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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

575 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 575
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 14
Gots: 23 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 575 | Reviews: 347
Photo of tcfishler
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thing that strikes me is the foam bubbling up over the lip of the bottle. Pours a deep, rich brown with an easily forming and fairly durable tan head.

Aromas are sweet (brown sugar), accented by roasted malt.

Palate is quite sweet at first, but the roasted notes come in to balance before things get anywhere near cloying. Finish is slightly bitter-roasted, but I don't really get an impression of hop. Palate feel is pretty rich but still far from full bodied.

A balanced and very drinkable brown ale; pleasurable, but lacking in distinctiveness.

Photo of WetCoaster
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Lovely deep mahogany with a french vanilla head. The carbonation cascades like a nitro can. The head is very dense and level, with great retention.

Smell: Big sweet blast of brown sugar, roasted dark malt and mild hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is medium/light and pretty smooth, not surprising given the carbonation. The taste is caramel flan sweet up front, but becomes very roasty and dry, with coffee notes and bittering hops coming to the fore. No nutty or toasty flavors. Not bad, but not necessarily what I'd associate with a brown ale.

Drinkability: Nice. Strikes me more as a wannabe stout or Baltic porter, but I'd certainly drink another.

Photo of Suds
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 ounce bottle, this brew pours a dark brownish-black color, dense, with only a slight reddish-edged hue when held to the light. The head is a whitish tan, presenting beautiful lace. You can tell just by looking that his is a full-bodied and hefty beer. The aroma is pleasant: a serious molasses and malt nose, mixed with brown sugar, burnt honey, and bitter chocolate. The taste is sweet, and a little chalky. There’s raisins, smoke, and lots of highly-roasted malts that come out in the taste. Very full bodied, with an almost syrupy like mouthfeel. This is one serious brew. I’d go out of my way for another one of these.

Photo of asabreed
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A beautifully dark amber with tons of tiny bubbles gushing to the top from the bottom of the glass. I actually thought something was wrong with my eyes because it was so dark red when I first looked into it, but alas, that's its color. A mocha-colored head sits atop, and after a slightly vigorous pour leaves a frothy 1/2" and pretty good lacing with some light spots and some thick rings.

Smell: Lots of aromas going on here, slight chocolate, berries and dark fruit, mocha and hints of black coffee, caramel, a touch of vanilla, and a nice burst of hops and bready malt, along with some nuttiness also. Certainly quality stuff and balanced well.

Taste: As it warms, the roasted and toasted malt flavors really come out and add a lot of depth. Along with that, the coffee, mocha, and burnt flavors balanced with the sweetness add a lot of complexity. Vanilla and caramel come through well too, though the dark fruit and berries diminish a bit, leaving a more autumn-like and woodsy feel. I wish the finish were longer, though there are some slight tinges of citrus hops on the tongue at the end also, which intensify the flavors still.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy with a medium body, very fitting for the brew I think.

Drinkability: This is probably the best brown I've had as far as balls and complexity without going over the top and making it more toward an Imperial or anything like that. I sure wouldn't mind having a beer like this named after me, and at around $5 a bomber it's certainly worth a shot, especially for the fall season right now (which I suppose is almost ending) in Richmond.

Photo of sinistrsam
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have yet to experience what I consider a really superior brown, so I gave this a shot, having only good things to say about BR.
Poured a very dark brown, almost opaque to all light, with a huge tan head and plenty of carbonation. Retention was mediocre.
The aroma was strong on roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramel and molasses, possibly some nuttiness?
Taste was very complex and interesting; all of the above, with brown sugar and chocolate leading the waym followed by coffee and a pretty distinct smoky flavor I personally like. One of the best-tasting browns I've had.
But then came the mouthfeel. Sweet but very fizzy and overcarbonated up front, and faded into a watery, bland semi-sweet aftertaste. Got slightly better with temp, but not much.
Overall very drinkable but could be an excellent beer with an inprovement in MF.

Photo of Kendo
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: A semi-aggressive pour yields a frothy, VERY active fizzy tan head. I believe this is the first beer I've reviewed that I could actually HEAR as the oatmeal-tan head settled -- quickly, I should add -- over a cola-like dark brown body that was revealed to be ruby when held up to my kitchen light.

Smell: I could smell the caramel, molasses and brown sugar even before I poured it. Pop the cap and you got that sweet malt smell. Upon closer inspection (after the pour), I also noted hazelnut and roasted malts in the nose.

Taste: Sweet malt flavors, just as you'd expect from a brown ale: brown sugar, burnt sugar and a good nutty taste to it. Those sweet flavors were balanced, however, by roasted malt and a slight coffee taste. A bitter, almost tart finish coated the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel: This is where this beer lost me -- it was just way too carbonated. Given the nose, it was also lighter in heft than I expected. It improved a bit as it warmed and that over-active carbonation disappeared.

Drinkability: I was torn between a 3.5 and a 4. My conclusion? It's a 3.5 at first, but as it warms and the carbonation subsides, it becomes more of a 4 in drinkability.

Notes: The nose and flavors of this beer were very good to excellent, and other than that way-active carbonation, it was a nice-looking beer.. But that carbonation really killed the mouthfeel and IMO detracted from the beer. This is one beer that I think could really benefit greatly from being served on cask. But from the bottle, it's still a solid offering and a tasty brown ale.

Photo of OStrungT
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours brown color, with a nice ruby tint to it. It has a thick light tan head, that fades very slowly, leaving many laces.

This beer has a nutty aroma. I smell some biscuit aroma. Some toffee like malty aroma is also present. It also smells slightly caramel like.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Nutty, with some bready, biscuit flavor. Sweet caramel malt also.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a toffee like aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. Low alcohol, and a nice, non aggressive flavor make this one easy to drink.

Overall: This is a good beer. I will buy it again.

Photo of maundythirsty
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty beer. Crystal clear, and such a deep dark red. It's almost violet, like a dark red wine. Fluffy pancake batter head starts high, but slips away fast. Laces a little. A little nutty, the smell is a big, warm dose of hefty sugars, like the molasses and brown sugar mentioned on the label. Some flowery hops.

Caramel and chocolate roasted malt taste mingles nicely with the same syrupy sugar flavors in the smell. A smooth, medium-weight beer with ample carbonation.

Not an everyday beer. Surprisingly substantial. A better candidate for cold weather drinking than I thought it would be.

Photo of granger10
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After my last two Bear Republic's I was hoping for another something special. Sadly let down here. Flavors lean on the sweet side but nothing's really there to me. Mouthfeel just feels thinner than I'd hope. Nutty flavors seem to be the most prevalent. Other than that the sweetness almost seems nondescript. The finish is what really killed this beer for me. Kind of a sour acid yeast flavor. Reminded me of some Alesmith beers I had a year ago. I don't know if this is the result of me buying an older beer (where's the dating?) or the yeast strain just gone funky for this batch. Maybe I'll try again, hopefully I can sample this on tap somewhere.

Photo of Pooba001
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark woody brown with a decent head that dissipates quickly. Smell is nutty, roasted malt and faint yeast aromas come through as well.

Taste is much like the aroma, nutty, a hint of yeast, dark and roasted malts. Not terribly impressive.

Mouthfeel is thin. OK, but not great. Drinkability is good, I could drink a few of these, but I don't really want to. I'm not a big fan of the nuttier brown ales, so this didn't do much for me.

Photo of woemad
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big-ass 22oz bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane. Been holding on to it for a couple of months - only now finding the time to drink and review it.

When I opened this bottle there was a sound not unlike - in type and in volume - that of opening a pressurized door. The initial pour was almost entirely of tan foam. I was oblidged to set both the glass and the bottle in the sink until both had simmered down enough to not be overflowing. Though somewhat discomfitted by the thought that I had just lost some of my beer to carbonation, once the sudsy tan head had subsided enough to no longer be a threat to my floor I could see that the beer appeared a cola color until heald to the light, at which point it took on a more garnet shade. Streams of carbonated bubbles could be seen roaring upwards. Tremendous sheets of lace were left on the sides of my pint glass. Even when I refill my glass from the bomber - a good half-hour after I've opened it, the head is still huge and sudsy.

The nose on this beer was more sweet than I would have expected, as most brown ales I've encountered have been nice yet characterless. This one was more dominant than it's usual style-mates. There is a mollasses-like sweetness, but it's paired with a strong smokey-woodsy scent. There is also a mild cherry-like scent in the background. Unusual, but not off-putting at all.

The taste is pretty similar to the smell. It starts out sweet but is balanced enough by the woodsy qualities noted above to not be too cloying. Nevertheless I don't think I would want to drink a lot of this. I would like to try this paired with some chocolate - pity I don't have any.

This is the most hugely coarbonated brown ale I've ever had. It's to a degree that would reflect credibly on any Belgian ale I could care to name, and would happily have sat in a Belgian chalice without it having been an act of inappropriate glassware-usage. The high carbonation keeps the mouthfeel from being too heavy, despite the beer's sweet nature. It feels like a light dessert rather than a meal in the bottle.

An unusual brown ale, and not a bad one at all. My first beer from Bear Republic, and I was sufficiently intrigued by this to try others as they become available.

Photo of hopsaplenty
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bottle, no date information.

Sparkling deep garnet. Short, quick to fade tan head of small bubbles. Subsequent vigorous pours did manage to generate a bit larger head, but it did not last too long. Plentiful carbonation streams float towards the surface. Aromas of deeply roasted brown sugar and caramel pair with a molasses sweetness which has just a faint note of burnt wood. The aromas translate directly into the flavors. The roasty caramel sweetness is present initially and complimented by an ample malt body with a full molasses flavor. There are just enough piney hops in the finish to keep this from becoming cloying, and there is also some dryness from the roasted malt. A bit of brown sugar arrives as the temperature increases. Medium-full body with a firm mouthfeel and fine carbonation, there is a dry smoothness about this. No problems drinking and enjoying this one.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clean mahogoney brown with a substantial oatmeal colored head.

S: Extremely nutty. Thoughts of walnuts, brown sugar and cookie dough

T: One of the sweeter brown ales I've had. Immediate brown sugar and chocolate mousse. The nuttier profile takes off with some walnut, almond and pecan oil notes. From there it finishes buttery and warm. Aftertaste just a touch of alcohol and a lingering marzipan sweetness

M: Medium body with a smooth carbonation with just a touch of fuzz.

D: I've heard people bag on this beer, I thought it quite good. A good english brown ale is the most under rated style IMO.

Photo of cbl2
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. No best by date.


Pours an almost opaque dark brown/black with hints of ruby shining through. Adorned by an inch of foamy tan head, this resembles a stout more than a brown ale.


Hints of roast coffee, cream and sugar lend more support to the theory that this is stout like.


Very smooth in mouthfeel, this brew has a nice milk stout flavor to it. Coffee overtones coupled with sweet cream nicely cut through a slight hoppy bitterness. Well balanced, and nicely masking the 6.3% ABV. A good beer, but not what I would call a brown. More like a stout. Nice price too at $3.59 for the bomber.

Photo of tgbljb
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very ddep brown color with prominent tannish head. Smell is excellent with a strong roasted nut aspect mixed with rich darl mollasses and coffee. Taste delivers every promise of the smell with very rich roasted notes and a strong coffee flavor. Finished rich and creamy in the mouth with a sensational refreshing fullness. Truly an excellent beer.

Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this one at Half Time in Poughkeepsie, NY. 22oz bottle, par for the course with Bear Republic's offerings, a label featuring Pete Brown and the number 27 in a star.
Pours a dense, dark brown, topped with a mountain of khaki head. Opaque with the yeast pour. Great head retention, keeping forever, the foam lacing on the glass in large blobs. Big, sweetish aroma. Roasty, caramelly malt, with syrupy molasses and nutty overtones. Hazelnut and walnut. The flavor opens with sweetish, dark brown toffee and gooey molasses. Creamy on the palate, thicker than your average brown ale. This brew gathers quite a bit of character at room temperature. Nutty and fruity, lots of complexity, reminding me of a chocolate and walnet cookie, with the little bit of doughy yeast presence. Bittersweet roastiness into the finish, a bit of floral hops, ending off balanced and fairly fry. Nice, sessionable stuff. A surprise from these folks, light on the hops!

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a rich brown indeed, capped with yellow-tan-white head of just the right proportions to cap off my pint glass. It leaves rings of lacing down the side of the glass, cladding the clearish brown brew.

Smell - ooh yeah, it's a brown, all right. Been a while since I treated myself to a brown ale, and this reminds me what I've been missing. Lots of nuttiness and molasses.

In the mouth, alcohol is evident, but it isn't a key player - those roles belong to a rich nuttiness and a burnt, fire-browned sugar, with a mild bitterness of hops to finish off the malt-dominated brew.

Mouthfeel is smoooth, smooth, and slightly syrupy, which I've noted to be common in brown ales. It finishes with a very small bitterness, then becomes surprisingly clean.

Tasty. A bomber goes down rapidly.

Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany body with garnet hightlights; a voluminous rocky beige head that leaves plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Molasses and burnt caramel

Taste: Starts with a very sweet burnt caramel, molasses front end that is joined with some nicely balancing hops; a bit of chocolate on the finish, which is also has the slightly phenolic character that I often find in brown ales

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation; velvelty

Drinkability: Pleasant enough to drink but a few flaws keep me from enjoying it more

Photo of jaluria
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle of this while on a 'beer day trip' through Northern VA and I instantly grabbed 2-22 oz. bottles.

Poured a lovely opaque brown with subtle hues of black and amber and a thick, flowing off-white colored head leaving behind rings of lacing. Aromas of grains, roasted sugar, and burnt toast seemed to come to mind. The taste was just incredible with a dominating malt flavor that had hints of mint, pine, and caramel. In addition, there was a pronounced smoked flavor that underlined the other flavors. Sweet and malty with added textures and bite; but a bit too bread-like in the finish. Excellent drinkability. To me this tasted more like a well designed porter or stout which I really like rather than an EB ale.

Photo of Gavage
4.36/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: brown in color with a nice 2" thick head. Decent lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: light toffee and molasses

Taste: the overall flavor is much stronger than expected of an English Brown, as the toffee, brown sugar, pumperknickel bread, and soft bitterness were well balanced.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and finish. Medium bodied brew. Toffee and sugar linger briefly into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: one of the most drinkable brown ales I have had. Worth seeking this one out.

Photo of arizcards
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber at Trader Joe's for $3.99 in mid-September.

This brew pours a cola brown with a nice head that has sustained nicely. Nose is malty, a bit nutty, and has a hint of chocolate. Taste is very good, just a right amount of sweetness to start, a bit chocolatety, malty, and nutty, and finishes with a dry hop. Complex yet subtle! Mouthfeel is medium bodied, nice for the style. Overall drinkability is very good. This is a nicely crafted brew that is a good representation of the style. Another nice brew from the folks at Bear Republic!

Photo of RedDiamond
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in honor of a deceased colleague by the name of Brown, Tribute Ale is a brown ale with a highly complex aroma that starts with molasses and golden raisin and drifts towards burnt sugars and cocoa. This medley of smells is distinctive and appealing. Tribute’s head is akin to a rootbeer float – rocky and cream colored – and trails thick, snowy breakaway rings of lace. The body is deep sorrel with confident head retention.

Tribute’s taste touches upon cinnamon stick or allspice. The mix of robust malts with a hint of spice is compelling. Brown ale is a fickle style that can taste like shoe leather if not executed with some agility. Tribute is a fine tribute to a departed friend and a hearty beer style.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark cola-brown with a little bit of light passing through and a pretty thick, frothy beige head that leaves a good amount of lace. A nice-looking brew.

Smell is very malty, with a little plum scent, some caramel, and a little bit of nuttiness. No alcohol or hops are really all that present in the scent.

Flavor is malty-sweet, with a heavy caramel character and a light bit of chocolate in there as well. The fruitiness comes through as a bit of plum and a little bit of cherry. The finish has some smoke and nuttiness in it and is, in my opinion, the best part of the beer. The lingering smoke/nutty aftertaste is quite nice.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin and somewhat distracting.

Overall: This is the first Bear Republic beer I've had that only seemed okay. It's not a bad brown ale, but it's not as exciting as their pale ales or stout, and the thin mouthfeel really got in the way of things for me. More boring than anything; not one I'll buy again.

Photo of UncleFlip
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark brown. scant tan head. Just enough to cover.

Smell is fruity and a bit astringent, and smoky at the same time.

The fruit is not as apparent in the flavour. Smoke gives way to chocolate, which gives way to coffee.

Low carbonation fails to steal focus from a thin liquid- just the way it should be.

Very drinkable. Complex, but not so intense that it drives you away.

Be weel

Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Interesting brown ale but not souped up enough to be an Imperial Brown...

Pours a dark brown color...excellent nose of molasses, maple and earthy hops....body is on the light side of medium..a bit watery....certainly not a huge beer...nice chocolate taste....also some brown sugar...maple...molasses....earthy hops...

I find this quite enjoyable....not a true 'big" beer but a very flavorful brown ale....sweet without being sticky...nice brew...would drink gladly again...

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Peter Brown Tribute Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.