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Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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120 Reviews
Shipyard Brewer's Brown AleShipyard Brewer's Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2001

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Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 188
Photo of number1bum
2.47/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a somewhat hazy sort of puke brown color (sorry but I couldn't think of a better way to describe the shade of brown). Lots of bubbles. decent amount of beige head and a little sticky lacing. Smell isn't bad, with a nice medley of malt aromas - caramel, toffee, little bit of toasted. There's a trace of butterscotch diacetyl, as well.

Oh boy...did I say a trace of diacetyl in the nose? Well, the taste is all diacetyl all the time. It hits you up front, and then the aforementioned malts try to leave their mark but they just can't get past the overbearing buttery/butterscotch diacetyl. And then just when you think some seemingly nice fruity and floral hops might get a turn...nope, sorry, more diacetyl. Mouthfeel is a little overly carbonated and is medium-bodied.

Way too much diacetyl kills this beer for me. Was this intentional? Boy I hope it's just a bad batch...although I won't have it again to find out. And boy am I sick of typing diacetyl.

 966 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a nice foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of grain with some roasted flavour. Taste is really malt but with more dry notes then sweetness. Some light bitter notes at the end with a weird yeasty finish. Body is a slightly watery with some adequate carbonation. Overall, I thought this was a refreshing brown ale but something seems off with the yeast.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.6/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured on tap into a pint glass, showing a nice clear brown with some reddish highlights. Thin cap of foam doesn't linger too well and soon glasses off.

Nose is a but nutty and of roasted grain and a bit of cocoa. While the taste follows suit it becomes a bit too arid and dry. Roasted notes are dry and smoky in an ashen sense like the morning after coals of a bonfire. Average feel and body but the charred smoke notes return on the finish and keep the drinkability in check. A bit of a burden to drink and could use a bit more residuals to carry through the palate better.

 576 characters

Photo of bark
2.61/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The colour is dark brown, the liquid is clear. The two finger airy head is airy; it sinks slowly with a fizzing sound. No lacing.

The smell is quite strong. There are lots of roasted malt, yeast, butter, bitter herbs, and hoppy flavours of flowers and citric candy. And a very odd flavour of soap.

The taste is first bitter and a bit dense. Some sweetness emerges together with that off soap flavour. Roasted hints, some loaf and notes of paraffin and other wax-like chemicals. The body is low to medium. The aftertaste is a bit hoppy and semi-sweet with floral sweet notes and a fruity bitterness (a bit like green apples). The finish is chemically bitter.

The carbonation is medium strong; the fresh bubbles are medium sized. The liquid is a little sticky.

I guess this is an "American interpretation of the English Brown Ale style". But there are not enough of sweet creamy malt and too much of odd-tasting hoppy flavours for me.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off the tap this beer was a pale copper color with good clarity. The slightly beige head was not much more than a skim but it left very good, torn-curtains of lacing. The aroma was of faint caramel malt and biscuity malt. The flavors were very washed out. Caramel malt, weak hops and a hint of nuts of the finish. Super boring, like a 'light' brown beer. The mouthfeel was average/smooth, the body was medium and the carbonation good. Totally forgettable.

 455 characters

Photo of Ricochet
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Another beer that I drink a lot of, but I'm not a huge brown beer fan. I like them when they taste pretty decent and are cheap. This was a little more but didn't have the sweetness of most browns so I give it a plus there. It was deep, ruby, brownish, with a decent head that faded quickly. Smell was sweet and wine-like. Normally wine like scent scrares me because I had just flushed half a case of my fave cheap brown because it was sour. Mouth was thin with a candy like aftertaste. This was a quality beer in the taste department, meaning it didn't have corn or rice added, even tasted a bit vague like a brown. The winey notes and toasted malts and the dryness were welcome, but I found myself wanting a cheap brown. Not impressed.

Sure, the quality of the ingredients were decent, but not enough to say I'd drink this again. Even JWD HB seems like a better choice.

 873 characters

Photo of StevieW
2.79/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Federal Jack's in Kennebunkport. Decent dark brown color, thin tan head. Smell was sweet enough, and malty, but had a slighly sour off nose to finish.Taste was a little dissapointing. Syrupy like, sweetness, but a wierd slippery, finish lingers. Unbalanced sweet, and thin. I think I expected more out of this, maybe it was the bottom of the keg. I bought a couple bottles to bring home, and try out as well, but the first one I had tasted the same. Call in Mr. Puggsley, this one needs a little work.

 511 characters

Photo of tigg924
2.85/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: leather brown, clear, small head

Smell: chocolate, big malt, small nutty odor

Taste: Not as complex as the browns I have been drinking--some burnt malt, toffee, light nuts--on the finish, and small hint of alcohol

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium body, small bitter finish

Drinkability: This is not a favorite. Compared to the browns I have been drinking lately, this is not overly complex. I will pass on this in the future.

 434 characters

Photo of JayNH
2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a deep brown/burgundy color with a small short lived head.

S- a sweet biscuity malt with a touch of spiciness.

T- burnt coffee dominates the taste. A bit of earthy hops in the finish.

M- Thin, watery and light bodied.

D- This doesn't taste like a Brown Ale, more like an Irish dry Stout. An overpriced one at that. Overall a disappointment...

 355 characters

Photo of Loki
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on draught at The Florida Tap Room in Orlando.

Served a brown color with an off-white head that faded to a thin covering quickly. Had nice spider-web lacing.

Aromas of overly sweet malt and caramel. Not to many scents other than sweet.

Tastes of sweet malt with medium body. A little overly sweet. Not too many flavors. Kind of like a sweeter Newcastle. Needs less sweet and many more nut flavor.

 413 characters

Photo of Suds
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a deep brown color that’s notably clear. There’s almost no head on this one at all, and the carbonation is very low. This gives the beer an unappealing stillness. The aroma is pretty nice…a soft maltiness with some caramel and chocolate. There’s a slight nut and grain character as well. The flavor is moderately sweet with just a faint hop bitterness. Not much hop flavor to go along with the bitterness. Medium to light in body, with some smoothness. I generally like brews with low carbonation, but it doesn’t serve this beer well at all. This is a simple beer. It’s okay, but that’s about as far as it goes.

 634 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light brown with no almost no head.

Some light sweet malt odor with a bit of nuttiness.

A light bit of sweet malts that quickly turns into a buttery diacetyl flavor. Not quite as prevelent as the Shipyard Export or IPA, but still very strong.

Mouthfeel is light and slick.

Not terrible, but as with their other beers the strong diacetyl seems a bit stronger than it should.

 395 characters

Photo of twelvsies
2.95/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brown ale isn't really brown. Dark amber, maybe brownish tints, but that's it. Smells sweet and a little malty, but mostly just sugary and sweet. Taste is not what I expect from a solid brown ale. Tastes a little fruity and I guess a little malty, but not roasty or toasty like I was hoping. Hops don't really play a big role in this beer. As for mouthfeel, this beer is too light bodied to be a brown ale, even an English brown ale. Very watery. Smooth yes, but not very substantial. As a side note, I bought a Shipyard mixed 12 pack and the brown ale, IPA, and Export Ale all tasted very similar, and equally uninteresting.

 630 characters

Photo of ktrillionaire
2.97/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Unsurprisingly, it pours a medium brown hue capped with a smallish off-white head.

S - There are a lot of floral notes in the aroma; the nose is very sugar cookie-like with hint of tea.

T - On the plus side, a light bitterness saves the softly fruity flavor from being cloying and boring. On the minus side, it is only barely above boring and/or cloying fruity-floral sweetness.

M - Soft feel, much attuned to the rest of this brew's character.

D - It is very okay. Extremely okay, even.

 496 characters

Photo of oberon
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep brown/amber color with a light to medium head that dissapates quickly,aroma is sweet and a little chocolaty with light earthy tones.Taste is pretty sweet and chocolaty maybe a little to sweet not enough earthy tones for me in this beer.Could only have one thought it was a little to sweet for me.

 309 characters

Photo of maxpower
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle pours a deep, clear brown color with a small foamy tan head that leaves a some lacing in my glass, roasty nutty-bready aromas. Nutty, caramel and buttery flavors, finishes on the sweet side. Medium bodied with a soft mouthfeel, an average brown at best.

 266 characters

Photo of scarletfire79
3.03/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not overly impressed with this one. i guess this is going to be a seasonal now with shipyard. the pour is dark brown with a slight head and decent lacing. very sweet aromas. the taste is refreshing yet cloying if that makes sense. at first the sweetness and malt balances alright but your left with this weird aftertaste. kind of sour green apple like. more hops and rounded out a bit more this could be alright. as is, not one of my favorite brown ales.

 454 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.06/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce, single bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in Union for $1.79...
The appearance was certainly the best thing about this beer in my opinion... Pours a deep, dark, ruby-red hue with a gigantic foamy and frothy head that left a copious amount of lacing...
Very faint, nut-brown aroma present, but difficult to detect and extremely subtle and non-assertive...
Very light-bodied beer, with a mild roasted nut flavor along with a miniscule hint of malts and bread and butter thrown into the mix...
Certainly the lightest beer I've yet sampled from Shipyard, a really mild yet at the same time, flavorful and refreshing sample with a really weak 4% ABV...
Watered-down loose mouthfeel that was average at best led to a decent level of drinkability, mostly in part to the weak alcohol and lack of cloying flavors...
Worth a shot, but nothing to write home about...

 872 characters

Photo of cbreitro
3.07/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was in the Shipyard Mix 12 pack. I had hopes for the Brown Ale, but found it kind of weak in taste.
It had a decent, nutty/earthy taste, but not much of it.

The beer felt a bit watery going down, and the smell was quite timid. The beer was a pale brown color.

I guess you could drink quite a few of these, becuase it also seems pretty weak in alcohol.

 364 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.14/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought as part of a Shipyard mixed sampler 12 pack.

This is the strangest looking brown ale I've poured. Instead of a nice dark brown you get a lighter colored one, sort of tan.. not too inviting. Aroma is lacking as well but the taste is pretty spot on. Being a brown ale and low in ABV, it goes down almost too easy with a nutty taste. Could improve though.

 360 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.17/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shipyard Brown Ale is a good beer product that starts of nicely with a solid head of foam and an aroma that offers earthy notes along with toffee. The foam doesn’t last very long- it fizzles out rather quickly leaving glass of light brown liquid behind.

This beer has some nice flavor attributes like nuts, toffee, caramel, chocolate, and diacetyl. The diacetyl taste isn’t too bad even though many will likely be turned off by this characteristic. There is some short- lived bitterness in the finish but the overall taste is sweet and the beer is easy to drink.

Shipyard Brown is many nautical miles from being a great brown ale but it is still good enough to try. It’s a little lighter than I prefer but there is enough good taste to make it worth an occasional sample.

 782 characters

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In pint glass:

A: dark brown colored body with a moderate amount of carbonation seen rising with a one finger tan head that dissipated within a couple seconds, lacing was light yet slightly foamy and it left some rings

S: light roasted coffee with some caramels and nuts

T: moderately sweet through previously mentioned flavors

M: light to medium, sessionable, dry aftertaste and finish

O: this is a decent American Brown ale that I might have again depending upon what else was served

 490 characters

Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a very dark brown, no foam. The smell seems to be very malty, almost tangy. Taste wise I am not terribly impressed, the beer has a strong honey flavor but is otherwise unremarkable. Its not bad, just seemingly very plain. Mouth feel is actually pretty decent, this beer has some fairly good thickness to it. Definitely one of the better, if not best, beers shipyard makes.

 385 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.21/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Atlantic Brewing Company Bar Harbor Real Ale.

Appearance: Clear brown with moderate carbonation. Two finger, off-white head that diminished very quickly. The lacing was virtually nonexistent.

Smell: Light roasted aroma. Not much changed as the beer warmed.

Taste: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Roasted with hints of coffee and toast. The finish did not last long.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body that was dry and watery. The carbonation was soft, almost flat.

Overall: This is an average brown ale comparable to Newcastle.

 583 characters

Photo of Scriba
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown and clear liquid. The head is beige and two fingers high. In a couple of minutes the head turns into a thin lid with no lace.

S: Nice malty aroma. Hints of chocolate, butterscotch and hops.

T: A sweet and roasted malty flavour. Some hoppy bitterness.

M&D: Medium CO2 and body. Perhaps a little sticky, but still quit refreshing.

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Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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