1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Brown Ale - Capital Brewery

Brown AleBrown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 68
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 8.52%


Brewed by:
Capital Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 68 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of demcorhip
demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chonyr for this one.

Appearance
Pours a deep amber colour, not quite brown. Nice lasting off white head.

Aroma
Cream, nuts, with bitter spice. Floral, fruity and caramelly notes as well.

Taste
Nutty malty grainy flavour. Some sweetness, brown sugar? and hints of toffee. Mild yet bitter spicy hop finish.

Mouthfeel
Decently balanced brew with creamy nutty sweetness balanced by spicy hop notes. Could have a little more substance to it from my point of view, but is certainly a tasty, refreshing and easy drinking beer.

Drinkability
Goes down easy, wish it was a little bolder all around. It is a nice tasting brew however, and i could see it being pretty easy to polish of a good number of them. Would also be a good beer to challenge the tastebuds of real beer rookies to break em in without worrying about scaring them off. Ill drink this again, a decent summer almost brown beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2006 23:25:34 | More by demcorhip
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that goes slowly leaving a little lace. Almost clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Starts malty, nutty but hops are balancing, smooth, clean finish. Nice brown. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 22:22:50 | More by jdhilt
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Light brown color, relatively small head that holds it's ground decent enough. Nice combination of roasted & toffee malts. Nutty character takes over from there and carries it ok with a slight hop bitterness, but nothing to get too excited over. Pretty smooth and I could imagine drinking several of these if I was so inclined.

I'd take this over something like Newcastle any day of the week, but then again, it's not often that I eagerly reach for a brown ale from the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 05:32:37 | More by hero27
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a dry nutty aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal and bisquit malt flavor that is a bit sweet and earthy with breadlike notes. There also seems to be a light hop presence. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good beer, but it isn't really a brown ale. It's too light in color and has more of an amber/red ale feel.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2006 00:18:48 | More by WesWes
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Capital Brown Ale pours out a partially transparent brown color toppped with a large, off-white head. Doughy malt aroma with a light brown sugar-like sweetness. The flavor is very nutty with doughy malt and a touch of cocoa. Hops are light but come through more as the beer warms. The flavor is cleaner than most brown ales. Medium mouthfeel. Good drinkability. This is not a particularly interesting beer, but I suppose it could be a "gateway beer" for your non-craft brew drinking friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 20:35:01 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

What a capital idea. Pours a clear brown color with some brighter amber hues throughout. A decent pour with a frothy white head that hides to the edge of the glass but eventually disappears. Limited lacing as well.

The smell is noticeable but lighter per style. A touch of malty esters with light roasted and good bready notes. A sweeter side of browns with some brown sugar-like smells.

The taste is a good malt flavor but sweet and not much on the graininess I would have liked to see. There are some roasted qualities but the breadiness is lacking. There are some nice pluses with no real off flavors and a smooth taste. Some nutty and a light hop to finish the taste.

The body has a mid feel. Could use more texture but still easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2006 22:58:43 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's

appearance: pours a dark amber mahogany, fairly clear body...a bubbly beige head forms on top with a fair amount of beige lacing left throughout...decent looking english brown

smell: delicate but pretty restrained...fairly nutty, sweet well toasted malt structure in the aroma, a touch of vanilla, buttery, fair amount of smooth caramel...not very strong but a nice delicate aroma

taste: smooth malts (marzen/okt style) right up front, caramel throughout, walnut and general nuttiness, slight grassy hops...pretty decent

mouthfeel: smooth, medium body, medium carbonation

drinkability: easily drinkable

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2006 03:20:23 | More by dirtylou
Photo of sweethome
sweethome

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with decent white head.

Nose is rather boozy, with maple. Flavor profile is quite full - starts with a vanilla flavor, nuts, and then some of the maple I got on the nose. Silky mouth feel. Alcohol present.

A flavorful beer, the taste fell off a bit as it warmed up, lacked the charachter of the first few tastes when fresh out of the bottle. A decent beer.

This brewery's strength is their lagers - particularly those with heft.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2006 17:26:56 | More by sweethome
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber to brownish color with good head shrinking to light film and has good lacing. Though a little weak, can still pick out some of the malts, a little nuttiness and I think i pick out some chocolate, which I thought was a little odd. With taste, again some chocolate along with the malts, carmel and good enough body. Good session beer, unremarkable but definitely not bad, a good local beer to have after work.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2005 23:22:08 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber color with about a half inch of thick tan bubbles at first pour. There are some sporadic bubbles lingering about on the side of the glass. There is some lacing.

Aroma: Some roastiness with some reserved hopping in the nose is the first thing that I notice. There are also some nutty malts in there

Taste: There is a nutty and slightly caramel malt presence that greets you when you first sample this beer. This allows a bit of hops to peek through somewhere in the middle of the profile. Finally there is a slightly bitter and bubbly finish from the mouthfeel.

Opinion: I think that this is a pretty good brown ale. It isn't too assertively hoppy and manages to retain a malt balance. It is a bit light, but still a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 23:31:19 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Riley's here in Madison.

Pours an amber-brown with a decent 1cm off-white head with no lacing. Smells primarily of sweet malts and diacetyl butteriness. Nothing outstanding. Taste pretty much follows suit. Sweet, but not too sweet malts, balancing hops, and a diacetyl sourness at the end. Not usually a huge fan of diacetyl-sour browns, but this one isn't too offending. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, and drinkability is solid as well. Sessionable, but unremarkable, as my man battlekow said below. Wouldn't turn one down by any means, but wouldn't seek it out either.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2005 22:08:54 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of battlekow
battlekow

Wisconsin

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So far, my experience with Capital Brewery has given me the opinion that they make solid, unexceptional beers. This Brown Ale does nothing to change that opinion. By no means is this a bad beer; it's simply a rather boring one. It looks pretty, a nice medium-dark brown with a creamy, off-white head. It smells good, slightly nutty and roasty, but nothing especially noticeable. Doesn't really taste like much, but it feels good in the mouth, a little bite from the carbonation. Easy to drink, easy to forget.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2005 23:27:43 | More by battlekow
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 5/12/05 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Light brown with a nice beige head and decent carbonation. Pretty much down hill from there as this one is a pretty non-descript lightly sweet example of the style.

A bit weak in my mind but I've come to expect that in English Style Brown Ales...

Per Label : "English Style"

Per CB website: An ale with a deep brown tone, this is our version of a traditional British style, balanced toward the malt (three of the varieties used are imported), this ale exhibits classic ale smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 19:41:55 | More by RBorsato
Photo of granger10
granger10

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours into three color beginning with a deep dark brown at the bottom, a normal brown in the middle, and almost an oragish brown up top. Medium off white head is rather small. Not much lacing.

Aroma is on the weak side. Some caramel and bready yeastiness. Maybe a little hoppy spicyness.

Very good taste though. More chocolatey than I thought it would be. A nice toasty toffee sweetness under the dark chocolate flavor. Yeast is noticeable underneath and gives this beer a slickness. A nuttyness, which seems to be from the malts and not the yeast, comes in. Hops are more assertive towards the finish but never really stick out. They do provide a nice balance though.

This is for sure great session beer material. Especially for the late fall/early spring Michigan weather. Capital has failed to disappoint me yet.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2005 22:34:27 | More by granger10
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear brown in color, just a little creamy off-white head. Brown sugar and roasted malt smell, maybe slight coffee. Taste is surprisingly hoppy, very dry, and roasted through and through. Body could be thicker, but overall this is a pretty good brew. Not an elite brown ale , but highly sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2005 18:08:51 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of skybluewater
skybluewater

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color, with cherry highlights. Smells a bit sour (hmmm....). Taste isn't all that bad, with a nice toffeeish maltiness, and a touch of sourness. All in all, not the best brown I've ever had. Servicable, but just barely. I'd drink again, but only if I had to.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 08:00:15 | More by skybluewater
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark for a brown ale. Red with a nice, tight head.

Smells more hoppier than all the other English Brown Ales I have had. Sweet caramel malts mix with a very nice nutty smell to give this beer a wonderful complexity.

And it tastes good, too. Malts like a marzen upfront, bitter, sweet, and smooth, caramel and dark chocolate. These give way to a light, bouncy hop bitterness in the back, followed by a very nice, distinct nuttiness.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 16:36:24 | More by mynie
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz screw-top bottle obtained from John’s Grocery (Iowa City) in January 2005 and consumed the next evening. Pours a half-finger cream colored head that settled very quickly. Nearly clear copper-orange beer. Smells of nuts and caramel with chocolate beneath. Tastes malty sweet and smooth. Nutty and chocolate arising late. Toffee and caramel. Hop bitter is present but is perfect for the style. The bitter is clean and blends smoothly into a cohumulone woody. Medium light body with a nice carbonation. Fizzes off the flat tongue at the swallow and then there is a more gentle and finer carbonation after the swallow that adds a bit of acidic and sour to the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2005 07:22:35 | More by mentor
Photo of longarm
longarm

Maryland

3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with little to no carbonation. The color is decent and occasionally glints flashes of dark amber.

Aroma is sweet with nice hints of nut, carmelized malt, and just enough malt complexity to keep it interesting but not out of style. I notice a dash of vanilla too, but that could also just be coming from the sweet malts. I find nothing wrong with the aroma.

The flavor seems to flow in four stages. First to arrive are the same nutty tones noticed in the aroma, followed by a very slight touch of hops included in a mildly alcoholic bite. The finish is simple and clean. Not bad, but not a lot going-on.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but it coats better as it warms.

I like this better than Newcastle.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2004 16:12:16 | More by longarm
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another brew forced on me by The World Beer Tour at The Winking Lizard Columbus. Decent brown color with a slight beige ring around the top. Small amount of oily residue left with the lacing.
Barely any smell save for a few roasted nuts.
Rich nutty, good malt charisma with a mild presence of hops. An average mix for a brown ale.
Smooth and creamy, light and oily. Decent overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 13:35:33 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brown ale isn't. It's more of a clear reddish copper with golden highlights. The head is light toasty tan and decently sturdy. It's taking its sweet time deflating and deposits a respectable amount of lace when it does so. The nose is rather ho-hum, nothing much there to spark my interest. Standard aroma of caramel malt, a little spicy perhaps.

The flavor is just okay. Again, pretty simple stuff here, but that's not always a bad thing. Lightly toasted malt with notes of caramel and carob, accented by a gentle spiciness and a hint of hoppiness. The finish is increasingly, although still only slightly, bitter and is dry. I know that it's an ever-present complaint of mine, but the body could stand to be beefed up a bit. It isn't thin in the mouth, but it's damn close.

Capital Brown Ale is a brown ale 'by the numbers'. Nothing about it really stands out for me. I could drink a few if I was otherwise occupied, but I'd forget them as soon as they were gone. Much like I've forgotten... now what was the name of this beer again?

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2004 00:52:52 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Reneejane
Reneejane

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a dark orange color (not quite brown) but about as brown as Newcastle brown. The aroma is mildly hoppy and it is very drinkable due to it's low alcohol level. I enjoy this beer anytime I can get it because it's so refreshing. It's a fairly balanced beer, a good standard brown.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 00:24:40 | More by Reneejane
Photo of stoutman
stoutman

Michigan

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark amber color. Light tan head that didn't hold and left only a little lace. Slight aroma of malt and nut. It had a flavor of honeynut and malt. It had a nice, slightly sweet finish. Not as sweet as nut browns, but very similar.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 02:33:51 | More by stoutman
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
DrunkMcDermott

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is probably the best of the beers I've sampled from this brewery, which otherwise hews too closely to style. A nice malty smell greets me when I pop the bottle, then it pours a nice thick head over a dark brown body. I get a taste of roasted coffee, maybe even chicory atop a bed of caramel. A sharp hop sting gives it a little fruity note like… all I can come up with is blackberries. Carbonation enhances the delivery of flavor. This is close to being a nut brown ale. Capital could really cut loose if they wanted to.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 13:56:58 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Brown makes a nice easy in-between, regarding pils & stout. It pours a true brown color with an impressive tan head. One thats frothy & maintains well, laces great. The aroma is sweet, malty and of caramel. The taste is also malty caramel with little hints of coffee. Hops don't play a taste factor on thisone. The drink is smooth and pleasing. It can be enjoyed alone or with a meal.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2003 20:46:50 | More by chilidog
Brown Ale from Capital Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.