Old Town Brown Ale - Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Town Brown AleOld Town Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

55 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 55
Hads: 148
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 5.59%
Wants: 0
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2004

Malts: Maris Otter, Cara Vienna, Cara Pils, Crisp Caramel 77, Chocolate Malt, Special DH3, Aromatic, Biscuit

Hops: Progress

Yeast: London, 1028
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 148
Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a chestnut color with a light tan head and a small amount of lacing. The nose brings some light toasted malt, caramel, and a bit of a nutty characteristic. The taste is pretty tame, with some bread, caramel, toffee, and nuts. Feel is good with adequate carbonation. Nice and smooth. Drinks well enough, but nothing special. Fairly sessionable. (394 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

--Nathanael Greene

Pecan brown with orange highlights... that becomes dark scarlet when sunlight is permitted to filter through the glass. The golden khaki colored crown looks very nice and indicates a well-brewed ale. An abundance of lace is further evidence.

The nose has more 'oomph' than beer of this style normally evinces. In particular, it's more dark malty, with an impressive amount of Hershey Bar chocolatiness. Who am I to question the use of 8 different malts when the result is this wonderful?

Old Town Brown delivers on the palate as well. I love the expert use of malt and hops, the interplay between bitter and sweet. This beer is what happens when a brewer uses quality ingredients, uses enough of them, and uses them in well thought out proportions.

Like the nose, the flavor profile is dominanted by bittersweet chocolate. It also contains baked nuts and a herbal-spicy English hoppiness (U.K. Progress) that is more aggressive than expected. The hoppiness is great, but a touch more malt sweetness would improve things even more.

Given the sheer amount of flavor, I'm surprised that the body/mouthfeel isn't a bit bigger. Hopes that it would firm up with warming haven't being realized. Even a subtle creaminess would have boosted this score in line with the others.

It's easy to see why Old Town Brown won a silver medal in the English Brown Ale category at the 2006 GABF. It's a quality brown that doesn't do anything new and different, it just does the expected things very well. (1,619 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the chance to try pretty much the entire lineup from Natty Green's and I just do not pass up the opportunity to try these things.

Nice pour here and about what I would expect. Light brown in color with a small off white head on top that faded out quickly and left only light lacing on the glass. Nice aroma of molasses and brown sugar on top of some decent malts. Warming brought out some nice sweet notes as well. Smooth even flavor here. Clean with hints of brown sugar and molasses as well as an herbal bitterness toward the back of the palate. Little light on the body for me but it was still very drinkable.

Overall a nice little sessionable brown ale, little light on the body but pretty big on the flavor. Would not mind going after this one again one day, but dont know if I would seek it out. (808 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a meium brown but with a few lighter notes near the bottem of the pint glass with pretty thin head,aroma is lightly sweet of chocolat a touch of nuttiness.Taste is very smooth lightly sweet but not overdone I picked up even a little caramel, no earthiness or nutty tones seemed to be more a northern England style brown then a nut brown.Very quaffable for the the style in my opinion a solid brown in my opinion. (418 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best When Served By: BLANK. I'm sure it's fine, though. I'm sure of it!

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark brown body with a bubbly, light beige-hued head.

Smell: A malt, chiefly nutty nose, though there's plenty of chocolate, caramel, and light roast to be found as well. Meager dehydrated dark fruits beneath the maltiness. Again: nuts.

Taste: Where I found the aroma to be largely nutty, the taste was mainly of chocolate powder. Supported by additional malty influences of sweet dark caramel, toasted nuts, and a splash of mellow coffee. Light raisin-like fruitiness. Subtle earthy hop character with a light hint of clean bitterness. Finishes smooth, sweetish, and with more of those fine malt tastes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A pleasant, tasty, low-alcohol, malt-forward brown ale. Were I to have regular access to this, I'd keep it in steady refrigerator rotation. (912 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent caramel/chestnut color with a pinky of mocha colored head. Not much head retention or lacing

S: Toastyness to the nth power, some toffee

T: Much toastyness, a kisss of brown sugar & nuttyness, plus some herbal hops up front. Dryness, mineral hoppyness & toastyness blend together as this warms. Finishes dry with toffee sweetness & toastyness & just a whisper of astringency

MF: Light/medium bodied, fairly low carbonation

Pretty sessionable, nice example of a well put together English brown. Was slightly better on draft IMO (553 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts with lighter notes of caramel sweetness. Very light hints of chocolate and earthiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of slightly sweet chocolate malts with a light note of caramel. There is a light flavor of nuts and just a hint of earthy hops. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable - not too nutty in flavor but a decent amount of nutty aromas. Very well hidden alcohol and nice easy to enjoy flavors. (912 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Natty Greene's in Raleigh

Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin lacing of head. The nose has notes of sweet caramel and faint toast. The taste is caramelly, sugary sweetness, faint toast, faint yeast, and there's faint earthy hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

This ones a little sweet at times which for me detracts from its drinkability, but overall it's decent brown ale. (435 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, rich, toffee brown coloring with a thin, wispy, white surface coat of head. Aromas of nut sweetness, toast, toffee, and some chocolate highlights. Smells are subtle, but inviting. Flavors are roast and sweet forward, with a nut and toffee blend to follow, and a hint of coffee and chocolate bitterness into the aftertaste. Light, smooth bodied, with a subtle sweet linger on an otherwise clean, smooth finish. Tasty brew, and the lightness of body makes it very drinkable. (538 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz received as a bitchin extra from Onenote81.. Thanks Jon!! This is a new to me brewery... Poured into my shaped SA glass.

1" lite tan head dies back fairly quickly with a good cap and a brew that is deep brown and then just brownish red when held to a light..

Aroma is a little toffee and just a bit of a nutty maltiness... as expected for the style.. just enough going on to keep it interesting..

Flavor again has a good amount of nutty maltiness with a shotgun of lite caramel... a fairly large toasty element mid palate... as it warms a bit of chocolate emerges.. and possibly some diacetyl too... just a tad buttery.. but that's all good.. so far.. this is a nice English brown that is sorta surprising me.. even is sorta minerally too.. I like it.

the body is lite/medium with a good carbonation..

It's not often that I get a chance to try a good American Stance on such an established style.. but I am pretty impressed.. I would love to check out more Natty Greene beers... Now I just have to remember to look for them!! No kidding.. You want my Deschutes or Grand Teton locals.. let's do business :-)

Thanks again Jon on the super trade! (1,158 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
4.7% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Onenote81 for the N.C. gift pack :)

A - A moderately aggressive pour fills the pint with an effervescent dark ruby mahogany-colored beer and a quickly fleeting inch of khaki foam. Lace is absent from the pint and only a thin ring of bubbles remains.

S - The beer's aromatic, yeasty quality disappears with the head, leaving it tough-to-smell, but a swirl brings back some scents of booze-soaked wood and plum which is interesting considering it's low ABV. Slight cardboard undertones poke out around roasted malt, which imparts bittersweet chocolate and cocoa nuances though the majority of the malt is a pale base with caramel hints. Very earthy in nature.

T - Malty and straightforward, Old Town Brown has a simple base with a nice addition of roasted malt for a pinch of dark chocolate and coffee nuance to it. Subtle woody earth notes combine with dark fruit yeast esters well on the finish.

M - Highly effervescent, abundant carbonation is a bit distracting from the rest of the beer. The mouthfeel is otherwise smooth and medium bodied with a light dry and mildly acrid bitter finish.

O - Kind of all over the board, Natty Greene's Old Town Brown manages to keep a couple things consistent; detrimental high carbonation and moderate earthiness. The roasted malt works well though this beer, adding nice nuances, but the rest of it could use a little work. (1,430 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.48/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a barely translucent warm chocolaty brown with a fairly thick and rather persistend light tan head. Malty aroma has an overtone of molasses and hints of miso and caramel. Satisfying malty flavor has caramel and molasses notes and a woody hop undertone with just a bit of bitterness. Texture has average fizziness and average body. Though nothing special, it still merits at least a try. (392 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a brown body with one finger head and a mild malt aroma of caramel and toffee, possibly some hazelnuts. Smooth body, light sweetness (not overboard with the sweetness), finish a little bready/dry on finish which adds a little balance to the beer. Overall, a simply and enjoyable brown ale. (298 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has a heavy dark brown, mahogany, nearly opaque appearance. It shows a thin tan head and some lacing. I note subtle whiskey oak and raisin scents. It is fairly aqueous with tingly carbonation and a pleasant charcoal raisin flavor. Some winelike qualities. Nutty and fairly drinkable. A bit like some stouts, more so than the popular brown ales. (353 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Pours a massively dark brown with a red hue when held up to the light with a one finger off-white head that subsides to a minimal amount fairly quickly. Maintains decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is comprised of roasted malt, chocolate, and subtle coffee beans. The flavor is of roasted malt, cream, bitter chocolate, and subtle coffee. It has a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this is a pretty nice brew. The aroma and flavor on this one are nothing at all like I expected, but this is in a good way. Well balanced flavor and aroma. Will definitely be having this one on tap next time I'm at the brewpub. I suggest you either do the same or find a bottle. (757 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a big fluffy light brown head. Fades somewhat fast, leaving decent lacework behind.

S: Toasty crackers and a little bit of nuts. A hint of brown sugar.

T: More toasted cracker and lots of it. Mild nuttiness and just a hint of toffee and cocoa in the finish. Pretty simple but smooth and almost creamy brown ale.

M: Borderline watery, it is only 4.5% ABV after all. Not bad for the low ABV to be honest.

O: A simple and very light brown ale. Tasty enough, especially for only 4.5%. Very drinkable, balanced and smooth. (555 characters)

Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut brown under a nice, creamy tan head. Creamy, nutty aroma...more toasty than roasty with a solid dose of toffee, brown sugar, and chocolate. Smooth caramel and bittersweet chocolate malt flavor. Nuts, dark bread, and a light raisin sweetness. Just a whiff of hops. Smooth, lightly drying medium body. Nice local brown ale! Not sure why I overlook this so often, but it hits the spot when wanting something malty and sessionable. (441 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown almost black with a thin head that diminishes to a ring. The aroma was of dark malts with a hint of chocolate, a tad weak. The taste was very good for a brown ale, chocolate, nuts, and a hint of caramel. The beer was light and refreshing and quite enjoyable. (277 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the First Street Draught House in town. I've had this in bottle form, but this is a first on tap. Came out a dark brown with ruby edges and a good 1-inch tan head on top. Retention was fair, but there was tons of sticky lacing on the glass edge. Smells like molasses, brown sugar, toasted bread, and roasted nuts.

The mouth was creamy and smooth with a touch of carbonation on the tongue. The brown sugar that I found in the scent is also in the flavor. This is a pleasantly sweet, roasty Brown Ale. Bitterness is low. Plenty of malty goodness in this beer. I much preferred this beer on tap. Recommend. (624 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very deep brown, clear and slightly red at the edges, with about 1/2 finger of medium tan head. Head fades fast, but leaves some nice gobs of lacing.

Smell is pleasantly sweet. Brown sugar is the dominant aroma. Unfortunately, I don't get much beyond that. Rather simple. A touch of dark fruit on the edges, but that's about it. The smell also fades really quickly. After the first sip or two, I can't pick it up.

Taste has a little more variety, but lacks that one strong character. A mishmash of malty flavors, with nothing really standing out. A bit nutty (hazelnut), a faint hit of grassy hops. Finishes rather dry.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied, good lightly tingling carbonation. And that dry finish again. I like it.

A well-rounded, straightforward brown ale. There's nothing really remarkable about it, but somehow it's all working together quite well. Nice, easy-drinking, reasonably tasty, and sessionable. (921 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a dark opaque brown, minimal light passes through and only around the edges. Medium thick tan head, dissipates to a film and retains there.

Smells of rich caramel, coffee, roasted nuts and toasty breadiness.

Taste is of toasted buttered bread, nutty bitterness, and mild tart acidity.

Body is medium, carbonation is pretty subtle and light, mostly on the tip of the tongue and in the back of the mouth.

Overall a pretty decent brown ale, nothing to turn your nose up at, but I've had better in the style. Still, glad that I had the opportunity to get some of this and will enjoy it, and I would have it again. The taste is a bit on the bland side. (668 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Autumn is coming and with it the return of dark beer to my beer fridge...yay. This understated brown ale pours a dark cola color with a head that withers to nothing almost instantly. The nose is more impressive with chocolate and vanilla and plenty of deep roasted malt. Smells creamy and tempting.

The flavor is robust malts throughout with some very late bittering. Mouthfeel is thin and could stand less carbonation. A little more body would give this greater character. The flavor is there but texture and carbonation put this back a notch back from where it should be.

Drinkable brown but not quite living up to it's potential. (635 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Simple head of cream white, gets to about half a finger, loose and swift to dissolve, Cherry wood colored liquid, reddish hues link brown to orange zinc, clear but not exactly transparent. The nose is light in terms of weight but super-loaded with caramel, toffee, molasses, chocolate pudding, cherry and black grape fruit, not much else although you get a swipe of scones and then a quick herbaceous blast. Medium-bodied, bottom heavy enough to gain traction across the palate, particularly as the carbonation is slight. More sweetness, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, milk chocolate, doesn't reach an oppressive state. The nuttiness sweet as well, not candied though. Apricot and yellow apple join the cherry, grape fruit, mixed complexion. The hops like field straw or hay, not green nor bitter. Faint metallic accent lingers at the end. Easy enough to drink, little pisses you off or, conversely, holds your attention. (922 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.76/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to Rusel_G for the bottle.

Appearance: Perfectly clear dark brown. Some nice dark reds creep around the edges. Head is a light tan, creamy, and leaves a small loose cap. No real lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Caramel and molasses baked brown bread. Sweet and bready with an underlying herbal and grassy hop profile. Chewy malts. Deeply roasted with a ton of cooked and caramelized malt sugars. Nice yeast profile adds some undefined fruity notes.

Taste: A bit of grape jelly smeared on chewy brown bread. Cooked and caramelized malts. Sweet through and through without being sugary. Some backing earthy and herbal elements. A bit grassy. Warming just makes it sweeter. Delightful English yeast adds a bit of depth through the sip. Dark fruit and slightly roasted.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate to slightly above carbonation. A bit crisp on the finish, but it's clean. Not quite what it should be.

Overall: A pretty standard English brown ale. Yeasty esters and caramelized malts do what they need to. The mouthfeel is a bit off and hurts the overall enjoyment. (1,101 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
2.88/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The Liberty in Charlotte. Pours dark brown with an off-white head and some lacing. Aroma is of toasted, nutty malt, prunes and plums. Light, smooth, quite thin body. Taste is of some toasted malt and some dark fruit. I’m not impressed with this brew. (262 characters)

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Old Town Brown Ale from Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.