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Brains SA - SA Brain & Co.

Not Rated.
Brains SABrains SA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

37 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 37
Reviews: 22
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 03-25-2002

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brm300
2.49/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lacking flavor, very forgettable taste and smell.

Photo of stampfler07
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Lion088
2.64/5  rDev -22.4%

Photo of Sam-B
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of hopley
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of endless1408
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of charlatan
3.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

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.

Photo of MisledTitan
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Richie71
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of innominat
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of vinicole
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of Mr_Pink_152
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of BumpkinBrewer
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Dave1999
3.08/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of EmperorBevis
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of fionn13
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of brewskifan55
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of bs870621345
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of laituegonflable
2.78/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.61/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of david18
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of diablo14
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Brains SA from SA Brain & Co.
79 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.