Shipyard Brewer's Brown Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

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

12oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date on label. Served in a Shipyard Pint glass.
The brown shoe polish color is true to the style. A foamy beige head rises fast and holds over the top. Fairly good retaining lace throughout.
Sweet malt and fruit bread smells, blend with a bit of citrusy and tea-like aromas. A faint whiff of peaty whiskey is perceived.
The earthy, peaty malt taste is upfront. A doughy wheat bread taste is followed with tea-like and fruit cup flavors. A little limey citrus and distant whiskey taste are ever present.
It's a fairly deceptively dry body, with just enough smoothness to make it gulpable.
Tell anyone in the UK that they are drinking an original brown ale and they won't bat an eye lash. Except for the slightly elevated alcoholic kick, there is no discernible difference.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked like I could be in for a treat with its stunning deep garnet color, extremely gemstone clean, topped with airy tan foam - quite a few fairly big sudsy bubbles, long lasting thick collar and soft blanket, excellent retention and replenishment.

Very estery aroma. Leathery. Maltiness giving some chocolate and hard-baked cookie almost like a ginger snap. Dare I say the smell has depth, maybe even complexity.

Interesting taste altogether, certainly resembles a brown ale of the English variety. Up front some tough yet dull ashy/embery smokiness, rounded on the edges & vague raisin/dried-cherry fruit. Slow developing wave-break carb sizzle atop the palate, clean and smooth underneath, with medium-bodied, nearly robust malt rising up in the middle, following through the end while finishing assertively yeast funky with a long lingering roasted-bitter/hop bite in the back (run-on). Much more aggressive taste and feel than I was expecting.

This...wasn't...all..that..bad. Really, it's clean and very easy to drink. It's got some attitude for what it is. Yes sir I like it.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before August 2011 notched on label.

Pours a deep amber almost brown color with good clarity on the edges. A 2 finger off white to tan head fades but leaves a small head that lingers. Smells of fresh nuts, roasted malts, some toffee candy, and bready yeast. No sweetness on the taste. Some nuts and malts come through but really not much going on with the taste. This is missing the sweet brown sugar that is in some brown ales. Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Overall this is mediocre. Quite sessionable with the taste being decent and middle of the road ABV.

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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.

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Photo of beyah
3.61/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Deep amber brown can see a little light through the beer if you hold it up to the light.
It is not the least bit cloudy.
Head was about 1/2" and lacing is quite good.
Taste - Has a bit of of a smoky roasted malt flavor. Hops and alcohol are there but not in your face.
Mouthfeel- Good mouthfeel, smooth easy on the carbonation.
Not my favorite English Brown, I prefer the Oak Pond or Samuel Smiths Nut Brown.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):

Dark tawny brew still light enough to show some clarity, the initial rise of head nearly crests over the top of the glass. Big toffee aroma weighs heavy on the nostrils; a little buttery and malty sweet, with some figs in the back. Nice crispness on this ale. Malt, malt and malt. Yeah, there is a quick bite of hops and some herbal flavor within, but it is a mere coating rather than cutting through the malt character. Toffee throughout, a hint of light-roasted coffee on the edge of the palate, toasted bread and a little cake batter as well. Somewhat fruity with ripe pears, figs and mealy apples. Alcohol is way in the back, but its mild warmth makes it apparent. Malty finish is no surprise, with a light herbal hop tagging along.

It would be nearly impossible to pick this one out of a blind tasting if it was side by side with its English counterparts. A real treat for malt lovers, or anyone who leans toward the English flavors of beer.

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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 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.

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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 littlebibs
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is fast becoming one of my favorite drinking beers, great refreshing taste, lots of malty, nutty tastes I love, not to sweet
with some good carbonation and low alcohol, some dry some hops back there, nice balance. I believe I had this several years back in a double pack brewers choice. Still just as
tasty, it would make a nice fall beer as well. Just a seasonal for the spring!! would make a great addition all year long! Nice one from the people at SHIPYARD

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

Picked up a six pack on sale for $7.99. Poured into standard pint glasses. Dark brown color. Fairly good sized white head. Lacing only at the top of the glass, nowhere farther down. Smell was malty and leather-like. Taste was better than expected. Nice dose of malt, with a brown sugar aftertaste. Borderline watery, but just enough body to keep it above average. Low in abv and smooth to drink, both help make it very drinkable. It may get a tad boring after a while, but I polished off three fairly easily. A nice offering from Shipyard and brewed to be a nice session beer.

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Photo of TonyReaves
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Expiration date is 6 months away. You really want that with Shipyard, as they tend to imagine their beer stays fresh for a few months longer than it actually does. It's too bad, because I think it hurts their brand when people buy a beer that's labeled fresh but tastes stale.

Poured a 2-finger head that dissipated pretty quickly. reddish color in the light.

Smells like nuts, chocolate and that leathery smell you get from Ringwood yeast.

Taste doesn't disappoint. This is a full-flavored brown ale, sweet and nutty with some fruity notes and bitterness in the finish. This is the best brown I've had in awhile. I'll have to drink some Gritty's brown in the near future for comparison.

This beer is light bodied with somewhat heavy carbonation. I'd love to try this on cask, if only to taste it more directly without all the carbonation dancing across my tongue.

Drinkability is what this beer was built for. Flavors are deep but subtle, so you could really drink the stuff all night.

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Photo of McKibben25
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. I have a hard time with brown ales becasue they tend to be a little too sweet for my liking. But I think Shipyards is actually quite tasty. The beer poured like it should; a real nice brown color that wasn't too dark. The head was thin and dissipated quickly. The taste was something I wasn't expecting. Definite hints of brown sugar, mollasses, caramel, maybe a little orange and coffee to. But it wasn't terribly sweet. It was extremely well balanced by the bitterness of the hops they added. There wasn't one flavor that was too overpowering and the drinkability of the beer was great. Definitely a beer I'll have again.

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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 AndyAvalanche
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Poured much darker than I expected, looks almost black until I held it up to the light. It's an extremely dark brown with lighter brown highlights. the beer has a tan colored head with very little lacing on it, just a small ring around the surface. The smell is pretty good too, very heavy on the malts. Notes of caramel and brown sugar, the hops fill in after. It's a very tasty brown ale, but the hops are not as prevalent in the flavor as the smell. Still heavy malted with same caramel and brown sugar notes, a molasses taste to it as well. The mouthfeel grew on me as I drank it. It's very heavy and full, almost chewy, stout-esque. No carbonation bite or alcohol, there is only a slight bitter finish from the hops. Reasonably drinkable beer, more of a sipper for a nice cool day.

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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.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: On tap in a 23 oz. glass.

Appearance is dark to medium brown with no haze or sediment. There is a one finger brown head that quickly recedes into nothing. Aroma is caramel notes and some metllic flavor. Also, a slight amount of funkiness from the yeast. Taste follows right along this path. Caramel sweetness is nice, but domintes by the metallic flavoring and the yeast notes. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with nice carbonation. Drinkability is decent thanks to a low ABV, but some of the flavors make it tough for me to have too much of this. Not sessionable for me.

Overall, this is a decent brown ale, but nothing great. Shipyard's beers tend to have a strong yeast note that does not settle right with me and this is little exception. The fact is I find the flavor profile to jsut be unappealing.

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Photo of wangbruins
4.62/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark, dark brown with a one inch head with good staying power, for the first minute at least, and decent lacing

S- Piney, smokey, with lots of dark fruits

T- Dark cherries and raspberries with a very strong chocolate flavor to finish off

M- Thick but smooth with a great aftertaste due to the chocolate

D- Very easy and very good but since it's a limited edition, what's the point?

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a twelver I picked up for $12.99, a virtual steal. Twisting of the top this brew has a great brown sugar and malt smell a hint of spiciness but not sure what. Pours to a well, brown, albeit light brown with a huge multi-faceted head. Taste is rather light, as I would detect looking at the AC but, it is not light on flavor or body. The taste is a very steady balanced slightly toasted ale with hints of brown sugar and molasses. Although the taste is steady throughout, the mouthfeel gets a little thin on the finish. The bitterness is really not evident, only a little more prominent at the end where it is still remains subdued and flat. This is an extremely drinkable beer. If you didn't tell me it was an English Brown, I would peg it for an Altbier.

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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.

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Photo of bilyboy65
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very well rounded beer.

A: Nice brown with a decent off white head and good carbonation.

S: some hops with a major part of the nose being nutty malts.

T: Maple seems to be seeping into the taste. Might be from the malts used to get the nutty flavor. Some bitter hops round the beer off and give it some bite.

M: Light/medium bodied beer. A little oil trail left, but the carbonation on the tongue keeps the buds active and allows you to enjoy that left over taste.

D: Very good and easy to drink. I would suggest this to someone experimenting with craft beers. Most closely resembles a michelob for a macro beer.

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

Appearance : Brewers Choice Special Ale Anno 2009 pours a dark burnt umber shade of brown which, much like coke, is insidiously ruby when observed meticulously.

All of that along with a decently-looking crown of a rather mediocre height (½ inches) of porous, medium-sized bubbles in a wheat-like colour. Continually, the crown in question crumbles and dissolves into complete and utter oblivion under the duration of approximately three minutes (rather impressive), however a majority of it diminishes rather quickly but a lid continues to exist on for quite some time.

(It should also be mentioned that during the entropy of the crown it makes a really audible fizzing sound).

Smell: A dominant malty hazel-to-caramel sweetness, not bready, some buttery notes and a somewhat burnt finish can be detected. Notably, the hops are almost completely absent, a floral touch may de detected but not much else.

Taste: The previously mentioned burnt sensation is more upfront here and starts of the parade. To an extent a tad of caramel and some citric interplay may be noticed, actually giving it a coke-like touch. Finally, we get a lingering sweet aftertaste of hazelnut cream.

Mouthfeel: This particular beer is smooth, almost like a velvet-style softness gently caressing the palate and tongue. Light-to-medium full when it comes to consistency while being low in carbonation.

Drinkability: 'til next time, up the ante on the hops' presence, increase the carbonation and make it fuller dammit! However, this beer is not nearly as disappointing as it may sound, in actuality it's quite decent, it's just that I expect more from a brewery like Shipyard...

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