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Grog | Nodding Head Brewery

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Brewed by:
Nodding Head Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2002

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Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 70
Photo of Gratefullawyer
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was in Philly this weekend found myself at fergies and got to try this beer.I enjoyed this beer. I really liked the coffee hints that arose as you drank this beer. I found very smooth and it went down very easily.
It even tasted better the second time as i was looking foward to that coffee taste.
a very drinkable beer

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Photo of RBorsato
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On-Tap 03/08/06 & 03/09/06 at the Nodding Head brewpub.

Fairly dark brown in color with a low beige head and decent carbonation. Fairly robust in style for an English Brown Ale with lots of caramel and chocolate in both the nose and mouth. Very malty as expected. Medium bodied and easy drinking with a light bitter coffee-like finish.

A great beer to start with ... and even finish with but it leans very close to a Porter in my book.

Per NHB website:
2003 Silver - Chicago RAF
2002 Gold - GABF

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Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OMFG, I had no idea that NH did cask! Come in, Paul Pendyck! It arrived with a finger's worth of deep-brown head with great retention. The nose had a chocolate/licorice quality. The color was a deep cola-brown with very little light able to penetrate its depths. The mouthfeel was full and creamy with a mildly chocolaty taste on the tongue. The finish was cocoa intermingled wih coffee. I was deeply impressed by this beer and its serving style.

Re-Review: Well, somebody was listening, apparently. Mr. Pendyck did, indeed, have a cask of this for a Cask Night at Lititz's General Sutter Inn. These are my thoughts from that evening.

Not much of a head to speak of, more like a thin film of light brown wisps. Nose was quite malty, with notes of chocolate and anise. I think that it is the anise that makes it attractive to me. It is usually available on cask at Fergie's Pub in Philadelphia, although generally not at on cask at Nodding Head, go figure. Color was a deep brown with cola color highlights. Mouthfeel was medium with a light additional mixture of coffee, chocolate, and anise taking place on the tongue. The finish was sort of a smoky chocolate flavor, not overpowering on either score, but definitely present. Proof positive that Gord-O has a handle on what he is doing.

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Photo of nomad
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A deep brown color, like dark chocolate, this beer tends to a decent thin bubble head, occassional lace, and often lots of tight, lattice stain.

Smells of simple dark malt sweetness, deep caramel, and a bbq roastiness. Opens to hints of cocoa powder of an almost chocolatey sweet malt. Taste is sweet and roasty, with a simple and straightforward, middle-of-the-road sweet and roast flavor. Turns over to burly dark malt with cococa powder notes sprinkling toward the end. Also has some of the seeming-sour flavor of Coca-Cola in the finish. Altogether, something you can settle into easily. A bit bubbly mouthfeel but surprising not that filling.

Great balance, exceedingly drinkabe, one of the most flavorful session ales available to me. While the reviews here are varying, this is a Philadelphia classic based on the sweeter English style of brown ale. It wins GABF medals not by accident - an impressive beeer from a tiny bar and brewing set-up. I have one every time I stop in, which is at least once a month.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh my. Tasty, tasty, tasty.

Nodding Head's beer list refers to this beer as "Goblin Grog" and describes it as such: "A bigger, badder version of our immensely popular english style brown ale. Dark and malty and scarily drinkable."

I say: this has to be one of the best brown ales I've ever had. Browns dont usually seem to be noted for their depth, but this is outstanding. Smooth, rich, creamy. The taste was truly exceptional. Beautiful, guinness-style cream head on this one. Tons of lacing on the pint glass. Malty nose. Fills your mouth up and drives your taste buds wild. I wish I didnt have to drive that night, and I wish I wasnt so full from the great dinner, and I wish I didnt have a low tolerance, because I would have gotten a second one of these in a minute. Oh, and I wish they bottled and sold this beer for take-out.

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Photo of stakem
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Nodding Head on 4/9/11 served in a pint glass. This brew appears a very dark brown color with a creamy tan cap that fades quickly and holds close to the edges. Faint spotty lacework sticks to the glass with swirls. When held to the light, this brew displays some redness through the body.

The smell of this brew is robust with chocolate, very roasty with a sweet fresh grain character to the aroma. "Holy shit, this is a brown ale?" Those were the first words that came flying out of my mouth. As it warms it picks up some light fruity character.

The taste of this brew is dark and roasty with grain that imparts a smooth chocolate flavor. There is a very mellow bitterness that seemingly comes from the extent of the roasted malt, not hops. However, in the background there is some lightly tangy, fruity hops which accent the initial roasted bitterness.

This is a full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Very smooth, roasty and enjoyable with a perfect balance of residual sweetness. Honestly, a great beer. Someone looking for a traditional take on a brown ale might be a little upset with this offering but I found it to be very enjoyable. It was like a hybrid stout-brown ale composed of the best traits of each. Having this brew was a bittersweet experience, I wish I could have taken some home but they don't allow it. This brew provided a perfect base or the other "one-offs" that were served on this occasion "Groggy afternoon."

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Photo of beergeek279
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served as a sample at the 2004 Penn Festival. The color was dark brown, with a wispy head. The smell was a good roastiness. The taste was a very strong stout-like roasted malt character, with a bit of the brownish dry malt in the background, with some good hoppiness. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, this was another one that I could have several of.

Another quite tasty, almost porter-like brown ale. I'm not big on the brown ale style, but if they were all this good then I would be! Solid, and absolutely one I'd have again.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with an unexpectedly dark coffee brown color with sienna highlights; creamy tan head leaves sheets of lace behind

Smell: Surprisingly fruity aroma with a touch of funky yeast; smells more like an Oude Bruin than an English Brown

Taste: Starts with a bread and chocolate flavor that is slightly smoky; a modicum of sour flavor appears in the middle and the finish reinforces the dark fruit, coffee and smoke flavors

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick body with mellow carbonation

Drinkability: For a style that normally underwhelms, this beer provides enough complexity to keep my attention through the entire pint

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Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a creamy tan head. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty caramel scent with little hops. The taste is great. It has good malt complexity and caramel flavor; very nice. The mouthfeel is good. It is a med./full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer drinks well. It is a fine brown ale. It has great taste and mouthfeel.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served a medium brown beer with modest slightly off-white puffy head.
Smell is mild with some notes of roasted malt and caramel to be found.
Taste also shows roasted malt and caramel. A slight nutty flavor also noted.
Finish is more maltiness with a slight hop presence also beginning to show through.
Very drinkable. Great session beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours just short of opaque. Nose is woody. Flavor is whoa! Nice and hearty. Woody character. Thick robustness that is nowhere near overdone. Slight bitter back tone. Feel is thick enough on the liquid. Has a good level of carbonation. Very drinkable. A good brown ale. If you see it, go for it.

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Photo of pezoids
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good mild brown ale. Poured a murky and chocolatey brown color. The hop bitterness is low and the there is a semi-sweetness to this beer. Reminded me of some of the local brown ales that I tasted in England years ago. A very drinkable and down to earth ale.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this last year on tap and thought it was pretty mediocre, but last night I was at Fergie's, and they had it on cask.

The core flavors are still the same...chocolate maltiness with hints of toffee and plums, and a little bit of smokiness. However, the cask version is infinitely better in terms of mouthfeel, which was already nice, and appearance. The subtleties of the flavor did not read well in the tap version, and it tasted kind of one-dimensional and bland. A lot more complexities sneak out in this version, and I'd recommend it highly.

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Photo of speedy3d
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was on tap at a pub in downtown Philly.

This beer had a very dark color with a medium beige head and light carbonation. This beer was extremely smooth and had a slight caramel and chocolate taste with a light coffee-like finish as others have noted.

Overall I was very pleased with this beer and would certainly recommend it.

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Photo of kajerm
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting glass at Nodding Head. Pours dark brown and opaque (finally) with a thin off-white head.

The smell is loaded with toffee, hazelnut, and a little chocolate. The flavor is similar, opening up with nutty and toffee-ish malt flavors, that last through mid-palate into the finish. A little bit of chocolate and some very subtle English hops are evident in the finish.

The body is on the heavier side of light; lots of malts are evident in all aspects of this beer, including the mouthfeel. Drinkability is off the wall.

This is probably the finest English brown ale I've had. It's not a style that I normally love, but this one is just so gutsy and flavorful, it's hard not to like it-- plus the name is awesome.

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Photo of ggaughan
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My Grog was served in a standard pint glass with a robust dark brown body and a nice tan head and good lacing on the glass. The aroma is a bit toasted, chocolately and caramel. The taste is a bit more toasted, pleasing to the tongue. The body is rodust and chocolately. I find the medium body easy to drink and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a fan of the style so I thought I would give this a try, served in a pint cool.

The color is an appropriate shade of brown with light head. The smell is mild with some yeast in aroma and subtle malt. The feel is gentle roast with slight sweetness and semi-dry finish with moderate carbonation.

The taste is very good with subtlety of English malt in the taste adding slight toast and gentle dried fruit flavor with a low bitterness and dry quality. This is decent beer -very quaffable but not extreme or outrageous in any sense I would recommend this to fans of the style.

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I had this on tap at Nodding Head this weekend, the blackboard at-top the bar said this was a brown ale (hope to clear up some confusion).

Poored with little head, but I was not exspecting much of one. Malty nose. Tasted like an embellished Newcastle, strong malts with a nutty, semi-sweet finish. Very smooth brew. A flavorful, yet easy drinking beer. Much better than the other Nodding Head fair that I sipped (my friends pints). Probably the beer to get if you can only try one down a Nodding Head. Solid brown ale.

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Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good, very drinkable session ale. I seem to have enjoyed it far better than people in 2003 and 2004. So perhaps they have tinkered with it. Rich malt with some bitterness. Dark brown and lace. I could stay with this all night if need be. Great followup 2nd after the bitter hop juice IPA.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a reddish hue and a 1 finger head

smell: roasted malts, chocolate malts, caramel,

taste: chocolate, caramel, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: nice brown ale with a sweet nutty flavor.


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Photo of porter17
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark beer for a brown ale, almost opaque in appearance, but very appealing to the sense of sight. Inviting and intriguing from an optical standpoint, the rest of the journey through this beer adventure doesn't exaclty measure up to the auspicious start, though it doesn't fail to satisfy completely. The smell was good but there was a certain lack of strength in the olfactory area, though perhaps my sense of smell was adveresly affected by the cigarette smoke from the person next to me (yuck!). Anyway, it was fair, what little smell I was actually able to injest. The taste was very above average yet not even near exceptional. The dark malts predominate and there is little hop flavor, yet it is still not a typical brown ale. A pretty good mouthfeel and a good drinkability, I recommend this beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint served from the cask at General Sutter's Nodding Head night.

A: The ale is a dark brown color, coffee-like in appearance. A minimal head emerged from the pour but no more than 1/4 of a finger. It quickly dissapated.

S: The ale has caramel and toffee and a rather strong smoked aroma. Perhaps the smoke is a side effect of the cask but it works.

T: The brown ale qualities are accentuated from the cask. The reduction in carbonation again removes the cleansing factor, allowing the chocolate, caramel and toffee flavors to linger on the palate without being shooed away. There isn't a lot to say hop-wise but a smoky quality is evident throughout, adding some meat to the taste.

M: Solid mouthfeel that nicely splits between the toffee/caramel and smoked malt. This type of ale was made for casks.

D: A real sessioner, this is a good subtle brown ale.

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Photo of Foxman
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a an opaque strong coffee mahogany. A thin finger of light brown head sinks soon to fine surface froth. Trails of lacing map the inside of the glass.

The aroma is all malt, though with a touch of smoke, and totes caramel, toffee, a vague nuttiness, and mellow cocoa. The only issue is it's a bit of a strain to make out the specifics.

Upon tasting, the malt is fuller here, with caramel, toffee, light chocolate, and even a background of soft coffee. Roasted nuts and licorice come through muted in the middle. A tease of vanilla and baked bread presage a finish that grows drier and more bitter as it lingers. The character is spot on and quite enjoyable.

Medium bodied, the ample grain lays a creamy caress on the palate, and a nice crispness stands for a bit.

The name does nothing to denote the enjoyable blend of malt and the ensuing subtlety. It is an especially drinkable version of a generally drinkable style, so it's above the mean. The clean flavors and finish make help make this one to be enjoyed whenever the opportunity should rpesent itself. It's on my radar for good, now.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

served in pint glass on-tap at the Brewpub.

appeared a very dark brown, with thin off-white colored head. aroma and taste had highlights of chocolate, toffee, nutty, slightly roasted flavors. More of a cross between a brown ale and a porter. a bit fuller body than most brown ales, but still drinks easy.

overall, a nice variant on the traditional English Brown Ale style.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at fergies, nice pour, a little colder than expected; color is dense brown, light thin head.

Smell is nice and malty, solid sweetness, notes of toffee.

Taste is malty dense sweetness, hint of bitterness , bready and toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is just right, lingering sweetness is just enough.

Overall, great beer on cask, good flavors, good presentation.

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Grog from Nodding Head Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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