Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Brown Ale | Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
31 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery
New York, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-30-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 102
Photo of OWSLEY069
1.96/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clean copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, s a faint sweet chocolate roast. In the taste, a faint and thin taste of a sweet chocolate roast. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry chocolate in the aftertaste. Does not not look brown, focused on chocolate, however faint and watery, eh!

 322 characters

Photo of jimbotrost
2.97/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

purchased 3/04 and sampled 8/04. The pour is of a ruby to brown hue with a full creamy off white to brown head. Nose shows it's age with overly sweet malt character, is lacking the hop balance. Flavor starts out sweet and stays there. Body is light and fizzy and finishes with a mid length return to malt. This would probably be a great beer fresh, but still a good beer

 370 characters

Photo of dogfishandi
3.02/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter.

Pours out a fairly clear brown almost deep red color. Decent looking off white head from the pour that holds a nice layer. Spotty lace.

Weak aroma. Fruity esters with almost a mineral lager thing going on. Don't really get any of that nutty malt I get in the taste.

The taste is mostly sweet nutty malt, some biscuit, with the same fruity and mineral esters found in the aroma. Hints of brown sugar. Actually not as terrible of a taste as the aroma suggested, still nothing to write home about.

Light bodied, bitey carbonation.

Good drinkability is really all this beer has going for it. Not something to seek out.

 675 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an off-white, three-fingered head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Deep, rich amber color. Malty nose. Starts with a light sweetness and finishes with just a hint of bitterness not quite as good as Shipyard's brown (they are the contract brewer). Was supposed to be drunk by April 04. $1.80 for a 12oz bottle from Oliver's Beverage Albany, NY.

 397 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.09/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off tap at the brewery this beer was a clear, orange-copper color with one finger of beige head. The retention was ok as a collar and the lacing average. The aroma was barely discernable; hints of toasted malt were all I could get. The flavors were toasty and malty but light overall. I tasted toasted malt and a nice note of lingering nuts but the bitterness provided by the hops was not properly counter balanced by the malt (some sweet malt would have helped a lot, in my opinion). The body was medium/light, the carbonation light and the mouthfeel smooth. Could be easily drank with most foods but the flavors fell rather flat for a stand-alone brew.

 654 characters

Photo of airforbes1
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lives up to the billing by pouring a brown color. Maybe some orange hues in there. The head retreats until it's just a thin layer. There's some grassiness in the smell.

As I take a sip, I get a STRONG nutty taste. Most brown ales I've tasted have had hints of nuts, but this beer almost tastes like an Italian soda with hazelnut flavoring. I'm simultaneously drinking this with a Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, which ironically has much less of a nutty taste. The difference between the two beers is stark. The Davidson Brothers Brown ale goes a bit too far for me. The mouthfeel is solid -- not too heavy, not too light.

This is a beer I think I'd like a lot more if I was more of a nut person. Enjoyable, but I'll probably be selecting other brown ales out of personal preference going forward.

 797 characters

Photo of eporter66
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am so happy to have found the Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery. This was my first visit, and I fell in love with their Oatmeal Stout, but was a bit disappointed in this Brown Ale. It was decent, and I will try it again as I like the style, but I wonder if something might have been a bit off with this batch.

A - Amber/Brown, not much head, little retention or lacing

S - A bit of caramel and malt from the smell, not a strong aroma from this beer

T - I have to wonder if the tap needed cleaning as there was a bit of a sour taste. As the beer warmed, some flavor came out, but it did not seem to have enough malt behind it. There was a little bite as well to the beer

M - Decent carbonation, it seemed a bit light for me since it was listed as a medium bodied beer.

D - The Brown Ale had a good drinkable quality to it, and I am going to try it again, maybe just a batch that was a bit off. As it warmed, the flavors did come out more, I have to keep temperature in mind when drinking. Second half of the glass had more flavor.

 1,041 characters

Photo of farrago
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Close to two fingers of tan foam, nicely even surface, dimples such as it sizzles off, retention is okay, the lacing is full before falling down the glass sides. Somewhat filmy brown to orange hued liquid, you can see a lot of bubbles break the surface, nothing special visually. The nose shows considerable malt, cocoa, nuts and caramel, as much minerals to rust as smoke, fig to plum fruit, pleasantly innocuous. Light to medium-bodied, medium grade carbonation. Here the metallic, earthy side comes out and nudges the sweetness to the side. This not to diminish the persistence of the caramel, cola bean, milk chocolate to danish flakes and candied nuts. Less fruit, raisin and fig but lacking in concentration. The mouth feel is smooth enough but it leaves you wishing the core flavors were more robust. And that it did not leave that metallic bitterness behind at the end.

 877 characters

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

Smells malty, some coco and malt. Poured a light oatmeal khaki colored head that left a little lace as it faded to a thick film. The beer is dark hazelnut in color with a bit of an amber hue. Coco malt flavor dominates with a little caramel and maybe a bit of hops in there. The flavor fades fast to a pretty clean aftertaste. The body is on the light side and the mouthfeel is pretty watery. A pretty bland beer, not something I would search out.

 447 characters

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

I enjoyed this brew on-tap, along with a nice steak, in restaurant in Balston Spa, NY. It’s a deep, dark, murky brown color with a respectable cream-colored head. There is little lacing, but the beer is fairly attractive none-the-less. There’s a roasted malt aroma, along with a notable yeasty, bready smell. The first tastes are sweet and nutty, with considerable flavor. Not a bad brew for a cold January night. Light to medium in body, with low carbonation. The finish is smooth and somewhat hollow. A more generous dose of bittering hops might have done some good. Overall, though, it was an enjoyable, drinkable dinner companion.

 636 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown, amber streaked hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft malts and a flowery hop.

The taste consisted of a light chocolate, a touch of smoke and a floral hop. A bit light flavorwise.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall an easy drinking light brown ale.

 376 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light to medium brown and ambery, dark-orange when held to light. Clear with a storm of bubbles rising briskly to the fair-size, light-tan head. Good retention and okay lace.

S: Mostly nutty with bits of roast, caramel, & malty sweetness. Also a slight minerally edge. Just a soft touch of diacetyl. Some light esters & a soft leafy hop background note. And interesting, inviting, and reasonably expressive nose.

T: Quite a bit sweeter than the nose with a fair bit more caramel (just a touch buttery) & fruity esters (apples, pears, and a hint of light plums). Nice malts – nutty, softly roasty, with a bit of toasty grain to provide the base. Floral and leafy hops come through in the end and stay in the finish along with a lingering sweetness.

M: Just a hair over medium body with carbonation about even. Seems a touch bigger than the abv would imply. Stays quite sweet and a bit sticky for a smaller beer.

D: Quite nice. More Southern Brown in style than Northern. Less bitter, less nutty & roasty, more estery, sweeter, and with a lower abv. Well crafted with an interesting mix of flavors and aromas that work well together. Perhaps not the usual brown. But it is super drinkable and I like it.

 1,210 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown with good clarity and proper hues. Thin head that fell fast. malty nose with a fruity backdrop. No hops. No diacetyl, nothing burnt or too roasted for malt. This is a mild brown. caramel. taste is good. Lighter nouthfeel with full flavors. Carbonation is moderate not biting and bitterness is low. Malt stays froward through the finish and lingers with a little nuttiness.

 390 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear light brown color with a nice finger of white foamy head. The retention was pretty good and it leaves behind some lacing left behind.

S - The aroma is not overly powerful, but there are some nice elements of the malt and a bit of caramel sweetness present.

T - The malts hit right away with a mix of a bit of nuts and a little bit of chocolate sweetness. This stays well balanced throughout the beer and then at the end there is some nice caramel taste that lingers afterwards.

M - Medium to medium-heavy bodied, with just enough carbonation, even a bit creamy. Really nice on the tongue, feels very crisp.

D - Very drinkable beer. The whole flavor of the beer is very well balanced all the way through and makes for a very excellent beer.

 761 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Brakspear pint glass. It pours a nice cola color with one finger of fluffy, ecru-colored head and lacing with excellent retention. It smells of toast, nuts, coffee, and a whiff of caramel. It has a nice flavor of sweet, bready malt, caramel, and a hint of burnt coffee. It has no discernible hop presence and only a slight bitterness at the finish. The tastes blend nicely. This ale is smooth to drink, medium-bodied, pleasantly carbonated, and its ABV of 4.3% is barely noticeable. Overall, I wasn't expecting much but found this to be a pleasant Brown Ale

 594 characters

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice deep brown with a tan head that trails the glass with a really nice retention. The smell was very earthy with nutty sweetness coming through. The taste was heavy but very delicious with sweet caramel flavors dominating. Really liked it overall for a brown ale.

 273 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bronze color. A medium size head that produces some light lacing. The aroma is mellow as some floral and sweet tones are detectable. The flavor is simple, sweet malt balanced by some bitterness. Reminds me of Newcastle, but with a little more malt flavor.

The mouthfeel is slightly above average, as this was a very thin bodied beer but quite smooth. No lingering aftertaste. Extremely easy drinking as many of these can be quaffed if you are in the mood for a simple brown ale with decent flavor.

 509 characters

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, light brown body, with a decent size head. Light lacing.

S: Mellow aroma of sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, and a hint of nuts.

T: Upfront flavor are sweet caramel & chocolate malts. Hint of nuts and slight hoppy bitterness. Nicely balanced, but a typical brown ale.

M: The same comment as I do with their other beers, tends to be slightly watery; moderate carbonation; medium body.

O: Low ABV makes this high drinkability. Flavor is good and it's not too heavy on the palate. I could definitely throw a few of these back. One of the nicer ones there at the bar.

 578 characters

Photo of scottg
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer in a pint glass poured at Caroline Street Bistro in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Poured a light brown/coppery color with a small white head, moderate carbonation with little to no lacing. Strong aroma of malt, caramel and toffee. Sweet maltly flavor up front which mellows out to a smooth, slightly hoppy finish that coats the mouth nicely. Goes down very easy. An solid example of an English Brown Ale.

 413 characters

Photo of dedrick
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

I originally went out to buy Dogfish Head's Brown Ale but because of their new TV fame there is a shortage, which is shitty. I really like Davidson's IPA so I decided to try the brown ale.

A- semi-clear, light brown. It pours with a huge head and disappears relatively fast. Seems to be quite watery.
S- Nice, sweet smell. Maybe some brown sugar or molasses.
T- The taste is good but kind of one dimensional, not very complex. No bitterness, quite sweet again with some brown sugar. Overall a nice brown ale taste.
M- Very watery and thin, which isn't all bad. It couldn't hurt to make it a bit more hearty.
D- Very.

 660 characters

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. twist off cap bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Beer is an amber/brown color. White creamy colored cap, couple finger length at first but goes away after a few minutes. It leaves a ring around the upper portion of the liquid, not much lacing. It's fairly lighter than I expected, but it shows the clarity of the beer, very clear.

Smell is pretty good. Big time malty. Tones of creamy caramel and toffee, with a hint of nuttyness. No detectable hop notes in the smell.

Taste is a slight step up. Much like the smell, it is very malty. Roasted pale caramelized malts is the dominant flavor. Good strong flavor notes of caramel, toffee, and a slight hing of unsweetened coco. Hops actually are slightly detectable in the flavor, some slight citrus zest, not strong, but noticeable as it warms up.

Mouthfeel is probably the best part. Certainly full bodied, it really doesn't mess around. It has an incredibly creamy feel to it, with a very smooth carbonation level. Very drinkable, a good session beer, glad I got to try it.

 1,048 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Even though Davidson Brothers is known for their IPA...I feel their Brown Ale should get just as much praise. This beer pours a dark amber body with an off-white thick head. Aromas that appear seem to be nutty and chocolate. Taste of this delicious brown are of nut and grain with a mild bitter malty hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very smooth which makes this a very drinkable ale. Definitely try this on tap at the brewpub as well as some of their amazing wings!

 457 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dense two-finger head. The liquid is fully brown where light still passes. It appears to be very clear. The lace is a cross between spotty and ring.

Attractively sweet--lots of caramel. There's a light metallic aroma in the background. Nearly no hop smell.

The flavor profile matches the smell except the hop is more pronounced while the sweetness is much more muted. The body is thinner like the style suggests. It's a bit spritzier than most brown ales. I really like the British yeast used here--it gives some real authenticity to the taste.

 546 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"There's too much salami in this sandwich and not enough cheese."

- Gary Davidson, circa 1988 (paraphrasing "Not Now John" by Pink Floyd)

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is clear amber-brown with a slightly reddish hue to it when backlit. Small light-beige head.

S: Nuttiness, brown bread and sweet malt - not terribly strong in the nose, but appropriate for the style.

T: Follows the nose, more or less: sweet malt (toffee, caramel) provides the bulk of the flavor. Touch of hazelnut. Finishes fairly dry and clean, with a wee bit of lingering sweetness.

M: A tad bit thin; call it light-bodied. Carbonation is a bit too active for my tastes, so I knocked it down a half-point here.

O: This is a good brown. It's going down fast and easy. A good Fall quaffer.

Note: BA review # 800.

 832 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish brown color with a thick off-white head. The scent is good. It has a nice balance of malts and hops. There are a few crystal malts in this one along with victory malts too add the nutty aroma and taste. The taste is good. It has a sweet malty taste which gives it the brown feel. It is creamy and smooth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied ale with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent brown ale; a real good drinker.

 463 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Brown Ale from Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 102 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!