Sheephead Ale | Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC

77 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 191
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 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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler pint.

Appearance : Dark honey, almost iced tea colored. Popcorn colored head measuring three fingers and sticking around for several minutes. Lace is left behind in several broken webs and flecks. Opacity is 90%. This is one seriously thick looking IPA.

Smell : A surprisingly nostalgic smell to me. Malts are balanced with hop almost impeccably. Wood, snow-tipped pine, graham cracker, very faint honey glazed biscuit. The aroma is the perfect volume and medium strength. I can't fault much about this beer's aroma.

Taste : Cracker malt out front with a quick rush of piney hop and citrus peels. A bit of spice mid-palate, and finishes out tropical and fruity with cantaloupe, melon rind, and guava.

Feel : Substantial. Creamy, well-carbonated, finishes moderately dry.

Overall : I could have done with a touch more malt in the taste. I realize this is an IPA but I really look for balance and this one only fell short a slight bit in the taste category. Everything else was stellar. I still would recommend this beer, in fact, their variety pack is quite a bargain. Cheers!

 1,105 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a rich reddish amber. The aroma leads with a sweet, toasty malt, followed by the accent of tropical and piney hops. The flavor is malt forward, very reminiscent of a red ale. The pineapple and vaguely piney hops are accents here. The mouthfeel is pleasant and coating. T\his is a good beer. It is not a great beer. It is something I am very glad I got in a single, as it just does not have the flavor clarity I am looking for. If you approach this as a hoppy red, you may like it more.

 501 characters

Photo of DarkhorseII
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I keep coming back to this one. I generally like the IPA style but more is not always better. This brew has a fine balance & at 7.7% it's deceptively intoxicating.

 163 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sheephead pours a reddish darker color with a small non lacing head. There is a hoppy aroma, with big earthy notes. The taste is very earthy, some hops come through, a funky earthy aftertaste. A bit flat. Overall its strong, but very earthy, malty, with a funky hop flavor that doesn't fit well

 298 characters

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass from the Dollar Tree (where I get all my drinking glasses.)

I love BB's Moo Joos, but the Ringneck didn't do anything for me, so we'll give this one a try.

A truly lovely pour with thick, billowy foam the color of antique ivory, four fingers easily. Very sticky on the glass with clumps rather than lacing. The beer itself is a hazy amber-orange, bright and cheerful.

Scents of aromatic grapefruit, fresh citrus and ginger, delightfully warming the nose. Even my wife, who doesn't like beer at all, loves the smell of this brew.

The taste doesn't live up to the smell, but it's still quite good. Bitter citrus with herbal notes, lightly sweet malt that doesn't quite balance the hops. Pleasantly long on the tongue.

Medium light body, easily drinkable with long lasting carbonation.

A very good, hoppy ale. Too strong for session drinking, but very refreshing for a warm summer day. I'll be getting this again come June.

 966 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 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 alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown oak-ish colored body, very hazy. Topped by a thin, bone-white head. Carbonation is practically non-existent and lacing is light.

Hoppy aroma - mostly pine and citrus. A bit of caramel breaks through. It's clean and zesty.

Burnt caramel upfront ushers in a wave of bitterness via thick pine. Very earthy. No balance.

Pretty thick body for an IPA and no detectable carbonation. Desert dry finish.

For me, this is just not an enjoyable IPA. It's brutally bitter and hardly a hint of balance.

 549 characters

Photo of TCMike
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Produced a 1 finger, off white head. Beer color is a very translucent light brown.

The smell was piney hops, light sweetness of caramel.

The taste was similar. Light-ish body, and medium carbonation.

This is an OK beer, but not great. Too many other good IPAs out there.

 273 characters

Photo of lwillitz
4.34/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - 3 fingers of light tan head atop a transparent body of orange amber; moderate amount of rising bubbles; great head retention and lace

S - tons of citrus, hop spice, toasted malt characteristics

T - citrus goodness with a touch of pine, peppery spice, fruity notes, big bready malt backbone; dry, citrusy finish

M - oily, smooth, medium/full body; moderate carbonation; quite pleasant

O - Sheep Head is a very nice IPA. The hop profile is delightful and the malt balance is prominent, but not overpowering. Well done, Brau!

 567 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear caramel in color with a thin off white head.

S - Bready malts, toffee, biscuit and spicy hops.

T - Same as the aroma. Bready malt, toffee, spicy, herbal hops. Bitter but still well balanced.

M - Light side of medium with moderate carbonation. Lingering bitter finish.

D - Reminds me more of a ESB than an American IPA. Wouldn't be my choice for a true American IPA but overall it is very drinkable and enjoyable.

 427 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber hue with a thin soapy off-white head despite an aggressive pour.

Aroma: Bready malt and english barley. Some sugary sweet hops with a hint of orange zest.

Taste: Some spicy character from an earthy hop blend or maybe a touch of rye malt. Reminiscent of Sam Adams IPA but with better balance. Definitely east coast influenced this the spiciness of the hops. Not all that bitter but leaves a bit of bitterness on the palate in the aftertaste. Finishes slightly dry with an orange peel flavor. Wouldn't have guessed this was 7.7% ABV because it feels much lighter than that.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium bodied with average carbonation. Pretty easy drinkability but just a little watery.

Final Thoughts: I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this beer and it basically met those expectations. Would call this more of an ESB than an IPA. Would I drink it again? Nah.

 896 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from 12 oz bottle

A-pours a reddish brown color with an off white head with some nice lacing

S- bready malts caramel, baked bread pine/citrus hops

T- malt forward but pine and citrus hop are there with some earth and bread flavors

M-medium carbonation with crisp hops swet malts

O- solid ipa /apa good flavors nice drinkable tasty

 335 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber colour with a hint of brown, finger of head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Earthy cedar hops with a solid caramel malt sweetness that comes through alongside a spicy ABV scent.

T - Flavour is very bitter with the sour earthy hop notes dominating. Fresh greens and tree bark alongside some toffee and caramel notes on the finish. The bitterness lingers with hints of burnt sugar.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and quite dry.

O - I bought this expecting an ESB, but was pleased to find out it was an IPA, and not one for the faint of heart. This packs a load of bitter hops, so if you're a fan of IBU's, than this brew is highly recommended. The ABV is nicely hidden making is very drinkable.

 726 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Hazy Dark Amber color, good amount of lacing on the side. Excellent head retention

Smell - Toffee, Malts, Caramel, Citrus Hops Grapefruits, and Yeasts. Lots of scents here, but it doesn't pack the punch you'd expect.

Taste - Very Tangy Piney Hops, Toffee, Malts and yeasts. Very resiny aftertaste with a bitter kick

Mouthfeel - Moderate body, but it's got a very creamy feel to it and it's very smooth to top it off

Overall - It's a good IPA to try out, especially with it's strong piney hop flavor.

 542 characters

Photo of gordavidson
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear, orange copper with a few streams of carbonation making their way to the surface. The white head is thin but has nice coverage and retention.

S- Pine, grass, and some caramel. Simple and effective.

T- Pine and grass from the hops aa well as some caramel malt sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden and the bitterness is kept in check.

M- Clean body with some lingering bitterness. The carbonation is a little light.

O- A fairly standard IPA with an above average alcohol content.

 499 characters

Photo of irrgalaxy
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Advertised as a "bitter beer", suitable for its eponymous card game. I'd agree with its characterization as a good beer for playing games - meaning that the beer itself won't take a lot of your attention. A nice, mellow hop flavor that's more laidback than many of the pale ales on the market. Extremely drinkable, but not likely to leave a lasting impression on the palate.

 374 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this IPA, which I would not have been able to tell from the bottle, in a nonic pint.

Appearance- The head was a frothy, puffy crown of off-white that managed almost a fingers width before receding, not really leaving behind any lace.

The cloudy and luminous amber-orange body shines brilliantly out of the glass. The bright copper highlights come out all over the place.

Smell- The hop oils are akin to resin. candied pineapple and passion fruit scents blending in almost imperceptibly. Sheephead has a good nose, but more of the fruity qualities would be appreciated.

Taste- Unfortunately, very little of the nose has transferred to the drink. I guess as a disclaimer I will say that no freshness date was available on the bottle, so this could be past recommended freshness.

Mostly what comes through is just a straight hop bitterness. It really hits the cheeks and holds on for a long time on the finish. But it is just that, a general hop bitterness.

There is just a touch of ruby red grapefruit and pineapple that leads into the back of the drink, but so hard to pick out. That resin is apparent mid-drink and really needs another flavor profile to compliment it, just too overwhelming by itself.

I also picked up some biscuit malt buried miles under the surface of the hop bitterness.

Mouth feel- A medium to light body is not really that impressive. I like my IPA's bigger and creamy, with some stick, to really have those hops build on the palate.

This is just a tad too watery to accomplish that, and just smooth enough.

Overall- The nose, while lacking slightly with the citrus hop scents, was a promise of better things to come. Alas! The overly bitter, and flavor hop-lacking palate was a real let down.

A little more biscuit malt and flavor hops would have made this a respectable IPA without a doubt. This is still a good beer, could just be so much better.

 1,891 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice foamy off white head. Good lace. Medium neutral brown w/amber orange tones.

S: Very piney and resinous. SOme grapefruit over the complex malt.

T: Pretty mild. Hops are bitter and dry, offering resinous flavors. Malt gives a caramel note with a very earthy back drop.

M: Med-low carbonation. Medium thickness. Good.

D: Overall, good. If you can, try it.

 397 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 BeardedBoffin
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown color with a big lively head. The brew looks good. The aroma is mainly a flower and pine affair. The mouthfeel is interestingly creamy. The The malt is present and adds a slight caramel undertone. It is almost nutty through the center . It finishes with with a dash of bitterness. This brew is crafted and balanced, but a little timid for being characterized as an American IPA. I would say it is more in line with a Bitter.

 447 characters

Photo of pBRale
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 9-28-11
Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Clear amber pour with a 2-finger off-white head that settles quickly. Head retention is mild, but there is a delicate lace left behind that is thick and coating initially (a big thick ring at the top) but has some spotty blobs here and there down the glass and fades to virtually nothing even further down the glass.

Smell: A nice bready and caramel malt backbone with some hops on the nose (herbaceous and grassy).

Taste: The malts hit initially, but the bitter, earthy and slightly grassy hops follow closely behind, and they linger well into the finish. After taste is bold, earthy, and bitter. Even an one hour and 3 glasses of water later, the bitterness of this beer still lingers faintly (but distinctly) on my palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation with a biting finish that is both crisp and bitter.

Overall: This beer hides its alcohol in its bitterness. Not the typical American IPA aromas and flavors--this one is very earthy and has a nice lingering bitterness afterward that is distinct from most other IPAs.

 1,104 characters

Photo of JackieTH
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Rob for the sample. On the lighter side of reddish amber with a short pale head that disappeared with slight lacing. Smell was roasted malt with some subtle vanilla notes. Taste was earthy and watery, slightly bitter, heavily charred like burnt whole wheat toast. Medium body. I don't really find a lot to like about this IPA and quite frankly had no idea it was and IPA until now.

 391 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sheephead Ale from Brau Brothers Brewing Co. LLC
3.68 out of 5 based on 191 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.