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Downtown Brown - Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

Not Rated.
Downtown BrownDowntown Brown

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

789 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 789
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 18
Gots: 48 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 01-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rmfyeah
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great brown ale. I've always hesitated buying it because of the bottle (don't know why, I just didn't dig it.), and the few micro brews available at the local grocery are usually not good forcing me to go for reliable staple beers like stout or porter.

That was a mistake as this is a very quaffable beer. The appearance is dark caramel brown that lightens at the edges, no head retention, which I don't mind considering the style.

Sweet toffee and brown sugar flavors followed by a nice bit of hops that you don't get from something like a Newcastle, making the the flavor more interesting than other browns. I like the slightly sticky mouthfeel and good put down a few of these due to it's high drinkability.

I was expecting the worst from this beer so a pleasant surprise might get me a bit too excited...

rmfyeah, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of sinistrsam
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color with a small tan head. Not as watery as I usually see with browns.
The nose was caramel malt and nut, maybe some coffee?
The taste was very well-balanced (something else I rarely see in a brown). It had sweet caramel and roasted malts, mild sweet fruits, and maybe some very mild hopiness.
It was rather sweet, but not overpowering. It was semisweet to start and finished very reasonably with a nice long aftertaste which wasn't saccharine or syrupy.
I was impressed; this is a rare find for me. I'm always on the lookout for a good representation of the harder styles to brew very well, like a brown or a pilsner. Hats off to Lost Coast.

sinistrsam, Aug 25, 2007
Photo of GreenCard
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: mahogany brown, good clarity, thinnish layer of tan fine-beaded foam that collapses to a thin cap

Aroma: nutty maltiness with hints of caramel, chalk, black tea, and cola

Flavor: smooth sweetness with a thin edge of roast; strangely, an overlying essence of watermelon jolly rancher detected in that sense between taste and smell; finishes semisweet with a lightly roasted malt aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, crisp carbonation, soft texture

Other comments: I'm so glad this American rendition of an English Brown Ale is balanced and actually fitting the style, as opposed to the usual American way of bastardizing a style and adding more hops than called for. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just nice to see that there are breweries doing it this way, too.

GreenCard, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle, given to me from my dad to try,

A: Brown, with a small, white head, pretty average looking.

S: Some nutty malts, very sweet, a hint of spices as well.

T: Nutty, very almondy, sweet malts dominate, a hint of hops and hazelnuts as well.

M: Kind of thin and weak, quite smooth, though, however, not as robust and powerful as I would have liked, even in a session beer.

D: An OK beer, easily sessionable, just nothing special about it that reaches out and grabs you.

Halcyondays, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of rohrbachsfan
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep brown in color.

Smell: Sweet malt.

Taste: Sweet malt, some nuttiness but not much, mild hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with some crispness.

Drinkability: Not too thrilled with this beer. A little too sweet; bitterness not well balanced. Not a great example of an English Brown Ale. This is no Hobgoblin.

rohrbachsfan, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lost Coast's most common beer I see at store is this, and now I'm going to try it out:

Dark brown appearance with a nice little head, this is a simple brown ale. Your toffee and sweet flavors exist here along with hop leaf and brown sugar, but nothing to get really excited about. I really don't have a whole lot to say about this one except I expected a little better.

DoubleJ, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very fizzy sounding-rather loud.
Nice deep chocolate aroma that softens to a dark malt while taking on a bit of sweetness not initially found. Very light grassy, earth hop note. This is alright.
Besides being loud the head leaves rapidly, showing only a ring and a smear of tan/brown bubbles. Clear. Nice brown color that turns garnet in the light.
Dark malt flavors pushing roast. Chocolate appears again. A slight sweetness appears periodically. Leaves a very long malt dryness that doesn't forget the mild hop bitterness, but the dryness seems to decrease with time. Hops add flavor in manner similar to aroma, just bolder.
Carbonation seems excessive for style (or at least how I like my brown ales). This also takes away from what would probably be a pretty smooth beer. Moderate feel overall. Some drinks it takes on a tad of wateriness.
There are some really strong characteristics to this beer, unfortunately there are some weaknesses too. The drink kept me guessing throughout the glass. Overall I like it, just not as much as I would have liked too.
Thanks John

garymuchow, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of xgrafcorex
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

not much head, but i did pour it kinda slow. dissipates fairly quickly...no lacing. smells first of faint alcohol then more malty, even a little bit of chocolate. smells nice..the alcohol isn't too strong in the smell at all, not even noticeable until you stick your nose into the glass. color is dark brown/amber..not black like the picture. taste is good, medium to light body, similar taste as smell...hint of alcohol, feels kinda carbonated in my mouth, lightly roasted malts dominate the flavor..not really tasting the chocolate i smelled..just a tiny bit in the aftertaste. good stuff.

xgrafcorex, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of Lothore
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice, fairly thick creamy head which takes a while to dissapate but leaves almost no lacing. Darker in color than I expected, very dark brown. The smell was good, sweet fruits, coffee, very slight burnt smell. Starts off thin and a bit wattery tasting, and ends decent strong leaving a lingering taste in my mouth. Taste is of coffee, burnt hops, slight sweetness however it didnt seem particularly well balanced. Mouthfeel was a little wattery, creamy, went down smooth. A fairly drinkable beer. Definitely not my favorite brown, but it would be easy to knock a few back.

Lothore, Jun 29, 2007
Photo of Maerzen
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with Downtown Brown and it was a good one. Stopped in at Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka, CA so it really can't get any fresher. Note: I have also had this beer out of the bottle and on draft at the brewery is superior (no surprise there.) Goldilocks would like this beer, not too dark, not too light but just right. It does have a hint of sweetness to it; almost a root beer quality.

Maerzen, May 03, 2007
Photo of supercolter
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a different beer, and not particularly a favorite of mine. Appearance was flat with a dark, nutty brown color and no visible head or lacing. Smell offers a bit more promise with a roasted nut malt smell and no recognizable hops. Taste was not that great but not bad either with the same nutty flavor as smell, but honestly tastes a bit stale.

supercolter, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of Talisker
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first encounter with a classic of American craft beers, and not a particularly positive one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Not sure of the age. Typical dark brown, one finger dark tan head. Aroma is pure licorice and alcohol, nothing else. No sweet malt, no hops. Perhaps would be appealing to someone who likes licorice (I don't), but it's unbalanced regardless.

Taste is still licorice-dominated, but some dry English-style malt creeps in. Bitter in an acidic way. Finishes clean - crisp texture - but it's hard to eliminate that lingering licorice.

I quite enjoy the sweet American-style browns, and occasionally even the dryer English standbys. But this sample of Downtown Brown doesn't measure up to the best of either.

Talisker, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of kdoc8
2.75/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served up with a creamy, foamy tan head. It was dark brown in color and didn't have much of a smell to it. What is it with some browns that they just don't smell at all?? The taste is quite bitter up front, and then a bit bland - not much to this one.

kdoc8, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mahogony color with moderate tannish head. Good retention and perfect lacing.
Smell is very mild, but some light touches of caramel can be detected.
Taste is richa and malty with strong notes of caramel and toffe present.
Finish with a pleaant light dryness with really adds to the enjoyment of this beer.
Easy drinking. Perfect session beer.

tgbljb, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of RJLarse
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was on tap at Elk Public House in Spokane. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a dark walnut color and is nearly opaque. A small bubbly head is gone quickly. It has a cola-like appearance.

The smell is malty, with a little grain and nut-like aroma.

The taste is a nice roasted grain flavor, with some nutty caramel and a mild bitter finish.

Mouth feel is smooth and light. Not particularly full-bodied, but nice.

This is a very drinkable and very sessionable brew. It looks and tastes a lot like a Coke. I'm not much on the style, but I would have this again. Seems like it would go well with pizza.

RJLarse, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of stephendr
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of dark brown , with a thin white head - nose of peanuts , malts , milk chocolate , and faint spice – taste of nutty malt , mild milk chocolate , and slight roasted - body mild , and lightly carbonated – aftertaste of roasted malts , mild chocolate , and nutty

stephendr, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of theopholis
2.68/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Pours a dark brown/burgandy color with a small tan head. Head rapidly falls and leaves no lacing.

Aroma- Pleanty of malt sweetness with a hint of caremel. No hop aroma at all. The carmel aroma becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

Taste- Some malt sweetness, and just a touch of hop bitterness. But it's missing a lot of flavor in the middle. Kind of wish I hadn't bought a whole sixer.

Mouthfeel- Body is a tad thin for the style. Carbonation is okay.

Drinkability- It's not a great brown. If you can find a pounder, try it, but don't invest in a whole sixer if you can avoid it.

theopholis, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark brown color with a tinge of red; creamy light brown foam that persists for a few minutes; intricate, soapy lacing; thin particles

Smell- Roasted malt, almost ash-like, nutty and carmel tones

Taste- Subtle roasted maltiness; very lightly hopped; short finish with a light bitterness

Mouthfeel- Surprisingly light body for a brown ale; watery texture; lively carbonation

Drinkability- With its watery texture and underwhelming taste, this is no more than a middle-of-the-road brown ale. Easy to drink, but not very rewarding.

Stoneman78, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of ski271
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark brown with a small, light tan, creamy, slowly diminishing head. Thick lacing. Smells is malt dominant, with roasty aromas of nuts, cookie, toffee, wood and a little molasses being supported by some light spicy hops and some very light earthy yeast. The taste follows suit but with the hops even more subdued at first. Dark bread crust, nuts and some chocolate. The hops show up on the finish a little more, adding a light citrus bitterness to go along with the thick malt flavors. An easy drinking, inviting beer with enough character, body and balance to keep my happy without being very cloying at all. A bit too filling to be a session beer, but a good brown nonetheless.

ski271, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
1.93/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with a creamy and thick tan head. Eventually becomes a heavy film that laces the glass a bit.

Smell: Roasted and lightly sweet malts. Could be a lot stronger and more interesting.

Taste: I'm not even sure what this tastes like. There's the presence of malts here, but there's a grimy flavor going on too, which becomes more pervasive over time..

Mouthfeel: Water. Water with a thin tingly aftertaste. Is this a beer?

Drinkability: The mouthfeel and taste make it hard to drink much of this.

Basically, avoid at all costs. While it looks nice, it tastes and feels horrible. Extremely watery, with some major taste issues. Fermented dirt. I don't think that I can finish this, which means there must be something really wrong...

mithrascruor, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of henrysunset
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

third beer while brewing an all-grain brown of my own on an unseasonably warm january day.

very dark, nice foamy head of tan. scent is just a little sweet, citrusy, floral and a little bitterness.

nice dark taste, a little roasty and toasty. it's mild and slightly sweet. great balance and impressively drinkable. smooth and ever so slightly thick.

henrysunset, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of scooter231
2.33/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Looks like a brown ale, nothing too unique or exciting here. Smells roasty and lightly sweet, but juuuust barely. Tastes... odd. Off. Sort of dirty. I can't quite pinpoint it... maybe like an unappealing scottish brew in the past? Just unpleasant. Mouthfeel is flat and boring. Ick, I'm not a fan of this. Pass on this one.

scooter231, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of ommegangpbr
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It loooks... like a brown ale. Very dark with a tan head, nearly opaque but shows some reddish tints when held to a strong light.
Smells pleasant though not striking. Some sweet, roasted scents come through.
Flavor is very nearly bland as is the mouthfeel. Not much excitement going on in either department. Caramel semi-flat selzter water, maybe.
The mild character makes it easy enough to drink but doesn't necessarily woo one into having more or seeking it out again.
Very middle of the road type stuff.

ommegangpbr, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of maundythirsty
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An attractive red-tinged brown beer. Clear, but there are some tiny drifting specks in there. Topped by a thin tan head that receeds quicky and laces just a bit. Smell reaches out to you with toasty caramel and spices.

Tastes of sweet, mild, roasted malt. Evened out by light earthy hops. Dry finish and pleasantly long-lived Honey Nut Cheerios aftertaste. Lighter mouthfeel than I anticipated, and fairly sturdy carbonation.

That's a tasty brown ale. A style that doesn't make many hearts flutter, but this is clearly a well-constructed bottle of beer. Good looking label, too.

maundythirsty, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of orfeu
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce bottle received from b0ldfacelies as part of my BA Secret Santa 2006 package -- many thanks, Jason! Polished russet with a decently adequate tan head. Soft and fruity melon aromas at first, with a fainter spicy nuttiness creeping in around the back. Whiffs of kiwi, too, I think. Could use a little more oomph in the nose. Definitely in the English tradition of brown ales, Lost Coast Downtown Brown features mildly spicy and earthy hop flavors supported by a variety of fresh fruit notes (tart apple, melon, green plum) and a soft, biscuit-like malt structure. If it were darker in color, I'd think this would easily ride the line between brown and mild ale -- two styles with many family resemblances to begin with, I know. Demure zestiness in the mouthfeel, light-bodied but peppery enough to provide a substantive quaff. Accordingly drinkable. Am I crazy, or is this one of the only brown ales available in 22-ounce bottles? There should be more, since it's such a sessionable style. Anyway, solid offering, no-brainer as a choice to take to a laid-back Friday night party.

orfeu, Jan 02, 2007
Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
83 out of 100 based on 789 ratings.