Bonfire Brown | Saugatuck Brewing Company

BA SCORE
84
good
220 Ratings
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Bonfire BrownBonfire Brown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
saugatuckbrewing.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TMoney2591 on 10-03-2012

BEER STATS
Ratings:
220
Reviews:
42
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
11.32%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
48
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 220 |  Reviews: 42
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, from the current Saugatuck mixed-pack.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two slim fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and mildly bubbly beige head, which leaves some swooping, low-lying hilly lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of roasted caramel malt, a funky nuttiness, further wet ash, a tame black fruitiness, subtle anise nuances, and earthy, weedy, and kind of musty hops. The taste is semi-sweet bready caramel malt, a toasted graininess, oily and faintly salty nuts, ethereal cold coffee, and more plain earthy, leafy, and kind of straw-like hops.

The carbonation is rather understated in its meek and yet somehow still mirthful frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and quite smooth, with a small, aspiring creaminess. It finishes well off-dry, the caramel shedding most of the toastiness, and the blithe nuttiness carrying on and on.

An adequate brown ale, lots of sweet malt notes to be had, if that's your thing. Me, I can dig it, but it would be better if there was a more challenging hop off-set, one that could keep the various sugars in check, as the initial smoke falls off the job way too soon. Yeah, not something to settle down and get cozy with for the night, I gotta say.

 1,265 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a tea brown color capped by a small head; not much lacing

Smell: Roasty, with hints of chocolate, coffee and caramel

Taste: Roasty, up front, with the chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors setting the pace; some nice balancing elements come from char and earthy hop flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Quite a surprise, as I am not normally that fond of a brown ale; this one is a bit more like a Porter

 462 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/3/2013. Pours hazy reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of caramel, chocolate, toffee, toast, cocoa, light nuttiness, light roast, brown bread, light smoke, and floral hops. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malty notes, with good strength. Taste of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, toffee, cocoa, brown bread, smoke, light char, light nuttiness, light coffee, floral, and light pine. Light pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, smoke, light char, toast, brown bread, coffee, and light pine on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of robust dark malt flavors; with a nice moderate hop balance; and minimal cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an damn nice brown ale. Nice balance and complexity of robust dark malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. I don’t think I’ve had a smoked brown before, but this was very well done; very enjoyable offering.

 1,337 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dcmchew
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of duceswild
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of woodychandler
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am now in the Saugatuck B.C. phase on the Bottle Backlog eradication here at Chez Woody. We have recently gotten distro of their beers here in PA, providing me the opportunity to do a horizontal tasting & review of their beers.

From the bottle: "World Beer Cup Gold Award [2014] for American Style Brown Ale"; "Made in Michigan".

Upon Pop!ping the cap, I could think of no reason to be gentle in my pour & so I employed a heavy hand. Man, did the foam rush up! It began with three fingers of foamy, fizzy, light-tan head that dissipated fairly quickly into wisps. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27, albeit closer to 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an interesting husky nuttiness, kind of like roasting nuts in their shells, if that makes any sense. It was not exactly smoky, but it was evocative of that sort of scent. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, big in my experience for the style. The taste was malty, very bready, like fresh brown bread, I have not baked bread in a long time, but if you need an example, inquire at your grocery store for B&M Brown Bread. It comes in a CAN, believe it or not! I looked at this site's "Styles" page, but it was kind of light on descriptors. I usually think of Brown Ales as being rather sweet, but this one was tending more towards dry. Warming, it had a maple syrup flavor with a light smokiness, but without being overly sweet. Finish was in the twilight zone between semi-sweet & semi-dry. It retained that breadiness throughout, but the sweetness was held in check while still evoking a maple syrup flavor. I can understand why it was awarded so highly, if it was identified as an American Brown Ale going into the competition. I am not sure that I would have identified it as such on my own. Still, it gives me renewed hope for the style.

 1,807 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Bruery snifter.

These guys are a relatively new brewery to this area, and I was told there were some smoked malts included here, so why not give it a try? It pours a clear deep ruby-brown topped by finger or so of light tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa, soft coffee, darkly-toasted caramel, and a touch of earthy wood in the background. The taste holds notes of bitter coffee, cocoa, dark chocolate powder, straight charcoal, and that same woody earthiness (or earthy woodiness...it's hard to tell, really) in the background. The taste comes off as kinda muddled, with a bunch of competing toasts and chocolates and coffees that almost meld but can't quite get things completely together (think a long-lasting dysfunctional family or something). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a mildly creamy feel, and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a mostly solid brew, one that can easily be enjoyed, but one that gets to be a bit too much for its own good. With a little polish, this could have been close to great. As it stands, I'd drink another, but not excitedly in the slightest.

 1,124 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, dark brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight caramel malt, hint of nut, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hint of hops, hint of pine, sweet malt, slight caramel malt, and a hint of yeast. Overall, decent appearance, blend, and aroma.

 447 characters

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

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug, the appearance was a solid milky brown color with a finger’s worth of white foamy head. Light stringy lace. The aroma centered around some soft sweet and roasty malts. Nuts - somewhat like cashews, then the caramel to toffee crispness. Light grassy hops with a dry bitterness. The flavor leaned towards the sweetness trying to bring in the roast but that stays in the background for the most part. Light malty aftertaste and finish. The feel was almost medium bodied with a really nice smoothness to it. ABV felt good and the carbonation felt good. Overall, nicely done brown ale well worth my time and money.

 630 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown, damn near black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is nutty, dark breads. Taste is dark breads, cocoa, light hints of coffee. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a little different for the style, but a decent beer.

 284 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of tommy5
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cola brown with decent clarity. Aroma of toasted malt and caramel, a hint of bready grain. The taste was malt, faint roast, hop and spent grains. Just a touch of what might be smoke rising to the surface. Thin body but carbonated alright. Overall this is a decent brown nothing special.

 299 characters

Photo of enelson
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of Latarnik
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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Bonfire Brown from Saugatuck Brewing Company
3.71 out of 5 based on 220 ratings.
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