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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 120
Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle split with Blackie, obtained from Woodman's West, best by july 06

appearance: poured into a snifter for some reason...this is actually a very attractive beer...very nice garnet-mahogany, very deep body, very nice foamy head...great retention/lacing

smell: great aromas...light roasty tone, milk chocolate, sweet malty aromas, red apple

taste: again, pretty impressive...kind of took me by surprise. sweet malt, light woody nature, nice cocoa...very smooth and pleasant to drink

mouthfeel: pretty creamy, smooth, medium body

drinkability: good

 569 characters

Photo of blackie
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The beer pours a creamy looking 0.75" khaki colored head, and is a deep, rich brown in color. The head gradually recedes to a thin coating on the surface and a ring around the glass.

smell: Aromas of chocolate malts first greet the nose, followed by lighter notes of toffee and a nice English type hop aroma. Smells rich and delicious.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a higher medium, and the body around the lighter side of the medium range.

taste: Great flavors of toasted and slightly roasted malts fill my mouth and bring with them a light to moderate sweet, toffeelike character and notes of bittersweet chocolate. The hop flavor is light, as is the bitterness...blending perfectly with the nutty, toasty character of the beer.

drinkability: very easy...chocolatey and rich, a great brown

single bottle purchased at Woodman's and consumed in Madison...the label is notched as best by July '06

 924 characters

Photo of mattpetti
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark redish brown in color with an average head and vrry little lacing. Smelled sweet malts, some roasted notes, with coca and light fruitiness. The taste is a more astringent brown ale than i am used to, but it balances with some citrus and nuttiness, a weird combo i know, that gives this beer a certaun strange quality. The beer is medium bodied and as i said is astringent on the palate which hinders the little flavors and makes the stronger ones more pronounced in my eyes. Though easy to drink this beer is not really ideal for sessions. Fun and a more summer style brown ale, this beer lacks some depth that makes this a great brown ale.

 653 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shipyard Brown Ale
I’m sort of a fan of Brown Ales and other than the diacetyl, this is a tasty one. Light to moderate carbonation on a light brown beer. The flavor is crisp with a touch of caramel. Medium bodied and creamy feeling mouthfeel with a very clean finish.
Very tasty overall but begs the question… What WOULD Alan Pugsley do?

 341 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 rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer is a dark hazy brown body with a spongy light tan head. It is too dense to see much carbonation.

S- The smell of brown malt has a slight sweet note to it.

T- The slight tart brown malt has a faint chocolate malt note in the background. This is finished with a faint hop bitterness. As it warms there is more of a coffee roasted malt flavor but it is still in the background.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz texture in the finish.

D- There is a good malt flavor but it is very thin and could use more depth and character. It just needs more of what it already has and it would be tasty.

 673 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown-amber with a massive head that dissipates quickly to a soapy sheen. Nice lacing.

Smell is an unusual musty roasted malt aroma. Caramel and toffee.

Taste is roasted malt with a tangy mineral edge. Underlying nutty woody flavor. Finish is moderately dry and spicy but it is the malty sweetness that lingers with hints of fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium full, and lightly buttery. Not bad.

This beer is a little off the beaten path in my opinion. The odd musty metalic sweetness thing isn't bad... Just different. A worthwhile effort. I would drink this again.

 576 characters

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.

 677 characters

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.

 2,435 characters

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.

 969 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark mahogony with a small dirty white head. The smell is full of yeast and has a strong nutty quality to it. The taste is nutty as would be expected and also malty with some dark fruit flavors. The m/f is light with a flavorful first sip,but the aftertaste is watery and mettalic. This is an Ok Brown Ale, but I think I'm being kind in this review.

 367 characters

Photo of villainchiwwin
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into pint glass from 2006 'Brewer's Choice' 12 oz.
nice deep brown color with little head and even less retention.
smells good, caramel and sweet maple toffee. flavor starts out sweet with roasty and toasty malts but sharp bitterness comes thru strong from the hops overwhelming sweetness--not over-hopped but somehow unbalanced, maybe too acrid. mouthfeel goes from smoothness to astringency with an oily coating in the mouth through which some of the malt comes back in the finish.
hm, not bad - it would make a great session beer if it took one's fancy. hoppy and ornery for a brown ale.

 601 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamy, foamy, foamy! Damnest foamy brew I have ever seen. Even a lite pour would result in foam filling the glass. Once it settled a tad, the head turned into a respectable rocky tan dollop of suds on top of a clear oak brew. Malty and earthy in the aroma, hoppy and nutty in the taste. Not enough malt for a balanced character.

Dry and light bodied, just way too over carbonated. I’m not excited about having this one again – but I would not turn one down, either.

 470 characters

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

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It seems a cut above the average Shipyard product. It was a dark red/brown color with a medium coffee-colored head and some nice lacing. It had a rosted grain odor, not too toasty. It tasted sweet, caramel/chocolate, with a little hoppiness. A fairly robust brew, very drinkable.

 320 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Captain's Collection, a real nice brown ale. Pours a nice dark golden brown color. Smells malty, not too strong. Taste? A real nice malt flavor, a little earthy flavor too. Mouthfeel is pretty nice. Finishes up nice, a great session beer. I'm quite surprised by this one. Shipyard's product seem to be a bit bland as of late but this one is a really great beer. A nice addition to their list.

 401 characters

Photo of jaluria
4.42/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First brew from Shipyard; quite excited to try it and I was not disappointed.

Appeared dark brown in my pint glass with an off-white colored head that left a touch of lacing. Seemed rather viscous in texture and opaque in color. Aromas of toffee, roasted malt, nuts, and hard candy; very appealing. The taste was dominated by roasted malt flavors, but other subtle flavors came out as well such as nuts and hard candy. Slightly bready in texture and coated my mouth nicely. Excellent drinkability; smooth and flavorful.

 522 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 CherylM
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a welcome change this time of year. Much more flavor than other Spring offerings. Very rich brown color and is bursting with malts and hops. Medium body and not as heavy as the Winter Ales, but has just as much flavor and appeal. Very enjoyable and will be missed when it is off the shelves.

 299 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 Drew966
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice shade of copper from a twelve ounce brown bottle. It smells a bit hoppy. Taste is quite a bit hoppier than I would expect for the style. The malt is apparent, but at times seems overwhelmed by the hops, not actually a bad thing, but also not really true to style. I could drink quite a bit of this, I do think it's pretty good and definitely worth a try.

 377 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This rich brown brew had a full five finger head, which died down to a rocky foam. It took a while to really fill the glass.

Aroma was of lightly roasted malts, with some fruitiness and a little bit of an estery quality.

Taste was of rich malt, with slightly roasted notes. There was also some caramel, a little fruitiness, and a hint of hops. Nice.

Mouthfeel was light and creamy... it went down nice and smoothly.

Definitely gets good marks for drinkability. It was truly an enjoyable experience.

 515 characters

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

A clean dark brown beer with ruby highlights. Has a big foamy beige head. A smooth easy malt aroma with hints of carmel and coffee. A quick burst of coffee in the start of the taste followed by some carmel sweetness and a dry hop finish that gains momentum thru the glass.

 272 characters

Photo of HoorayBeer
3.54/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown translucent coloring, very slight head, that stays around the edge of the glass.

Hoppy nose with buttery aromatics. Not sure if I like the butter smell. It is definately a pungent smell.

Good flavor, sweet caramel and hops. Sweet aftertaste as the caramel follows through. Good taste, I enjoyed it.

Mouthfeel, has some carbonation in it, but easy to drink.
Overall a good year round brew.

 409 characters

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.

 440 characters

Photo of ericj551
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

At 3.8 % ABV, a good session beer. Diacetyl flavors are hidden a bit. If you like Ringwood beers this is the one to try. Its not as dark as I would expect a brown ale to be, but it is very falvorful for a mild brown. Definatly worth a try if you're at Federal Jacks or in the Kennebunk area.

 291 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.