Hoptown Brown | Arbor Brewing Company

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Hoptown BrownHoptown Brown
39 Ratings
Hoptown BrownHoptown Brown

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brown IPA

Added by Holland on 11-07-2011

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 5
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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Photo of cynical1027
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of J2A2
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DougT
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of StoutHunter
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%

I picked up a bottle of Arbor Brewing Company's Hoptown Brown last week for $2.59 at The Lager Mill. It's been a little bit since I've had a new beer from Arbor and a Brown IPA sounds interesting to me, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's a little weird looking, but I like it and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice dark brown color that took on some ruby edges when held to the light with three fingers worth of fluffy tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and it left lots of patchy and spotty rings of lacing behind. This was a really nice looking beer, the head and lacing were really good.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops showing up first and they impart a fruity citrus rind and floral hops aromas with the fruity hops seeming to stick out just a little more than the floral hops. Up next comes the malts which impart some sweet malt, roasted malt, light caramel and dark bread aromas with just a little bit of chocolate coming through. The aroma was nice, but it seemed to be very similar to a Black IPA.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up and they impart the same hoppy aspects that it did in the aroma with the fruity hops sticking out the most by a little. Up next comes the malts which impart the same malty aspects that I got in the aroma with not one single malty aspect sticking out the most and the sweet malts seemed to be toned down just a little bit and there's just a little bit of doughy yeast showing up in the background. On the finish there's a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a hop and medium roasted malt aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer that was nicely balanced, but I don't really see what makes this any different from a Black IPA.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little rich, a little dry on the finish, on the slightly lighter side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel, it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer, as a Brown Ale it's just ok, I've had a couple nice Hoppy Brown Ales and to me this one is leaning more towards being a Black IPA and it doesn't really have any aspect that makes me think of a straight up brown ale other than the mouthfeel. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth,a little crisp, a little rich, a little dry on the finish, not too filling and the taste did a nice job of holding my attention, I could see myself drinking a couple of these, but I think that would be my limit. what I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and the balance, they were both very nice and the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was that it wasn't too recognizable as a Brown Ale, I think more toasted, caramel and nutty aspects would help it seem more like a Brown Ale. I might buy this beer again and I for sure wouldn't turn one down. I would recommend it to people who like hoppy dark beers, it fits into that category nicely. All in all I didn't mind this beer, I think it could use just a little bit of work, but other than that I thought it was a solid beer. It isn't my favorite beer from Arbor or my favorite Hoppy Brown Ale simply because it wasn't too identifiable as a Brown Ale. Shorts still holds that title fot having my favorite hoppy Brown Ales. Nice job guys, this wasn't a bad beer, keep up the hard work.

 3,709 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mpalestino
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a nice brown color. slightly opaque but still some clarity. a small tan head that fades slowly

Smell: slightly citrusy smell at first it is kinda weird. followed by roasty malts.

Taste: roasty malts and a hoppy flavor. that is mostly citrus. i don't like the mix of the two

mouthfeel: medium body and lingering bitterness

Overall: i like the idea of a hoppy brown but the citrus just doesn't do it for me

 420 characters

Photo of TurboBrew
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of lochef81
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Morakaton
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of TheBrewo
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We pour a brew of shimmering chocolate brown into our Great Lakes pint glasses. It puts forth a flowing, foamy head the color of eggnog. This retains well, leaving dripping cratered lacing around the glasses. A light haze clouds clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is incredibly fresh and zesty, showing hops of oily grapefruitiness, juicy pine, and earthen florals. Other accompanying notes include chalky brown and toasted caramel malts, plastic phenolic bitters, dripping pineapple and kiwi fruitiness, lactic creaminess, molasses sugars, postum roastiness, flaked oats, raw grassiness, and light biscuity butters. The flavor comes through with sweetly fruity, nectary hoppiness, continued pineapple tropicals, green resinous plant sap, aloe vera, chalked brown and coffee maltiness, eraser plastics, printer ink, gingerbreadiness, coin, soy sauce, sweet booziness, lime zest, and mineral water. The end and aftertaste shows especially dark roastiness of black and brown malts, and smoldering campfire smokiness. The body is medium and a half, and carbonation is on the higher side. Each sip affords foamy slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The mouth is left creamy and coated, as if from milked coffee, with that same roasty dryness streaked across the hard palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks back nicely.

Overall, what a surprisingly fantastic beer!! This is the juiciest brown ale we’ve ever had, due in huge part to its generous hopping. There is a wonderful interplay between this intense smoky roastiness of malts on the far back, with puckering, juicy, fruity, and earthy hoppiness packed tightly atop it. With all the beautiful black IPAs getting churned out these days it is great to see people hopping the hell out of other, darker styles, especially with that curious smoke to it. While this is certainly dark for a brown ale, generally speaking, it really doesn’t come close to touching the depths of those black ales. What we are trying to get at is that this is a unique offering. As an aside, the label art is awesome, making it even more exciting and inviting. We wish this was a year round brew.

 2,204 characters

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours lightly hazy nearly opaque dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, caramel, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with big citrus hop presence and light dark/bready malt notes; with decent strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, light nuttiness, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, orange peel, pine, caramel, toast, brown bread, light chocolate/nuttiness, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and robustness of big citrus hops and light dark/bready malt flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice brown IPA. Good complexity and robustness of big citrus hops and light dark/bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. I would have liked to see more malt presence in this for a brown IPA; but it was nicely enjoyable otherwise.

 1,620 characters

Photo of RoccTrap
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of BBlov
3.88/5  rDev +4%

Photo of mrebeka
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of brismit
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of akttr
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Cotton_27
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of carlmoberg
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Michigander
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of km02600
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of obrienc
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of JasonR1975
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of ESchweers
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of stadmo1
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Hoptown Brown from Arbor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 39 ratings