Bear Republic / Fat Head's / Stone TBA | Stone Brewing

very good
209 Reviews
Bear Republic / Fat Head's / Stone TBABear Republic / Fat Head's / Stone TBA

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 01-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 209 | Ratings: 604
Photo of corby112
1.37/5  rDev -63.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color with golden amber edges and a two finger yellowish-beige head that slowly fades into a lasting cap/ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Musty, earthy aroma with resinous hops and a strange diaceytl presence. Just stale hops and a strange metallic character. No traces of brown ale at all. Possibly infected.

Yep, complete infected mess. Extremely over carbonated with a sour metallic flavor that's almost impossible to choke down. Couldn't even finish my second sip.

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Photo of harrymel
1.94/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Been wondering about this one.

Pours more brown than black ;) some tan foam sticks around and etching lace remains for a bit. Nice ruby hue around the fringe. Assertive, west coast on PNW resiny hop profile up front in the nose. There are hints of brown sugar in the nose, but mostly dank ass hops. Bitter with a good solid medicinal character on the flavor. There is a certain amount of vinyl in this one for me - really odd. The molasses seems to have been quite well fermented into sharp alcohol. There is also a bitter metallic flavor. The mouthfeel is full and highly cabonated with an excessively dry finish. I'm not impressed with this one.

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Photo of kc44
2.3/5  rDev -39%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Comes out of the bottle a shade or two lighter in color than I expected but certainly within the range for what one might see in a brown ale. The head is truly remarkable, tall, dense, light tan, sticks around for a bit and laces well. Taking a whiff of it, there is a lot going on: big hop aroma, the molasses comes through strong, some booziness, slight touch of roast, tons and tons of stuff to like here. Needless to say, I was pretty psyched going in for the first sip. And, well, ugh. Flavor-wise, I personally found this beer to be a mess. Remember those big American hops on the nose? None of their flavor is around but all the bitterness is. That is almost always fine by me - I love a lot of the big hoppy beers out there, more bitter more better most of the time. Here, though, it is just a bitter jewel in need of a totally different setting. There's some sweetness, but it doesn't interact with the hops so much as it comes across as cloying apart from the hops. That doesn't sound like it makes sense, but I don't really know how to explain it; I've never experienced anything quite like that in a beer, and I suppose that's something right there. I just don't know how something with such notable bitterness and sweetness elements can totally avoid any semblance of balance the way TBA does. The finish is bitter, but it isn't dry. The mouthfeel is kind of slimy. Overall, I have no idea how sum up this beer. Good brewing skills/ingredients and best of intentions seem to have somehow gone astray on this one, but of course that's just my opinion. There is some good stuff going on, but when it is all put together, it just doesn't work for me. No disrespect to any of the breweries involved here, all of whom make excellent beers, but I don't run across a whole lot of beers I would actually turn down if offered, and this is one. Well made? Certainly. Well crafted? Judge for yourself.

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Photo of largadeer
2.35/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a tulip. Rests in the glass a muddy unattractive brown with a billowing tan head.

Smells primarily like Pine-Sol and orange oil. Not much malt on the nose despite the dark color. The hop aroma isn't exactly explosive, either.

This has a resinous, sharp and acidic hop flavor that's rather off-putting right off the bat. Pine, grapefruit, very little malt. The body is thin and carbonation is initially excessive. Finishes bitter, astringent and even slightly boozy. Bit of a trainwreck, this stuff. I should know better than to buy Stone collaboration beers.

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Photo of bum732
2.66/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

S: Some hoppiness, slight carmelization underneath

L: Cloudy brown, carbonated off-white head, some retention and lacing.

T: Fairly clean malt with a prominent herbal hoppy backbone. Some faint caramel and mollasses. Finishes with some spicy hoppiness, slightly dry.

M: Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

Meh, pretty boring, the hops overwhelm everything else. Even then, they're not that exciting.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Three brewers I love--so disappointed. Pours a nice brown with big head. Smells like brown sugar and lemon. Not what I was expecting. Taste seems a bit like Lemon Pinesol and dish soap. These flavors do not mesh. Light mouthfeel and bitterness like a IPA. Not feeling this one. I don't know where they were trying to go with this floor cleaner flavor. Blegh.

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Photo of BB1313
2.74/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy brown, very similar to iced tea, really nice off-white head, great retention and sticky lacing; looks pretty good. The aromas are pretty subtle, I was expecting it be more vibrant. Lots of earthy notes, grass, and a touch of pine. There's a touch of chocolate in the mix as well. Tastes metallic. Lots of pine and bitterness. It's almost an unenjoyable bitterness, and it doesn't go away. Lots of caramel malts in the mix. Molasses and a touch of burnt brown sugar are in the mix. I'm getting some lemon flavors, but it really lacks a fruitiness. Maybe that's not what they were going for. It's very robust and rustic. Not flashy. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, maybe too much carbonation, but it's pretty smooth although it has a semi-syrupy quality. Surprisingly, the alcohol is noticeable.

Fat Head's and Stone are a couple of my favorites and they're masters at hoppy beers. Bear Republic is no joke either. I had high expectations for whatever reason, but this was a letdown for me. Not really enjoyable for me at all. Odd beer..

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Photo of DCon
2.81/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought a 12 fl. oz. bottle of this from BevMO in Torrance, CA for $3.99. Poured from the Gold/White labeled bottle w/ each breweries' logos above "TBA into a 16oz Pint Glass. Have "DRINK FRESH, DO NOT AGE" & JANUARY 2012 on the back of the bottle.

Aroma- Tons of American hop in a American Brown? Strange.. Not sure I appreciate them ruining the aroma I always appreciate with this style.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger, highly bubbly head that dies quickly. Has a DEEP body with tons of character. Leaves tons of suds.



Overall Impression- Too hoppy and far too much on the bitter side for a brown ale. Too much. Didn't think it was at all what I was going to be purchasing. Avoid? No. But don't look for a good review by me.

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Photo of Jdub983
2.83/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - light amber color, resembling the mixing of a brown and a red ale together, the head was very prominent like a higher ABV type of beer.
S - sweet, syrupy and a very prominent citrus smells
T - tart, bitter, very much like an IPA, lingering taste, with a pleasant drinkability.
M - smooth going down, not over-carbonated, pleasant
O - the did a much better job on this one than the other collaborations. Not a knock of the park but a great beer to start out the night with.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This was one of the few Stone collaboration beers that disappointed me. Dark brown, sticky lace, looks just fine. Smells malty, sweet, ehhh. The flavor was kind of sugary to me with a hit of hops. I could not get past the sweetness so this was a let down for me.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.94/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Dark brown color. Three fingers of frothy beige head. Retention is plenty good and a moderate amount of lacing is left.

2.5 S: Big herbal hoppiness with some citrus thrown in there. Toasty and nutty. Like most beer of this variety, the dark flavors don't mix well with the hops.

3.0 T: Like the nose, but the hops mesh better with the malts. Herbal hop flavor. Toasty and nutty on the malt front.

3.0 M: Medium body. A bit too much carbonation. Could be creamier.

3.0 D: Ehh, not a big fan of these types of beers.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$4.99 single purchased in Warwik, NY.

Medium brown body, with amber highlights. Billowing light beige head. Attractive stretchy lacing.

Cocoa aroma. Very light.

Taste is mostly cocoa. Earthy hops. Good bite.

Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Overall, a solid but not spectacular brown ale. My expectations from this collaboration were probably too high.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Served in a tasting glass at the Bear Republic brewery. From notes. Reviewed 28 April 2012.

A: Clear amber beer; good head retention.

S: Smoky chipotle, slightly metallic. Interesting.

T: Smoky metal and awkward hops. I don't think it works very well. Chipotle and lemon? Roasted endtaste.

M: Meh, the warm it gets, the flatter it goes. Not very good.

O: Not recommended. It's an awkward mishmash of flavors.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Lightly chilled 12 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip.

Look- Opaque ruby brown with three fingers of loose head that settles dlowly. Meager lacing.

Smell- Brown sugar, red velvet cake, mild grapefruit. Swirling brings out a chocolate ice cream aroma.

Taste- Burnt caramel, roasted almonds, raisin. Earthy, herbal bittering.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, light-medium carbonation. Moderately abrasive feel. Dry, toasty finsh. Not as smooth or rich as expected.

Overall- Well, I've got to say this is something of a flop. Overpriced and really not that good. Avery New World Porter is extremely similar and blows this out of the water. I certainly wouldn't want to pick up a six pack of this.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. I don't recall the price. I've had Stone and Bear Republic before, but never Fat Head's. I view Stone as largely overhyped, and having visited their brewery recently, rather douchey and arrogant (congratulations, Stone: you have the image you wanted to!).

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues were anticipated. Paired with sourdough pretzels.

A: Pours a three finger head of good cream, good thickness, and great retention. Decent lacing. Colour is a murky nontransparent caramel-brown. There's nothing special or unique here. I want to drink it but I'm far from impressed. No visible yeast particles.

Sm: Hops - almost entirely floral, nuts, brown sugar, molasses, stale cream, yeast hints, and caramel. Musty and stale. Dry. A mild strength aroma. Vaguely evocative of cardboard. Hops dominate. Not alive or inviting. It's shaping up to be imbalanced.

T: Nuts sit awkwardly alongside floral hops. The cream is nice, but backgrounded. Brown sugar comes through in the body, but isn't present as a distinct note per se. The hops are nicely balanced, with hardly any bitterness emerging on the back end. Clean malts form the foundation, but seem neither to be dark nor bright. A hint of roasted barley; probably a small part of the malt bill. Not as nutty as I'd expect from a brown ale. Balanced awkwardly - with hops competing against brown ale nut notes and malts. Strangely built, but experimental. Hops are dominant, and are the only note detectable on the finish. Neither subtle nor complex.

Mf: Too dry. On one hand, the smooth cream is delightful, but the cardboard artificial dryness mixed with the stale hops of the finish is problematic. Very dry on the finish but not wet enough on the open to coax out the next sip. The thickness is awkward, but I can't tell if it's too thick or too thin - I do know that it's off.

Dr: No alcohol comes through, which is fairly notable. It's okay and I appreciate that it's experimental, but I wouldn't get it again.

Low C+

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Photo of dwilson01
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent collab I just wasnt very stoked on a hoppy brown its kind of a weird try in mixing beer styles. The brown sugar comes
Through but I think the added sugar leaves the malt favors wanting and keeps an off hop flavor that is prominent in the taste. Decent but like many of the stone collabs I think this one could have been much better

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Photo of Proteus93
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer breaks a month-long beerfast... it should be an interesting experience.

A: Deep rusty red, with a head that starts a little slow and then suddenly billows over the lip of the glass. Have I forgotten how to pour a beer?! Once it gets under control, it makes itself at home and sticks around a while, leaving some sticky lace patches behind.

S: Hops up front... citrus zest, somewhat woody / piney. Some modest caramel malts behind it all, but it is primarily a hop presence. The flavor is much of the same--resinous hops carrying the weight for a somewhat unremarkable brown. Modest, roasted malt flavors peek through, but the balance seems a little off.

M + D: Medium body, decent carbonation, but nothing all that spectacular when all is said and done. Sadly, I was a little disappointed--not because it was a 'bad' beer, but because I think the brewers behind it can put out far better, and certainly have in the past. I'd pass on another bottle.

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Photo of popery
3.1/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky brownish red color. Some yeast might have kicked up, but alas, I did my best. Bone white to beige head, a pretty good blanket of tiny, foamy bubbles. The aroma is toasty malt and molasses combined with a pine resin, grapefruit rind hop character. It doesn't quite mix right for me. I'm not sure that I like the change in hops from Stone's normal wheelhouse. Also, I'm not getting any nuttiness that is my favorite aspect of brown ales, normally. The taste is on the sweet side. There's a touch of that nutty quality, but it's mostly molasses, brown sugar and toasty malt. Moderate hop bitterness - unfortunately, it's a bit bland. Finish is pine resin hoppiness. The mouthfeel is a big downside for me. It's oddly watery. The beer is almost creamy, but it just kinda washes out. I'm harping on negatives in this review, but it's really not bad. I'm mostly just disappointed because I expected more from these three brewers, and on paper, the beer sounds quite tasty.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.11/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a large wine glass from the ubiquitous Stone Collab. style bottle. Pours brown, dark brown, and with clear ruby highlights. Nice cap of off white foam sits atop the pour and drops off some random lace. Clarity fades a bit on the second pour.

Piney hops on the nose, some chocolate and some citrus. Dry with a touch of yeast and a touch of alcohol as well. Nice and hoppy but oddly out of balance in a sense. 'Brown' notes are largely buried in the closet of pine alcohol.

Flavor is moderate with a good level of spice and a light hop bitterness. Finish is a bit chalky and dry with components of chocolate and muddled brown sugar. Sugar notes do allow for a longer finish than expected yet nothing extraordinary.

Decent feel and delivery, this beer started off strong but faded in the backstretch. Aroma fades to monochrome after some exposure. Feel is ok but a bit slim and lacking structure. Overall a Brown Ale in color only and a bit out of balance though not really in a bad way. Bottom Line, a bit too amorphous. Needs direction or perhaps is just heading in a different direction than I.

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Photo of DrJay
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm back in SoCal and this is one of the first things I picked up. Sort of a murky, medium brown with a lasting cap of mocha foam. Sticky lacing, mostly fine bubbles. Hops hit the nose first -- pine resin more than anything else. A little citrus and bready/dark malts as it warmed, perhaps a bit of molasses. An appealing juxtaposition. The flavour fell a little flat, muted malts and hops up front followed by strong, lingering bitterness. This type of profile made me think of hop extract more than anything else. Malt was a bit bready, slight dark kilned character, maybe a bit of residual sweetness from the unrefined parts of the added sugars. The texture was decent, soft carbonation with medium body, smooth and inviting. Overall this was a mixed bag. There were parts I liked (ie. aroma and texture) and parts I didn't enjoy so much (flava). I'd probably try it again if I found it on draft, but wouldn't purchase again.

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Photo of mothman
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: Maple syrup and spices. Brown sugar. Very sweet. Earthy hops. Chocolate.

Taste: Maple syrup and brown sugar. Lots of spices and syrups. Earthy grassy hops. Caramel and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and syrupy. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends very sticky.

Overall, a unique brew. I kind of like it, but I don't really know what it should be for the style. I know it is a brown ale, but it is majorly hopped up. Odd.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Two minute long retention. Nice lacing. Copper or auburn color with medium clarity.

S- Brown sugar and medium bodied malts. Warm and sugary but still not very strong.

T- Hop forward and sugary. Bitter and strong.

M- Aggressive carbonation and medium bodied, sugary linger.

O- Decent collaboration, not ideal.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.16/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this a few times at tastings, but never reviewed it... Picked up a bottle locally tonight in preparations of the Boise "Stone Tap Takeover". These bottles were cellared at Stone and never made it to Boise out of the gate.

Paid $3 for the 12oz at the COOP. Poured into my slim tulip... 2 finger khaki head... great retention and lacing... the brew is a slightly hazed light walnut color... pretty.

Nose shows slight grapefruit hoppiness... some brown sugar and hints of toffee.. maybe some raisin... seems a bit "old"

Sorta what I expected... a decent hop bitterness... the hop flavor has died back leaving only some residual pithy hoppiness.. Does not taste as "brown" as I was expecting... the caramel malt and some brown maltiness is pretty light... finishes fairly dry with just the slight essence of burnt sugars and still a surprising hop bite... flavors are a little thin throughout.

Body is a bit too carbonated... a bit burpy..

I appreciate a good American Brown ale though, I don't buy them enough.. This is pretty okay, but nothing to right home about.


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Photo of RuckusDu
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - This one came out with about 2.5 fingers of rocky light kahki head. Body is a very dark brown. Good lacing.

S - Some nice hops are ever present. There is a sweetness to it like toffee and some gingerbread.

T - A lot of harsh hops. There is a little chocolate.

M - Solid mouthfeel and carbonation. A little drying due to all the hops.

O - Once again with these Stone collaborations, I'm not a fan of the flavor. A solid beer all around, but I don't like it.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy mahogany color with a pillowy, off-white head that leaves bits of lacing.

Smells of piny hops with a bit of malt sweetness.

Tastes a nice wave of hops with a decent malt base. Hops lead off with pine, citrus, and some grass. Moderately bitter. Malts come in with some brown sugar and a bit of chocolate. Touches of dark fruit also comes through as it warms. Slightly sweet and finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, the individual flavors of this beer are good, but I do not particularly like this combination. That combined with price ($3.27 for 12 oz) gives it only an average grade.

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Bear Republic / Fat Head's / Stone TBA from Stone Brewing
3.77 out of 5 based on 604 ratings.
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