India Style Brown Ale | Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

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87
very good
33 Reviews
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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
North Carolina, United States
foothillsbrewing.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-22-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
81
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
8.67%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 81
Photo of Rifugium
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at Foothills

Clear mahogany pour, with a small beige head that sank to a ringlet, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass. Caramel malts in the nose, fairly roasty, light earthy and citrus hop aromas. This followed through in the taste, caramel malts, brown sugar, nutty, with notes of earthy, citrus, herbal hops, leaving a dry bitterness in the finish; pretty average brown ale with a slightly upped hop profile. Light-medium body, fairly crisp and somewhat drinkable, though lacking in the flavor department.

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Photo of kkipple
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap during a Foothills session night in my hometown. Quite the enjoyable evening.

Foothills Festive is a clear, red-rust ale with an everlasting tight tan head that leaves generous amounts of lacing as the beer goes down my gullet.

Smell is very hoppy, lots of citrus notes and sweet malts fighting for dominance. I don't know what "style" this is supposed to be, but for a brown ale it's heavily hopped....

Taste is a wild mix of nutty malts, citrus hops, and possibly some spice thrown into the mix. The hops eventually beat the sweet malt into submission. I'm pretty sure I tasted some cherry in there amidst the melee... Is this a winter warmer? A well hopped American Brown ale? Who knows. Even the name hints at three different styles. While the hops are a bit stronger than I'd like, overall this is a good, if tough to define, beer.

Mouthfeel is mildly dry and clean with a citrus hoppy aftertaste. Cascade? It's drinkable, but nothing outstanding.

In sum, Foothills Festive is a lot like that cute, yet utterly mental redhead you dated for 5 months back in college -- fun and unpredictable, but the multiple personalities may grate on you if you keep going back to it. (or her.)

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown with a clear body, no head and a generally watery appearance.
The smell was very mild with notes of spice and possibly cherry.
Anise, burnt caramel and other malt notes dominate the taste, but hops are surprisingly absent altogether.
The mouthfeel was semi-sweet up front but finished rather dry and dull.
I'm a big skeptic of browns; I feel this is one of the styles American microbrews handwave to round out their menu but no one seems to make a decent one, and unfortunately Foothills fails to deliver. Somewhat drinkable but not anything to write home about.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Barley's in Asheville.

Pours a deep brownish amber with shades of red when held to the light. Smell is heavy on hops. Big, earthy, and citrusy. A lingering spice and roasted malt also. Sweet fruity undertones. Taste is basically the same thing. The hops are powerful and more so than the malt for sure. Caramel and chocolate come through but not in balance with the hops. There's a sort of empty space between the two and that void needs to be filled somehow. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry with an earthy, spicy bitterness. Maybe a little much carbonation but it's not too bad. Well, it just doesn't seem that this one is as complete as it could be. The different flavors are great but they don't balance well and don't always match up on the tongue. Pretty good but hard to define.

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Photo of gyllstromk
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is dark, yielding dark amber when held to the light. Nose is cherries, some floral hops, burnt malts, cloves. Taste starts with a smokey sweetness, transitions to a wet, dark fruitiness, like thin cranberry juice. Some hop bitterness follows. Overall quite wet; more so than I prefer, although it lends well to a nice drinkability.

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Photo of delapowicz
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Busy bee
Nice clean aroma. Gets avg because there is nothing to tell. Empty
Dry but balanced with the mouthfeel and hops. A slight astringency but not overwhelming. I'd have another. But then again I like porters. I brew them and would try to do this one but add more stuff.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Foothills Brewing Company in Winston-Salem, NC.

A: Pours a clear medium mahogany brown in color with some garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall beige head that slowly reduces to a thin ring at the edges of the glass and a couple of small patches of very thin film. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Upfront there are hints of a traditional brown ale (especially in the malt aromas) followed by moderate amounts of earthy and herbal hops.

T: Upfront there was a fairly sweet malt body with some notes of toffee and brown sugar followed by stronger flavors of earthy and herbal hops. Light amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Enjoyable though not my favorite hoppy offering from Foothills. It is a solid beer and quite easy to put down but was not as good as some of the others I tried while at the brewery.

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on top at the Flying Saucer in Raleigh, NC. Took notes on my iPhone, what a wonderful piece of gear.

A - Nice head with lots of lacing, deep brown with hints of amber when held up to the light.

S - Not a whole lot of smell, nothing bad, but not much to detect on the nose (maybe due to the bar I was in)

T - Good amount of hop bitterness, but still has the deep, sweet quality of a brown. Tasty.

M - Slightly harsh lingering bitterness, not the good IPA kind, but well carbonated and certainly not bad.

D - Very tasty and very smooth, I downed 3 of these in one night no problem.

Overall a great brew. I was very impressed. Too bad they don't bottle this because I would buy it all the time.

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Photo of Chaney
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Foothill during dinner with my lovely wife after a long day of work... she did the work though. :)

A: Not as dark as I thought it would be. It poured a dark red-brown color, with about a 1.5 finger mocha head that stuck around for a while.

S: I got malt and brown sugar that was fairly bright in the candy department.

T: This wasn't the malt bomb I was expecting. It was fairly hoppy actually, with a bit of honey-like sweetness that really gave it character. It didn't seem "Imperial" at all to my taste buds.

M: Well carbonated and somewhat sugary, with a substantial lacing bill, and a fairly bitter disposition.

O: I thought this was very good although not as good as DFH's entry. NOTE: I certainly dug it with my cheese fries!

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Photo of Paincane
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown color with off white head leaving medium lace. Served in pint glass.
S: Nutty and toffee aromas predict the flavors ahead.
T: Malt, nut and toffee flavors are present up front followed by a nice hoppy bitter finish.
M: Well-balanced medium bodied brew with mild carbonation.
O: Good brew that I am glad I tried and would have again.

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Photo of CWiggins
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham. Intrigued by its description on the menu, I decided to begin my evening with this offering. The menu discussed the beer's affinity for both IPA and Brown Ale styles; not the sort of thing one easily imagines.

It was served in a Foothills pint glass. (Apparently, Tyler's serves each beer in a signature glass by the maker!) The color was dark brown with golden highlights. The off-white head was substantial, and had enough stamina to last throughout the time in its glass. I detected strong hops in the nose with some notes of toasted nuts and sugary malts. The flavor threw me for a bit of a loop: I wasn't expecting such a pronounced hop bitterness. It's called "brown ale," so I thought it should have more characteristics of that style. It seems to be closer to the American IPA with some dark sugary sweetness that's akin to Brown Ale. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. It's certainly good; there's nothing here to be offensive. And it's very refreshing!

There's a nice, dry finish with lingering notes of bitterness and a dark nuttiness as well. The texture is normal for IPAs.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first chance to try the Foothills brews. This brew pours a light brown, dark amber with an off white foamy head. Aroma is very sweet, roasted malts and brown sugar are very big with some other fruitiness, probably from the hops. Taste has a hint of citrus, but a roasted chocolate character dominates almost like a stout, not entirely sweet; a little bittersweet thrown in. One of the thickest and heartiest brown ales I have had. A little alcohol is noticeable as this is a tad stronger than your average brown ale. All in all a very solid start to my Foothills brew journey. Very good and worth a try.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at Brixx last night at the Triad gathering. The tap did not say it was an India Brown, just " Festive ". Presents a very nice dark brown but the light at Brixx is low. Sinuses are bad so I was unable to get any serious aromas.
Mouthfell starts with a nice malt flavor with mild sweetness and some dark roasted flavors but the hops come in and set up camp and stay to the finish. Very tasty, a little complex with the malt coming first then exiting as a nice hoppy bitterness becomes the dominant flavor. Very nice mouthfeel and I had two pints. Went down very nice, a sessionable winter warmer perhaps? I am always pleased with Foothills offerings and this is a great brew.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this on tap at the brewpub. It was poured almost to the brim so it had almost no head. There was also not much lacing either. It was dark brown, a few shades darker than Newcastle. It smells hoppy with a touch of caramel. This is a strong brown ale that is on the hoppy side, but also has a touch of caramel in it as well. It feels heavy so I don't think I could drink more than two of these in a sitting. This is a good beer that seems like it is meant to be a combination of IPA and brown ale. I really liked the fact it was hoppy. I highly recommend trying this one but its a seasonal so you better act fast.

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Photo of devilben02
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my home tap, the color is a rich reddish chestnut brown with a thick, fluffy beige head that leaves a crazy amount of lacing. The aroma is sweet and somewhat floral, with a caramel character that is expected. The flavor is richer than expected for the style, however, with a sweet, bready, caramel/toffee malt backbone that is contrasted by a subtle nuttiness and a present but restrained herbal, peppery hop character. Medium-bodied by well-carbonated, this one goes down smooth, especially considering the moderately elevated alcohol level. Overall, this is another well-made beer from Foothills.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Milltown in Carrboro.

Pour is slightly translucent brown. Head is slightly off-white and kind of fizzy.

Smell is kind of soapy, with a bitterness that I would normally account to the Olde Hickory Hickory Stick Stout, but with a hop bitterness that I expected.

The taste is very bitter, more than DFH Indian Brown Ale. It has a Hickory bitterness that I associate with Olde Hickory, but there is a hoppiness that is almost unexpected, even for an Indian Brown Ale. The soapy feeling is sitting in the background, and rounds out the beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a deep reddish-brown with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and slight bitter hops. The flavor was of bitter malt, slight citrus/bitter hops. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Had a well-balanced flavor going on here with a good aroma to back it up. Not your typical brown ale, but hey, it's an India Brown so what do you expect? A must try if you can find it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, $2.50 pint night at Duckworths Charlotte

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a shaker pint, light mahogany body, light garnet hue, tan head with filmy lace

smell: lightly roasted malts, dry cocoa, earthy hop presence, dried dark fruits

taste: This was an enjoyable brown from foothills - though the hopping was less pronounced than anticipated. Woody, dried dark fruit, roasted malt, cocoa, earthy hops

mouthfeel: smooth medium-light body

drinkability: good

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's Taproom in Asheville

A - brown with a reddish hue; thick brownish head; great retention

S - coffee, caramel, pine, citrus, earthy

T - caramel, nutty, heavy citrus, faintly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, crisp

This is a rather solid brown ale. It has a tremendous hop presence, solid balance, and still maintains all the traditional qualities of a delicious brown ale. I'll definitely have this again.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Foothills India Brown Ale, on tap at the Olde Rabbit's Foot 2010 release event. Enjoyed in a footed pilsner glass.

Appearance: Arrives a transparent but darkly burned amber, sort of right at that cusp of natural opacity. Nice hue, and capped by one finger of great taupe head with just fantastic stick. Successive sips leave thick, crunchy sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass, and as the head fades, a uniform surface dusting emerges. Plentiful and fast effervescence is visible through the dark body throughout the experience. A lively and attractive beer.

Aroma: Nuttiness blends well caramel and toffee notes, a robust and pretty wholesome though typical "brown ale" sort of smell, complimented on the lower end of the register by an herbal, slightly piney hop note and a little higher by a springy, green, grassy hop note.

Taste: Toast, caramel, and crystaline, burned toffee provide the base for this one - again, your standard English brown ale notes, well-made enough though not mindblowingly good or terribly unique. The hop bouquet is - unsurprisingly - plentiful, with strong earthy, herbal, and minty components, perfect for the toast and slight astringencies of the malt base. A slight nuttiness emerges as this one warms. The hop bitterness itself is moderate, not over the top, and provides enough balance to keep the residual sweetness in check without overwhelming any of the aforementioned flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fluffy and well-carbonated, as expected from the appearance, though the moderate thickness of the body keeps it from being too erratic or overbearing. Plenty of hop oils keep things smooth and slick.

Drinkability: An interesting take on the new "Black IPA: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hop" trend, given that flavorfully hopped versions of every style that can seem to take it are being experimented with. The nuttiness added a unique interplay with the springy, spicy, earthy hops, and I'd like to see this at least become a regular fall seasonal at Foothills - a very fine beer.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the pub itself. Came out a dark brownish red, with about a quarter inch head on it. This disappeared to nothing but an outer ring. Though there was some decent lacing along glass edge. Smelled sweet and caramel-esque. Faint hops in there as well.

This is a nice crisp, bold, hoppy Brown Ale! Wow! I'm glad I tried this one. It's hoppy and slightly bitter, but not too much that I'd mistake it for an IPA. Just enough to keep me sipping. Definitely some malty sweetness in there as well, as this is very well-balanced. Some butterscotch flavors pull through just a bit. Man, this is good. Too bad it's only around for a little while.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottling day at St. Somewhere and someone was kind enough to bring a growler of this one.

Very nice and alive looking. Lacing rings after every sip, and nice globbage after a few swirls. Nice two finger creamy colored collar. Great retention.

Smell was very heavy with coffe bean at first after it warmed up a little I got a bit more of a dark cherry and wood aroma.

Taste is somehwhat the same as the nose. A kind of coffee grind flavoring at first with a darker,fruiter finish maybe even a little smokey.

Medium bodied, good carbonation and excellent balance.

This one was a surprise veyr enjoyable and very tasty. A solid brown ale.

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Photo of rodrot
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the good fortune of finding this on tap at a local watering hole in Blowing Rock. The beer poured a pretty amber/brown hue with a small head that stuck around. There was a good bit of carbonation despite the smallish head. Aroma was a good whiff of piney hops up front and some nutty malts. Taste was quite hoppy and citrusy with some caramel malt flavors mixed in and finished with a bitter note. Mouthfeel was medium bodied on the palate. The chalkboard above the bar had this beer listed as 7.9% abv but I didn't notice it as the alcohol was very well masked. Hops take center stage here and I love my hops, so I've got to score the drinkability pretty high. Curiously, this beer reminded me of Pete's Wicked ale when it first came out way back when. Back before the recipe was changed and it lost that hop character.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thrilled to be able to enjoy this one again. I love nearly everything out of foothills and this was no exception. Nice medium brown pout that when held up to the light gave off a nice glow around the sides and the bottom of the glass. Smooth, even head of light tan comes up and over the top, settling down nicely and really giving it a great look for the style as the lacing coats the inside of the glass. Aroma of caramel, nice bready undertones, a hint of caramel and touches of piney hops are all coming together quite nicely now. Really full and quite well done as it comes up to room temp the hops start to really show themselves and put on quite a show. Rich flavor now as the caramel and bready malts linger and meld with an earthy hop note that gives it just the right amount of bitterness and kick in the finish. Super session able, this one goes down like water.

Overall I love the style and the brewer, so what more could you ask for. That great session ale that works on a hot day but still gives you the complexity and keeps your interest. Great job here.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the Saucer in Raleigh.

a - deep brown color with a one-finger head, hazy, nice head retention with a little lacing

s - big hop aroma along with a nice backbone of roasted malt and nuts, sweetness is evident, no alcohol in the nose

t - starts out a lot like an IPA with lots of hops, then the malty body makes itself known, finish has a unique nuttiness and sweetness that is followed by a lasting bitterness

m - medium bodied with an ample amount of carbonation, but not too much, moderately dry finish

d - very drinkable, alcohol not evident when drinking, the sweetness might limit drinkability somewhat

Great brown ale overall. Foothills has another winner here. I can't wait until they start bottling their brews!

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India Style Brown Ale from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
3.92 out of 5 based on 81 ratings.
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