1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

John Brown Ale - Free State Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
John Brown Ale
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
83
good

22 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 22
Reviews: 12
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.42%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co. visit their website
Kansas, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Named for John Brown, the fiery abolitionist from the U.S. Civil War era. Brown is a well known (though often overly romanticized) figure in Kansas history. His actions in support of the free-staters in the 1850s was quite notable, but also quite violent and vengeful. A religious zealot with a long family history of insanity, one of Brown's favorite maxims was "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins". During his colorful career with the free state militia, Brown made sure that there was no shortage of the remissions of sins.

But on a lighter note, his namesake ale is actually a very mild, pleasant brown ale with a definite emphasis on the malt rather than the hops. Made from a choice selection of malts, this is a bit sweeter than the Ad Astra Ale, but not quite so sweet as a bock beer. (O.G. - 12.9P/1053. Hops - 23.5 IBUs)

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 10-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 22 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by 22Blue:
Photo of 22Blue
22Blue

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

05-31-2014 00:35:56 | More by 22Blue
More User Reviews:
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

2.83/5  rDev -22.5%

I enjoyed this beer on tap at the brewpub. It was served up good with about half an inch of head. This beer is very middle of the road, and non-offending. Not much hop character to talk about. Pretty underwhelming malt character. Not a bad little session beer.

08-24-2005 12:48:30 | More by tjthresh
Photo of smc143
smc143

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -8.8%

Posted on my blog in December 2007, posted to Beer Advocate in October 2008.

A wonderful beer-friend gifted me a growler full of Free State Brewery beer. I didn't crack it open right away, as I was kind of afraid to without being able to finish it alone, knowing it would go flat before I get through a whole half-gallon. So I opened it the next weekend and was super excited to learn that it contained John Brown Ale. Yummy yummy. I love me some browns.

Because I left my growler unattended for too long, I didn't realize that it was going flat anyway. John Brown Ale usually generates a creamy head, but my growler didn't quite deliver. The smell is sweet, like malted chocolate. A loverly scent for a freezing winter evening! The taste is a bit more coffee/toffee than chocolate, with a medium bodied mouthfeel, and a slightly dry finish. It just brings to mind roasted, toasted, sweet winter warmth, and I was in love all over again.

10-05-2008 03:08:23 | More by smc143
Photo of sammo
sammo

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

06-25-2012 17:25:28 | More by sammo
Photo of alittlehazy
alittlehazy

Kansas

4.1/5  rDev +12.3%

Came in the form of a pony keg. Pourned dark brown with a clearness on the edges. Head stayed about 2/3 to halfway down the glass in a nice light brown color.

It tasted pretty darn good, bitterish and malt taste as you swallow. Smooth mouthfeel and I'd recommend this beer wholeheartedly if you're looking for a nice smooth brown ale.

11-27-2002 09:43:12 | More by alittlehazy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

11-16-2013 16:45:00 | More by jaydoc
Photo of TylerDYoung
TylerDYoung


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

03-31-2012 03:22:03 | More by TylerDYoung
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

They just tapped this on the day of KU-MU game. John Brown...a loved figure in Kansas...a hated man in Missouri.

A - Poured into a seidel a dark, dark brown with a creamy, white head that left sticky lace.

S - It smelled of malt and sweet chocolate.

T - It tasted quite sweet. A nice blending of malt, caramel and toffee.

M - It was smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good English Brown. Another good offering from the folks at Free State.

11-27-2007 03:15:03 | More by zeff80
Photo of jazappi
jazappi

Kansas

4.33/5  rDev +18.6%

Presentation: On tap pour into a mug.

Appearance: My favorite, a dark beer. Finger worth of head , and lacing that lasted.

Aroma: Coffee/Chocolate, a nice robust smell.

Taste: It was a good brown ale taste, had hints of a nutty taste, and coffee like.

Mouthfeel: A little light/watery, but I really enjoyed it.

Overall: I could drink a lot of these. I like these because you get a lot of flavor, and it is light enough that I could drink several of these and not feel full.

12-14-2006 06:12:40 | More by jazappi
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +19.2%

A nice brown ale.
Had in a growler although have had it straight from tap as well. Better from the growler as you can take it home and chill it. Freestate uses hot water blasts to clean glasses leaving them warm, which then warms the beers.

Good dark color with malt and earthy aroma

tastes almost like a porter rather than an English ale. Good head from growler, yet a bit thin. A raw bite at the finish but nothing too make a face over.
Could drink the whole growler if given the chance.

01-02-2006 20:31:45 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of dmb0525
dmb0525

Kansas

2.2/5  rDev -39.7%

A: dark brown with red when held to light. Good head but quickly dispersed.

S: coffee... And a small amount of nut

Taste: it has an awful initial flavor. It tastes like water with ground coffee stirred in. The flavor develops a bit into a more complex nut flavor. Still, with every sip I am inundated with nasty day old coffee and that is hard to get past.

M: watery.

O: I have had way too many good brown ales to waste my time on this.

02-02-2012 03:22:30 | More by dmb0525
Photo of JEdmund
JEdmund

Kansas

4/5  rDev +9.6%

11-18-2011 16:05:18 | More by JEdmund
Photo of beernut7
beernut7

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%

This is one of the most aggressively hopped brown ales I have tasted. The color is a deep brown with no real head. The bitterness is right up front in your face followed by a mellow dark malt twang. The malts linger a bit more than the bitterness. Different.

10-13-2002 13:07:45 | More by beernut7
Photo of Goliath
Goliath

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -1.4%

Pours dark brown and appears ruby in the light. No head when served to me.

The aroma is full of sweet malt, caramel, and some fruity esters.

Taste is nice. Caramel, bread, and cherry. A touch of chocolate on the finish.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is high. Great flavors, and I assume the ABV was fairly low as I did not notice it.

06-17-2008 02:57:53 | More by Goliath
Photo of OatherS
OatherS

Kansas

4.1/5  rDev +12.3%

Appearance: Strong brown color with a nice one finger head even after traveling to the table.

Smell: Hints of coffee beans and chocolate.

Taste: Very similar to the odor with hints of coffee and chocolate. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Bring me another please!!!

05-04-2005 18:43:34 | More by OatherS
Photo of Mikevicgates
Mikevicgates

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

10-27-2013 03:30:08 | More by Mikevicgates
Photo of Whiskeydeez
Whiskeydeez

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

02-02-2012 16:29:02 | More by Whiskeydeez
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Draught @ Free State: This one is dark yet still a clear brown with a hint of ruby to it when held to the light. There was a small tan head with a bit of lacing. The aroma was a touch on the mild side, yet still contained notes of caramel malt and a hint of roastiness. No hops at all. The taste is pretty decent. A decent malt body with a subdued malt sweetness and a hint of biterness in the finish. This goes down real easy.

10-22-2006 23:52:22 | More by Boto
Photo of Thirstygoat
Thirstygoat

Illinois

4/5  rDev +9.6%

11-23-2012 00:37:07 | More by Thirstygoat
Photo of DB85
DB85


3/5  rDev -17.8%

07-26-2012 09:54:15 | More by DB85
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

3.23/5  rDev -11.5%

Clear brown in color, small white head that doesn't last, light sweet roasty nutty-caremel aroma. Some roasted malty nutty flavors, light to medium body, light yet rough mouthfeel, somewhat bitter finish, not as bland as most light browns, maybe a bit over hopped for the style, I kind of like it.

02-07-2003 17:23:49 | More by maxpower
Photo of Coopersbeer
Coopersbeer

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

08-07-2012 00:20:58 | More by Coopersbeer
John Brown Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 22 ratings.