Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Brooklyn Brown Ale - Brooklyn Brewery

Not Rated.
Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

939 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 939
Hads: 2,277
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 19.29%
Wants: 64
Gots: 314 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale | 5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: purplehops on 06-10-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Brooklyn Brown Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 939 | Hads: 2,277
Photo of donmonkey1
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque dark brown with a tan head. The head isn't big and dissipates quickly, but leaves decent lacing

Smell: Coffee, roasted malt, molasses, brown sugar, roasted nuts.

Taste: Nutty coffee, roasted nuts, sweet malty caramel.

Mouthfeel: Creamy.

This may be the best brown ale I've ever had. It leaves me licking my lips and wanting more. It's a little too heavy for a session beer, but definately an outstanding beer. This is my first Brooklyn brand beer and I look forward to trying more.

 513 characters

Photo of Danny1217
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color. A tan head with good retention.
The smell is very subdued. I'm not getting much here. A little bit of malty caramel. The taste is roasted with some caramel, toffee, and even some fruits. The taste is complex, it's just not all that great to me. Medium body and carbonation.

It's an all right beer, but not one of my favorites from Brooklyn at all.

 374 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut color with good clarity. Finger and a half of off white head. Very very still head. Sweet caramel malt on the nose with a touch of citric hops. A little nutty, pretty nice nose.

Medium in body, feels nice and full in the mouth. Sweet roasted malts up front flow into a rich roasted nuttiness. Stringy mouthfeel on the swallow. Good balance from the hops. Exceptionally smooth. Simple yet brilliant. Big good flavors that all work extremely well together with great balance. My only complaint is that a touch of dark fruit lies beneath it all but only if you really look for it. This fruit flavor doesn't go with the rich roast of the brew but it doesn't make itself known really. Lingering sweetness on the tip of the tongue and the lips.

Very good beer, I'm usually not a brooklyn fan but this was quite the brown ale.

 835 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark, brownish, caramel amber with a thin lacing of brownish, soft head that has little retention

S - caramel, toffee and a citrus aroma that seems present in many of the Brooklyn year-round offerings

T - big roasty characters up front and throughout with some accompanying caramel, toffee, and nutty notes. There is a faint bitter hoppyness to the finish

M - medium bodied and smooth with a crisp carbonation

This is a decent, easy drinking, well balanced brown ale. I like the heavy roasted malt notes throughout. All around refreshing and enjoyable.

 560 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a caramel like brown color, a touch darker with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head.

S - Smell is mild yet sweet with some brown malt, a touch of sweet sugars and a little bit of hops.

T - Well for the price it was a nice brown ale. Brown malt is mild and not very chalky leading to a rather sweet drinking experience but with little cocoa or chocolate flavors it makes it fall far from an elite brew. Not bad though.

M - Medium and kind of chewy.

Overall not something I would buy again but a better than average brown ale.

 536 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red-brown with tiptop clarity. Inch of head. Laces well. 4.0

Toasted grain and pomme skin. Well-kilned in the nose. Hearty. 3.5

Browned apples, generous toasted malts, herbal hops, nuttiness and grassiness. Bitter middle, tangy finish. 4.0

Medium body with some slickness. Lively carbonation. Very sessionable. 4.0

Elite brown ale. One of the best. 4.5

 356 characters

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.37/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint.

Appearance: A very dark brown, still transparent with a 1/4" off whit to tan head.

Smell: light maple, almost bock-like. If there was a word that meant lighter than light I would use it this beer is really light when it comes to smell.

Taste: Malty, light barley and for a beer not very high on the ABV level you definitely taste the alcohol. I taste little maple and a notch sweet I truly like it.

Mouth: medium carbonation with sharp bubbles. It has an even better after taste but not the most lasting.

Overall: Having this on tap after finishing an incredible rib-eye and a great choice. On tap this beer was the right choice, have one one me. Salud!

 681 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from about 100mL left after using the rest in a lamb marinade (but that's another story). (oh OK, you asked; it worked really well in the marinade)

Dark-brown colour, clear with an orange tinge at the edge. Head is pale beige, foamy, with decent density. Retains with large bubbles. Not bad at all.

Coffee and medicine on the nose. Pepper, cherry and a touch of caramel for sweetness, maybe some vanilla as well. Spicy, roasty, sweet. Pretty much all you could want from a brown ale.

Taste has similar characters, but a bit more subtle, not as pungent. Chocolate, coffee, bit weak on the front-to-mid but gets more roasty and spice towards the back. Cloves on the finish and a touch of black pepper. Subtle, but nicely constructed palate for a well-balanced Autumnal beer (that's "Fall beer").

The body's there, but still feels a little thin and over-fluent. Bit of piquancy at the back.

Nothing too exciting, but it strikes me as a fairly quintessential brown ale, an archetype even. Plus it's really well-made and drinkable, so yeah, good work Brooklyn.

 1,069 characters

Photo of sauron681
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light brown, with medium carbonation and a good head that leaves too quick for a brown, ok on the lacing.
Aroma of chocolate and raisins. Very clear and clean, medium mouthfeel.
Tastes of burnt toffee, caramel malt sweetness, with light astingency. Finishes dry with slight coffee hints

 293 characters

Photo of jimmah120
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Old Chicago

Pours dark-brown amber with a two finger off-white head. Smells like a red ale but with some roasted characteristics. Taste is different than what I expected, overripe pears and apples are the most predominant, finishing with roasted hazelnut. Mouthfeel is great, smooth and it's body feels fuller than it is. It is dry, tho.

Quite enjoyable.

 366 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, slightly translucent ruby-brown coloring with a short stacked, off-white, light head that quickly settles down into a filmy coating with a ring of bubbling around the edge of the surface. Aromas are rich, roasted, and nutty, with a touch of toffee throughout. Smells sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Flavors are blended well and smooth throughout, with a roasted nut backbone that has touches of hazelnut as well chestnut and peanut characters. Sweet buttercream highlights keep all of the flavors playing along together, leading to a light, creamy aftertaste and a quick, clean finish. The increased carbonation and light body keep the beer from becoming cloying or overpowering. Very easy to drink with a very decent flavor profile overall. Tasty.

 824 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip. best before Aug. 2012.

A: certainly brown, but neither real dark or real light. the body is actually transparent. more of a rim than a head, however does leave some draping lacing behind.

S: roast starts things off on the nose. almost a little ashy. chocolate. reminds me a little bit of hot chocolate powder.

T: the body actually has a good deal of fruit to it. green grapes. pear. transitions to a bitter roast with a mild finish. mostly bittersweet, but perhaps even a little roasty/smokey.

M: moderate carbonation on an ideally medium body.

D: with most of the examples from the american brown category getting more and more beastly, it is nice to have an example that can deliver flavor without an overbearing body. not a bad "session" american brown.

 789 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light brown color with an off white head and lacing. Aroma of caramel, floral/citrus hops and nuts.

Taste: Caramel and slight toffee upfront, hop bitterness chimes in orange citrus flavors. There is a tart twang (overactive ale yeast strain/infection?) and is a touch metallic. Finishes more malty and slightly dry.

M/O: Light medium bodied feel, well carbonated. Overall, without the weird twang this would be a great brown ale. If I get a better sample I will re-review, but the bottle was fresh.

 509 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of Brooklyn's Brown Ale that my brother brought back from his trip down south. I have always wanted to try some beer from this brewery, but since they aren't available in Michigan I have never had the chance to try this beer till now, so lets see how it goes. It had a best before date of June 2012. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's pretty clean and traditional looking. It poured a nice mahogany color that took on a nice bright deep ruby red color that was fairly clear when held to the light and it had two and a half fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left a little lacing. This Brown Ale looks on par for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a nice amount of sweet caramel malts that impart some nice, toasted, toffee caramel, brown bread, brown sugar, and slight espresso like coffee aromas. Towards the end I get a slight nuttiness and some more roasted aromas with a little bit of chocolate at the end and there were no hops that I could pick up. I liked the aroma of this beer, it's pretty complex, slightly nutty and it had a little more roast then normal for a Brown Ale, all those aspects came together to make for a pretty good aroma.

T- The taste is pretty close to the aroma and follows it nicely. It starts off with a large amount of malts that have a lower amount of medium sweetness and impart some nice grainy, brown bread, toffee, and caramel flavors. It isn't as roasty as the aroma was but it still imparts a slight coffee and chocolate flavor along with and equally light nutty flavor. There's a slight tartness at the end followed by a light amount of medium bitterness and a malty, brown bread, and a nutty aftertaste. This was a good tasting Brown Ale, my only complaint was the slight tartness on the finish, but other then that I thought the flavor was nice.

M- Very smooth, slightly creamy, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was really good and it worked well with this beer, I have no complaints.

Overall I liked this beer and I thought it was a good example of an American Brown Ale, it had some nice complex aromas and flavors that were more robust then the average American Brown Ale and that made this beer stick out a little and made it memorable. This beer had pretty good drinkability it went down pretty fast and smooth and had enough flavor to hold my attention, I could see drinking two or three of these in a row if I was in the mood for a Brown Ale. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma, it was really nice, roasty, and complex, I thought it was really well done. What I liked least about this beer was the slight tartness on the finish of this beer, it just seemed out of place, and it was unnecessary. I would buy this beer again if it was available, but since it's not I doubt I will be having it anytime soon. If you like American Brown Ales I for sure recommend giving this beer a try. This was my first beer from Brooklyn Brewery and I have to say that I was impressed and that it made for a pretty good first impression for this brewery and I am interested in trying many more beers from this brewery, there are more then a couple that I have my eye on. Good Job guys this is one solid American Brown Ale.

 3,334 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep ruby with a 1.5 finger light tan head.

Smells of floral hops along with some roasted malt and dark chocolate. A touch of coffee as well.

Flavor is coffee and roasted malt but quickly followed by a not so good metallic taste. Some caramel and bitter dark chocolate is there along with a light tartness. A moderate bitterness and a sticky finish ends it.

Overall this is a decent brown ale but could be better. If the metal taste would go away it would be a whole lot better.

 528 characters

Photo of minnesotaryan
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown slight amber/reddish tint at the bottom, some slight foam at the top.

Could smell the hops before I even poured it, cocoa, roasted malt and subtle citrus.

Chocolate, orange, roasted malt, perhaps light roast coffee.

Smooth, adequate carbonation, dry finish leaves you wanting more.

Nice easy to drink brown ale, I could see myself easily enjoying a few of these in a night.

 388 characters

Photo of TheDinger
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Nice rich brown tone with an adequate off white head and decent spotting and lacing. Smell is rich malts, chocolate and a hint of carmel. Taste follows the nose and is a straightforward ABA with a little coffee and nice blend of hops and malts. Easy drinking and refreshing. Feel is silky and creamy with good carbonation and medium body. Overall- I'm a big fan of Brooklyn and think they did a good job on their ABA. It's not out of this world, but it is very solid and is a good interpretation of the style. Solid blending of malts and carmel, good feel and I will be hitting a few more of these-

 635 characters

Photo of dansmcd
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A finger of foamy head caps the extreme dark brown body with golden glints.

S - Dry powdery coffee and sweet milk chocolate. Traces of hops.

T - Again, sweet coffee and chocolate, citrusy hops and a subtle smokiness.

M - Smooth medium body, low carbonation.

O - Really nice character brown ale, hoppier than the usual brown.

 332 characters

Photo of coalcracker
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours amber brown with very substantial carbonation and head retention.
Smell: Aroma is a bit malt and sweet with a touch of hop spiciness.
Taste: Starts out sweet with tones of caramel and darker malts which become more pronounced through the back end of the tasting. Hoppy aspect also a bit more noticeable at the midway point which helps quell the initial sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel with a very mild hop burn; otherwise very smooth and a bit dry at the end.

Overall- A pretty solid brown ale with a little more emphasis on the hops than other brown ales, which is just fine IMO. Good effort.

 615 characters

Photo of mattbk
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep tan to brown, fairly clear, maybe just a tad hazy, head is pretty weak and fades fast.
S - Deep dark fruit, fig. Just a hint of chocolate. Smells very malty. I'm surprised at how much dark fruit you can get through this relatively low ABV beer.
T - Again, a pretty good amount of dark fruit, the finish is long and hangs around the back of the throat. Maybe a bit cloying. I'm searching for other things to go with the fruit, no nuttiness or much chocolate to speak of. Hops may come through right at the end to balance it a bit.
M - Fairly heavy on the mouthfeel, seems appropriate. Medium-light carbonation.
O - This beer is interesting in the malt expression, but a bit one dimensional. I'd like more of the dark malts to come through in a way that wasn't just sweet.

 780 characters

Photo of 160Shillings
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 779 characters

Photo of dexterk1
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have had this beer a few times, but the most recent was from a bottle at a bar near me. The look is a rich dark brown.
Odor is sweet. Plenty of malt and chocolate .
Taste is chocolate, sweet caramel and coffee all in one. Malt dominates as I expected.
mouth feel is smooth and it has a nice flow on your tongue.
Overall a good brown ale from a brewery that I like in general.

 380 characters

Photo of heygeebee
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Beer Cartel.

Pours a very deep cloudy brown, with a one finger off-white head. Some lace.

Aromas of brown sugar, treacle, caramel.

Taste is a watered down version of aromas. A little roast malt but overall quite sweet. Minimal hop presence. Have to say at the end of bottle - moderate flavour levels overall..

Mouthfeel is a let-down. Very watery indeed.

Overall, OK - but won't buy again.

 404 characters

Photo of dasenebler
2.12/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12oz, best before July 2012.

Rich, dark chestnut, very clear. Nice creamy head and solid retention.

Aroma has some toasty, lightly roasty malt, a lot of off yeast character, and oxidized notes.

Flavor is oxidized, but some nice maltiness shines through with notes of toasted bread, toffee and chocolate. Pretty bitter and dry. Slightly acidic, and not very clean in the yeast department. Can you say INFECTION? Mouthfeel is very drying, with smooth medium carbonation.

So this is supposed to be good until July 2012? Really? God only knows how rank it'll be by then. Best rethink your packaging code, Brooklyn Brewery. Oxidized and infected is not a great combo, especially four months before the best-by date.

 716 characters

Photo of DarthNerdus
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to glass. Decent enough beer, not a personal favorite. Smells particularly sweet, with a strong caramel scent. A clear dark brown appearance with a nice head that gives way to a ring around the beer. A nice taste as well, sweet a first with a very strong bitterness ending with nutty notes. Distinguishable coffee flavors. Overall a decent beer, but I’m not fond of the bitterness and be careful what you eat with it! Anything sweet before or during ruins it.

 480 characters

Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.