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Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,958 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,958
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 35
Gots: 100 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: purplehops on 06-10-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,958 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UnionMade

New York

4.47/5  rDev +23.1%

The beer is a dark umber brown, topped with a creamy almond colored head. The head is nice and thick, retaining through the pint with at least 1/4 of an inch left at the last sip. That's some great head retention in my book. Lots of lace on the glass, leaving rings all the way down.
The aroma is richly malty, with lots of caramel toasted malt, and a bit of nuttiness. Definitely in the english style, with minimal hops. Some biscuity yeast aroma, with light apple and plum fruitiness. A touch of chocolate.
The flavor is pleasant and mild, starting off with a mild malty sweetness. Smooth caramel and cocoa flavors up front, wandering into a wonderful fruity middle. Well defined plum flavor, with a bit of pear. Very mild herbal hopping in the finish, providing balance without much in the way of bittering. A bit of nuttiness in the end. Some chocolate biscuity malt comes through in the finish, lingering into a quickly disappearing aftertaste.
An excellent brown ale. Probably my favorite american interpretation.

12-02-2003 23:52:11 | More by UnionMade
Photo of pezoids


4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

This poured an attractive dark and burgundy brown color. Clear, with glowing cherry-mahogany highlights shining through when held up to the light. A creamy tan head topped the beer off. The aroma is rich and dark with caramel, chocolate and roasted grains. There’s a slight alcohol spiciness and a sweet roasted oats bran note. Warming and inviting. The taste is sharp and rich with bittersweet chocolates, and full of roasted notes. Light to medium in body. The finish is clean, complex and satisfying. This still remains the quintessential American Brown Ale.

08-08-2004 17:10:20 | More by pezoids
Photo of frazbri


4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

Poured mahogany brown with a biege/cream head. Very good lacing on the glass. Floral hop nose. Notes of cascade hops, roasted chestnuts and freshly mowed grass. Maintains a nice balance of malt and hops. Nutty flavor and a lasting hop impression. Modest body, yet almost creamy. Enough carbonation to reach the roof of my mouth.

This is very complex for a beer of such modest strength. An outstanding choice if you are in search of a brown ale.

09-16-2004 00:56:10 | More by frazbri
Photo of DarthMalt


4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

Oh, Daddy!

There is a reason that we, as Beer Advocates, should always keep a few points in reserve when we rate beers--there's always another beer lying in wait to knock us on our ass!

Like a chocolate malt soda, BBC Brown tastes to a Beer Advocate like double-fudge chocolate-chip brownies would to a chocoholic. There's some serious sweet malt in this beer, which I love of course (check out the moniker). Hard to believe it all comes from the malt.

For an ale, there is a serious lack of off-ferment characteristics on this one, save for some kind of master's stroke in the ester department. It's smooth as a lager.

The hops serve a perfunctory role, as they would in a double bock, but their balancing characteristics definitely keep this malt-banger from being overly cloying.

As it stands (or, while I'm still standing), I'd put it between a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.


PS - If this is what beers tasted like before prohibition, damn us all to Hell for what this nation's beer has become!

08-22-2002 18:06:56 | More by DarthMalt
Photo of Offa


4.45/5  rDev +22.6%

This is a very tasty, highly drinkable brown ale.

Deep red with some bornw, it has a medium-large light tan head slowly shrinking to a thinfoamy top and leaves some good lace.

The aroma is rich caramel, toast, hints of chocolate, grapefruit, orange, leaves, and prunes.

The taste is lightly roasty with chocolate hint, caramelized prunes, light tart fruit, leaves, hint of sweet wine and a faint citrusy bite plus a little nut. It is mostly sweet with faint tartness and a little bitterness, mostly leafy with hint of citrus, and the finish is lightly dry, toasty, and leafy.

11-13-2008 00:12:24 | More by Offa
Photo of scott


4.43/5  rDev +22%


Beer god, how have I dismissed this offering for so long? I will apologize with some prayer.

I dismissed this beer because of the cover. Brown Ale. Lurking inside is a very well crafted, complex beast eager to maul your palate. This nose is huge, similar to a robust porter, challenging the drinker to take a pull. Think of Mama's Secret baking in the oven. It tastes even better than it smells, and is well balanced with the hop-to-malt ratio. Clean tasting, and carbonated perfectly. Just one highly pleasureable drink that knows how to end, but keeps on giving anyway. Refreshingly delicious.
This was my fault for not giving Garrett the benefit of the doubt earlier. Awesome, so of course, highly recommended.

08-30-2007 02:03:41 | More by scott
Photo of tgbljb


4.43/5  rDev +22%

poured a deep mahogony color with boisterous tannish head. Left very impressive lacing on the side of the glass. Thin surface coating retained throughout. Smell is malty with strong dark fruit essences (plums, prunes, raisins). Taste starts off very fruity with some roasted malt but a distinct hop bitterness begins to come through. Each subsequent taste seems to show hoppiness. Excellent balance. Nice creamy mouthfeel with a firm dry ending. Extremely drinkable. Truly an excellent beer.

04-06-2006 23:39:36 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

4.43/5  rDev +22%

Pours a clear but dark chestnut brown. Nice foamy beige initial head which reduces quickly to a thin film, leaving some spotty lace.

Aromatic hops in the bouquet with a hint of caramel malt sweetness in the background.

Flavor is very hoppy up front, but not obnoxiuosly so. Not sure the variety of hops used, but they're flavorful and of good quality. Hop flavor then dissipates into mellow roasted maltiness with a hint of sweet coffee.

Mouthfeel is smooth and just slightly creamy with light, even carbonation. Medium body; not heavy, but substantial.

This is one heck of a drinkable American Brown.

03-19-2008 22:46:51 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of Patrick999


4.43/5  rDev +22%

Paired with filet, tuna and a whole bunch of good stuff. Out of the Brooklyn beers I tried, this is the one for which I carried the least expectation, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise and a worthy competitor with the others.

A - Appealing brunette body with a decent head.

S - Again, strong aromatics, in line with all Brooklyn beers, apparently. Deep smoky caramel with some notes of toasted raisin bread. Smells very fresh.

T - While I like brown ales, I tend to think it is more of a pedestrian style, suited for a nice session and little more. Not the case with this one, it breaks the mold. Rummy caramel with a deft hop touch. Played quite well with the tender filet mignon and rare tuna.

F - Light but substantial at the same time.

D - Sessionable, but versatile at the dinner table as well. Recommended.

04-12-2008 17:38:07 | More by Patrick999
Photo of 160Shillings

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +22%

Aroma: Spicy, herbal, citrusy with just a hint of roast malt.
Appearance: Medium brown color, pours a full tan head that laces well and collapses into a rocky cap.
Flavor: Starts with the spicy hops, follows with roast flavors and herbal bitterness, finishes clean with a touch of bitterness lingering.
Mouthfeel: Medium body without clinging sweetness.
Overall Impression: This beer is a balance of roast flavors and typical American hops; cocoa & coffee with citrus, spicy and herbal flavors. The aromas are the same, just not quite as strong.
Comments: Brooklyn Brown Ale is the benchmark for the American brown ale style with good reason. It is a beer that you can enjoy roast malt and American hops characteristics in, yet still have more than one without it being too much.

03-05-2012 03:38:22 | More by 160Shillings
Photo of rdilauro


4.4/5  rDev +21.2%

Loved this pour. Nice dark, but not black with a creamy head.
As soon as I put my nose into the glass, I could pick up aromas of banana and pineapple, so sort of tropical in a way.

The first sip was full and big.. Right balance of malt and hops.
The finish was just as good as the start.

Each sip after that was as good as the first one. I enjoyed the bold, yet approachable way this brew came across. At first I was expecting something to really be up front and in your face. Which I do enjoy with many brews.

But this one started to be in your face, but mellowed as you took the first sip and enjoyed the rest of it.

A nice one

02-26-2012 04:50:32 | More by rdilauro
Photo of emsroth

New York

4.4/5  rDev +21.2%

My first review of a brown, and the first brown I've enjoyed

12oz bottle with freshness date.

App: Dark mahogany; deep ruby when held up to the light. A one finger tan head with minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet and sour bready malt.

Taste: Starts with a caramel sweetness. Then moves to a hint of the roasted. A touch of coffee. Ends with a pleasant roasted flavor and a small touch of hop bitterness that clinches it.

Light carbonation that perfectly accents the malt. Leaves the mouth with a bit of a film, but that barely detracts.

This could definitely be a session if not for the 5.6

04-01-2009 16:43:48 | More by emsroth
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +21.2%

Served at fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear reddish brown, with a full mahogany glow when held to the light. The inch-thick head settles rapidly to a foamy ring, with minimal sporadic lacing.

Smell- Clean, wonderful roasted malts with fragrant hops wafting in the background. Notes of coffee and chocolate peek through to elaborate on the pureness of the aroma. Rich. Doughy.

Taste- Bittersweet coffee punctuates the maltiness of the initial swig; it develops into a graceful, bready middle and finishes with a mild, clean hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Well carbonated but not in the least detracting... this will work wonders with a burger or other simple beef dishes. A fantastic alternative to lager or pilsners at the next barbecue... Summer can't get here fast enough.

12-21-2005 17:33:13 | More by yelterdow
Photo of hiikeeba


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

A - Pours up dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

S - Smells of caramel malt, and a hint of hops.

T - Malt forward beer, with slight roast finish and a hint of hops

M - Full mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D - I really like this beer. It is extremely drinkable.

01-01-2009 00:14:37 | More by hiikeeba
Photo of drperm


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

I've updated a review from 4/2008 in which I complained that my beer was too cold. At a more suitable sampling temperature, I offer this review:


Appearance:Pours looking all the world like thick black tea, with a nice froth of light-tan head.

Aroma: a caramel delight of malty goodness, merged with a deep-summer-humidity hop lushness and a whiff of malty milk chocolate.

Taste: Toasty, roasty, malty joyride, taking me back to the days of my craft-beer childhood. There's a reason why I first fell in love with this beer years ago, and why I still love it now - it's solid. I love the chocolate-toffee-hop combination.

Palate: Sometimes, I have dreams about this mouthfeel. Is that wrong? Scrubbingly divine, and only slightly off from wonderful by a lingering malt sweetness.

Overall: I have had better browns, more complex browns, maybe even more nuanced and balanced browns -- but I'd be hard-pressed to find a more agreable liquid companion on a blue afternoon. Try with homemade french onion soup, but don't neglect the joys of drinking this one unaccompanied, either.

06-10-2009 18:30:44 | More by drperm
Photo of KarlHungus


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%

This beer pours a brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly nice lacing. The aroma is of toffee, roasted malt, and hints of chocolate and citrus. The taste is considerably hoppier than the aroma. It is full of citrus with the roasted malt and toffee backing up the hops. Bitterness is moderate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a velvety texture, and moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a really nice beer. I am usually not a fan of hoppy brown ales, but this one works for me. I like how the hop presence is mostly in the flavor while the bitterness is still relatively mild. I will certainly drink this beer again.

04-17-2011 23:12:20 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of thefireman


4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

I got this with a sampler case so I could try a couple styles for the forst time. Pours a rich, dark brown with a nice 1/2 inch head. First taste the rich maltiness, nutty, coffee flavor. Enough hops to balance without being overbearing. Very drinkable any time of year for me. On my list of "must stock" beers.

06-22-2003 19:19:01 | More by thefireman
Photo of AEK

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

355ml brown bottle poured into a JW Lees pint pot.

A. Dark chestnut brown with a 2cm thick, soft looking milky coffee coloured head.

S. Bitter chocolate, coffee, nutty, toasted malt.

T, Fruity malt, meaty flavours, roasted malt, chocolatey and a slight coffeeish taste.

M. Medium bordering on thick, lightly carbonated.

D. Brilliant American version of an English brown ale. This has a really good complexity for a beer of only 5.6%ABV. Really nice to drink on a regular basis.

06-24-2010 00:02:38 | More by AEK
Photo of Donnie2112


4.35/5  rDev +19.8%

appearance: it's reddish brown and so dark translucent brown that it starts to look almost cloudy or opaque, a light film of head and no lacing

smell: there's a bit of alcohol, something vaguely fruity a certain sharpness there as well, maybe a bit smoky and toasty.

taste: smoky, toasty malts, a bit of sweet grape flavor in there but it's faint, there's also a sharpness that carries over from the nose. there's a light cleansing hop presence right at the end. It finishs rather clean.

mouthfeel: medium-light body, definately a bit tannic just really nice

drinkability: I have had this beer several times and I enjoy it. It's not one of my regulars but I could see this becoming my BBQ beer. I think it's highly drinkable. Hell it's chuggable but's also sippable, if you wanna think about it you can if you don't it's not so intrusive that it demands attention. Not a superstar but a damn good beer.

06-03-2008 00:58:51 | More by Donnie2112
Photo of Hammarby


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

A: Dark amber /brown with copper tones. Tan head, foamy with rather big bubbles, that stays a while.
S: Red berries, chocolate, yeast, hops (cascade).
T: Cascade hops, chocolate fudge, caramel, apricot, raincoat fabric, bitterness, charcoal. Aftertaste of charcoal and apricot. Kind of oily feel in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body, moderate carboration.
D: Very good drinkability. Well balanced between bitterness and smoothness and sweetness. Something between northern and southern english brown ales with an american accent, according to Brooklyn Brewery. I'd say a typical american brown ale. I like it a lot.

04-07-2007 19:38:42 | More by Hammarby
Photo of psyco1


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

This was my first brown ale and a good one it was.

It poured a nice deep brown with a slightly tannish head that stayed for a minute or so. The smell was a hint of hops with some carmel and maybe, just maybe a slight bit of choclate. The taste was like the smell with the hops starting out stronger and ending up quite malty with some sweetness throughout.

This is one I can drink all night, and have.

04-11-2004 13:38:39 | More by psyco1
Photo of scottg


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
beset before Sept 08.

Pours a clear reddish brown with a 1/2 finger creamy head that dissipates quickly leaving light lacing. Strong cherry and chocolate aromas. Lots of flavors going on: chocolate, coffee, tart green apple, lemon/tea hops, and a light oaky smoke flavor. Medium carbonation, medium body, the beer has a chalky mouthfeel, highly drinkable.
The bitter aspects of this beer are very well highlighted without being overpowering. Great brown ale.

07-01-2008 14:27:21 | More by scottg
Photo of JayQue


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

This is a really nice brown ale. Pours a ruby red color with decent lacing. Aroma not overpowering but some maltyness and a slight hint of fruit. Taste is mild malty, incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is good for a brown ale. Drinkability is great. I could easily swill many of these over the course of an evening. A very nice smooth beer, much better than Newcastle.

12-31-2006 22:53:01 | More by JayQue
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

Copper brown hue, dense khaki head, and webby lacing. Leafy hop spice scents on top of caramelly bread aromas with maple and walnut notes. Doughy. Mellow "English" hop spiciness up front, followed by a caramel and dark poundcake (almost cocoa-ish) middle. Demure bitterness at the finish. Tasty! Smooth mouthfeel, overall, with a slight chewy quality throughout. A very drinkable brown, particularly when fresh. After many samples, I've decided this beer shines brightest from the tap. A high-quality session brown for certain.

12-10-2006 22:34:41 | More by orfeu
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%

This brownish ruby brew starts off with a solid non-fizzy head that laces the glass. Aroma is cocoa powder, brownies and a bit of caramel and the taste is sweet, but dry with chocolate and a little roasted coffee showing through; also some nice hop bitterness there to balance the brew, which still finishes sweet and smooth.

This one is an American classic most of my non-beer nerd and less adventurous friends have drank and loved.

08-07-2007 01:09:04 | More by saintwarrick
Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 1,958 ratings.