Peter Brown Tribute Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Peter Brown Tribute AlePeter Brown Tribute Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

345 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 345
Hads: 582
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 14
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 09-06-2003

Peter Brown Tribute Ale is malty American Brown Ale, brewed with molasses, brown sugar, and hopped with Cascade and Centennial. It's just the way Pete would have wanted it.

2009 California State Fair - GOLD
2009 North American Brewers Association – GOLD
2006 Great American Beer Festival® Brown Porter – BRONZE
2004 Great American Beer Festival® Brown Porter – GOLD
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 345 | Hads: 582
Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at ';bones. Very dark brown when served, with a low head. Aroma-wise, there is some intrigue from roatsed cocoa nubs, and then some vegetal notes take over. Medium in body, the flavor is all about being roasty. It starts with some initial grainyness, then there's some vegetal notes, and then the roasted flavor takes over. I don't think I've ever used this word in a beer review before, but: this was a weird beer. Not awful, just may have been in weird shape. (468 characters)

3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

THis is dark brown in color with a thick foam of a head.

The first thing that hit me with this beer was a familiar flavor that took a littlel while to pinpoint, and then I got it. Good, old aged brandy, minus the alcohol. Along with this comes a candied sweetness with hints of prunes, buttered whole wheat toast, and sesame seeds. After a while I realize a nuance that does not quite fit the mix, and it all goes back to that 'old brandy' thing, i think. But it is a unique taste, and a distraction that I can easily get past.
Everywhere else, this is a great drinking brew. The mouthfeel kicks ass, on par with the rest of the Bear Republic brews I've had to date. Both light enough and heavy enough, ya know? (717 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12/05/04- Purchased at Belltramo's Wine and Spirts in Menlo Park, CA

Appearance- Pours a brownish-amber color with a 3/4 inch head, and nice lacing.

Smell- High nutty and chocolate scents.

Taste- This is the strangest brown ale I have ever tasted. It tastes like a brown ale and an ESB combined. I'm not really a fan of ESB's, thus the low score from me. Very bitter and hard for me to swallow. The bitterness of ESB's hit my gag reflex. Kinda on the watery side too. But, my girlfriend really enjoyed it, and her favorites are brown ales, stouts and porters. So, I guess it's not as bad as I rate it.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated to me and like I said, hit's my gag reflex.

Drinkability- For me, not at all. If it were up to my girlfriend this beer would get a 4+. So, I guess brown ales lovers should give it a go. It is bitter though. (855 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle with no freshness dating. Leaves alot of creamy and thick lacing. Malty, cocoa nose.The bottle talks about this being a "strong American Brown ale", but this one really tastes more British in style. Its tastes are fairly muted and reserved. It does show off a well developed and lucious sweet,malty backbone. Notes of vanilla, caramel, light chocolate. Medium bodied, easy to quaff, a pleasure to swill with food. Tasty and very drinkable Brown ale. (463 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown with a low light brown head and decent carbonation. Fairly strong citrusy hop aroma and flavor for a Brown Ale with a nice roasty nutty malt balance throughout. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty/hoppy finish.

A very robust American Brown -- close to a Porter. Would definitely buy again !!

Label States: "Strong American Brown Ale" & "Pete Brown 1949-2002" & 6.3 % ABV

Per B.R. website: American Brown ale with molasses and brown sugar for more body and a slightly higher alchohol content.
Gold - 2004 GABF - Brown Porter Category

'03' emb on bottom
Tasted: 11/06/04

($4.04 / 22 oz.) (616 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a 1" medium tan head over the deeply reddish brown brew. Head is dense and lasting, with good lacing. Aroma is of toasted malts, mainly, with some hops notes. Flavor follows the nose nicely. Mouthfeel is good, although for such a full malt flavor you'd expect a bit more substance over the tongue, almost comes off a bit thin, but good nonetheless. Drinkability is great. Nice brown ale. (554 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Interesting, fantastic aroma of maple syrup, juniper, red apples, wet bark, toasted grains and brown sugar.

Supreme fruitiness, mainly dark berries, with an inappropriate syrup taste of maple and fruit and an underlying taste of caramel and other toasted grains. This is very tasty for the style but I wish the toasted malt would shine through a bit more. (366 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a tan head. Rich, roasty chocolate and malt notes, nutty, and a healthy dosage of lower alpha hops, too. Very pleasant array of flavors without being overwhelming in one aspect. Husky and chocolaty and vastly nutty in the malt. Mouthfeel is kept to a minimum without sacrificing its intention of being a grandiose English brown. Finishes a bit on the drier side mith almost a macadamia nut-like residual flavor. Very good. (461 characters)

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a foamy, solid light cocoa colored head. Dark chestnut colored beer. Rich dry chocolatey aroma that is just barely nutty. Woody, chocolate flavored beer. Easy drinking, moderate bodied beer. A solid nut brown, but you can do better for the price. (252 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twilight burgundy beneath a lofty, faded tan foam.
Sparce nose after the initial green West Coast hop rush. They seem in a hurry to get out of the bottle, then they just vanish. What remains is woody and dusty, sprinkled with chocolate.
This is a dry Brown. But maltiness is still vivid, via walnuts gently coated with fudge and molasses. Earthy, with tobacco, splintered maple, and dusty gravel. Bitter chocolate holds sway over the later section, just prior to the entrance of the herbal, leafy hops, accented just slightly with pine. A final nod toward bourbon exists right around the gulp.
I'd be interested to see the actual hop profile of this one. I suspect it is all (or at least mostly) West Coast hops. However, they seem to suggest an amped-up dead grassiness a la Fuggles on PCP. But I'd be willing to bet that no Fuggles are actually present. Somehow, the sandy, gritty, earthen malts quench the boisterous Western American hops, allowing just the faintest pine squeals to escape.
This is beefy for a Brown. Fluffy and full in the mouth. Completely well mannered despite the slightly elevated A/V. It vaporizes as soon as it hits the throat. Brittle nut skins and parched herbs are all that's left. But these lingers a good long while. Further sips are assured.
This transcends a sometimes yawn-inducing style without selling its soul or forgetting its roots.
Really nice. (1,393 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber bottle with a label stating this beer is a tribute to sales manager who passed away. This one pours a dark brown color with a reddish highlights and a light tan head with decent size. The smell is of nutty malts and coffee flavors with notes of hops as well. The flavor starts of with a nutty sweetness and espresso/coffee notes. There is a roasted taste as well throughout with piney hop notes also. Mouthfeel is full and rich and it goes down very smooth with a slight sweet aftertaste. One of the tastier brown ales I have ever had and another good beer from Bear Republic. (588 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown coloor with ruby highlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a medium colored light brown head. A wonderful aroma jumps out of my glass, it is a mix of nutty malt flavors, espresso, and fresh hops. Hoppy flavors up front yield to a dry roasted malt finish. It is slightly sweet up front and has a certain nuttiness that carries throughout the beer. I get notes of sweet caramel, toffee, and a certain huskiness in the finish. This is a fine example of a Brown ale, and I definitely recommend it. (527 characters)

Photo of beerinator
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark with slight hints of brown when you hold it up to the light. Not quite black, but pretty close. Tannish off-white head.

Aroma: Unprocessed unsweetened chocolate. Slight notes of cherry. Roasted coffee. The chocolate smell is almost harsh.

Taste: Roasty malt up front. A bit of carbonation in the middle of the tongue. The finish is bitter from the coffee flavors. The finish lingers for a long time after you swallow. The cherry from the aroma is present in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected.

Notes: Mouthfeel is a bit soft, and thats about the only negative I can find on this one. Good beer. Flavors linger for a long time, but they're not too harsh for a brown. (712 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours out an extraordinary appearance. It looks opaque, dark brown in the glass, but held to the light, exhibits a stunningly clear, ruby mahogany body. The tan head is a generous, three fingers tall and hangs around for quite awhile. Impressive sheets and patches of lace decorate the glass.

Aroma is subdued, with caramel and burnt brown sugar up front. Vague, floral hops are in the background.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated, and medium bodied.

Taste begins with a Porter-like chocolate, with some brown sugar in the background. Some smoky, chicory nuttiness emerges near the end, reminding me of a dry Stout. This has plenty of hop bitterness, and balances out well.

This is very well crafted, and nicely balanced. I'm just not a fan of American brown ales, and this one doesn't change my mind, in spite of my affinity for Bear Republic. (867 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured clear medium/almost dark brown. The head was off white and fell quickly, but laced the glass.

The aroma was caramel with a slight nuttiness. Chocolate also made up the aroma.

The flavor was caramel and chocolate in well accomplished balance with hops. The hop bitterness and hop flavor work well in the beer.

The finish was dry with lingering chocolate and nuttiness. The body was medium.

The 6.3% ABV is not even noticeable in this well crafted and easy drinking brown ale.

22 ounce bottle. (522 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a deep, clear burgandy. Thin light beige head has great retention. Lacing is better than average. I like the aroma. Nice west coast induced piney hop tones mix with the chocolate and nutty tones of the malt nicely. The flavors are more subtle than the nose led me to believe. Nice low key chocolate and roasted malt tones. A little hop bitterness. And a little nuttiness. Could use a jolt of something though. I'm not sure why the bottle calls this a "Strong American Brown" ale. It's not strong in flavor or alcohol. Would do for a session ale though. (565 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shading from deep brown to hazel, this beer has a soft bubbly coating on top and around the glass, enveloping it with off-white sights.

Smells of milk chocolate, dry notes of cocoa powder, and spruce-like yet flowery hop scents. The body is a scruffy dark malt that is hearty and pleasing.

Tastes of molasses, cocoa/mocha, and speck of Northwest hops popping through and making the typical Brown ale body interesting. Unfortunately, an overly sudsy mouthfeel detracts from what could have been much better. A full flavored beer settling somewhere between too rough, too smooth, and too hoppy, I finished the 22 oz. bottle without hesitation.

I'm a sucker for tributes and such, so I had to buy it. Great stuff I was lucky to find on a whim in Richmond, VA, it went well extremely well with a dinner of barbecue ribs, baked beans, and slaw. Definitely above average. (874 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color -- looks opaque until held to the light to reveal it's really an extremely dark ruby. Lovely, long lasting light tan head.

Aroma is rich, sweet. Lots of molasses and hints of vanilla.

Brown sugar flavor hits you right up front. Quite sweet and granular, though it develops a slightly burnt character midway through. The hop finish really saves this beer -- great flavor and a decent bitterness to the finish.

Still, while not cloying in flavor, the beer is a bit sticky in mouthfeel, and less sticky as a result. This is more noticeable as you work through the beer and the carbonation dies down. A decent beer from a great brewery. (668 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Large foamy head. Aroma is fairly mild, but it’s nutty with a touch of brown sugar. A medium bodied brown ale. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. Hoppy for a brown ale, but Bear Republic makes it work. The dryness contrasts nicely with the malt and brown sugar sweetness. Nicely balanced. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. (418 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bomber at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, California.

The label is a heart wrencher, for sure.

Solid, medium-sized (three quarters of an inch) dark tan head that fell fast. A few scraps of fine lace cling to the glass. The body is a glossy, opaque crimson.

Smell is of roasted nuts, coffee and cocoa beans.

Taste opens with a blunt bitterness that gradually levels out into still bitter, nutty roasted notes. Aftertaste is burnt peanuts, licorice, black coffee, and a nice simmer of bitterness. A good amount of carbonation and a fluffy, palate-coating texture.

No detection of the high (high for a brown) ABV (my bottle says 6.3%).

Not for the faint hearted. I love brown ales, and this "strong brown ale"... it hurt so good.

Drinkability gets a low score because this brew is a palate wrecker, and has a deceptively high ABV. (863 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one brought up a beautiful, frothing head that seemed to last forever (I ended up just drinking through it). The body is a very dark brown.

Smell – Lightly-toasted grain leads the way at this nose followed by a hint of nuts to come.

Taste – This one is big on the sweets. The granulated and brown sugars come on strong, and the toasted grain plays back-up. There’s also a very juicy fruit in there. I think it might be plum.

Mouthfeel – Medium-bodied with little carbonation and almost sticky.

Drinkability – Well, it wasn’t nearly as good as the BigDog Mild that I just had, but the flavors were pleasant enough and it seemed in-line with the style. Good job.

Comments – My newer bottle showed a big jump in ABV, from 5.1 to 6.3. (771 characters)

Photo of Mark
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown ale is one variety I don't have much experience with. When I saw this offering from the stupendous Bear Republic, I had to try it. Very dark porter like color that had a thick tan head. Lacing was in rings that went all the way down. Slight roasted smell and some sweet malt. Very smooth slightly roasted taste, malt base solid and as aroma indicated, on the sweet side. I found this ale quite drinkable and not heavy at all. No surpise to me that I liked another Bear Republic beer. (489 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: A 22 ounce Bomber of Bear Republic, I am not sure in what order all of the words on the label are supposed to be read, but its seems that a logical formation is hard to work out. Simply has the following words ‘Peter Brown 1949-2002’, ‘Brown Tribute Ale’, and the number ‘27’. Listed as an American Strong Brown with a strength of 6.3%.

Appearance: Fantastic looking light tan brown head easily forms. A rocky bubbled surface sits atop the 2” deep head that forms but in a controlled manner. The body is a deep polished chestnut brown that is clear and reflects the light with a dark ruby-red hue. Light lacing that clings well as the head eventually settles. Decent levels of dissolved carbonation invigorate and restore the head when the beer is swirled.

Nose: Dark sweet caramel and molasses. A restrained nose that nonetheless contains hints of coffee and roasted malts but at levels that take some finding at times.

Taste: A sugary start that reminded me of when you put too much brown sugar into a strong black coffee. The sugars continue through the middle and mix with molasses and caramel, but the caramel is more akin to burnt brown sugar, rather than the toffee kind. I find this beer to be a little unbalanced at times and heavy on the burnt sugars. The ending is a little sticky and cloying. Burnt, rather than roasted malts cover and subdue the beers profile and lend a one-dimensional feel. There was a distinct lack of nuttiness in this Brown, a flavor which I consider to be a staple component and one which would balance the burnt sugars I feel. I expected much more from Bear Republic.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was rather annoying and for me is one of the beers let-downs. Burnt aspects, like drinking a hot coffee, or eating hot cheese, stick to the tongue and at times mask the beers other flavors.

Drinkability: Heavy going at times and not really that quaffable. I had a Bomber of this and it sat near me for something like 45-60 minutes, quite a long time for me. I nearly left some in fact. As it warms it gets harder to drink and the burnt cloying flavor really comes through and sticks in the mouth.

Overall: I love Bear Republic, and I’m afraid I was under-whelmed by this ‘Strong American Brown’ when I had it for the first time at Papago Brewing with the legendary Gusler this weekend. I could not believe that I had found a BR beer that I didn’t like. So I put it down to the fact that I had drunk many big ass beers earlier that day, and so I purchased a bottle to bring home with me and prove myself wrong. But sadly I couldn't. Even sat down in more studious surroundings, I’m still disappointed by this offering, but maybe not as much as I was the first time. It’s not bad, but it is far from balanced and a little topsy-turvy at times.

Not one I would recommend to others. (2,858 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep, somewhat clear dark chestnut brown color with slivers of orangey red. Solid cream colored finger high head of cappuccino froth, retains for a wee bit before fading to a crumbly collar and lace in minimal strings and spots. Aroma has a solid roastyness to it thats close to coffee, but seems more like espresso, not all that strong, a definate moderate presense with an overall dry quality, it also has a little touch of sweet molasses and chocolate in there mixing with a bit of hazelnut and vanilla. Great subtle nose. Taste is semi sweet malts with a slight roastyness mostly coming through at the finish but withholds throughout and within the ride lies some nice subtle notes of vanila and nuts. The roastyness is quite nice, milding and toasty surrounded by a chocolatey cookie dough sweetness. Quite nice. Ends clean and dry with lingering qualities wrapped up in sweet roasted malts and chocolate. Feel is medium bodied with a clean substantiated roastyness thats mild and well rounded with a small dry finish that holds some lingering sweet yet roasty tones. An excellent drinkin' brown, a bit more boldness and fullness within the flavors and this would be supurb stuff. That said, this is still a very nice brown. One I wouldn't turn down for nothing! Big time thanks to Gusler for throwing this in!! (1,321 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours as deep a mahogany as you can get without being brown with garnet high lights, the head is pythonic size, the texture spumous with the color a beauteous light than as it transmogrifies the lace forms a thick and sealing sheet upon the glass. Sweet malt dominates the nose, vanilla, hints of caramel and a nut like tone also noticed, start is quite sweet, nice malt presence, top is middling in feel. Finish is mild in carbonation, the hops pleasing and subdued in their spiciness, somewhat dry with a bit of tartness and a long lasting aftertaste, personally would have expected a bit more body overall, not a bad beer, just a tad light in the wrong places for me. Possibly could be a bit flat, will need to get another bottle and sample as I love Bear Republic, Still would make a great session beer. (816 characters)

Peter Brown Tribute Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.