Brekle's Brown - Anchor Brewing Company

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Brekle's BrownBrekle's Brown

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284 Reviews
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Reviews: 284
Hads: 798
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 7.05%
Wants: 14
Gots: 70 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 03-07-2011

Single hopped with Citra.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 284 | Hads: 798
Photo of Clembo1957
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tribute to the Brewer Gottlieb Breke who founded what would bcome years later The Anchor Brewery in San Francisco.

Poured from a 1 pint 6oz bottle with a good head which quickly dies, Brown in color (as the name suggests) Brekle's comes in a larger version of the iconic Anchor bottle, in fact i'll definitely keep the bottle when i've finished the beer.

A malty brown ale made with Citra hops, a good beer as a one off but not one i'd select on a regular basis, having said that it goes down well and is worth checking out. Good but nothing earth shattering. (565 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Brekle's Brown
22 oz. bottle; $6 @ Capone's, Norristown PA
Code date: 10Z

Appearance: Clear, crimson-accented mahogany brown body beneath a creamy head of tan. Very good head retention, and good lacing.

Aroma: Fruity and berry-like. A slight touch spicy. Lightly sweet malt note. Whiff of chocolate.

Taste: Bright and fresh. The berry-like fruitiness found in the nose returns. I'm pretty sure that's due to a combination of yeasty fruitiness and the citra hops. It's really unique, and quite charming. The malt is restrained, lending just a hint of sweetness and a mild dark-caramel/chocolate note. Some brighter fruity notes (orange, apple, red grape, pear) swirl in the background, and some raisin appears towards the finish. It's gently bitter, and very well balanced. It finishes with a splash of fruitiness that fades into a lingering, dry, brown malt roastiness with a touch of residual chocolate, and some woody and grassy hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated. Silky smooth and gently creamy.

Overall: Impressive! Quite nice. Unique. It's an easy drinker, but watch out for the surprising 6% ABV. (1,148 characters)

Photo of StoutishDan
2.82/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't really tell why I decided to review this beer. Since my last review I've tried my share of stellar beers. I love Browns, so I picked up a 22oz of this at Total Wine Kennesaw (phenomenal place and good prices). I thought I'd give this one a swig.

A - Head is hanging on by a hair now that I've taken a few sips (and gulps) here and there. Deep red in color. It's a little cloudy.

S - Typical American Brown...a little hoppy on the nose. Bitterly sour hues. Nutty and yet, not mildly so. This is reminding me how much I have disliked every American Brown Ale I've this REALLY an American Brown. Buggs!

T - Not as sour and hoppy as I had expect from the smell. Sweet malty character shining through. The hoppiness is still there, but quickly fades, welcoming the next taste. Carmelly sweetness is definitely there.

O - Grant it, I wouldn't order this beer while out with friends. Although, if someone was to buy me this beer specifically, I'd drink it and enjoy it. On my scale from 0-100 I give it an 80.

I again realize that I am definitely an English Brown kind of guy.

Prince (1,102 characters)

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

Appearance - medium clear brown. Good head decent head retention.

Aroma - caramel and malt sweetness some spice.

Taste - initial malt sweetness offset by hop bitterness that lingers a bit. Hops come through in the initial bitterness and the lingering aftertaste.

Texture - medium body, smooth carbonation

Overall - very drinkable variation on a brown ale. Citra hops worked well with the very malty character of the beer. (429 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

review #400! 22oz bottle, a larger version of the iconic shape of the Anchor bottles. Code of 10Z on the back, not sure what that means.

appears a clear brown color with amber highlights. thin cream colored head that hangs around - good retention.

aroma of brown sugar, a little milk chocolate. taste is bready, biscuity malt. clean, slightly sweet. thin to medium body, higher carbonation. easy drinkin' .

first time I've seen this brew, glad I got to try it. (466 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with a tan head. Clear as can be. Caramelized sugar with a hint of chocolate in the aroma. Not very strong but pleasant. Taste very similar to smell, awesome dark sugar flavors but not grossly sweet. Couldn't tell you what hops are in here, notable bitterness but not a very distinct hop flavor. Clean yeast, fairly neutral in taste. Smooth and drinkable, with a light acidity at the end of the sip. Not my favorite style of beer, but this beer is very impressive. Delicious and remarkably balance. (518 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

640ml tubby Anchor bottle, shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a really pleasant deep red-brown, almost mahogany hue, quite transparent and clear, with a filmy and bubbly head of turmeric coloured foam, bright when swirled. Some speckled lacing, decent weight to the body. Looks pretty fine—it certainly looks like a beer that has had some craft put into it.

Nose is mild with sweet sugary characters, and a hint of spice. I get very little hint of the Citra, although there's a powdery sweetness and rosewater hint that gives it a bit of a lift. OVerall, it's pretty mild, but pleasant enough.

Taste is better, with the malt coming through, giving a toasted raisin loaf character along with hints of banana bread. This is balanced (and perhaps accentuated) by a slight hop astringency, which adds its own complexity, but seems more to enhance the malty characters—much as a judicious dash of salt brings out the flavours in a savoury dish. Feel is clean and very light.

A solid enough beer, and a well-made one. But while it has no obvious flaws or faults, it just not that damn exciting. (1,118 characters)

Photo of tapman
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large cinammon-colored head leaves a shattered glass (windshield) lacing and sits atop a dark plum body. Head dissipates rather quickly and it appears filtered (no sediment). Has the typical Anchor dark ale smell (at least to me) of dutch chocolate, toffee and minty herbal-ness. Taste wise I'm getting a lot of phenolic flavors, which are not abnormal though is different for an American brown, and hay, though not miller light hay, I'm talking fresh, grassy hay. Also in the taste is German low sugar chocolate biscuits. Mouth is light and crisp and not heavy, like the label suggests. Overall an interesting American Brown and while this is still not nearly my favorite style, this one is a little more interesting than some, though more phenolic-like than any other. (770 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a fat 22oz bomber into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Cloudy, nearly opaque sienna liquid with a lasting pasty finger of khaki foam. Sticky lacing, vague lagues, superior retention.

Hops permeate the nose with candied fruit and herbs. CITRA is a bit of an odd choice for a brown ale in my opinion but it almost works in this case.

Cocoa, coffee, kumquat, sherry vinegar (very light, not oxidation), and agave are suggested on the palate. Gentle tart bitterness offsets the toasty malt notes. Finishes dry with hints of green tobacco and dandelion greens (though not vegetal).

Medium-light bodied, creamy, well carbonated...

While I prefer their porter (and this is in someways similar), it's interesting to see Anchor's take on the single-hop trend. (761 characters)

Photo of colforbin73
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not being a huge fan of "brown" beer -- i am really pleasantly surprised by this. i wanted something malty and autumnal to enjoy on thanksgiving afternoon on the couch. this is going down fine!

pours a rich deep amber, a very red-hued brown. poured into a tulip i got a nice two finger tan head -- it dissipated in a few minutes, but a nice pour.

the smell is very Anchor Steam -- this beer is definitely very comfortable in the breweries overall taste profile. full of sweet roasty malts, but subtle.

there is a soild malt complexity in the taste, you can taste the richness of the mash -- it makes me think this beer came from a sweet maple syrup of a mash with a heavy dose of caramel. no real HOP flavor but the bitterness is appropriate.

the drink is solid, richer than a pale ale, it could be a tad richer for my taste, but then it would be something else.

i think as far as the available Brown Ales go, this is a winner. (935 characters)

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark brown color from a 650 mL bottle, with no ABV or best-by date anywhere on the label or the bottle.
Massive two finger tan colored head that dissipates very, very slowly and leaves behind some excellent lacing. Really good head retention.
Aroma is predominantly malty with caramel and nutty notes with hints of fruity ester coming through intermittently. The citra hops are not evident in the nose initially, but are noticeable later as the beer warms up. (Aroma has a lot of similarities with the Anchor Porter)
Taste all round is extremely nutty with sweet and burnt/roasted caramel malt notes. Hints of bitterness in the aftertaste, although it doesn't linger. Very smooth, very crisp, very tasty and flavorful brew.
Easy to drink with a nice smooth mouthfeel. This has all the makings of a very good sessions beer. A very good brown ale from a pioneer brewery.
Definitely worth a try and comes highly recommended to those who enjoy brown ales, especially those with a higher nutty profile. (1,015 characters)

Photo of bruachan
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

leaves decent lacing (oh, and it's brown)

smells of cascade and nutty roasted malts. almond husk

rich and almost chocolatey...certainly caramelly. hops are there enough to stave off the cloying. mouthfeel is well robust for a brown ale (an Amurrican one, no less), though i can't say i dislike it--the better to taste you with! that said, a BA should be quaffable and this might be too sweet for that (402 characters)

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

Appearance: light brown in color with a short 1/2" head. Some light lace developed during the session.

Smell: caramel and malt sweetness is all you could pull from the glass.

Taste: caramel with a bit of soft nutty and earthy tones. Mild bitterness rounds it out. S
simple and straight forward.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish.

Overall: a very sessionable brown ale. Very simple but satisfying beer. (447 characters)

Photo of JimmyTango
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woah! Smells like it might be sweet and malty, malty, malty, but turns a quick corner at the first taste with a sour tinge and a clean, herbal finish. A real trip the way the smell sets you for something very different than the taste offers.... Lets see, after the initial impression I reckon it breks down like this:

A: Murky brown (think rotten cherries' juice) and a khaki head.
S: Molasses, but not rich.
T: Much more interesting than the nose. Sour cheries in the back ground with lots of earthy herbs. Drinks a lot like sarsaparilla. Balanced bitterness.
M: Clean finish and crisp texture.
O: Coming from somebody who doesn't particularly like malt-forward browns, I think this is a great alternative. Could be a real winner with some more balls, but interesting as is because of the earthy-herby thing. (811 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 3" tan head with moderate last. Hazy umber brown color, but of course. Smell is sweet malt all the way. Taste is one of the sweeter browns I've had in the long time, creamy and satisfying, almost like an oatmeal stout with a lighter body. Taste is primarily malt, I don't really pick up the single hop. Decent. (319 characters)

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Breckle's Brown comes out of the bottle not so brown. It's more of a mahogany-dark amber. This body is quite see-through. The head is a medium tan and is rather billowy after a hard pour into a pint galss. Lacing left from the head is clumpy and sticky.

The aroma is quite sweet and a little fruity. Notes of vanilla and brown sugar are evident, along with a smell of cola and root beer. Also, some pecan pie sweetness comes through. The fruity smell is like melon- cantaloupe, specifically.

The taste echoes a lot of the characteristics of the smell, but the strength of the taste does not match the strength of the aroma. The fruitiness evidenced in the aroma never quite formalizes like I thought it might. Toasted malts come through strongly and the finish is quite bitterly dry and roasty. Good taste, but I was expecting a little more after smelling the beer.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and has just a slight coating sensation. The finish is rather acidic and biting- much drier than most brown ales that I have had.

This is different than most brown ales that I've had, and I don't think I like it quite as much as the top ones I've imbibed. I really enjoyed the aroma, but the taste seemed like the component flavors were a bit disjointed from each other, and the mouthfeel is quite a bit drier at the end than other browns I've had. This is a good beer, but just not quite a top brown, in my opinion. (1,433 characters)

Photo of thespaceman
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz stubby bomber into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a clean medium brown in color, nice frothy white head builds nicely up the glass and sticks around. Nice head retention and thick, soapy lacing.

Smell: Some beautiful floral hops are the first thing I notice, sharp and a bit resinous, which flow into a decent amount of malt spice. Some maple and brown sugar are also detected. But the hops really shine through on this beer.

Taste: Up front I get that nice hop bite - slightly citrusy yet nicely balanced by the malt profile here, which is light yet loaded with caramel, honey and some toasted malt flavors. The taste gets slightly herbal towards the finish with the hops giving off one more breath of air.

Mouthfeel: Actually light to medium bodied - this beer looks like it would be bigger in the mouth then it really is yet it's actually light and rolls nicely over the tongue. A touch of astringent bitterness is left behind from the hops.

Drinkabilty: This is a very drinkable brown ale to say the least, not only does it have great balance, the mouthfeel really sets the tone by being lighter then your usual brown ale, making this alot easier to quaff then other beers in the bunch. I do wish this beer was a tad bit more chewier in the mouthfeel to really make it a beer you'd enjoy in the colder months, but I can't take away points seeing as this beer would stand up nicely year round which is great. Overall a very nice offering from one of the original craft breweries. (1,507 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma has strong fruity, floral, caramel, horehound and hoppy notes. It pours a clear mahogany with a fairly thick and fluffy pale tan head that leaves some decent lacing. Flavor has a nice mixture of caramel, fruit, malt and herbs, rather lip-smacking. Smooth, firm-bodied texture has some fizz and leaves a fruity, malty, slightly hoppy, slightly syrupy and slightly floral finish. Recommended! (396 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep clear coppery amber, with several fingers of tan colored head. This peters down into a frothy ½ finger, that stays rich and leaves back a good bit of sudsy looking spotty lace. The aroma is leafy, bitter, and a bit herbal smelling, with a LOT of citrus character, including a good bit that is along the juicier tropical variety. Those tropical notes work nicely with the notes of sweet caramel and darker roast that sit along the back.

The taste is ripe and sticky on the palate, with tropical fruit and caramel malts. This is undercut by fresh and bitter green citrus flavor and burnt roasted character that crunches up the sides of the profile. Those burnt notes pull up into the finish, where they linger with leftover sugars and a dry bitterness. Those herbal textures from the hops really come out as this warms and pair up well with the light astringency here from the coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and firm feeling on the tongue, with more of a soft and creamy prickle that sits on top. This gives it some presence in the mouth, yet still stays smooth and accessible feeling.

I liked this, as that character from those Citra hops (mainly that juicy fruit and herbal flavors) really played nicely off the sweetness and roasted qualities that that base Brown Ale brought to the table. This was a unique take on an American Brown and I really enjoyed it. (1,426 characters)

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

On-tap 11/1/2011 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains maple, honey, caramelized malts, some spice and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of maple, caramel, spices and honey. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence creating a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style. (802 characters)

Photo of greybeardloon
3.14/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottled August 22, 2012

A: Clear, dark brown with a thick head and nice lacing.

S: Some hops.

T: Initially, sourness, like it's severely oxidized, but its probably from the hops. Then there's a fuller malt flavor with some roast on the end, but the flavor is overwhelmed by the sourness. It's two flavors that are probably pretty good alone but the sum is worse than the difference of its parts.

M: Medium creamy with a drying finish.

O: I really wanted to like this beer, but I really don't. The hops would be nice in a pale ale, and the malt would be great with different (but equally prominent) hopping, maybe something piney or earthy. (645 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"1108" julian date code on the bottom of the bottle.

Into a tumbler glass, it pours a reddish copper brown, dark until held to the light, reflecting an auburn shade. Thin layer of khaki tan foam on the surface, that ebbs away fairly quickly, leaving no lacing. Swirling and pouring the last bit produces a two finger head easily.Sticky collar of lace forms as the foam fades.

Softly fruity yeast in the aroma, sort of plummy with mild citrus, molasses, and toasted maltiness behind it. Fairly subdued.

Pleasant fruitiness, dry and lightly bitter finish, fairly subtle flavors. Some toastiness lingers, and bitter grapefruit rind also. Soft carbonation, medium bodied but it drinks fairly light. Citra hops don't seem to dominate, and compliment the brown ale base with a nice fruity element. Easy to finish the 22 oz. bottle. (829 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a massive head that becomes craggy as it descends

Smell: Brown bread, nuts and grain with just a hint of citrus

Taste: Brown bread and nuts, at the outset, with the citra hops adding a citrusy zest by mid-palate; the two flavor elements hash it out without converging

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not well balanced, at all; chalk up the combination of the citra hops in a brown ale as an interesting idea that probably shouldn't be tried again (516 characters)

Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Please note, I'm not certain of the freshness of this bottle. If you can guarantee access to a fresh example grab the beer! It's a very good beer, but I suspect, as with most hop-oriented beers, freshness is essential to enjoying the beer as intended.

A - very dark amber, as opposed to thick brown. Kinda lame for a "brown" ale. I wish it were perceptabliy thicher and a little darker. The head retention, however, is impressive.

A - muted. I have to blame my shampoo. I could barely make out much of the Citra hops... the very reason I bought this beer. Though, as it drank I did detect a definite peach juice/ papya note that I know isn't owed to my shampoo. There's also roasted notes... think cacao.

T - this beer really has to be enjoyed closer to room themperature. There the maltiness fleshes out. The beer is just sweet enough, without becoming burdensome - it's 6% alc and 1pt6oz bottle.
The roastiness is very reastrained, and there's no acrid bite in the finish. That's OK, but it seems they kept the grist simple so the hops might shine through.... it just doesn't work that way.

The hops hold up to the malt, but wisely haven't be used to contend with it.

I'm not finding anything ground-breaking, but I definitely can't stop sipping this one. It's not unforgetable, but it disappears very quickly.

M- At 6% ABV, and using Cali V - a less attenuating yeast strain - the beer does a good job of coating the palate and then drying up on the finish. The flavor may not be remarkable, but the finish makes you want to give it another try.

O - Some beers styles work and some, sadly, do not - at least most of the time. A Texas Brown... which this truly is, isn't really a style I have time for. Malts competing with hops is never a good thing.
I really enjoyed drinking this beer and missed it when it was finished, but it doesn't hold the same place that Anchor Porter or Old Foghorn do in the pantheon of beers.
Who knows, if it were fresher, perhaps the Citra hops would've shown more pervasively. But it seems like this beer ought the have used English Hops, or been an Altbier, since it celebrates a German brewer.
For the Citra hops, a Blonde Ale or Pale Ale would've been more suitable.

A good beer, worth picking up off the shelf. Just don't expect an out-of-body experience. (2,302 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: This was a medium chestnut brown. It poured with a thick, clumpy, creamy, and sticky head.

s: Surprisingly strong citra hop aromas dominated. I also found nutty malts and toffee.

t: Up front I tasted coffee, toffee, and nutty bread. Lots of citrus-y hops at the end.

m: A bit on the thin side with gently creamy carbonation.

o: Very good brown ale bordering on a new-fangled black IPA. (392 characters)

Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 284 ratings.