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Brekle's Brown - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Brekle's BrownBrekle's Brown

Educational use only; do not reuse.

294 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 294
Hads: 822
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 22.76%
Wants: 15
Gots: 80 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 294 | Hads: 822
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

compared to the faceless brown liquid I had from a bottle out east way, this fresher local SF draft sampling was tanfastic-er.

A: beautiful deep chestnut brown, relatively clear, quasi-webby lacing

S: liquid nut (wait, no...).... really (see below), dry-roasted nut, in (dilute) liquid form... mild floral-fruity ester... vague herbal note

T: whereas the bottle version I had a couple years ago came across bland, just straight old brown malt (not that I'm saying that's an ingredient) run-off.... this one had more character, apparent depth.... finishing dry, it doesn't come off a bit sweet either... just a nice, elegant, soft-rounded dry-roasted nutty malt, clean, with just a touch of chocolaty undertone...perhaps a modicum of earthy and bright-fruity hop to balance (comes more to the fore with each sip).... I'd like a little more lasting malt in the finish, but that's simply my taste....

M: some compact light-medium body up front.... super clean through to the finish, crisp and dry

O: definitely a treat for those who are connoisseurs of brown ales (such as myself)...wish I'd taken a crack at another.... I'll just keep an eye out around town

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.76/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Anchor's roots date back to the early 1850's, when pioneer brewer Gottlieb Brekle arrived in San Francisco. In 1871, he bought a beer-and-billiards saloon near Russian Hill, transforming it into the brewery that-25 years later- was renamed Anchor. We celebrate 140+ years of San Francisco brewing tradition and the legacy of our Anchor brewers with this classic all-malt, single-hop brown ale." Brewed in the style of a Brown Ale. Bought on an extreme discount at Green's at Ponce, $2.49 per a sixer. Bottling date is November 9, 2011. Hopefully these have held up.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy cream head of a burgundy-white tone over a very hazy and dense brown-red body. Carbonation is lively and plentiful. Retention is average, and lacing is thin and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Malt body is a subtle, mildly sweet malt. Very little hop character left to discern. Aroma has a notable presence of intense fruity esters, grapes and sweet juicy apples mostly. Signs of a very dated beer- the malt bill and the hop character were not bold enough to keep this from giving in to age. What is left is something most vinous and cider-like- and otherwise, very clean. 2.75

(Taste) Flavor is very much the same as the aroma, with a subtle, clean graham-cracker, slightly bready malt sweetness and a strong fruity boozed-up finish. Hop character is nowhere to be found, and the malt is easily overshadowed by the yeast notes. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, with a mild airy carbonation presence. Alcohol presence is very strong, easily dominates the beer's flavor profile. Body is light for a brown ale, light+ overall. 3

(Overall) Always check your dates. I can tell that this beer would be very mildly flavored and simple when young, but even that would be more enjoyable than a beer that has an intense boozy yeast character. Will try again at a later date. 3

Anchor Brewing Company's
Brekle's Brown All Malt Single Hop Brown Ale

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Photo of jimmah120
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with some code on the back.

look is a clear brown. smell is light, but extremely malty. malted barley, light grain, numbing presence of hops. taste is light, but malty, as well. some toasty grain, oak, sweet toffee. blast of bitter hops at the end.

solid brown, perfect session beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear reddish brown color with a decent sized tan head that persists for a bit. The aroma is quite sweet with lots of darker sugars and light and dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. Little to no hop aroma. The flavor is sweet like the aroma promised, lots of caramel and brown sugar with apples and cherries being dominant and lending to a slight fruity tartness. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness evident. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy mouthfeel. Overly sweet and lacking that light chocolate aroma and flavor that I typically associate with a brown ale. I'm thinking one and done here.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: A deep rich reddish brown, aka rich copper. Head is a tiny, almost non-existent, off-white. Small creamy collar is about all there is. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Relatively clear.

Smell: Incredibly bready. Baked brown bread. Sweet caramel malts with a faint grassy touch in the back. Almost toasted with some deep fruitiness. Some apple skin and flesh. Not the most complex thing out there, but it's incredibly clean and hits with a lot of what it has. Nicely nutty.

Taste: Baked and slightly burnt brown bread. Caramelized malt sugars and a hefty dose of caramel malt sweetness. Husky and grassy in abundance. Some lingering hints of apple core and citrus zest. Deeply nutty. Fruity with a good smack of grapefruit rind. Citrus ramps up but never really overcomes the sweetness of the malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Clean and easy drinking. Pretty standard affair.

Overall: Does what Anchor does best.

An easy drinking and approachable take on the style. Very bready with some deep sweetness. Lost a little as it warmed and just never really let up with the malt sweetness.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish amber body crowned by a massive, dense, and persistent tan head of ultra fine bubbles. Belgian-style lacing coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Lots of roasted dark malts, with a suggestion of nuts, bitter apple rind, and grassy and citric hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts open the taste, soon followed by mildly puckering tannic notes, and toasted nuts. Later in the taste, citric, particularly grapefruit, hops assert themselves, rising to ascendency above the malt. Towards the end of the taste the grapefruit rind is so palpable, one could think that the beer was infused with it. Finishes with a long, lingering grapefruit note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, velvety, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A little too much emphasis on the hops for my taste, but very good, nonetheless.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve ounce brown glass short bottle with a pry -off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas in March of 2013 for $7.99/six-pack.

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Photo of horshack7
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with deep amber hues and a two finger creamy textured head.

Aroma: Tropical fruits in the front and lots of grapefruit notes. Piney, kiwi fruit. Simple syrup sweetness from the malt end.

Taste: This one has a quite a citrus hop profile. Light dryness, sweet fruits, piney, grapefruit. Caramelized sugar and caramel malt notes.

Notes: It's rather unique with it's hop forwardness there is some sweetness from the malts but it's still a drinkable beer. Cheers.

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Photo of claytri
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a wonderful dark cordovan with a tan head, that had orangish highlights. The aroma was a bit medicinal with some hints of sweet malt. The taste is rich and malty with hints of dark fruits. The feel is light and just on the dry side. I really enjoyed this beer, it's a good malty brew. Quite a treat with all the hops out there to get something that is just a strait beer.

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Photo of JamesQuaff
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams tulip.

Pours a deep burnt sienna brown with ruby highlights, and a dense 1/2" ivory colored head that recedes quickly leaving extensive, delicate lacing. Looks like a 'dense' beer. Very nice to look at in the glass.

Aroma is a blast of brown bread, roasted malts, dried and dark fruits, molasses, hops. Smells like a hearty beverage is about to go down. My personal favorite aspect of this brew.

The taste is a good reflection of the aroma - my main impression is brown bread with molasses and raisins. It has a moderate touch of sweetness at first, then the bready malts come to the fore, and the finish is all hops, fading into a mellow bitterness. I like the progression, I like the balance. The overall combination of flavor notes make me think of 'barleywine light' - similar, but nowhere near as big, concentrated or powerful.

This beer is rather full-bodied and somewhat thick, but not overly syrupy. The carbonation is nice and creamy. Definitely not a chugger. A few of these will sit pretty heavy in the ol' gut.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Brekle's Brown and will definitely be working it into my regular rotation. I've been digging pretty much everything I've tried from Anchor recently, and this was no exception. I think it's about time to book me a brewery tour...

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber to brown color. Nutty. Formed a big, bubbled and soapy beige head. Medium retention and lots of soapy and lingering lacings left in the glass. Beautiful beer

S: Strong caramel in the nose. Strong notes of toffee, wood, roasted malts and flowery hops. A bit bready too

T: Sweet upfront, roasted malts, caramel malts, toffee, wood and nuts. An extremely malty beer. End is hoppy and slightly bitter. Balanced

M: Light body. Medium to high carbonation. Roasted malts with a touch of hops in the aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Refreshing. Anchor quality

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Photo of charlzm
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Consumed March 19th, 2013. Served at 50 degrees F in a standard Anchor pint glass.

Beer pours a clear mahogany brown with a three-finger yellow/tan/off-white head that reduces to a thin crown with sticky legs down the sides of the glass.

Aroma is pleasing; nutty and woody with a touch of... malted milk? Cola?

Flavor is nutty and cola-like with a smooth, creamy texture.Bitterness, while present, is moderate. Some resiny hop character, but well-balanced with the overall flavor and doesn't linger. Slight sourness - lactic? Might be a bit too sweet, but well within tolerability.

Mouthfeel is creamy upon entry but otherwise medium-bodied.

Not the best brown ale ever, but a sturdy, serviceable example.

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Photo of ggourde
2.09/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Comes out of the bottle thick- tried agitating it to get some head, but none formed. Next comes a strong- sickly sweet candy smell. Sure enough cloying malty sweetness hits me hard. It feels as syrupy as it looked coming out of the bottle. This is my 3rd time drinking this, and once was as a blind test at my home brewer's meeting. All three times wound up with the same thoughts about cloying syrup. I am sad b/c I generally have great respect for Anchor's beers.

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

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a two finger light mocha shade; the retention featured is excellent. The creamy texture leaves behind a good conglomeration of lacing on the glass.

S: What seems to take the forefront are distinct melon notes from the hops. The usual brown ale notes reside behind it (hazelnut and chocolate, primarily). It seems like the hops feature a distinct acidic quality to them in the aroma - old bottle, perhaps?

T: Even if its an old bottle, the melon and mango qualities really give it something different than what the style is used to. After a hoppy, bright opening, some chocolate, hazelnut, and brown sugar pops up to help finish the beer. Altogether, the citrusy hops and dark malts give it kind of a 'chocolate-covered orange' taste to it, while exhales allow toasted malt qualities to appear. Simplicity aside, it's still a good one right now; I could see a fresh bottle being great.

M: Not that heavy. Most brown ales I've encountered are really sweet yet chalky; this one has a pleasant smoothness to it, and a balance between lingering malt sweetness and hop dryness. Sweetness wins out, but overall this one is quite drinkable regardless.

O: Pretty likable, I must say. I'd reckon one bottle is enough for me; move up to two and it would become pretty cloying. Still, a solid example of a style I don't really care for.

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Photo of leaddog
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a chestnut brown with a finger width of frothy beige head.

Smell- citrusy hops (citra hops), caramalts, light hazelnut.

Taste- Well balanced citra hops, caramalts, and hazelnut. Also picking up some dark fruit (cherry) and almond.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Pleasant smoothness to the body.

Overall- A bold and flavourful brown ale that can please many palates. Very well balanced and easy to enjoy.

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Photo of angusdegraosta
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I looked at "All Malt Single Hop" and though of Scotch. Then I realized what they meant: one hop variety used, in this case Citra, a relatively new variety from what I've been reading.

It looks good with a vigorous pour - a good thick head, and hey, brown. Has a nice aroma of peachy citrus. This is a tart beer, neither bitter nor too sweet. No roasted flavors here, nor much complexity, but its straightforward style makes it really easy to like.

I have to credit Anchor for having the coolest labels. Fortunately, the beer is good as well.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice chestnut brown color. Mild caramel sweet aroma. Toasted pecans. Smooth and slightly sweet flavor. Mild hazel nuts and pecans. Brown sugar and caramel. Perhaps a tad sweet but I like it. Just enough hop bite from the Citra in there. Decent mouthfeel-between the lingering nutty sweetness and hop bite it all falls into place. Have not had a regular decent brown this well done in ages. Anchor keeps it simple. Nice!

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Photo of Apellonious
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz from sixer from Total Wine

A - dark brown with ruby highlights. Huge fluffy head after a moderately aggressive pour.

S - is it bad? Slightly sour. Some bread.

T - more sourness. Some piney hops.Bitterness. I noticed this with my first bottle last night, was hoping it was a result of a chocolate stout transition (and since I have four more), but this does not present on the palate well. Total Wine has the eerie distinction of the only place I have bought a beer and performed the dreaded drain pour. Mostly due to old product and poor handling. Not sure if this plays a role here. But the sourness and the fact that it foamed over the bottle top when removing the cap makes it likely. Booze on the finish.

M - solid. Carbonation is even, yet slightly watery.

O - Not the idea of a brown I had in mind. Others may have a different experience.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, rich, ruby-highlighted brown coloring with a thin, filmy ring of white head on the surface. Aromas of a malt bomb, with a dark sweetness leaning towards brown sugar and hazelnut, with a some dark fruit sweet highlights of fig and date. Flavors are rich and malty on a light, crisp body. The effervescence keeps all of the nutty sweet and candy flavors from being overpowering or cloying on the palate. Very tangy sweet aftertaste, with a woody and nutty blend that is carried off the tongue and out of the mouth rapidly by the smooth, thin body and carbonation. Clean, slick finish with only a slightly sweet linger. Very solid, easy drinking brew.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Mainstreet Tevern in Broken Arrow.

A - Clear reddish copper color with 1 finger of darker khaki head. Average retention and excellent circles of lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Sweet bread, strong citrus/tangerine aroma, brown sugar, bready caramel malts,

T - Follows the nose with nutty sweet bread, sweet citrus/peach tea, sweeter than expected. The bready caramel malt is toasted and the hops mix in creating a pecan shell-like bitterness. Finishes with tea tannins.

M - Medium carbonation, creamy smooth feel, fuller body for the style.

Tasty brew that is on the bolder and tastier end of the style. A little sweet but has a bit of counteraction from the hops. Nice creamy body with kick of citrus.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A thin tan head on a hazy, brown colored body.
The aroma is unique: roasted malt with a sharp pine injection. I like it.
The taste is similar with a roasted/nutty malt background and a strong pine and lemon bitterness throughout.
A crisp texture, moderate carbonation and medium body.
It's like a marriage of a brown ale and an IPA. Enjoyable.

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Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cottonwood in Houston, TX

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger beige head forms, and gently recedes. Plenty of sticky lace is left behind.
S: Toasted malts, caramel sweetness, bread and biscuit. That big, and distinct Anchor yeast character is very apparent. Very spicy, peppery, with some fruity esters. Almost English like.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted and caramel malts. Bready with a big yeast character. Spicy and peppery yeast. Light fruity ester. Again, almost like and English yeast. I like it a lot.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. Fairly smooth and soft at the same time. So easy to drink. All day with this one.

The malt and yeast character are classic Anchor, which I love. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice, dense brown with some reddish hues…light tan head about a finger width thick that’s not lasting long…(3/5)

Smell: Complex…a malt smell with dark fruit sweetness...brown sugar, caramel, citrus…this thing is rich and distinct…a full bodied aroma…some medicine astringency…(3.75/5)

Taste: Wow…that’s some serious flavor…malts, roasted malts, sweetness, citrus hops, caramel, lemon…there is a lot going on here and all of it is good…I feel a bit of the alcohol in the flavor, but thankfully it stays in a complimentary role…the more I sip, the more the citrus hops’ lemon flavor stands out and lasts on my palette…(3/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation…some citrus zest on the palette…not too much bitterness, definitely malt along the tongue…lemony after taste…(3.5/5)

Overall: This is an interesting beer…the flavor stands out from other browns that I’ve had…it’s a candied flavor with tons of sugar and dark fruit sweetness…the citrus hops snuck up on me after a couple sips then lasted the longest on my palette…very unique in many ways…it’s worth trying and I do plan on buying another to cellar, but it’s not something I could drink more than one of in a sitting…maybe I’ll get one now and try it in a year or two to see what happens…the alcohol is high and I’m sure the sugars will only sweeten…(3.5/5)

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Photo of cliff1066
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark ruby color with a fine ivory head that has decent retention.
Aroma is roasty, malty, nutty and lightly fruity, with hints of bread, brown sugar, and a faint citrus, light cocoa character in the background.
Flavor profile of toasted malts, sweet caramel, bitter floral hops,and citrus with hints of fruitiness, finishes with a light-moderate dosage of bitterness. Finish is malty, sweetish, with caramel notes, light roasted malt, and a faint pine like hop taste.
Overall a good brown ale, a little roasted that reminds me of a porter.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Buy Rite in Jersey City last week, this being one of the few offerings from Anchor that I've never had a chance to review. I'm not a huge Brown Ale person in terms of what I've had but this seemed a bit different than others that I've had in the past. It was hoppier, less "sticky", and reminded me of a Red Ale both in taste and hue. While it wasn't a bad beer, it was tough to pinpoint what category this should have fallen under.

The pour to this was brown with some garnet around the edges and had a decent head. I can't honestly say that I've ever had a beer of this style that was so well-balanced, combining Anchor's floral and earthy malt notes with the typical caramel that's characteristic of an American Brown Ale. There's just enough of a brown sugar sweetness and creamy aspect of this to have reminded me of what it was, since the stickiness wasn't really present. This was quiet and unassuming but had a nice mouthfeel to it and only showed the roasted aspect of it in the aftertaste.

I only had one of these in a sitting but the alcohol was spot-on and didn't detract from the easygoing nature of this beer. While it wasn't on the level of Anchor's other offerings that I've had, this was a decent Brown Ale that was a slightly offbeat take on a style that tends to be pretty conservative. Certainly worth a go for anyone hooked on Anchor's hops and fullness.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: cloudy brown hue with a thick finger of creamy, pillowy tan foam atop. Quite attractive.

Smell: very sweet and caramelly aroma with a light fruity character, almost banana-like. Eyes closed, I'd have guessed this was a dunkelweizen. A bit sweet, but I find myself liking it.

Taste: sweet and caramelly with that same banana like character. Hops are mild but balanced for the style. There's a crystal malt twang at the end of the flavor that reminds me more of a red ale than a brown one, which isn't my favorite. Not too bad, but not my favorite.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a bodacious carbonation and a mammoth, mouth-filling creaminess. Shadaisy!

Overall: this is a decent beer, but it's flavor just grates on my palate a little bit. I like the creamy, fruity, sweet aroma and those components of the flavor, but there's also a sharpness that detracts a little bit for me. I could see myself having this again in a pinch, but it's not my favorite brown ale.

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Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 294 ratings.