Mann's Brown Ale
Thomas Hardy Burtonwood Limited

Mann's Brown AleMann's Brown Ale
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Thomas Hardy Burtonwood Limited
England, United Kingdom
English Brown Ale
Ranked #128
Ranked #27,577
3.47 | pDev: 16.43%
Jun 04, 2022
Dec 24, 2004
Mann's Brown AleMann's Brown Ale
Notes: None
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Photo of James94
Reviewed by James94 from England

3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
L: Dark brown ruby colour, some head and lacing
S: Light toffee, light vanilla, light chocolate, light malts
T: Lemon, chemical, slight urine, slight citrus
F: Sharp taste, overly carbonated, medium-bodied

O: 3.25
Jun 04, 2022
Photo of WolvesDave
Reviewed by WolvesDave from Connecticut

4.52/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A wonderful beer from a time when being a good beer didn’t mean “how many pounds of hops can I fit in the brew kettle”.

It’s such a shame that so many comments miss the point that beer styles are wonderfully diverse, and this beer epitomizes this. A relatively low alcohol content (which many people would call “normal!”) means you can enjoy several of these malty beers of an evening. The malty sweetness is a refreshing change from the overly hopped xIPAs of today.

Take a moment to appreciate the subtle flavours of this beer. If you don’t like it, fair enough, but this is a superb example of what makes beer so much more sophisticated than wine, so let’s celebrate that fact!
Jun 26, 2021
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Reviewed by vinicole from England

3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Bottle. Thin chestnut in colour. Frothy tan head.
Sweet toffee aroma. Lightly toasted bread.
Tastes similar. Hints of hazelnut.
Thin. Moderate carbonation.
A sessionable malty brew full of history.
Sep 26, 2020
Photo of Steve555
Reviewed by Steve555 from Wales

2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75
Appearance like cola, small cola like head. A faint smell of bleach in the aroma. Taste is a bit like like flat cola without sugar, a very faint hop bitterness and a slight lingering sweetness. Mouthfeel is creamy but slightly astringent. Not unpleasant but this beer suffers from being such a low abv.
Jul 07, 2020
Rated: 3.28 by alesinwales from Wales

Jun 07, 2019
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Pours a deep, dark mahogany coloration with a small, creamy head. Smells of toasted, bready, caramel malt and hints of chocolate and a certain nuttiness. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by toasted, bready, caramel malt and faint hints of chocolate, toffee, a certain nuttiness and just a touch of grassy, herbal hops. Finishes on a sweet note, with some toasted, caramel malt and nuttiness lingering in the aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel with a very light body and medium carbonation.

A passable Brown Ale for the ABV, although it is rather thin and bland, it does have some decent, though faint, toasted malt, chocolate, toffee and nutty notes to it. Also a bit too sweet for my personal taste though.
Apr 24, 2019
Photo of Lemreway16
Reviewed by Lemreway16 from England

2.12/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
On pouring the beer went immediately flat but what head appeared was a pleasing off white foam. Smell - roasted malt, chocolate and the sweetness of a cola. Taste - bland and thin. When I was young in the 60s Brown Ales, Light Ales & Stout dominated the non-draught beer market whilst insipid keg beer and bland lager was on (gas) draught. Times changed and cask ales and craft beers arose from it must be said CAMERA's crusade. I thought most of these low ABv Browns had gone but Mann's still produces it - probably as an alternative to cola and shandy in my view. An unpleasant beer that needed a good IPA to take the taste away.
Jan 01, 2019
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Reviewed by FLima from Brazil

3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Brown reddish color with a thick thin head that vanished quickly.
Aroma with predominant notes of dark chocolate, licorice and some toffee.
Flavor with notes of cola, chocolate, malt juice, a bit of floral and earthy hops, toffee and nuts. Dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness, but lightly perceivable hops.
Light to watery body with appropriate mild carbonation. Alcohol is 2.8%, so not really something to be disguised.
Classical London Brown Ale that is good as a refreshment with a pleasant chocolatey taste with toffee on the background. I also understand it is used for cooking and for creating drinks or mixing with other beers; I can see that. That said nothing spectacular about it. Ps. You can almost give this to your children.
Jan 17, 2018
Rated: 3.56 by jhart96 from England

Dec 13, 2017
Rated: 2.89 by Macamah from England

Dec 17, 2016
Photo of Beergeeknut
Reviewed by Beergeeknut from New York

3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Appearance: Pours a good dark brown with some minor amber hues. On top is a light beige head that thins out quick.

Aroma: Toffee is way up front, fig, spice, floral hop with faint citrus way in the back.

Taste: Good crispness at the start but it leaves a light toffee texture on the palate. Spice, fig, caramelized plantains with a floral hop dryness. Twinges of cinnamon roam around.

Notes: Overall this is a good one that has a well balanced sweetness. I will pick this one up again. Cheers.
Oct 18, 2016
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Reviewed by M_C_Hampton from Georgia

3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
A: poured from a 500 mL bottle into a pint glass, cola colored with a foamy tan head that dissipates leaving good lacing, clear

S: nutty malt, walnut, bread, slight mineral

T: malty, caramel, walnut, peanut, bread, dark grain, slight cola and wood

M: light, very thin, low carbonation
Jun 29, 2016
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Rated by Beginner2 from Illinois

3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!" (and possibly other books to come.)
May 04, 2016
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3
I’ll go with the flow on this, as I am completely unfamiliar with the style, and being mild, perhaps the palate is supposed to be light. Taste is very "roasty", oaken bitterness, burnt toast, some cola sweetness, but overall light in mouthfeel and aftertaste. Aroma is also very light and appearance is dark brown with minimal head. Interesting drink, would like to try another brand to compare notes.
Jan 13, 2016
Photo of baile208
Reviewed by baile208 from Michigan

2.87/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
Isn't an exceptional brown ale but isn't bad. Very dark brown color and aroma isn't powerful, some hints of fruit. Taste is sweet and malty, some caramel.
May 06, 2015
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Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
500 ml bottle. BB date at the end of March 2016 is almost a full year away.

Looks and tastes like a rather good mild brown ale. Nothing striking here but no apparent defects either, and the aroma reflects some nice medium roasted grains. Mildly sweet. About as good as can be expected given the style and economical price.
Apr 15, 2015
Rated: 4 by Keegan from Germany

Mar 11, 2015
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Rated by mick_cooper from England

4.34/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Very warming, gentle, sweet beer. Betrays its low ABV
Feb 03, 2015
Rated: 5 by Harvie

Sep 10, 2014
Rated: 3.75 by WGO from England

Aug 20, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by harpus from Alabama

Jan 27, 2014
Rated: 2 by Johnq1964 from England

Jan 01, 2014
Photo of BlackHaddock
Reviewed by BlackHaddock from England

3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Yet another British beer I've somehow forgotten to write about. 500ml bottle: BBD 31 May 2014, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard at home on 3 Sep 2013.

Looked fine, a deep full head of tanned foam on top of a dark brown body with a ruby tint. The head turned into a wisp and collar mid-tasting, no lacing on my glass.

The nose is sweet malty molasses, caramel being the main aroma I picked up.

The taste is also on the malt molasses side of sweet, again with caramel to the fore, joined now though with some chocolate, coffee and vanilla notes.

Considering this is only 2.8% ABV it carries a fair flavoursome punch, obviously a bit thin body wise but still an easy and pleasant mild/brown to have at lunchtime, which is when I had it.

Glad I realised I hadn't reviewed this beer and made the effort to buy another bottle after a few years without trying it.
Sep 03, 2013
Photo of charlatan
Reviewed by charlatan from Scotland

3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Bottle has freshness date 30 Nov. Pours a peaty colour with a ruby red hue when I hold it up to the light and a head which dissipates to the rim pretty quickly. The nose is sweet and clearly dominated by malt with more than hint of treacle. It starts off rather insipidly (a bland sweetness) before pleasant roasted malt flavours are revealed. And that's about it, so the roasted malt lingers on the tongue nicely. File under inoffensive.
Aug 15, 2013
Photo of IchLiebeBier
Reviewed by IchLiebeBier from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
Appearance: Very dark, like cola; small head with no retention

Aroma: Malty; sweet; dried fruit; like a weak doppelbock

Taste: Malty; sweet; a little thin, but refreshing; nutty on the mid with very faint hops; no detectable alcohol; good session beer, but not complex

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores
Jun 15, 2013
Photo of jazzyjeff13
Reviewed by jazzyjeff13 from England

3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
A 500ml bottle with a BB of July 2013. Picked up from Booths a little while back. A classic that was first brewed in 1902 - I've been meaning to review this one for a while.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark ruby-brown hue that appears almost black in the glass. Medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding. Aroma of sweet caramel malt with hints of toffee, mild roasted grain, fruity ale yeast, faint dried fruit and a twinge of stewed hops. A weak metallic note in the background.

Tastes of sweet caramel malt with a mild finish. Notes of caramel/toffee, a hint of roasted grain, faint dried fruit, fruity ale yeast and stewed hops. Vaguely reminiscent of Coca-Cola. Slightly sweet, with a subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, accompanied by prickly carbonation and a rather thin body. Lightly astringent, with an aftertaste of lingering caramel malt, dried hops and a vanishing sweetness.

Pretty good - when the ABV is taken into account this ale is impressively well-rounded. Looks the part, while the aroma and flavour are dominated by hints of sweet caramel. No assault on the senses but given the low ABV this isn't surprising. The body is smooth, if a tad watery, but again this is not unexpected. Decidedly drinkable; it won't blow you away but it certainly goes down easily enough. I could imagine having another when I'm looking for something subtle. Well worth trying if you have the chance.
Jun 02, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Beerstorian from District of Columbia

Feb 23, 2013
Photo of mick303
Reviewed by mick303 from Canada (ON)

3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
Poured into a shaker pint. Colour is a quite dark sooty brown, pours a good head of light brown foam, decent retention but lacing fades away. Visible carbonation.

Smell is mainly dark malts, some vanilla and coffee notes. No hops come through. Quite light, with a bit of fruitiness.

Taste has some dark malts, then some honey oat sweetness, vanilla, apple. Some coffee, with a pretty nice balance. Pretty mild, with a sweetness to it. Finish is dry, and mild.

Mouthfeel is mild, really light. A smooth malt body, really sessionable though a bit watery. Low ABV. Some soft carbonation.

A really light mild brown ale, despite such a low ABV it does have a nice flavour and balance. But I didnt find it that interesting and I would prefer a bit more aggressive or interesting flavour and maybe some more bitterness. I don't think I'll get this again.
Feb 12, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by CwrwAmByth from England

Jan 31, 2013
Rated: 4 by pin from Australia

Nov 15, 2012
Photo of flyingpig
Reviewed by flyingpig from Scotland

3.42/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Very dark brown colour. It takes an aggressive pour to get any sort of head on this one at all but it manages to form a brownish white, thin bubbly head that recedes to a soapy lacing after about thirty seconds.

Deep caramel aroma is given of from this one along with some nice toffee notes and plenty of malts. Overall it is a mild smelling beer. There is a nice dark fruits aroma to it as well. An average smelling ale that has nice depth.

Quite similar to the nose with a nice combination of toffee & caramel that is well balanced and enjoyable. This is followed by some nice nutty malts. There is almost no bitterness to this ale either.

A nice creamy, medium body and quite a lot of carbonation & fizz to it. It is rather smooth and as expected there is no taste of alcohol on the palate.

A pleasant surprise here given my initial perception of this one, it is a very solid drink that is quite rich and goes down great. The fact that the alcohol content is low would go unnoticed.

Featured in the 1001 Beers to Try Before You Die:
Sep 22, 2011
Photo of dgilks
Reviewed by dgilks from Australia

3.9/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Very dark brown colour with a somewhat red hue. Medium-small tan head with fair head retention.

Deep toffee and caramel aroma with some light vinous fruit and bread notes. Slightly earthy.

Nicely dried out caramel malts with some burnt toffee and nuttiness. Good balance and some earthy character. Nice fruitiness.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Somewhat prickly. Good but not great.

A deliciously complex brown ale with great malt and yeast flavour. The carbonation is a bit much but I like it.
Aug 17, 2011
Photo of StJamesGate
Reviewed by StJamesGate from New York

3.79/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours stout black with a puffy tan head that unfortunately doesn't lace. Nose is a turpentine whiff with scattish old ale tones, only later opening to stale coffee malts. Milk chocolate and brown sugar malts with no real hops kick. Very round, smooth, a bit salty.

Fits an impressive amount of easy-sipping flavor into a low ABV package. Would go again. Thing is:
How is this not a mild?
Sep 22, 2010
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Reviewed by soulgrowl from England

4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
This is a particularly black brown ale; in fact, it is damn near opaque! It does let a few bright orange-red flickers of light through, but otherwise it's pretty much impenetrable. Its head isn't as impressive, somewhat volatile, cafe-beige, and smallish with only decent retention. The aroma is of darkly roasted grain, flat cola, and, unusually, champagne, with a fair edge of burnt sugar that calls to mind toasted marshmallows. Odd floral/fruity esters waft out of the darkness, and there is a pleasantly mild nuttiness to it, with notes of pecans, which are also satisfyingly present on the palate. Sweet and nutty, with milk chocolate, vanilla, and almond notes, and faintly reminiscent of Nutella, although the hazelnut edge isn't that strong. Malts dominate with a schmaltzy flavor that can best be described as "malty," yet the light body, very thin edge of hop bitterness, and overall dryness help to keep this from being cloying. Prune and Kahlua flavors pump up the juiciness, with a nice, delicately lingering mocha finish. I can't believe this is under 3% ABV, but that just makes me love it all the more. What a great ale!
May 15, 2009
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Reviewed by LittleCreature from Australia

3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Appearance - 3.5
Pours a small cream to beige coloured head over a clear, dark brown body that has a reddish tinge.

Smell - 3.0
Caramel malt, slightly earthy hops and a little sweet. On the weak side, but considering the low alcohol that is no surprise.

Taste - 3.0
Malt tastes of caramel, chocolate, sultanas and toasted grains. No perceptible hop character or bitterness which leaves the beer quite sweet and very malty in its balance. No perceptible alcohol either. A little salty, which I assume is from the water used.

Mouthfeel - 3.0
Light bodied, finishes quite dry and has a strange, flattish asprin like carbonation. Actualy impressive that it has this much body.

Drinkability - 4.0
I wouldn't want too much of this, but it is a very easy drinking beer for anyone who doesn't mind the lack of hops.

An easy drinking, sweetish brown ale. No perceptible alcohol and low hops mean that it is not my kind of beer, but still quite an accomplishment to have this much flavour from just 2.8%.
May 12, 2009
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Reviewed by fullsweep from England

3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4
500 mL poured into a glass.

Other than so-called "non-alcoholic" beers, this is one of the lowest ABVs you can get at 2.8, and yet it's still a full-bodied beer.

The closest thing you can get to Coke in a beer, and that's not a bad thing. The head is thin, but present. No lacing. Just carbonation bubbles that fizz up much like a soda.

Smell is nice and malty, although mild. Smells of dried, dark fruits with some caramelized sugars perhaps.

Taste is light, and yet full-bodied. It's not as rich as a Hobgoblin or even a Newcastle Brown. The richness is replaced with a mild sweetness again conjuring up dried fruits (dates, raisins, prunes) with caramelized sugars (brown sugar, caramel, toffee).

Sits well on the mouth, but it is a bit too light for my preference. The low ABV is no problem at all, and is actually a selling point for someone driving or concerned about alcohol limits. Yet, I like a bit more of the richness found in most English brown ales.
Jan 31, 2009
Photo of Daredevil
Reviewed by Daredevil from Switzerland

3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
somewhere between a coke (leaving out the soapy stickiness) and a pale ale comes this interesting brew, which I would consider a great alternative to anything non-alcoholic for the driver (the absolute max. BAC you may end up with after drinking a pint in one go is 0.23%o) ... this is also a good companion to food (anything from seafood to stews, pork meat or poultry) ...
Oct 31, 2008
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Reviewed by BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
I am actually honored to sample this hard-to-find, Southern English Brown Ale. Low alcohol means low flavor, right? Not in this case. This beer pours a dark brown, delecadant creamy, silky smooth appearance that would rival many Porters. The aroma is quite malty, rich, chocolatey, nutty, and fragrantly estery. First sips give a huge malt taste with toffee sweetness, attenuated caramels, and bright esters of apples, pears, figs, dates, all on a bed of chocolate and nuts. Alchohols are no where to be found. The texture is moderately heavy for a low gravity beer, but smoothly textured making it easy to take the next sip. finishes quite malty with a lingering caramel and date flavor. If anything, it's a bit wort-y from low attenuation levels. Quite a treat, and one that can be enjoyed all day without tanking.

Notes from '08 NHC
Jun 23, 2008
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Reviewed by kmacphail from Scotland

3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
Tried this after seeing it on special offer in the local supermarket, I didn't know what to expect as I had never heard anything about it.

The beer poured into the pint mug with a nice dark colour and a dark cream / light brown head. The nose was dominantly malty with a very strong sweet smell of burnt sugar and caramel, there was a hint of fruit on the nose but this was overpowered by the others.

When I noticed this beer was only 2.8% I thought this was going to be very weak but I was pleasantly surprised. The sweet flavour of malts was very evident in the taste, it reminded me very much of a sweet Black n Tan (half a pint of heavy with sweatheart stout). The mouthfeel was also very similar in that it was light and refreshing, but not too wattery.

This was a very drinkable beer, I would definately have it again. At 2.8% it is more likely to make you sick than drunk. Ideal for a dark beer fan on a hot summers day, I would really like to sample this from a cask.
Nov 09, 2006
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Reviewed by wl0307 from England

3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
BB date: SEP 06.
A: very dark brownish hue, with a mahogany hint when seen against light; coming with a light tan head, quite fluffy and thick initially but with o.k. retention.
S: light-bodied semi-sweet dark and smoked maltiness upfront, with burned sugar or very light caramel, a touch of dark fruitiness like fresh longan fruit, and a hint of toasted bread, whereas the hop aroma is very very restrained almost like non-existent. Overall the nose is very lightly malty and fruity, and quite pleasant!
T&M: slightly sweet malty throughout with a slight licorice-like flavour, mild hint of caramel and feather-light dark maltiness, and some dark-fruitiness too… the texture is rather like a cold, sweet barley tea rather than a beer, leaving a bittersweet fruity aftertaste which doesn’t stay long but still noticeable; extremely light-bodied and too smooth on the palate, almost a bit watery, but quite expectable for a beer with such low alc. strength: 2.8%.
D: I thought I’d be totally let down by this beer simply due to the alc. strength, but I’m not. I find it a reasonably pleasant and easy-drinking beer, like a sweeter and lesser version of dark Mild actually.
Nov 09, 2005
Mann's Brown Ale from Thomas Hardy Burtonwood Limited
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 42 ratings