Farmer Brown Ale - Great River Brewery

Not Rated.
Farmer Brown AleFarmer Brown Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

74 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 2
Gots: 5 | 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: 74 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdh924
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Malty beer with a nutty finish

Photo of Beerlover
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out of can very THICK, with a 2 inch khaki colored creamy head.Dark brown in color,almost black. Smells very heavily of roasted malts and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Taste is delicious to say the least but very rich and complex, no simplicity here. This beer is very heavey and creamy in body almost like a stout, very unlike your average brown. Not a beer you could easily drink more than one or two of, unless you are used to thick, delicious, rich, gloriousness but the 7% alchohol volume is completly masked which makes it somewhat dangerous! This is my new favorite brown!

Photo of jjanega08
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

My can says nothing about being Organic... Rather than start a new beer I'm going to assume this is the same beer.

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a deep brown color with a thick two fingers of brown head on it that holds some decent retention at a half finger high and leaves some spotty lacing.

S= Smells really caramely. Lots of caramel and toffee in the nose. Almost smells like one of those sticky toffee puddings. Not much as far as hops or even roasty malt in it is noticed.

T= The taste has a more roast flavor. There is a definite roast character that I noticed first as well as the caramel and toffee sweetness in there making for a little extra complexity. The finish adds yet another layer with a little hop bitterness to finish.

M= The mouth is just about right for a brown... which in my opinion is a little too thin.

O= This is a really good beer! Brown ales are a style that bores me. I rarely find one I like. This one is nice though. It has complexity as well as being super easy drinking. I'll likely be drinking more of this, this upcoming fall.

Photo of bnes09
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, near black and opaque appearance. Light tan head calms to a serene ring around the glass. Some lacing.

Sweet, dark fruit aromas, raisins primarily, and roasted almonds. Complex and inviting.

Malt flavor is thick and dense with toasty biscuit tones. Dark fruit sweetness of raisins, plums and black cherries creeps in. Roasted coffee bitterness balanced by molasses sweetness. Crisp, herbal, leafy hop bitterness provides the perfect balance.

Delicate medium body with velvety smoothness from beginning to end. Lowish level of carbonation with small bubbles is perfect to allow the drying, grain-like textures to caress the palate.

Exceptional beer overall. Profound complexity with an excellent balance. Drinkability is second to none. More like a porter than a brown ale but I don't care what you call, it's absolutely delicious!

Photo of pitch31
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of RobertW
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of morimech
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of schoon
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of DCdevyl78
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of nkp765
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of abuss2
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of thebigredone
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of BDeibs
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of jamiecoppin
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of rundocrun
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Body is very dark brown with only slight translucent highlights. A finger of dark tan head forms and dissipates after several minutes. No lacing.

S - Light coffee and toasted bread aroma are most noticeable. Mild hints of cocoa and some faint herbal hop play around in the background. In one word, this beer smells "toasty".

T - Sweet toasted malt and caramel up front. A bit more of the bitter coffee and burnt grains come in through the middle. A mild tanginess hits the sides of the tongue toward the finish. Finishing flavors of cocoa, mild fruity esters and more toasted malt. Overall, very smooth flavors that don't try to one-up each other.

M - Quite a smooth ale. The burnt grains used in the grist lend just enough of an edge to make things interesting, but the generous use of rich, toasted malts makes this quite a smooth-drinking ale.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from notes taken 6/23/12.

tallbou can poured into glass stein.

Appearance: lite black bodied beer with a dark brown hue towards the side of the beer stein. 2 fingers of head that leave a heavy lace.

Smell: Its roasty and nutty with a hint of sweetness. You get a hint of the oats also.

Taste: nice balance of roasty and nutty malt flavors. You get the oaty flavor from the oatmeal used to brew the beer. The beer finishes with just a mellow bitter bite from the hops. This beer is all about a nice robust brown ale with really great balance as all the flavors dont overpower each other.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer drinks like it 5% no alchol is sensed. Smooth, slightly creamy, and carbonation is done right.

EDIT- beer advocate lists the ABV as 6.2% when it is written as 7% ABV on the can.

Overall: havent been impressed by a brown ale in a long time, but this beer does! At 7.99 for a 4pk of tall boys; I will be revisting this beer often throughout the entire year. Not only because its a great price point, but also because its a damn tasty brown ale. It would probably pair nicely with a burger right off the grill on a hot summer day. I love Great River Brewery and I am lucky to have them as a solid local beer option!

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving type: 16-ounce can. No freshness date. Booo.

Appearance: Straight pour into a nonic pint glass. The color is surprisingly dark, almost black. It is, I think, extremely dark brown. Tons of thick, tan head developed (do not pour it straight) and produced the same cascading effect as nitro stouts. However, there is no nitro widget in the can. It dissipated unevenly to leave a billowy, thick lacing and trails along the glass. After continuing to fill the glass as the head dissipated, it began to look like what I imagine a proper pint looks like in the UK.

Smell: Lots of roast for brown ale. (Is this their brown ale? Did Great River can their regular stout by mistake?) Coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. There is also nice nuttiness to it. Very solid aroma.

Taste: The mouthfeel is superb; smooth and creamy but not overly thick. The flavor is much more in line with brown ale, but it is still tilting toward stout. It is dominated by malts — chocolate and caramel — and offers a nice, roasted coffee bitterness. The nuttiness is much more pronounced, but it does compete with the coffee.

Drinkability: Sol-id, sol-id. This is brown ale to the extreme — and I like it.

Photo of tvv375ia
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of msubulldog25
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can, purchased at John's Grocery (Iowa City) a couple weeks ago. Poured to a pint glass.

7.0% Alc/Vol
22 IBUs

Nowhere on the label does it say "Organic" specifically, although the side write-up mentions "wholesome ingredients...from people we know and trust". Around the rim of the can are chains of words: "Smooth - Rich - Malty - Nutty" and the phrase "Chocolatey Nummiliciousness"

A: VERY dark for a brown ale, a deep chocolate that could be mistaken for a porter or stout quite easily. Terrific head, a sturdy 1.5 fingers of mocha-colored foam. Good lace, holding in sticky, draping bands.

S: Husky maltiness, not quite 'burnt' but definitely 'singed'. The nose is dark cocoa and spent grounds and a little brown sugar. Decent strength.

T: True to the label this one is quite chocolate-filled, at first a bit sweeter/fudgier then turning to a darker/drier bitterness. When the 'cocoa' begins to evolve, a little more caramel/toffee creeps in; lasting flavors are bitter coffee roast, mostly. A slight 'tinniness' in the end, too... something I often find in brown ales.

M: Mellow feel, understated carbonation (though my no means lifeless) - but a ticker and chewier body. A slight grainy/starchy film emulates a dusting of cocoa. Flavor seems to last forever.

O: Had I not had BA at my fingertips, I likely would have passed this one by; as is, I bought one and now wish I'd grabbed a couple more. Very good stuff - impressive depth of flavor and feel make for a 'memorable' brown ale... something I can't say happens very often. Good job, Great River!

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

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

Photo of MynamesRickJames
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Kunstman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ineedafirkin
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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Farmer Brown Ale from Great River Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.