Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

188 Ratings
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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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea color with a very impressive head; nice retention and lacing action

Smell: Toffee and brown bread; a little fruit and some diacetyl from the Ringwood

Taste: Buttered brown bread and toffee, with developing undertones of hazelnuts, cocoa and tobacco, in the middle, where some nutskin bitterness also becomes apparent; the malts drive through the finish, with just a hint of fig in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not being a big fan of brown ales, I found this to be a nice change of pace; Shipyard has done a nice job of packing an interesting blend of malty flavors into this brew

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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 dmorgan310
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of jlindros
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Surprising fluffy head rises up almost 2 fingers over the hazy dark brown molasses colored beer.

N: Some toasty malts, more dark malts, some syrupy sweetness and malty sweetness, and touch of spice. Pretty simple.

T: Starts as a sweet syrupy flavor, with some toasty malts, etc. Then gets a bitterness that isn't very pleasant. Tastes a little like bad lager yeast flavors, strange being an ale. The sweet roasty almost porter-esque flavor starts to come through but is battled back by the syrupy sweetness and more weird bad lager bitterness flavors. Some nutty and spices.

M: Medium to lighter body with decent carbonation.

F: Still somewhat sweet with some spicy flavors. A little sweet brown sugar and almost corn syrup. Not sticky sweet however. A little roasty flavor, just barely. More of that bad bitterness too. A drinkable beer, but has some bad bitter flavors and not much too the beer in general.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shipyard's Brewer's Choice pours a dark chestnut brown body beneath a tall head of foamy yellowed-white. The head retention is good, and it leaves some nice lace about the glass.

The nose welcomes you with some yeasty fruitiness, toasty malt, and a touch of dark cocoa.

The flavor is richer than the nose suggests with a very nice combination of yeasty fruit and malt. As it warms it becomes more cocoaish, and distinct notes of bittersweet chocolate become apparent at the swallow. It's balanced by a solid bitterness, and although some nutty malt sweetness lingers stickily in the finish, there's enough bitterness and acidic "edge" from the toasty dark malts to keep it from becoming cloying.

It's medium/medium-light bodied in the mouth with a moderate carbonation that's enough to tingle the palate but still leave it smooth.

Overall, it's a decent, enjoyable brew that's more American than English in style, but with some clearly English components.

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Photo of chinchill
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter 1 month before BB date.

Pours clear dark reddish-brown with a weak head that leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma: Caramel and medium roasted malts; faint hint of English hops.

Flavor: moderately strong; limited complexity; slightly sweet balance. A touch of spicy hops in the finish and hints of smoke and coffee in the lingering aftertaste.

Feel: smooth, medium-full body with medium-light carbonation.

O: near average for style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quite lovely dark amber in the small chalice. Nice foam coats the glass. Toffee in the nose.

Not too thick, but malty. Pleasantly rich and flavorful, but not very sweet. Roasted malt provides the interest. A touch of hops provides some bitterness halfway through. Tastes more like a splash of coffee than hops. A hint of butter. Interesting dark flavor with some sweet highlights. Baked apples with some bitter skin flavor.

Thoroughly drinkable beer and a couple of notches above the usual in this category. From the 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, rich mahogany-hued body with a tall, proud, though deflating light beige head.

Smell: Aroma smelling of roasted barley, toasted bread, a little chocolate and caramel hiding a naughty pat of butter, and cherry nut squares from the fair amount of fruit esters.

Taste: A nice showing of dark bready barley, sweet chocolate, lightly roasted nuts, and crunchy dark caramel. Medium sweetness. Slight dark cherry fruitiness going on, though moreso as it warms. The coffee-ish roasty accent reassures itself as the herbal, earthy English hops perk up with a modest amount of overall bitterness. Mild diacetyl. Slight trace of smokiness. Predominately a dry maltiness on the finish with a final kick of ripe fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Notably smooth mouthfeel that rolls across the tongue in a lush manner.

Overall: Enjoyed this one. BBA does a very good job at just being a simple brown ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Peanut skin brown with orange highlights on the coaster, red-orange-bronze when backlit with weak morning sunlight. The cap is the color of malted milk and looks to be as thick as a coffee milkshake (but probably isn't). Arcing strands of sea foam lace decorate the glass just above the descending surface of the foam and look like they'll be washed away with the first wave of beer.

I want the nose to be much stronger than it is because I like what I'm smelling. The aroma is of sugar-crusted pecans sauted in butter (which go great with butterscotch-drizzled vanilla bean ice cream, by the way). Anyone with an aversion to diacetyl is likely to turn away in horror, but I love what it's done for BCSA's nose.

The flavor is different and interesting. Again, as with most all Shipyard offerings, Ringwood yeast is the determining factor in how one feels about the beer. Warning: it's front and center here. I like the personality that it provides to an often lackluster style, but I'm not sure that I'll feel the same once my d-tank has been filled. Which should take one beer, two at most.

On the palate, I get the same basic combination that was evident in the nose. The beer benefits, in my opinion, by being sweet with a trace of bitterness rather than by being bitter with a trace of sweetness. It makes the butterscotchiness more butterscotchy and more appealing as a result. If I know Shipyard, some sort of Brit hops were used, although it's tough to determine the hop bill for certain given the strength of the other flavors.

As alluded to above, I like the way that this beer tastes while having very little desire to drink more than the one that I bought. I couldn't see myself buying it in sixers for instance. I'm sure that Shipyard has their loyalists, but have to wonder if their use of such a polarizing yeast strain hasn't hurt their bottom line more than it has helped it.

The body is brown ale medium, perhaps a shade more full than that. If I don't notice a beer's mouthfeel prior to turning my attention to it, I usually consider that to be a net positive. Such is the case here. I consider the restrained amount of carbonation to be a positive as well.

I'm not quite sure that I'd use the word 'special' to describe what I believe to be Shipyard's inaugural Brewer's Choice Special Ale. By the same token, it is a tasty brown ale that kept me interested all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

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Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a tight bubbled beige-white head (two fingers thick). Nice, but thin, lace.

Very sweet candy caramel aroma. Very rich in the body with a coyly sweet flavor that is well balanced with a hop that must be strong to cut the sugar but not overbearing. The carbonation seems low, but that could be because of the fullness of the liquid.

While this is a good beer, it's far sweeter than any other brown ale I've ever had. Now if it were considered a Scotch Ale...

Retasted on 4/25/10
I notice what I wrote five years ago still holds up except that the carbonation is very high. Now, it's almost spritzy.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was wonderful, rich brown in color with a huge tan head that stayed on top forever! Seriously this had to have looked better then damn near anything else I have run across recently, no joke. Just perfect. Aroma is dark fruits, lots of sweet brown sugary notes, hints of clove and light earthy hops, all mixing together nearly perfectly at this point in time. Nice smooth, even carbonation and feel here now as well, really well placed I have to admit. Rich warm flavor here, nice mix of pear, light spice, hints at brown sugar and a nice even caramel flavored dry finish. Hints of plums pick up as I finish the glass now as well, again well placed and nicely balanced. Superb drinkable factor here as this went wonderfully with dinner and everything after.

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Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, w/ "best enjoyed before" dating notched onto the label, 2006 edition. Pours dark dar brown mahogony with slight ruby hues, quickly leaving tan head, active carbonation, calming down to no head at all and leaving no lacing to speak about, so I wont...nose is of cola, smoke and a general sweetness, tasting notes here of more cola, vanilla, burnt sugars and more smooth sweetness, with a hint of woody smoke.Limited hop qualities picked up in the drinkable English style (at least IMHO) Brown This would to the job with some smoky BBQ...Pleasant unuf quafer, respectable sessioner...decent brew to try "craft" beer beer with some newbies, or non "dark beer" drinkers.

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Photo of Gavage
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Federal Jack's. Clear dark copper in color with a short off-white head. The aroma is of caramel and butter. Mild roasted malt, caramel, butter, and mild bitterness make up the flavor. The Ringwood yeast tones are quite prevelant here.

Mouthfeel is smooth at the start and finish. Medium bodied. The aftertaste has some caramel and butter riding the tongue briefly. I found this to be drinkable despite the strong butter tones.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, a bit of nuts. Taste is good, hops, nutty, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a fine quality beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an actual brown color. This has to be one of the few really "brown" ales. The head is thin, but laces nicely. The aroma is great. There is a strong roasted malt presence here. The taste is also malty; really malty. It tastes sweet, but not in a bad way. There are a number of caramel malts in this one; a real treat. The mouthfeel is good. It has a medium body on it. I find it to be quite enjoyable and in turn very drinkable. Some may find this to be too malty, but I feel that this is a true brown ale, not only in color , but also in aroma and taste.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Light brown body with minimal head and lace.

Fruits and sweet malt make up the aroma of this beer.
Flavor follows the nose with nutty caramel notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth finish.

Overall this is a very good brown ale. I would reccommend it to any beer conisseur.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. 2010 issue. Expiration date - Sept. 2010. Sampled on February 14, 2010. The pour is a decent looking ruby-brown tone with a short-lived off-white head. The aroma is typical of brown ales with a significant malty sensation followed by butterscotch or something otherwise as sickly sweet. The mouthfeel is fairly thin and unexciting. The taste resounds with sweet, caramel malts and a background of fresh hops. Overall not bad.

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Photo of Kelp
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.45/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a limited edition.

A: This beer pours dark brown/deep amber with an off-white head that's thick and beautiful. Some lacings...

S: This one smells a lot: Roasted malt (not to heavy), a nice mix of both floral and bitter hops. It also has a nutty coffee aroma along with some dried fruit.

T: At first there is faint roasted malt (caramell), followed by sweetness, fruit and coffee.

M: Mediumbodied, but powerful. Dry and a bit rough.

D: A very nice brown ale with a nice nutty carachter.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an off-white, three-fingered head, fades slowly and leaves some lace. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Deep, rich amber color. Malty nose. Starts malty with the underlying sweetness, has a rich finish. Nice brown. 83ยข for a 12oz bottle from Cumberland Farms Convenience Greenland, NH.

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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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