Sierra Nevada Brown Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
210 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Brown AleSierra Nevada Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-19-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 210 | Ratings: 241
Photo of beerphan
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint

Pours a clear dark chestnut brown with gold highlights and a large slightly off white head that settles to a cloudy film. Lacing is sporadic and thin. Carbonation appears higher than average.

Nose: Some sweet caramel malts and a little grassy hop, but neither is intense. Open first pouring the bottle i got an intense sweet sacharine scent, which faded.

A nice toasty malt taste with some bitter hop on the backend. Overall not as full flavored as i prefer my browns.

Mouth is medium, with good crisp carbonation, but finishes slightly astridgent.

Not a horrible beer, but i've come to expect a little more from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color was a copper/brass with light brown one finger head. Aroma was a very subdued toasty malt. Couldn't pick up any of the Goldings that was advertised on the bottle. This ale was smooth from start to finish. The low carbonation ensured that the crystal and caramel malts had a say. The Kent Goldings finally made an appearance in the finish. I was very surprised by the smooth body. Could use a little more flavor, for an otherwise well balanced drinkable ale. Well worth the 7 bucks I paid.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep slightly russet brown hue. Thin off white head that dissapates quickly. Clear.

S: Clean. Sweet toasty malt scent is the only characteristic that is really prominent.

T: Well balanced taste between malt and hops. Malt flavor is carmel/nutty rather than chocolate or toasty. Beer finishes slightly dry/bitter.

MF: Medium body. Above average effervescence for a brown ale.

D: Good beer to kick back with and watch some football. Drinkable slightly above average brown ale.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium brown in color, passing by the light will reveal some red highlights. Tender light tan head gives way to some decent bubbly lacing. The nose is minimal, yet noticeable in the form of bready malts and later some earthy hops. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated, gently light wheat toast, toffee and roasted peanuts. Creamy chocolate and Golding hops slide across the palate. Tender carmalized malts and a sweet roasty finish. A pleasant brown, a style that Sierra Nevada has done a fine job with!

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Photo of Drew966
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Brown Ale 2006 edition pours a dark brown with generous ruby highlights and an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There is a nice hoppy aroma, perhaps too hoppy for the style. There is some nut aromas too. Taste wise, I'd say this is on the hoppy side for a brown ale, but within reason. There are some traditional nut brown ale type flavors too, the nutty flavor is present if not prominent. This is a nice ale, but not the best brown ale I've ever tried. It is, however a very good beer.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown color. The head was small but the bubbles tightly formed. A little lacing was noted. The smell is a bit sweet and roasted. The taste is malty with pronounced hops. There is a bitter aftertaste. It is medium bodied and has a sparkle of carbonation to it. It is very drinkable and almost exactly what you’d expect from a brown ale made by Sierra Nevada – malty and strong on the hops.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle, twist-off cap, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: pours a crystal clear dark brown color, no carbonation showing. The head formed a thick 2 fingers and faded slowly into some lacing that lasted throughout.

Aroma: Caramel and toasted malts.

Taste: All toasted malts throughout from beginning to end. A little sweetness in the middle yet slightly bitter in the end. Quite enjoyble.

Mouthfeel: Crisp yet very smooth. The carbonation fit perfectly.

Overall: An excellent American brown ale. tough to find on tap in my part of the country so great to see it finally in bottle. Ill be sure to buy it on a regular basis.

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Photo of nortmand
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with a nice, solid tan head.

Moderate roast aroma, supported by a mild hoppiness.

Tart and roasty up front, plummy, somewhat unpleasant astringency throughout. A bit bitter.

Decent, drinkable brew, nothing too special, but worth trying.

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Photo of dhchatfield
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from a fellow Birthday Bif-er. Poured into my Sweetwater pint glass. I had a Celebration earlier, so I thought I'd stick with SN.

A - Nice clear mahogany color. Fluffy head dissipates quite quickly. Moderate lacing.

S - Maybe it's me, or the fact that I poured into a pint glass, but I came up with almost no smell whatsover.

T - Good hop bite, malty goodness follows. A chocolate finish, or maybe more of a slightly bitter cocoa. Nice.

M - Full and creamy, leaves a nice coating on the tongue.

D - Like every SN offering I've had so far, another all day drinker.

All in all, pleasant, but not something I'd go out of my way for.

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Photo of Mark
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent beer from the folks at venerable SN. I'm not a big brown ale guy but I liked this one well enough. Medium brown body and a nice off white head. Faint aroma of maltiness that was o.k. Typical brown taste profile with heavy malt and some roasted quality. However some noticible hoopiness as well is what makes this one a bit different from the rest. Decently drinkable, not bad.

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Photo of WonderWoman
2.6/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber with a rim of head and minor visual carbonation.
The smell was appalling much like an infection. Cheese curls and band-aids mixed with coffee beans.
The taste was a touch better but not much. Quite a bit of hops was all I could taste with a metallic after taste.
It was medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.
I wouldn’t rush out to get this one again, but I’m glad I tried it.

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Photo of sweethome
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown - very clean and clear. Medium head - nice lacing. Flavors of nuts, a bit of roast malt, and just a hint of smoke. Firm hoppy backing for balance - but not overly bitter. Crisp finish - cleans out the palate to a large extent - leaves a bit of roast malt flavors. Pairs perfectly with the pizza I'm having.

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Photo of jameaterblues
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes.
A-1/4inch bubbly white head. Light, translucent, brown color...almost amber....with a light lace.
S- Light chocolate and caramel malts. Light crisp hops...slightly skunky, but not in a bad way.
T- Light caramel, big hops in the mid body and finish....but not as complex as I was expecting...the malt almost falls behind the hops rather than accompanying them....also surprisingly the cascade hops are not prominent.
M/D overall this is a medium bodied brown ale....nothing to extremely spectacular, but easy to drink....good for a session, but not something I would buy just to sip.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a dark brown hazelnut with loads of off-white head, tons of it sticking to the glass as I drink. Aroma is nice, with a bit of spicy hops and malts take on bready, chocolate notes, but a little timid. Taste is good amount of hop bittering, chocolate and a little bittersweet, maybe a bit of brown sugar. Mouth is well-bodied, good up-front carbonation and a nice finish, and its just a well balanced and very drinkable beer.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown, red highlights, with a thin not quite white head.
the nose contains toffee, chocolate, licorice, and some grassy herbal hops. very understated.
bready coffee and toffee are the most dominant flavors. sweetness towards the middle, bitterness towards the back form the hops.
medium body with delicate moderate carbonation.
a nice, but mild (in not hop aspects) american brown ale. i wish the malt came through just a bit more, or possibly the hops were dialed down.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.21/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer is a translucent brown color with a brown head. Generous lacing and nice head retention.

Aroma is of toasted grains and bread. Nothing special here.

Flavor is full of bready and biscuity malts. No hops flavors in this one. Possibly some walnut or pecan flavors int there as well. Not overly nutty, but hints.

The carbonation is very nice here. Lots of pops in the mouth. Some may say overcarbonated put I think it is perfect. Light to medium bodied beverage. Definitely drinkable as well. Although, with browns, I tend to become weary of the flavor after two or three.

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Photo of Phatz
3.61/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Brown Ale 2006

Appearance: Pours an attractive caramel brown color with a big white head.

Smell: The aroma has small hints of caramel, toffee, and malt but it is a bit too reserved for an American Brown Ale in my opinion.

Taste: Gentle approachable flavors of malt, caramel, toffee nuts and the typical brown ale malt though it did have a hint of butter diacytel, but not to a bothersome degree.

Mouthfeel: Smooth malty and friendly in the mouth.

Drinkability: This is a very easy approachable drinkable brown that I could find myself enjoying one after another. It is not exciting but it sure is quaffable.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Chaz
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Served too cold to get much of a nose, but really opened up as it warmed, and the taste improved measurably, also. Cola-dark and cola-sweet initially, with appropriate carbonation and a medium-full mouthfeel. Smooth and oily yet slightly astringent, I was expecting more of the Sierra Nevada hop bite, but I know that’s not the focus of the style. Malty, with nutty and toasty characteristics reminding me of a Scotch ale . . . a bit of the oilyness Iassociate with a Scotch Ale as well. Very fresh and very, very good. One of the best of its style I’ve tried in years.

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Photo of boblog
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperance: Brown/amber with slightly brown head which leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: More hopes than I am used to in a brown ale. A bit of roasted malt but oh well. It smells pretty good just a bit lighter than I would prefer

Taste: Begins with sweet roasted malt and ends with a nice hop bitterness. I dunno I guess I prefer more malt in a brown ale, call me crazy.It was served too cold and I drank it fast with my food. I will certainly give it another shot at warmer temp.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall a decent beer. My only complaint is it's a bit heavy on the hops for a Brown Ale atleast in my opinon, still worth a try.

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Photo of mhaugan
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This weekend I picked up a sixer of the new Brown Ale from SN. I have been looking for something new to try out along with the changing weather, and since the only seasonal on the grocery store shelves is the Sam Adams Oktoberfest I turned to this brew. First impressions was it had a very light head with little or no lacing. A decent smell, just a hint of alcohol. Tried a taste and it was nice. It had the nice nutty flavor I was expecting from the color, but there was some hop and alcohol hints to it too. Overall this beer makes a great session beer with great drinkability.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.23/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle Inspection: Brown 12 oz twisty lists 2006 and a marketing blurb mentioning East Kent Golding hops, but no other useful information (date, abv., etc.)

Aroma: Firm malty base is a bit earthy, with only a slight fresh green hop smell.

Appearance: Brown (duh), some ruby highlights and a thin off white cover that gives some lace

Flavor: Earthy is kind; it actually tastes a lot like dirt. The mild hop finish brings some pleasantness to the experience, but I’m fairly under-whelmed. There is a nuttiness that isn’t bad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: I’m shocked at how much I don’t like this. There isn’t anything drastically wrong; I guess I just don’t like the choice of recipe. I have to give honest scores reflecting my experience, but I can see how others might enjoy it.

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Photo of lpayette
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Ruby brown in color. Filtered appearance (very clear). Nice white head, but barely any brussels lace at least on this pour.

Smell- Sweet toasted malt, chocolate pudding, and vague peanuts. Not as aromatic as what I'd like, but what is there smells inticing.

Taste- Toasted marshmallows and a bit of chocolate. Close to being smores like. Would be excellent to have one of these while sitting around a fire on a cool night. A bit nutty as well. Ends on a coffee note mixed with hops that I'd guess are East Kent Goldings.

Mouthfeel- Perfect carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall a solid, semi-mainstream approach to an american brown ale.

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Photo of Pooba001
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfectly transparent medium brown color with excellecnt carbonation and a fluffy not quite white head. Aroma is malty sweet, nutty, grainy, hint of citrusy hop.

Not bad for a brown ale, slightly sweet, bitter and grainy, nutty, citrus notes are understated. Well balanced, and a very good example of the American Brown style, but not overly adventurous or exciting.

Mouthfeel is nearly impeccable, and drinkability rates very high. I'm not generally a brown ale fan, but this disappeared from my glass quickly and although I'd rather be drinking a stout or porter, if presented I'd have no problem quaffing a large amount of this.

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

This beer pours a brown color, with a slight red tint to it. It has a thin , fluffy, light tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has nutty aroma. Behind that, I detect some toffee hints. It has a nice caramel malty aroma. It has a slight hoppy aroma also.

This beer tastes toffee like. It has a sweet caramel malt flavor. Some nutty flavor is also present. Also, a slight citrus hop flavor is detectable.

This beer is very smooth and creamy. It leaves a toffee like aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It tastes mild, and it is low in alcohol.

Overall: Thanks KingG for giving this one to me. It is a good Brown Ale. I might buy it again.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- crystal clear brown w/ some red hues, 1" thick and frothy tan head with awesome retent, good lacing as well

S- clean and sweet with some yeast character, some fruit as well.

T- pretty mild but tatsy flavor, nutty, roasted malt, and some sweetness as well. roasted and nut flavors in aftertaste. better as it warms, shows some bitterness as well.

M- light body, smooth, good level of carbonation hardly noticeable.

D- pay attention to the temperature, too cold is not to good. didnt really care for it at first sip, but by the time a hit the bottom of the glass i'm convinced that this is a solid sessionable brown.

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Sierra Nevada Brown Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.75 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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