Sheephead Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

191 Ratings
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Sheephead AleSheephead Ale

Brewed by:
Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
Minnesota, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by morimech on 03-26-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 |  Reviews: 77
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A robust IPA that straddles the fences of American IPA's, English IPA's and Amber Ales.

The pour delivers a strong amber-copper color with a very mild haze. The beer carries a glowing appearance. Great head formation, retention, and lacing give a very favorable appearance to the beer.

Toast, pine, and caramel immediately come to mind with the first sip. Resiny, spicy, and richly malty; the beer takes tone of strongly hopped English Ales. Fruity esters (much like the flavor of young Old Ales) further emphasize the point.

Malt flavors start with caramel, then grow into toffee like sweetness, and finish with a toasty or bread crust flavor- this gives a Strong Ale taste if not for the aggressive hop additions. Pine resins, strong bitterness, and heavy spice shys away from the classic citrus character of American hoppy ales and toward the more earthy English varieties. Moderately fruity throughout with yeasty, biscuity goodness.

The sweetness also ushers in a sugary weight, giving a fuller and richer flavor as if lower attenuated character prevails. hop bitterness and alcohol attempts to dry the beer in the finish, but it holds on to a lot of residual sweetness and weight going deep into the finish and aftertaste.

While a tasty beer, I cannot decide if it borrows what's best of these styles or if the beer is seriously confused. Better melding of flavor and lightening of body could have helped me make up my mind.

 1,435 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left some thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of piney hops and burnt toast maltiness.

T - Nice bitter piney bite on the tip of the tongue with some citrus kick. It had some sweet caramel and toastiness for a backbone.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a very nice IPA. A nice brew from Brau Brothers.

 443 characters

Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

I honestly don't think this is a APA. I'll explain in my review.

Pours a 1 finger slightly tan head. Good retention, slightly splattered lacing. Color is a dark golden copper.

Aroma has an amazing floral/pine hops, like an IPA. Some musk to it as well as sweet sugar malts.

Taste very weird as compared the the smell. Doesn't taste like an IPA. The smell is a lot better. Carmel and floral hops. Reminds me of an ESB, not a pale ale. There is also alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is refreshingly bitter. Very smooth going down. Leaves a mouth full of hops.

Overall, I thought it was an IPA from the smell, then I tasted it and didn't think it fit the style, thought about it and figured it could be an ESB, not an APA. Hard to rate this beer, because I do not know what the real style is.

 836 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."

--Bertrand de Jouvenel

Candied apricot with butter rum colored borders. Polished topaz would work as well since the beer has a gemstone-like glow when backlit with sunshine. The ecru colored lid looks fantastic and is no stranger to the laying down of lace. This is a hearty looking pale ale.

Brau Brothers says that this formerly seasonal (now year-round) brew is their hoppiest yet. The nose says that they aren't lying. It's moderately toasted malty and features a pretty impressive amount of American hops, at least one of which almost certainly starts with the letter 'C'.

SheepHead Ale is tasty stuff, which is something of a surprise. I've had almost everything these guys have bottled so far and consider only Ring Neck Braun to be worthy craft beer. Maybe the brothers Brau are getting the hang of things up there in Lucan, MN.

This APA reminds me, in some respects, of Three Floyds Alpha King. Same general idea, and not nearly as good, but tasty and drinkable all the same. Relevent differences are that SheepHead favors toasted-earthy malt over caramel malt, favors orange peel over grapefruit peel, and is about half as hoppy. Okay, maybe two-thirds. Alpha King is a beautiful buzzsaw-like beast when fresh.

The mouthfeel doesn't quite keep pace, especially given the slightly higher than usual ABV. It's silky smooth enough, but becomes a little loosey-goosey as the finish approaches. A ridiculous amount of lace makes the next highest appearance score an easy call.

In the end, SheepHead Ale is at least as good as Ring Neck Braun... and possibly better. The brewery made a wise decision in making this hopilicious ale a year-round release. Whoever decided to distribute it to Iowa was pretty smart too. And earns my thanks.

 1,812 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed, deep ambercolor, big,boisterous, creamy-toned head. Long lasting, lace leaving.

Soft, hoppy aroma, gentle citricnotes...Cascade?Pungent pineapple, prickly pine, lemon rind. Lovely stuff. Just gorgeous.

Hoppy, spicy smack on the palate, then mellow, but never gone. Same flavors felt in the nose return on the tongue, mixed with lush, tasty caramel & pale malt. Medium bodied, great texture, long, hoppy finish, and terrifically refreshing.

A very interesting brew, the hoppiest yet from the Brothers. Wheat malt, too, eh?
It comes through, and aids the drinkability, yet the flavor and hop profile doesn't suffer.

Great brew, Bros! I'll be back for more!

 676 characters

Photo of Tone
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 4/5 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, fig, hint of wine, hint of liquor, slight hops, slight all spice, and a hint of cinnamon. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, fig, hint of liquor, slight hops, slight all spice, and a hint of cinnamon. Overall, too carbonated, complex, odd blend, body and aroma are dominated by malt, spice, and fig.

 493 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger cream colored head with great retention and lots of thick lacing. Great aroma of caramel malt, citrus spicy hops with a hint of pine; the hops smell really good. Flavor follows aroma with nice semisweet caramel and bready malt and citrus, resinous piney hops, finishing with a lingering spicy pine bitterness. I don't know if they used rye in this, but there is light spiciness reminiscent of rye. Great medium to heavy creamy body. They advertise this as "tons of caramel malt and too many Cascade hops", and although disagreeing with the latter (how could you have too much cascade hops?), I think they nailed it. A very tasty, malty IPA with a nice hop bill that both smelled and tasted great. Even more to their credit, this was a bottle brought home to me by my sister and arrived after a month long road trip. Held up well and makes me hope I can try it fresh some time. Enjoyable.

 983 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to luxbwin for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is slightly hoppy, malty, with some slight citrus. The taste is hoppy, very nice malt note, with some citrus. Medium Body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. This is a tasty brew, glad to have gotten a chance to try it.

 401 characters

Photo of tempest
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a single at Princeton Liquors. Eh, this is disappointing and I keep hoping the Brau Brothers will kick up their beer from decent to a beer really worth talking about. This just tastes like a hoppy amber, but not that hoppy. The malts are dark bread crust with a hint of cocoa and the hops are a plain citrus punch. The hops dominate the aroma, thought that's not to say any of the flavors are that great. OK so the hops are pleasant and the malt has a little depth, but there's nothing that stands out here. Meh to this beer.

 535 characters

Photo of a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of jzeilinger
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber color with nice clarity and a thin lacing ring.

S - Caramel honey toasted malt, somewhat biscuit, some citrus aroma.

T - Toasted caramel malt backbone with a nice citrus finish.

M - Medium body.

O - A very balanced traditional IPA.

 250 characters

Photo of jschott75
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of jzlyo
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of maximum12
2.57/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Picked up a single of this recently at Blue Max, in my quest to find a Brau brew that I'm fond of. C'mon guys, I'm willing, convert me! Let's hope this is the one.

Well, the pour is promising, gorgeous amber brew with a nice ring of foam. Damn. The label mentioned bitter twice, & I don't think it was kidding. Like a mix of bitter, ass-kicking roses, hops & pollen. Original, haven't had a nose like that in my bus before.

Well. This had some promise. The bitterness of the hops up front is nice, unbalanced & aggressive for a hop-head like me. Then comes the Brau aftertaste. Honestly, I don't know what it is. The water? Yeast strains? Contamination? But the sub-taste is unpleasantness underneath this promising start. It's musty, moldy, blech.

Dammit. This seems like a pretty doggone good beer. But I won't be able to finish it. The aftertaste simply doesn't agree with me.

 885 characters

Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of Viggo
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, extra in IP trade with deleriumfest at DLD.

Pours a cloudy dark orange/amber, some light reddish highlighting, pretty thick off white head forms, tight bubbles, slowly settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few lace spots but not much. Smell is alright, quite malty, very biscuity, some caramel sweetness, floral hops, a bit of grapefruit and orange peel, a touch yeasty, not a whole lot of complexity but decent enough. Taste is similar, very bready and dry up front, some toast/biscuit, light caramel sweetness comes through more in the middle, alcohol, some floral and citrus hopping, quite dry, but again solid though lacking in flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty nice in that department, medium to high carbonation, a bit much for the style, but pretty drinkable considering the ABV. Reminds me a bit of a not as good Hop Devil with the flavour profile. Thanks Brandon!

 902 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of an odd, yet not bad brew. Poured at a good temperature with a huge, foamy, frothy, cream-colored head that slowly settled and decent lacing. Color is a clear medium amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is fresh beer, caramel malt, and mild hop. Flavor is like nose, hop flavor comes out a little more. There's more hop bitterness than flavor. Body/carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, on the short side, drinkable, yet rather forgettable.

 457 characters

Photo of ovaltine
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ZAP
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Orange/amber...leaves a nice lace on glass as I drink

S-Great aroma...tons of toasted malts...also some candied toffee ...I guess that is what toffee is :)...some caramel notes too...very sweet aroma and a fresh hoppiness complements perfectly...great smelling beer.

T-Where the nose is malt forward, the taste is more balanced...some good hopping to this...a citrus like grapefruit rind bitterness is evident..but it mingles nicely with the great malt backbone..

M-Medium bodied....seems sessionable but still loaded with flavor.

D-I really like notch beer....Doesn't really fit a style....a cross between an ESB and Red Ale in my opinion..I definitely would buy again...right up there with Ringneck as my favorite from this off notes at all....

 778 characters

Photo of twelveinches
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
3.68 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
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