1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Burly Brown - Stevens Point Brewery

Not Rated.
Burly BrownBurly Brown

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

188 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 17.23%
Wants: 2
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: wheatyweiss on 04-09-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is dark copper color with an off-white head wispy head. The aroma consists of slightly fermented grain, almost dank, but definitely not off putting.

Light and carbonated on the palate. A touch of caramel is noticeable upfront, and some husky grains bring it through to the finish. This finish is quiet, but a subtle bitterness does peek through. Not a bad brown ale. Drinkable and enjoyable, and it went well with the steak that I was eating.

BeardedBoffin, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.15/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A-Clear copper beer. Lightish tan head rises 2 cm off the pour and reduces splotchinly, relatively slowly to sparse bubbles.

S-Toasty grains, with just a hint of chocolate.

T-Overall, a pretty light-in-flavor beer. Toasty, slightly roasty grainy malt with a chocolate nuance. Bitterness makes this beer crisp, with no distinguishable hop flavor Finishes slightly bready/chocolatey, but otherwise dryish.

M-High carbonation bites too much for this style. Body feels flabby, but still medium bodied.

D-Drinkable in that it's very sessionable. Not an outstandingly deep or overly interesting beer, but I still enjoy it every time I come across it.

James Page use to be brewed in northeast Minneapolis, MN. As such, I still assign this brew some of my home state, drink local pride.

CHSLBrew, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of dbtoe
4.1/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint
This is a mild and fairly simple brown. Nothing very complex and is a really good beer to drink a few of. Have more than one at a time. I think it is probably their best beer but I really like browns.
Look is a nice brown with a cream colored head that did reduce to a nice cap.
Smell is malty and to me has that Point beer smell to it also.
Taste is mild a little roasty a hint of sweet and very tasty.
Feel is carbonated creamy and smooth
Drink this is a very drinkable beer. I think it even gets better the more you have. I think I'll have another.

dbtoe, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber with decent clarity and an immense two finger head that refuses to recede What little does recede leaves sticky lace.

Aroma is toastey malt and light hops.

Taste is toasted malt and steely hops. Hops are a little sour and astringent. Not much sweetness as apposed to most browns I've had; this may be what gives the low ABV. Not getting the usual fruitiness I'm used to with the Williamettes and Northern Brewers (Fuggle clones).

Mouthfeel is harboring on harsh. The carbonation would fit very well in a higher ABV beer where the sweetness would need a balance. Very crisp though and refreshing, not what I expected.

wheatyweiss, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of kingothewoods
2.83/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice golden copper color when poured from the bottle. The head stays with the beer as you drink it down in the glass .... good retention. This one smells like sweet malt and that is about it. Tastes very bitter and could be described as drinking a sour apple. Smooth mouthfeel going down but then your tongue perks a little from the bitterness. It's a so, so beer.

kingothewoods, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of morimech
2.73/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with a large white head that had decent retention. The head eventually falls away to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is very weak. Just a hint of malt. The flavor is also rather mediocre. Watery malt flavor is about the only thing I can come up with. Nothing special here. The body is also a bit watery but has nice carbontion. Overall a very unremarkable beer. Nothing undrinkable but their are so many better browns to spend money on.

morimech, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of keoki182
2.93/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown poured a very watery and light brown, very thick white head. Smelled like beer-soaked aluminum. Flavor was pretty decent with a bitter roasted flavor. I didn't detect any chocolate, but I did pick up on pizza crust? Interesting take on a brown ale, but not really "burly" or very good at all. This would be a better red/amber ale than a brown.

keoki182, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of beveritt
2.2/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured from a 12 brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. The label is different than that one currently displayed on BA. Mine has a large bear reaching towards what looks like a jumping salmon. No discernible freshness date, this one is described as having "Deep brown color and creamy smooth taste."

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 3 fingers og very light head, almost white. This big bubbled foam settles quickly, leaving no lacing and dropping to a quarter inch layer. The beer itslef is a medium to dark brown, but by no means "deep brown."

Smell: Slightly sweet malt, with hints of adjuncts. A strong, almost sweet tomato smell. I swear this smells like I am sniffing pasta sauce.

Taste: Syrupy and sweet. Like drinking sugar water, with little to no malt backbone. Alittle hint of hop flavor int he finish, if you force your tongue against the roof of your mouth and try to squeeze it out of the brew.

Mouthfeel: Very low on carbonation. Body is average.

Drinkability: This tastes like somewhat bitter cough syrup with none of the typical flavors associated with a brown ale. Probably a drain pour.


beveritt, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
3.05/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one I got on a whim, cause I'd never heard of the brewery before and I for some reason determined that the lame bottle meant it might have a solid tasting beer inside. I was disappointed. Appearance was standard brown color, with a weak head and no lacing. Nose was grainy, mediocre, with some light spicy malt in there too. Flavor was likewise, uninteresting, with some rice flavors, grain, along with the more preferable spicy malt and light, odd hops. Feel was okay, good for the style. Overall, won't be getting it again, but it didn't kill me to drink it.

soupyman10, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of TheBierBand
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a mixed 12 pack of James Page brews. Got 3 each: Burly Brown, White Ox, Voyager Extra Pale Ale and Amber Lager. The Burly Brown poured a very light brown color and a loose foamy head forms and then settles quickly back to just about nothing.

The smell is light and clean, slight maltiness and with just a hint of toasted grain.

Taste: Clean, easy-drinking malty character. The flavor is very light, (NOT "burly" by any stretch...) I find the aftertaste a bit strange. Like a sour flavor that lingers.

The mouthfeel like the flavor is very light. I would prefer more depth and robust nature, like the name suggests.

Drinkability: Average all the way around.... a bit of a disappointment.

TheBierBand, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of iacollector
3.33/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with more carbonation than average and could be considered “fizzy”. For a brown ale the head clears very quickly and had no lacing. The appearance is very clear, light brown and simple. This would appear to be a theme for the beer. The aroma is mildly malty and appealing but nothing that would excite the senses.

The taste is slightly nutty and there are no surprises. It taste like a brown ale but slightly muted. This is what I would consider a good introduction beer where it has more taste than a mass produced beer from a can but nothing that will be off putting. There is not the complexity or depth of flavor that I enjoy from some brown ales. The mouthfeel is rather thin but this contributes to making it very easy to drink.

All in all I consider it to be a decent beer, but not a great one by any means. I think I could serve this at a party where people might like something different but not appreciate a more complex (and/or more expensive) beer.

iacollector, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of douglasmoran
2.42/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle into a clean pint glass. A: Reasonable brown color for the style, but a noticable lack of a head. A thin white layer, perhaps 1/4 in height, which disappated very quickly, w/in 1 minute. S: smell OK, was "off" but nothing remarkable. T: Seemed thin, watery. M: Again, thin. The lack of carbonation made this flat. D: I had several, thinking perhaps the first was a bad bottle. All were the same. Overall, disappointing.

douglasmoran, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of WJVII
4.05/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I purchased this beer I had no idea it was brewed right in my backyard. Stevens Point Brewery makes this wonderful brown ale.

Poured into a pint glass this this beer had a nice one inch thick creamy head that lasted quite a while with some lacing on the glass. The color is a dark carmel. It has a wonderful malty smell with hints of chocolate and roasted barley. Minimal carbonation is present and the taste is great, very smooth. This beer reminds me a lot of my favorite beer New Caslte. Who knew we brewed something like this right in Stevens Point, I sure didn't, but I will definitely buy it again.

WJVII, May 28, 2007
Photo of supercolter
4.13/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 3rd installment from the sampler pack.appearance is a bit lacking. Some head and decent lacing but more 7-up fizz than anything. Smell and taste are similar with a strong dry malt and just a hint of spice and hops.
Mouthfeel and drinkability are right on par for the style.

supercolter, May 27, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
3.08/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sparkling clear, medium-brown color. A large cream-colored head recedes quickly to a small head. Tall columns of lacing is left behind as I drink this first beer of the night a little too quickly.

Aroma has a light toasted nuttiness, but unfortunately not much else.

Flavor contains a mellow nuttiness, some toffee and caramel. It's a bit weak, which seems to be the theme with all the beers I've had from this brewer.

Mouthfeel is light but solid. If the flavor is disappointingly consistent with each beer from this brewer, the mouthfeel is also consistent, but positively.

Drinkability is very easy. This is a beer that could be drunk all night long. Unfortunately, I think the flavor falls a little short, and wouldn't be my choice to drink every night.

terrabyte, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of gmfessen
3.68/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a brownish-orange color with a slight red hue. There is a one-finger, slightly off-white, creamy looking head. Smell is primarily of sweet, toasted malts and a slight whiff of hops. Taste is like the nose, amber and toasted malts with more bittering hops present that balance out the malt nicely and finishes slightly dry and bitter. The mouthfeel is light in body and has a decent amount of creamy carbonation. This is a sessionable brown, pretty solid... nothing to write home about but solid.

gmfessen, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with butter rum edges. The peanut shell colored cap is whipped creamy and is currently filling half the glass after a high-altitude pour. In its wake, an average amount of melty lace sticks hesitantly to the glass. Even though (like a lot of brown ales) this one isn't brown, it's still a pretty good looking beer.

The nose is more toasted malty and earthy than it is roasted or cocoa-like. I suppose it's a valid aroma for the style, but it certainly isn't my preferred one. I hope the flavor is more burly than the nose because so far I'm not jumping out of my seat.

Burly Brown Ale is a relatively mild version of the style that favors caramel sweet over bitter and features a hint of diacetyl. Actually, it tastes as much like an Oktoberfest as it does a brown ale. It's hard to figure the malt bill (pale, chocolate and roasted) because there isn't much evidence of those last two. I guess the folks at James Paige and I don't see eye to eye on what constitutes a good brown.

The beer is incredibly easy to drink if you have sessioning in mind. In fact, it tastes and feels like it was built to be consumed in quantity. Too bad the quality isn't a little higher. The mouthfeel is light, yet still manages some amount of creaminess; not an easy thing to pull off.

As should be obvious by now, I'm not thrilled with Burly Brown. If brown ales are your favorite style (hard to imagine), give this one a try. Otherwise, spend your money on New Glarus Fat Squirrel or Tyranena Rocky's Revenge. As far as I'm concerned, those are the two best browns that Wisconsin has to offer.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.23/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was drinkable, and a good value for the price ($0.99 for the bottle I bought at Murray's).

Poured a brown color, not quite sparkling, with lots of head. Aroma was lightly sweet caramel malt. Flavor was significantly sweet...a bit like an Oktoberfest might be. Mouthfeel was nothing exciting. This beer was rather drinkable.

Not bad, but I'm certainly not telling my friends to run out and buy it.

BeerBelcher, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This created a huge, rocky, eggshell-white head with only mild retention. The color was a deep copper/light brown and the nose was moderately sweet with malt. The mouthfeel was medium, but I got a real sweetness in the mouth, like maple syrup. The finish had a chocolaty aspect to it, like a porter. I was looking for something other than my usual hop-driven beer that afternoon, and this really hit the spot! Much more like it, as my initial notes read.

It probably would not be too tasty, but this beer combined with a Surly Furious would make a Burly, Surly, and Furious, which might be just the thing if you were itching to start a bar fight.

woodychandler, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
2.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass, pours clear, kind of copper, kind of hazelnut, with nice half inch head, decent retention, and decent lacing. Aroma is decent enough, caramel and slightly roasty, nutty malts. Taste is slighly better, notes of caramel malt, roasted, no hop presence, sweet, average. Mouth is on the thin side, a little overcarbonated, almost distracting. In all, ... eh.

objectivemonkey, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.33/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed August 22, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Slightly hazed, ruddy brown. Topped with a nice soapy off-white head. Light aroma of strong caramel, toffee, dusted with a hint of dry cocoa powder and raspberry seeds. Bittered nutty finish, backed with watery diacetlys and buttescotch. A hint of roasted coffee and chocolate. Finish is a little rough and unsettling, with an overwhelming presence of sugary hop resions that bite. A tinge of fruit. Dryish.

CharlesDarwin, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a bit weak and a bit odd. There's a nice mild dry bitterness, but a lack of nutty or chocolate malt flavors. Where's the brown? Not bad for a cheaper micro, but its really something I have at other people's houses. I'm happy to drink it, but it lacks the proper flavor and complexity for me to ever buy it myself.

tempest, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a mug)

A- This beer has an amber brown body that is crystal clear. There is thick light tan head that fades pretty quickly.

S- The smell of pot caramel and light noble hops is soft.

T- The faint pot caramel note and a light brown malt hint finish with a green hop bitterness that hangs on the tongue. As it warms there is a light tang in the finish that is a bit odd.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- There is malt and hops in this beer but neither have much character of depth. Just taste like another brown ale.

rhoadsrage, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of my James Page sampler pack. Label on the bottle has a big brown bear, standing on the shore of a river, swatting at a pink salmon. 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A—clear, cola like brown that produces minimal head, no lacing whatsoever

S—chocolate and caramel malts are strong, perhaps chocolate is the strongest, this is strange, but it smells like those gummy coke bottles (that I really love)

T—tastes a little like a chocolate cola, roasted chocolate flavor mixed with caramel. Bittersweet

M—thin and watery, cola like qualities with the carbonation, expected something thicker

D—Not bad and could do in a pinch. I couldn’t get chocolate cola off my mind while I was drinking it. I guess that is what I will call it…chocolate cola.

hanco005, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of battlekow
3.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After pouring an insipid clear brown--though it did have an attractive, tenacious head--and smelling a tad like cooked veggies, Burly Brown really surprised me by having a delicious toasted brown sugar taste to it. It's very sweet upfront, but not offensively so, and finishes with a nice toasty kick. Nothing spectacular, of course, but certainly good for the style; one of the best non-nutty brown ales I can think of. I would happily drink several more.

battlekow, Jan 21, 2006
Burly Brown from Stevens Point Brewery
75 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.