Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Sand Pebbles - 3 Floyds Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sand Pebbles
No picture.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
89
very good

27 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 27
Hads: 131
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 3.72%
Wants: 8
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
3 Floyds Brewing Co. visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mynie on 06-13-2009

A strong American Brown ale with an aggressive hop presence. A manly beer named after the manly and quintessential Steve McQueen film. “Not your father’s brown ale.”

53 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 27 | Hads: 131
Photo of mjohnson17
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: darker end of the brown spectrum with a nice tan head. Tight carbonation bubbles with substantial lacing

S: Citrus hops with a nutty caramel backbone.

T: Nice hops up front with a nutty backbone. A perfect balance between the two.

M: A medium light body with a bit of a creamy clean finish.

O: I typically don't gravitate towards brown ales as they often leave me disappointed, and I had even high expectations as this was named after a Steve McQueen. I was not let down, this may be my favorite brown ale. All the elements of a brown ale with a FFF twist of citrus hops. (579 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the tasting room at Binny's South Loop Chicago. Served into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1/2 head, chestnut brown in color, clear, low carbonation

Smell: citrus hops dominate with some toasted malt

Taste: much like the taste citrus hops dominate, there is some dark chocolate and a significant leather taste

Mouthfeel: light body, moderate carbonation, bitter with a touch of sweetness

Overall: If you like Troeg's Dead Reckoning, you should love this. The beers are similar, good not great browns that are hop heavy. The hops and the leathery elements work well together. I would get this again, but one pint is enough per sitting. (648 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Cigar City during Humahpu Day 2012.

Pours a dark chocolate brown color with amber/hazelnut hues and a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly roasted aroma with chocolate and caramel malt notes along with subtle lactic cream and earthy hops.  Hints of toffee, hazelnut and toast followed by a resinous, grassy pine character.

Medium bodied with a strong hop presence up front that provides a dry bitterness that dominates the flavor.  Dry grassy pine needle flavor is very prominent, overpowering most of the malt notes.   The hops are slowly countered by sweet and roasted dark malts.  It tastes more like an India brown ale with subtle notes of toffee, chocolate, caramel and nut.  Pretty good but too hoppy for the style in my opinion. (838 characters)

Photo of Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at RJ Grunts. Clear dark brown. Minimal light tan head leaves lots of sheeting on the side of the glass. Aroma is all malt with notes of caramel, lightly roasted malts, and toasty nuts. Flavor is similar with a very nutty taste. Piney hops with a biting bitterness. Mild alcoholic burn on the finish seems out of place for a beer with this ABV. Medium bodied, moderate bitterness. Overall, an enjoyable beer that went nicely with a burger. (446 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hunahpu's day, served in a plastic pint glass, beer is brown and clear with a thin off white / tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation, some retention.

Aroma is nutty / caramel and hoppy, pine and earth, smells nice.

Beer is medium in body with a nice hop presence, strong throughout and a nice finish on it, moderate bitterness, some nutty notes and biscuit as well. A decent brown for sure. (425 characters)

Photo of thydarkprevails
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the pub. Nice brown color with a finger length head that dissapears. Aroma is slight, Carmel and citrus. Flavor is Carmel, toffee and malt. The hop addition is perfect. Slight bitterness and very smooth blend. Mouthfeel is medium to light. This beer is very good. (273 characters)

Photo of ChugginOil
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ 3 Floyds Brewpub.

Pours a brown color with a reddish hue. A fingers worth of light tan head. Tons of lace.

The nose is hoppy as usually, pineapple, a bit of citrus, sweet biscuit and nutty malt.

The taste is lightly hoppy upfront and melds into a nutty, malty, awesome brew. Nice balance between hops and malts.

Mouthfeel is warm and creamy, medium-thick with moderate carbonation.

Overall, I enjoyed this brown ale because it had great integration between hoppy goodness and sweet nutty malt. Another treat from Le Tres Floyds. (542 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at FFF into imperial nonic.

A - Pours brown (duh), light off-white colored head, thin cap, thin collar, and spotty lace.

S - Just as I expected, a hop-forward brown. That said, there's a decent level of malts in here, but I actually prefer my brown ale with a bit more malty sweetness and less hoppy.

T - Similar to the nose. The hops and malts fight for control, and I think the hops end up winning the battle. No real sweetness, which is "not normal" and the what they set out to do with this one.

M - Light, good carbonation, clean finish.

O - A decent American Brown, but like I said, I prefer them with more malty sweetness and some roast/toasted notes. That said, it was damn easy to drink and I would drink it again if I was looking for something "not normal". (779 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Three Floyds over Christmas. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a good off-white head and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose carries some roasted brown malt, brown sugar, and a good pine-hop presence. Light chocolate as well. Flavor is more toward the chocolate and roast, though the hop bitterness comes through well. Medium body with a brisk bitterness and nice bit of roast. Very, very solid. (434 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Brewpub.

A: This had a very dark, chewy center, with a frothy off-white head that had mucho retention.

S: This was the hoppiest friggin brown ale I've ever smelled. Imagine Alpha King with brown sugar.

T: This had a very grainy, gritty bitterness that washed over the palate in spades. Additionally, the citrus was infused with nuttiness, rather than the other way around (like some other browns that lean towards the hoppy side).

M: FFF doesn't produce a measly laced beer. The carbonation was fine, and this was creamy as hades.

O: Let's just hope Steve McQueen liked hops. Additionally, if you don't like your browns on the hoppy side, please stand clear. Otherwise, knock yourself out! (719 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this on-tap while inhaling a hot dog after FoBAB at Bangers & Lace.

A - Brownish red color beer with a beige head that left some nice curtains and sheets down the side of the glass.

S - Chocolate, some hops. It's actually kind of sweet, with some sort of fruity honey or something in there.

T - Somewhat hoppy, but the focus is on the roasted and chocolate malts. Sweet and pretty easy to get down.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, pleasant to drink and I enjoyed it with my hot dog. Not the biggest fan of browns, but this one was good. (576 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear dense brown body with a thick creamy light tan head that last a good bit and a gentle carbonation that glides through the glass.
S- The green juicy hops are bright and earthy with a roasted malt note that comes through when the beer opens up a bit. T- The soft toasted brown malt gives way to a mild green pungent hop finish. There is a bit of a tangy coffee roasted malt flavor as the beer warms. The bright green hops and malt linger together in the finish just a bit.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and a soft fizz note in the finish.
D- This beer is very drinkable and the soft roasted notes blend nicely with the juicy pungent hops. The fresh malt flavors are like chewing on the malt grain itself. Very easy to drink and I'm impressed Three Floyds dialed back the hops and made this good session beer. (896 characters)

Photo of mayor55
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at 3 Floyds brew pub. Medium brown color with medium tan head. Smell was nutty and malty. Served it in a mini pilsner glass. Felt good and full in the mouth. I could drink a few of these with burgers or sausage.

Very tasty beer. I also like the name. A manly beer just like advertised. (302 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a pint glass at Hopleaf.

Appearance: Sand Pebbles pours a mostly translucent brown color with a touch of amber. An off-white head exists initially, fading quickly. This is partially due to the generous pour. Decent head retention.

Smell: Smooth and complex aroma. Toasted malt, with some toffee and brown sugar provide a sweet aroma, with a moderate tropical fruit hoppiness is there as well.

Taste: The first sip is phenomenal. The toasted malt starts the flavor cascade with some burnt coffee as well. Right before the hops kick in, there is a blast of brown sugar. As it helps to transition the beer to the juicy, hoppy part, initially it was a tough flavor for me to place, but that is what really kicks the flavor points up. Toward the end I get some citrus but more tropical fruit hoppiness, with the finish being a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: It is a bit sticky, with a medium level of carbonation with a bit of creaminess existing in a fuller than medium body. The body is obviously needed to contain the ABV, but it still maintains a easy to drink, almost light feel.

Drinkability: This will be tough to come by I imagine, but it is another great offering from FFF. Call me a fan. (1,206 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a few quick sips, I quickly realized that this beer is a decidedly hoppy Brown Ale but with a Newcastle body. Consistent from start to finish is what this beer portrays best. No peaks, no valleys- this beer is true and true from initial sip 'til its fleeting finish.

Sand Pebbles pours with a froathy-clean look. Clear brownish-mohogany colors with deep amber highlights. Slightly off white foam creates mediated creamy head that retains and laces reasonably well.

Aromas of deep caramel, bread crst, and light toast are quickly drowned out by medium resiny hop scents that are a blend of fresh cut grass, spruce, and cirus rinds. Clean and aromatic otherwise.

Flavors of lightly scorched toffee and arid toast blend well with the citrusy, piney flavors for a moderately robust taste.

Textures start out creamy and medium but as the hops gain control of the beer, the arid toast textures usher the beer into a crisp, clean, and fleeting finish, with a pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

A very satisfying American Brown Ale that will really sneak up on you because of it's lighter impressions and crisp/clean flavor. (1,122 characters)

Photo of salvo
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sand pebbles. American brown with hops bitterness reported to be 53 IBUs, but the hops are pronounced in the brew. Nicely balanced and less brown than red. It's what I was hoping their Brian Boru would be but wasn't. In some ways, this is a more refined version of Dog Fish Head's Indian Brown Ale, with a cleaner mouth feel and clearer taste. I can drink another of these. (373 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half-pour at Three Floyds in a stange.

A - Pours with a half-finger of off-white foam that settles to a thin cap and glass-coating lace. Transparent almond brown color.

S - Chocolate malt, floral hops, a bit of roast, some berry and fruit character. A little bit understated.

T - Taste is more toasted malt, with a milk chocolate and roasted almond finish. Not a ton of hop bitterness, but maybe a bit of earthy and floral hop flavor.

M - Feel is a little chalky, but thankfully the carbon dioxide is dialed down a bit and isn't as harsh. Finish is chewy, sticky, and a bit drying too, if that makes any sense. Alcohol was well-hidden.

D - This was pretty easy to drink. I'd have a pint of this one in the future. (719 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the 3 Floyds Brewpub (Munster, IN) on 8/6/10. Served in a pint glass. I think that this was about 8 oz or so pour served in a tumbler.

Pours a clear copper, topped with a thin off-white head. This stays fairly foamy, leaving some sticky rings of lacing along the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral and citric smelling with additional notes of pine and spice. There is a touch of sweetness from the malts which sits underneath that citric tang but not a whole lot of roast is present. Man, the tropical fruit tones are really driving this...

Hops are prickly and biting in the taste with spice and piney notes that stab the tongue with bitterness. Caramel and sweet fruit shore up the middle section of the profle here, while roast finally rears itself in the backend, mingling burnt tones in with lingering spice and resins in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth and creamy feel upon first sip before a sharp prickliness swoops in to perfectly compliment the sting of the hops. There is just a bit of underlying alochol thickiness to the feel but any kind of taste from it is absolutely nil.

VERY hop forward American Brown and while I would have liked to have had a little more Brown in the aroma, the taste, feel, and drinkibility of this got it all right. Very smooth here for the ABV, it's no wonder that they limit the serving size of this one. (1,390 characters)

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: served in a stange-type half-pint size glass. clear mahogany/medium brown with a receding light tan head and decent lacing.
S: nuts, caramel, and some light molasses/brown sugar. hops didn't come through in the aroma as i had expected. none of the 7.7% alc is noted.
T: medium sweet nutty caramel/brown sugary malts are cleaned out by the listed 55 IBUs. bitterness is smooth.
M: i wouldn't have guessed this to be 7.7% abv. medium-bodied, smooth, supple.
D: i think they could have achieved this flavor profile in a lower abv beer, which i would have preferred. i expected this to hit me over the head more, given the abv. (626 characters)

Photo of SeasonalBrew
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the brewery 2 days ago. Came in a half-pint glass.

A: Pour a clear rustic brown/mahogany with a solid off-white head. Retention was just ok and lacing was minimal.

S: Aggressively hopped, roasted malts and slightly citrusy.

T: Roasty and nutty, along with a strong punch of hops. This is one hoppy brown ale, much more than I expected, even after reading the description. This was my favorite of the 3 offerings I had at the brewpub.

M: Good carbonation and smooth, even slightly creamy. Good stuff.

D: Very enjoyable. I so wish they served this in a full pint! (583 characters)

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a translucent mahogany brown with two fingers of spongy eggshell head.

Smell -- Not especially aromatic, but what is present is medium roast malt, some nuttiness, and floral hops.

Taste -- Follows the nose: Mild roast flavors flavors meet up with fruity plum sweetness and floral hops. Finish is floral with burnt bread crusts.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light with medium prickly carbonation.

Drinkability -- Ehh, not the best FFF I've had on draft. Still good, and it seems more sessionable than it is in actuality. Given the flavor profile, it would've made more sense to tone down the abv and call it an English Dark Mild Ale. Also, I could've done with a full pint. (690 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burgundy color with a small white head.

Scent of brown sugar, ash, juicy hops and some fruit. Really good hop character here.

Taste of brown sugar, and fruity juicy hops. Not very complex, but this has a very good flavor.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and smooth with a nice bite of carbonation. (302 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at FFF

A- Poured a deep dark brown color. Very small off white head there that well dies very very quickly and a little weak lacing that slides down the glass.

S- Big roasted malts upfront with this beer with big hops some piney but also citrus in the ending of this beer.

T- Nice brown ale in a FFF way. Big hop taste upfront that mellows down and becomes a roasted chocolate malt taste with this beer. Good stuff.

M- Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Good carbonation to this and well it moves smoothly across the palate. Some hop resin on the tounge and it almsot reminds me of a dry stout like Blackout from them.

D- This is a very drinkable beer and I only wish this beer wasn't given to you in a half pint. i also wish they would bottle it....maybe one day! (770 characters)

Photo of bgreg3
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from the brew pub , poured into a half pint glass and appeared a dark brown color with an 8th inch foam head , looked good and exciting

Smelled of malt and a little bit of hops nothing out of the ordinary , hard to smell though! it was a little warm but that's probaly how it was meant to be served.

at the beginning it is a lot of malt , and at the end there is a lot of hops... a lot , This thing never balanced in my opinion , but it was sure tasty. and the hops were floral so I liked it.

MF- right between medium and heavy made for an interesting impact on the palate, nice hoppy aftertaste that lingers and burps very well with pub fries.

Drinkability, I could have definetely gone for a pint of this instead of the half , very nice drinker and good after taste.

Pretty good but popskull shits on it (820 characters)

Photo of jfmorey
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in a standard pint glass

Deep brown without much head, but I did not see the pour; I am sure they are being conservative with this beer.

Roasted malts at first with plenty of hops; nothing subtle here but well-balanced

I could drink a lot of these, too bad it is a rare treat in DC. (313 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Sand Pebbles from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.