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Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,036 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,036
Reviews: 923
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 39
Gots: 136 | FT: 1
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: 2,036 | Reviews: 923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AndrewMcLemore
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Brewery makes some solid beers, usually nothing spectacular mind you, but always good beers for sharing with others.

Its brown ale is no exception, offering a much lighter, more drinkable brown ale than is often found. This style can lean toward either over-carbonated Coca-Cola or a thicker, maltier beer. Brookyn's Brown falls somewhere in between and it's a nice middle ground.

The appearance and smell are average: dark brown with decent retention, though barely cloudy enough and the aroma needs a bit more waft -- presently its closest to potatoes.

But the taste has a studied simplicity to it, mostly of unsalted peanuts and buttered starches. The brewery deserves points for not making the beer overly sweet.

This is a nice brown ale to try for someone stretching out their beer palette.

AndrewMcLemore, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of dpodratsky3
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Rich brown with some orange highlights, nice thick but smooth tan head

S: Pretty rich, toasted/lightly roasted malt, little malt sourness almost, slightly spicy hop, caramel too

T: Not so great, hop is a little too acidic/medicinal tasting, not as rich as aroma, malt is still there and helps, caramel and slightly sweet

M: Very dry, a little thin, light medium body

D: Ok, flavors aren't great

Notes: This beer had promise, but it didn't live up to what I was expecting. The hops in the flavor need to be more like the aroma. It should be a malt dominated beer, which it is, but the hops need to be better. The malt that is there in the flavor make up for the hops though. If they were more in line, the score would go up.

dpodratsky3, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of scriabin
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very solid brown ale. Pours with a dark, ruby color and a nice head. A lovely beer to look at. The taste is a mix of malt, brown sugar, coffe and a hint of chocolate. The drink is smooth, almost velvety and has the perfect amount of carbonation. More than worth a quaff or two.

scriabin, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark cherry-chestnut that becomes lucent dark cherry with tangerine trim when light enters the glass. It didn't appear as if much head was being generated during the pour, but the end result is a two finger disk of faded sandalwood. The foam is melting unevenly and looks especially creamy as it does so. Thin, broken sheets of lace end up on the glass.

I know that brown ales don't usually have the olfactory power and presence of stouts, or even porters, but this one could use some giddy-up-and-go. It smells like gently roasted malt and barely toasted nuts, with no hops that I can detect. My hope is that the nose is having an off day and that the flavor has brought its 'A' game.

Several mouthfuls later... it looks like the flavor has brought its 'B-' game. There isn't enough malt to satisfy me; something that should have been obvious from the luceny of the beer and the weak nose. BBA tastes like heavily toasted brown bread sprinkled with cocoa powder. Rich chocolate is nowhere to be found. It's still sort of walnut nutty, with a little fruity hoppiness for good measure.

The beer's lightness isn't the sole reason for my lack of enthusiasm. The flavor never really finds its stride and doesn't grab me the way the best versions do. Brooklyn Brown is neither sweet, nor bitter, nor sour. If forced to pick one, I'd say that it's mildly sweet.

The mouthfeel is light-medium; starting out near the latter and finishing near the former. Again, more malt please. As could have been predicted from the pour, carbonation is a bit lacking. All in all, the mouthfeel lacks substance and excitement, although I'll keep style in mind and won't be too critical.

Early on, I wasn't overly thrilled with Brooklyn Brewery beer. The two that I had prior to this one (Pilsner and Lager) were excellent, especially Lager, so my hopes were on the high side for Brown Ale. It's definitely better than average, but better browns shouldn't be that hard to find, no matter where you happen to live.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of Duster72
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and no head to speak of. Aroma is nutty, toasty, carmel. Taste is lightly roasted malts and carmel. Little alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is fairly thin for the style. Decent pairing with hearty meal at this price point.

Duster72, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of MrKennedy
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Brooklyn Tulip, picked up at the Parramatta Road, Camperdown Cellars.

Pours deep brown with a tough of mahogany and ruby around the edges when held up to the light. Off-white foam that depletes just a little bit too soon and doesn't leave a trace on the glass.

Smells of lightly toasted malt, plenty of nut, but it works in harmony with the toasted malt and doesn't become overbearing. Some chocolate in the background, but lacking any real hop presence. Otherwise, it does everything you want in this department.

Tastes of chocolate and nut, with the two complimenting one another, despite not being huge in their own right. Good, but lacking any real hop flavour that i was expecting from a US Brown Ale.

Body is overall ok, with just a little thin spot towards the end. Doesn't get too sweet, but doesn't have the bite at the end that i'd expect from a US Brown.

A good beer, but needs the hoppiness to be a true US brown ale. I'm guessing faded as it has just 4 months left on the Best Before and is a legitimate import.

MrKennedy, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of farlieonfootie
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brooklyn Brewery's Brown Ale pours root beer brown, with a thick, two-fingered head that dissipates quickly and leaves behind only spotty lacing. The beer's smell is very mild, with really only roasted malts and a certain sweetness evident. The taste follows the nose, and Brown Ale is full of roasted malts, followed by some caramel and chocolate notes, and the beer finishes with a certain dry hoppiness. This is a very straightforward brown ale -- not my favorite, but I wouldn't turn it down, either.

farlieonfootie, May 21, 2011
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a large fading head.
Nose shows chocolate, coffee, nutty malt and soft caramel. Also some toasty, melanoidin-like malt. Very nice.
Flavours initially include similar chocolate and roasted malt, but a little later some vegemite shows through along with soft acidity.
Body seems a little light on, carbonation a bit high.

CrazyDavros, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of Traquairlover
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Very clear medium reddish brown, small tan head which dissipates quickly, light lacing.

S = Light notes of molasses, brown sugar, cinnamon, buttered toast, a little light though and with a bit of a pepper bite that really doesn't quite go well.

T = Quite a bit of bitterness, both at the front of the tongue and in the finish, less of the sweet syrupy tastes than I was expecting from the smell, a little out of balance with a slight tinny taste from mid-palate through the end of the finish.

M = Bit too much sting from the carbonation, decent mouthcoating, medium body.

D = This one is definitely drinkable but it just doesn't stand far enough out from the crowd to be highly recommended. Not a bad standby all purpose beer though.

Traquairlover, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with a large size fizzy beige coloured head. There isn't much carbonation showing and there is an average amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 3 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, chocolate, hops, coffee

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels somewhat creamy on the tongue. There is a lot of malt flavour mixed with notes of chocolate and coffee. I can also pick up some light hops and a bit of sweet pear juice. There is also a slight metallic taste to the beer. It finishes with a bitter and malty aftertaste.

Drink - I enjoyed this beer much more on draft than from the bottle. It found it had more of a harsh bitter aftertaste from the bottle. Still a decent beer however.

spinrsx, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of marc77
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, ruddy deep chestnut in hue. Thick, persistent, dense tan head leaves lace. The aroma is predominantly of dry baker's chocolate and stately toffee along with faintly floral hops. Tame. Biscuit and burnt bread upfront in flavor ensued by mellow cocoa and an herbal tinge of hops. Salty, lightly mineral notes mid palate along with hints of whole wheat cracker. Mild hop bitterness. Light, crisp, with well calculated attenuation and residual dextrins. Finishes mostly clean and dry, with fleeting hints of molasses and savory biscuit. A no frills drinkable brown with enough character to keep the palate interested. Tasty, but mostly unremarkable.

marc77, May 27, 2003
Photo of sethmeister
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle with Best by Sep 2008 stamped.

Pours a very dark brown with cranberry highlights and a lightly colored tan head which drops to a film quickly.

Scent is not very noticeable but I discern a general roasted malt scent.

Taste is of nuts, malt (and honey?) sweetness followed by a slight hop bitterness. Very slight tea-like flavor and bitterness.

Body is a bit thin.

Drinkability is good.

Verdict is a pleasant to drink brown ale but not a remarkable one. Note that this was reviewed right at the best by date (Sep 08) and may be better fresher.

sethmeister, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of NODAK
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smell here is of sweet, chocolate malt...maybe a little coffee. More so than I had expected from a beer like this.

This beer has some crispness upfront with a bit of English hop character...followed by a fair amount of chocolate/caramel malt. Nowhere near the heavy body I had thought. The finish has a little hoppiness to it..enough to give a bitter twinge on the sides of the tongue. Pretty dry finish in that respect. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'd imagined here. As it warms, the malt becomes a bit more pronounced.

Some malt remains in the aftertaste...it's a bit cloying. Sometimes hard to ascertain whether it's of dark chocolate or coffee.

Overall, I'd say it's pretty average. I'd hoped for a bit more boldness but it's certainly drinkable.

NODAK, Jul 01, 2009
Photo of BrownNut
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark copper/caramel. Great head.

S- nice, malty, yeasty, and a fresh note

T - Slightly acidic in a citrusy way without tasting of citrus. Not what I was expecting from a brown ale. Looking at a page of other people's reviews on this, nobody else has said this. Something wrong with mine? Not sure. Otherwise a very slight roasty grain taste.

Aftertaste - Pretty clean. Faint roasty grain taste on the exhale. I'm left with a tart mouth.

M - Mostly neutral except an oddly localized and interesting tartness at the very tip of the tongue and inside the lips. Makes me want to purse my lips in the angry child configuration.

O - A pleasant and interesting beer. More sour and tart than I want from a brown ale, but still good. The tartness is just so surprising and unexpected. It's sort of a novelty. I could see myself ordering it now and then if it were on tap at my local, just for the peculiar and distinctive experience of it.

BrownNut, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich mahogany brown. it had a finger thick tan head but it didn't last.
smells toasty in the glass, caramel malts and a slight hop aroma in there too.
the toasted malt is in the taste as well. the label says chocolate and coffee, but my palate doesn't.
slightly too light bodies for me, on the watery side.
overall i would have this again, but its just a decent brewed beer.

JordonHoltzman, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of leaddog
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark chestnut brown with two fingers of frothy cream head.

Smell- caramalts, nuttiness, vanilla, slight leafy hops

Taste- Starts off with the roasted malts, grains, and slight nuttiness. Not as sweet as the aroma suggests. Finishes with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- A tasty American Brown Ale from Brooklyn. I liked that it wasn't nut or caramel heavy as other American Brown Ales can be. It could use a tad more sweetness but otherwise the flavours are pretty well balanced.

leaddog, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of diamondc
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$1.99 for a single 12 oz. Best before Feb 2010.

A: Dark brown, reddish tint. Speckled lacing on the glass after a few mini gulps. Head didn't last too long, just leaving a few wisps of foam.

S: Nutty at first, medium roast, followed by a weak dark fruit, plum / cherry aroma.

T: More of the nuttiness. Milk chocolate, espresso, with a faint grape bubblegum flavor. I'm reminded of a Snickers bar actually. Hops get lost in the roasted aftertaste.

M/D: A respectable brown ale. Nothing mind-blowing here. As has been said before, a bit watery, but very drinkable.

diamondc, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass feb26 2010

A clear reddish bronze with a fair bit of bubbles and a fast falling fingers worth of head that left a few patches of lace

S some mild chocolate and maybe a little raisin

T as it smells but with just a little coffee

M a little creamy from all the bubbles

D not bad but I feel it's missing a little something keeping it from being a great beer

I can't quite figure out what this beers missing, I do like this brew but it could use just a little something

wordemupg, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of pants678
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this on tap at a local joint with a decent rotation. I'd had this one before out of the bottle and was rather unimpressed. I found it watery and had written it off as sub par.

However, as always, out of the tap was entirely different. I noticed the pour was poor, 1/2 the pint was foam. But that was fixed and received the pint with a nice head. Came off as a dark red, brown coloring. Didn't take a lot from the smell, malt and oak. The first sip was perfect, exactly what a brown should be. Carmel, malts, nuts, etc. Excellent. It did fizzle out as I worked my way down, but that's more or less expected. Since it couldn't maintain, that drops it but I'll keep just a step above Newcastle.

pants678, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of yuriruley
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - reddish/brown with a small white head, not much lacing to speak of.

Smell - very faint, light chocolate, some malt. Not getting much else.

Taste - Has an earthy flavor, some chocolate. Very mellow flavor.

Mouthfeel - pretty good, good carbonation, light to medium body.

Drink - not bad, as someone mentioned, I think it is pretty sessionable.

Overall pretty good, I am not big into browns, but this one is pretty good.

yuriruley, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of bfree
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown, amber color

S: has a mild sweet, chocolate, nutty and fruity (cherry) smell...very pleasant

T: similar to the nose, but less sense of fruit due to the carbonation

M: carbonation from start to finish

D: not too sweet and not too heavy, the carbonation is a little much but it is very suitable for an autumn beer

bfree, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of danielharper
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

A: Pours a tan-brown body with a thick foamy khaki-colored head. Not cloudy at all, but dark enough to be mostly opaque.

S: Nutty, slightly malty aroma. Sweet, astringent, inviting.

T: Slightly astringent flavor, but with a very sweet nuttiness that is quite enjoyable. Finishes sweet and clean.

M: Moderate. Somewhat chewy.

D: A very drinkable brown ale -- this is one of my favorites of the style.

danielharper, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of Shrews629
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Very dark brown mahogany. "Oxblood". Clear body. Khaki/Tan colored head that dissipated rather quickly, but left a decent ring around the top. Some deep red highlights peek through on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Getting some malt in the nose, but not terribly strong. Picking up some "special dark" chocolate notes. Nice. The roasted malt comes through stronger as the beer starts to warm. Whispers of coffee bean make an underlying appearance.

Taste - With the taste, I am again picking up on the roasted malt with inklings of the chocolate. The coffee flavor is coming along at a decent pace at the end of the sip.

Mouthfeel - Medium to thin mouthfeel for this style. Doesn't hang on the palate as long as I had anticipated. Not bad, but just not as strong as some others.

Drinkability - This is a pretty decent brew. I wouldn't turn it down. Good session brew for the Fall season. Not quite as warming as I was hoping, but not bad. The smell was the best aspect with the evidence of the dark chocolate.

Shrews629, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of asaharyev
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Dark chestnut brown with no haze, a small prickly head that quickly vanishes. I may have poured this one a bit too cold.

Aroma: Molasses and vanilla, a touch of hop presence. I also smell a bit of black bread, or really just kvass.

Taste: Sweet dark malt flavors include chocolate and sweet dark malts, a nice black bread presence as well. Some nuttiness to the flavor as it sits in your mouth, that gives way to a nice dry finish. A very good example of the style, and really hits the spot year round.

Overall: A good go-to beer if you aren’t feeling adventurous. Also has a pretty good distribution, so you might find it in a liquor store that has a limited craft beer selection.

asaharyev, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of jjboesen
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had a bottle* of this at Dr. Dremo's in Arlington.

It began with a thin, bubbly head and minimal lacing and settles into a dark ruby color with little clarity. My palate detected some cherry with an undertone of molasses along with minor nuttiness; however, I also detected a soapy note that may be attributed to the glassware. (Sigh!)

Mouthfeel is finely structured with an easy balance of malt and sweetness. Certainly a palatable quaff though not one of my favorite beers from Brooklyn Brewery. (See Note below.)

*NOTE: The bottle was contract brewed by F.X. Matt (Utica, NY) and bore the inscription, "Best Before February 2007." Make of this what you will.

jjboesen, Dec 25, 2007
Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 2,036 ratings.