For our Farmer Brown Ale, we use honest, wholesome ingredients like 2-row barley and dark crystal, chocolate and biscuit malt from people we know and trust. The rsult is robust, rich and nutty brown ale dominated by a complex malt flavor."

The Crack! was nice a loud and reveled yet another brimful craft CAN! Have I been getting cheated all of these years? I am just not used to seeing that much liquid in a CAN before the recent craft CAN phenomenon. I employed an inverted Glug and the trick is knowing when to take your foot off of the gas. I got a great pseudo-cascade from the pour, resulting in three-plus fingers of dense, light-tan head with excellent retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown (SRM = 44), allowing zero light penetration. Nose was NOT chocolate - this was fudge! Holy macaroni, Batman! The reaper's scythe may be headed in my direction following this gem. Mouthfeel was full and viscous and the taste was very much dark chocolate with a slight tang. Definitely fudgy with smoke, charcoal and dried, dark fruits in the mix, even a little nuttiness. Wow! Finish was semi-sweet, which is a good thing for me since I usually eschew sweets, especially beers. Once more, the Iowans have found and hit the mark.

02-03-2014 17:19:38 | More by woodychandler
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Farmer Brown Ale from Great River Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.