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Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,814 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1814
Reviews: 906
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.95%

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)
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Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a mahogany brown into a pint glass, with less than a finger of sepia-colored head, modest retention, and good lacing. The nose consisted of caramel, hazelnut, milk chocolate, and coffee, with a hint of herbal hops as well. Definitely a sweet, nutty, malty balance throughout, with a hoppier than expected essence as well. While some may find fault with the latter, I think it actually worked nicely; especially in mixing with the sweet finish. The feel was a little on the thin side for a brown ale, and also a little over-carbonated. That being said, it made for a highly sessionable beer. I found this beer overall to be a pleasant surprise.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 03:24:43 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Brenden


4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For whatever reason, the appearance is unimpressive. This is a brown ale in every respect, and shows it in color and depth. Very little head forms, however, and little lacing is left on the glass. There is a foam that remains, though even that is very light.
The aroma is big on caramel notes from a heavy malt with a bit of hops balancing nicely. Coffee and chocolate are detectable underneath, as well as a slight nuttiness that comes out more in the flavor.
Everything on the nose is in the flavor, and this has a great roasted malts underscoring and enhancing the rest of the flavors. Roasty and earthy up front, hops linger underneath all the way without ever threatening to take over, so balance is superb. Coffee and chocolate notes really come out, and a nutty flavor rounds it out, particularly in the finish. I don't know if browns just aren't peoples' thing, but this is one of the best I've had.
The body is medium-full with a light carbonation, just enough to keep it lively, and a rich, smooth feel.
This beer is just further proof that Garrett Oliver and his boys know a thing or two about brewing, and I'm surprised this doesn't get more love.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2011 17:15:37 | More by Brenden
Photo of marburg


4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Something of an oddity, I'd imagine, in this style/category -- a dry, bitter brown ale. Taking Newcastle, or even Sam Smith's, as the prototype, this is more than a stone's throw away.

But who gives a shit?

Amberish. A bit light. Bready, malty, mildly caramel-ish aroma. Any hop presence in the aroma is strictly herbal in nature. That changes in a bit though.

Starts a bit thin despite the obvious malt flavors and the mild roasted presence. Builds character as its story develops across the palate. Almost American Pale Ale like in its acidic, piney hop finish. Roasted bitterness and toffee notes compliment. This is originality to be sure. Obviously, this beer's been around for a while, but I can't see how this wasn't a trendsetter when it was first released. It's not going to knock any big Belgians off the top of my all-time faves list, but this is immensely quaffable and surprisingly interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 03:45:49 | More by marburg
Photo of cracgor


4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This as a silky offwhite head. It isn't tall, but it is thick and looks like I think it should. It sticks to the glass well. The body is a dark rich burnt umber.

Smell: Very hoppy. And a nice hop smell. Fruity and resiny.

Taste: This is my absolute favorite American Brown Ale with good distribution. It is well hopped. The malts are chocolate or coffee-like. It is fruity, well balanced, and intriguing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. silky/velvety.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I really enjoy this beer everytime I have it.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2005 22:55:30 | More by cracgor
Photo of ZeroSignal


4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best before 09/10

A - Pours a dark brown with a cranberry red hue. Half an inch of mocha colored head with stick lacing

S - Nutty, burnt sugar, caramel, coffee and I pick up a hint of...grassy hops?

T&M - The first thing I think is that this has more of a hop profile then I'm accustomed to for a brown ale, but this is not a bad thing, just different. This beer has a nice sweetness aspect, some brown sugar and chocolate. Nuttiness is well balanced by the hop presence. Notes of coffee and roasted malts. Finish feels "bright" on the palate. Heavy medium to full bodied.

D - A well crafted brew, with quite a bit going on. A appreciate the moderate ABV and depth of flavor achieved. I got two in a variety pack, and will happily drink both. I may have a new favorite Brown Ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 01:40:21 | More by ZeroSignal
Photo of tavernjef


4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeously deep and hazey cherrywood brown with a dark beige crown of firm foam that grabs about a finger height of might. A few spots and thinnly spread strings of lace stick about the glass all the while keeping a strong skim the entire session.

Aroma has some cocoa and roasty nuttyness about it while maintaining an airyness about the nose. It's not strong, but it's welcome, rounded, and clean. Drier maltness of pale, roasted, and brown malt tend to get in there with just a pinch of dry grassy hops too.

Taste is quite solid and bold for a Brown. Lengthy cocoa-esque dryness puffs about with dried toffee bits, whispy vanilla hints, and roasted nuttyness. There's some nice nuances and complexity to it that most brown ales fall very short on. This is faintly sweet with a darker breadyness behind its overall grazing dryness of roasty nuttyness(hazelnut)and cocoa fluffy tint.

Has a wholesome, lightly sweet and dryish medium, smooth body. Carbonation is just light enough to put just the right spark of bite on the palate while it places a very nice airy touch to dryness. The dryness is what carries a good amount of the complexities of the flavors as the sweetness holds it all together.

One impressive Brown and very sessionable to boot.
Brooklyn Brown Ale gets a thumbs up, and in a style that usually doesn't even get a thumb from me.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 00:08:05 | More by tavernjef
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper / amber color with tan head. On the nose there are aromas of toasted bread and caramel malt.Pretty dry/smooth mouthfeel. On the palate there is more toasted bread, caramel, chocolate, sweet/but no overly sweet, nutty, slight hop bitterness…emm good. Nice full flavored brown ale…

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2002 16:27:49 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber or mahogany color witha nice foamy off-white head that leaves lace all over your glass. OH does this have aroma. It has a great malt sweetness that is combined with some spicy hops, and a touch of dark malts and chocolate.

The flavor of this beer is also enjoyable. Tingly carbonation gives it a crisp start. The sweet malts come first with a bit of cherry flavoring to it (atleast it is the same kind of cherry flavoring I got out of one of my homebrews). Chocolate comes in strong, and then you get the roasty dark malts. A fair amount of bitter hops also get into the mix. Just before the aftertaste, you have a hit of chocolate cake. This is a very complex beer, and I did not expect it at all. A medium to full bodied brew that is also very drinkable.

Many different people have selected this beer from the store I work in, and I figured that it was just a trendy thing, since not too many people actually pick good ones, but I am glad I finally got it. A friend said, you haven't had this, Give it a whirl, so I did. You gotta have this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2003 19:08:17 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of psyco1


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: growler

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


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2007 01:09:04 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of chileman13

New Mexico

4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer at Ruth's Chris Steak House on 7th in NYC. They offered nothing on tap and limited beers overall. Since there was no Porter to enjoy with my Kobe steak (ooohhh baby). I went for the Brown Ale.
A- Poured a dark brown / w red hints Had 2 fingers of creamy head that fell to 1/8" foam across.
S- Somewhat nutty w choco tone..
M- Thinner than some other brown ales, yet somehow righteous
T- Carmel well balanced with hops. I go to the IPA junction if I want hops.
Final thoughts: Damn that was a good brew. Too bad I haven't found it in New Mexico...

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 20:49:23 | More by chileman13
Photo of nickfl


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice, light brown head that settles to a nice film of foam. Medium brown body with good clarity.

S - Toffee malt aroma with some caramel. Spicy hops with a hint of mocha.

T - Nutty malt with a smooth, spicy hop flavor. Subtle chocolate and caramel flavors in the middle with a malty finish and moderate hop/malt bitterness.

M - Smooth, moderately thick body with medium carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth in the finish.

D - A very drinkable and flavorful brown ale. Easily one of the best examples of the style that I have experienced.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 05:00:36 | More by nickfl
Photo of scottg


4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2003 19:19:01 | More by thefireman
Photo of Donnie2112


4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

Serving type: bottle

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


4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 04:50:32 | More by rdilauro
Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 1,814 ratings.