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!

Brains SA - SA Brain & Co.

Not Rated.
Brains SABrains SA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

34 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
SA Brain & Co. visit their website
United Kingdom (Wales)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
In the mid-1950’s Brains introduced SA Best Bitter. This was quickly shortened to the easier bar call of SA and has become one of our most famous beers recognised throughout the country and further a field. SA celebrated its 50th birthday last year which is a testament to its popularity and is currently displayed on the Welsh rugby shirt.

The renowned ‘special ale’ is copper coloured with a full premium quality flavour. A nutty richness derived from a blend of fine pale and crystal malts is balanced with a satisfying dryness from the unique use of three hops: Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles. The aroma has a hint of spirit which adds to the legendary mystique of this premium cask beer.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-25-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sam-B
Sam-B

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

08-16-2014 19:54:19 | More by Sam-B
Photo of hopley
hopley

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +9%

06-16-2014 16:02:29 | More by hopley
Photo of endless1408
endless1408

United Kingdom (England)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

05-31-2014 17:44:19 | More by endless1408
Photo of charlatan
charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Half pint at Wetherspoons in Helensburgh: dark amber coloured beer with a decent 'spoons head. Typical 'spoons lack of aroma, just a bit of an acidic twang. A rather chocolatey start then a combination of a cereal flavour and some acidity, before a metallic finish. The feel is excellent, along with the chocolate they comprise the most noteworthy elements here.

05-07-2014 19:28:19 | More by charlatan
Photo of MisledTitan
MisledTitan

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

03-03-2014 23:46:15 | More by MisledTitan
Photo of Richie71
Richie71

Ireland

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

02-26-2014 23:22:39 | More by Richie71
Photo of innominat
innominat

Ireland

3/5  rDev -12.8%

02-22-2014 16:07:18 | More by innominat
Photo of vinicole
vinicole

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

02-15-2014 20:16:14 | More by vinicole
Photo of Mr_Pink_152
Mr_Pink_152

United Kingdom (England)

3/5  rDev -12.8%

01-01-2014 20:09:16 | More by Mr_Pink_152
Photo of BumpkinBrewer
BumpkinBrewer

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

12-13-2013 21:56:40 | More by BumpkinBrewer
Photo of Dave1999
Dave1999

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -10.5%

Pours a light amber colour with no head.

The smell is sweet and grainy.

The taste is sweet and grainy, with just a hint of bitterness at the end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodies with medium carbonation.

Overall just ok, boring and too sweet. Won't purchase again.

09-24-2013 20:49:15 | More by Dave1999
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

3.54/5  rDev +2.9%

Chestnut brown clear body

big splodgy White head lots of dif sized bubbles covering half the surface

Brewers mash/sweaty armpit aroma with caramel

Big malt flavours with hints of toffee, sweet without being sickly stewed hops warm and finish with and tiny yeasty bitter aftertaste finishes the procedures

The Mouthfeel gives the beer a much stronger abv beer
perfect carbonation
A solid beer

09-12-2013 17:27:29 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

3/5  rDev -12.8%

12-29-2012 02:34:42 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of fionn13
fionn13

Ireland

3.75/5  rDev +9%

08-24-2012 03:47:20 | More by fionn13
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

My 200th review. Sampled at the Frankenstein Pub, Edinburgh. Brains...it figures.

A: A hulking amber with a monster-sized one finger head that lurks about the glass. Thick, eerie lacing.

S: Biscuity malts creep in. Nutty, if not crazy.

T: Lightning strikes. The monster pops up on the table and embellishes the bar with malts, nuts and toffee. He licks his lips with a dry, bitter finish.

M: His mouth opens to a light, dry feel. Oh my, there's not much carbonation, but it doesn't matter. Drink more, the monster says.

O: A great bar, a great show and a fairly decent Pale Ale. Sessionable. Not too scary.

07-27-2012 16:19:36 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

12-29-2011 20:00:18 | More by bs870621345
Photo of cdwil
cdwil

Texas

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

12-29-2011 17:40:25 | More by cdwil
Photo of laituegonflable
laituegonflable

Australia

2.75/5  rDev -20.1%

Pours a metallic bronze colour with nice smooth nitro-head of brilliant white. No bead - of course - and lace is nice 'n' dense. More head would be nice, but good for what it is.

Smells very English. Rich earthy malt with a slightly sour red apple aroma, hint of honey, wattle and grass. Pretty standard, and can't say it really enchants me.

Taste is very mild, almost non-existent on the mid. Grainy hints upfront but mid-palate is watery and uneventful. Slight, polite English hops on the back with a touch of lemon zest adding just a hint of tang, but yeah, there's nothing here - it's a high volume session ale that's sacrificed flavour for drinkability. Ultimately hollow.

Fairly smooth but there's a real watery blandness, just feels wet in the mouth.

I could drink this in high volumes. I wouldn't really want to, though, unless I were simply planning on getting wasted.

11-18-2011 00:28:25 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of jazzyjeff13
jazzyjeff13

United Kingdom (England)

2.6/5  rDev -24.4%

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Nov 2011. The label mentions a 'legendary mystique'. We'll see...

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear reddish-amber hue with medium carbonation. Topped by a head of white foam that disappears after a minute or so. Aroma is quite weak; a whiff of malt and an underlying sweet note like apple juice. Also a hint of solvent or alcohol.

Taste is faint malt with a slight note of biscuits and tart fruit. A dry, mildly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but leaves the palate dry. Weakly bitter aftertaste.

OK, but not great. Certainly lacking in the 'mystique' department - it seems rounded but pretty bland and flavourless. I can't recommend this one.

03-05-2011 01:15:46 | More by jazzyjeff13
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.43/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours rich amber with a small head.
Nose shows lovely nutty, toffee and caramel notes, very appetising.
Flavours are exactly the same but with that addition of some hazelnut praline.
Moderate carbonation, could be higher really.
Nice and easy-going.

10-01-2010 08:24:00 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of david18
david18

New York

3.95/5  rDev +14.8%

I sampled as many english beers as I had the chance to on a recent trip to London and this one was somewhat of a standout for me.

It had the dark malt of typical english beer but was a bit more refreshing than many of the others I had sampled. Dark carmel color, decent carbonation, a lot of flavor but not too overwhelming. In general a very well balanced beer.

09-16-2010 19:15:31 | More by david18
Photo of diablo14
diablo14

Australia

3.68/5  rDev +7%

It has been a while since i've reviewed a beer, and it's been a while since i've had Brains SA, so it's rather appropriate that the two should come together on a humid night here in Oz.

Poured forth from the can with a delightful amber color and creamy golden head that left thick lacing on my glass (that may be because I cooled my glass in the freezer before using it ;)). Biscuity malt aroma, with bold but not intrusive hops. Pretty standard stuff for a British ale, as was the flavor, plenty of malt, slightly fruity and a firm bitterness down back. Also has a texture that while on the creamy side, doesn't come over as too heavy.

Probably would have been better from a bottle, but nevertheless, this beer was as I remembered it. A very tasty session beer that went down a treat. Rock solid stuff from the Welshmen with this brew.

03-05-2010 14:11:30 | More by diablo14
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.95/5  rDev +14.8%

Clear 500ml bottle poured into a normal UK sleeved pint glass.

The beer was a reddy, amber colour, clear and clean looking. On top sat a bubbly head, off-white almost a cream colour.

The aroma was of hops and yeast with a hint of caramels and molasses.

Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles are all used in the brew, the blend of thses hops produces a well balanced and pleasant tasting beer. There is an overiding mini sweetness throughout the drink, the aroma starts it off and the aftertaste reminds you.

I very drinkable beer, even better when on cask and kept well.

10-18-2009 19:20:12 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of crowncapcollect
crowncapcollect

United Kingdom (England)

3.03/5  rDev -11.9%

500ml bottle into straight pint glass

I vaguely recall this being better on tap in Wales itself. A very average bottled ale. Lacking in complexity, but quite okay. Nothing special, but nothing really wrong here.

I do like the red dragon bottle top.

09-05-2009 21:59:47 | More by crowncapcollect
Photo of apbarwood
apbarwood

Virginia

3.55/5  rDev +3.2%

Appearance- Dark amber, nice creamy head.

Smell- Biscuit and toffee notes with a hint of hops.

Taste- As it smells, but with more bracing hop flavors and a nice fruity quality, slight citrus maybe.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy with a dry, brisk finish.

Drinkability- Tried it at a Welsh bar in Wellington, New Zealand and I was hooked all night. It's fairly light on alcohol so it's not exactly overpowering and the hop and malt flavors are well blended. Overall it's a nice beer and worth a try if you can find it.

08-18-2009 04:14:51 | More by apbarwood
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Brains SA from SA Brain & Co.
80 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.