Hub City Olde Browne Porter | Hub City Brewing Company

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Hub City Olde Browne PorterHub City Olde Browne Porter
32 Ratings
Hub City Olde Browne PorterHub City Olde Browne Porter

Brewed by:
Hub City Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hero27 on 06-30-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 32 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by jbschafer:
Photo of jbschafer
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First a general note about this beer:

I visited the brewery this past weekend and the brewers acknowledged that this beer is not in style for a "brown ale." They are giving thought to repackaging it as a porter (as another reviewer has suggested) although still aren't sure that is the right classification. Thus, it is hard to know how this beer may change.

Now to the review of the beer itself. Tonight's review is based on a bottle purchased at the brewery and the characteristics are a touch different from the pint I had straight from the bright/serving tank at the brewery.

First off, the beer pours a DARK brown almost black color, although there is a reasonable amount of light transmitted through the liquid and there is a hint of red at the borders of the liquid. The bottle pours a fairly thin head making the amount of lacing on the glass after a swirl fairly remarkable (the tap version poured a nearly inch high head that stuck around through about half of the pint).

The smell is faint malt with almost a hint of soy sauce (although that flavor never comes through in the taste). I am slightly surprised at how sparse the scent is given the taste.

The first taste is heavily roasted malt - I suspect with some chocolate malt in there. It's this extreme roastiness that pushes it out of the brown ale category. There is certainly a bit of chocolate in the taste. I experience more coffee undertones than others drinking this with me.

There is virtually no hint of hops in either aroma or taste.

The mouthfeel is also a bit heavy for a brown ale - again, that roasty characteristic comes through.

This was paired with a Chinese meal (yes, I catch the irony of the soy sauce aroma but it was not from the food) and was a remarkably good accompaniment. This beer was my clear favorite when tasting all three side by side at the brewery and I still feel that way tonight. I think I could drink several of these without the heavy gut that normally accompanies a dark roasty beer like this.

While this may not be a brown ale, this beer is quite good and I look forward to being able to find it in my local stores.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sgoodship
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This bottle was donated to the cause by my good friend bjones10. Thanks Brian!

A: Cute little 12oz bottle. An aggressive pour led to a very small espresso head that dissipated to a slight mist and ring in no time at all. The liquid is reddish brown (almost black) with mahogany highlights against the light. There is some small spotty lacing but it fades away.

S: Heavy roasted malt with a bitter chocolate/coffee. A little more sour than the typical porter signature nose but pleasant enough.

T: Nice and roasty - much like the smell. Nothing mind boggling. A little watery toward the end with an almost seltzer-like aftertaste. The flavor just doesn't quite deliver what it promises.

M: Medium bodied and smooth but slight wateriness to the taste gave the impression of thinness. Very light carbonation.

D: I'd be happy to drink this again but I am not going out of my way for it when there are so many better and more readily available porters.

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Photo of OStrungT
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown color, with a tiny light brown head. The head fades instantly, leaving no lace.

This beer has a malty caramel aroma. It also smells of vanilla. It smells of roasted malts.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Vanilla and roasted malts mostly. It also has a slight coffee like flavor.

This beer is a little thin for the style, I think. It is very low in carbonation.

This beer might be a decent session beer. While not bad tasting, it isnt all that great either.

Overall: A big thanks goes out to BuckeyeNation for giving me the chance to try this beer. Although not my favorite, it was not bad, and I always enjoy trying something new.

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Photo of frankiepop
4.68/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very impressive and over the top porter. I usually dislike a porter or stout that is super heavy in flavor and bitterness, but Hub pulls it off here. This beer excellent with bold sweetness. It has a wonderful mouthfeel and drinkability. The beer is properly carbonated with a smoothness that maybe be even a bit creamy. As a porter lover A+ for me.

This beer goes good with Paul Smoker blazin' Free Jazz Improvisation records.

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Photo of cokes
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown-black with mahogany highlight. The tan head dwindles quickly, leaving small rings of lace.
A mild roastiness hits the nose, then fades toward milk chocolate. Lesser notes of blackberries, caramel, and vanilla-caramel candies arise.
In the mouth, like the nose, the roastiness hits first- mild roast coffee- then subsides and sweetens. Brownie batter and milk chocolate. A nuttiness wells up and gives a chocolate-covered peanut impression. It lingers with a grainy, caramel and berry note. The light overall astringency makes up for a lack of discernable hop contributions.
Lightish medium in body. Carbonation is on the low side.
It's a sweeter, milder, lighter porter. In other words, it's exactly what it claims to be: a Brown Porter. And an absolutely solid one.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle. Review from notes.

A- Pours a darker brown color. Two finger beige head that shows good retention. Ring style lacing on the sides of the glass..this beer looks good!

S- Chocoalte malts in both bitter and sweet form along the entire beer. Light roasted malts with a hint of darker fruits. There is a nutty aroma in the ending of this that clashes with a hint of metallic aroma.

T- Lots of chocoalte in the front of this beer. There is more of a cocoa style chocoalte flavor than anything else. Light roasted malts with a hint of dark fruit in the middle. Light burnt toffee flavors in the backend of the beer with a hint of cofffee.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was little bit on the light side for the beer. Medium drying on the palate from alcohol. Flavors were well blended overall and mostly clean tasting. Chocoalte malts are left on the palate with some light roast in the aftertaste and a hint of alcohol.

D- This was a very good porter that drank very easy. A nice beer from what seems to be a little above average lineup. Looking forward to trying this beer once again.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher nonic. No date or info.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for this brew!

A - Deep, dark brown, almost black, with tiny slivers of mahogany showing through the clear beer. A two-finger, light toffee head rises quickly but disappears quickly too. Some thick but small strands of lace are left on the glass.

S - Rich milk chocolate fills the nose quickly, the sweetness offset by a lingering dusty cocoa aroma behind. Slightly burnt toast with roasted patent malts present as well but it smells like it might be a bit thin in flavor and texture. A tiny metallic hint is faint in the background.

T - I'm glad my judgment about it being thin was proven wrong. This brew is fully-flavored with the same strong milk chocolate backed by dusty, dry cocoa also found in the aroma,. A bitter chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee ground finish gives it a change in flavor. No hops.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth on the tongue with a little viscosity going down, Olde Browne has a moderate-to-lower carbonation level with a balanced dry-bitter finish. Nice.

D - What kind of cruel brewery puts caps that read, "twist off" on a pry-off bottle? Regardless, this is far superior to the Brown Ale of their I had not too long ago. Very good porter for a small brewery. It blurs the line between porter and stout.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice 1/4 inch head that dissapates into a thin layer. Good lacing. Smell is sweet nutty brown with a small amount of roasty flavor. Color is very black for a brown ale. That roasty flavor comes out in the flavor. I enjoy this brown ale, I think it even has a small amount of chocolate tones.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark mahogany brown with a large, thick, frothy, tan head. Good retention that settles into a nice layer of foamy lace.
S - Good amount of roasted malt with a strong dark chocolate aroma that gives way to a bit more of a milk chocolate aroma. Hints of dark, tart fruit and some nuttiness. Very slight smokiness.
T - Similar to the nose. Roasted malt, including some oat are pretty strong. Dark chocolate and nuttiness make up a strong amount of the flavor. The tart dark fruit flavors are a bit stronger than the aroma, especially after it warms up a bit.

M - Lighter side of medium body with a fair amount of carbonation (a bit less than typical for the style). Drying finish.

D - Fairly drinkable, but a little dry and lacks a bit of creaminess, and it is a little on the bitter side as well. Not exactly a great example of the style, but pretty tasty.

Notes: Decent tasting beer and probably my favorite, along with the Oatmeal Stout, from this brewery. Tasty with a good amount of dark and roasted flavors.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to Erdinger2003 for this beer from the newest brewery in my home state of Iowa.

If I were to do a blind tasting of this and told to pick from a list which of their beers this is, I would have picked the Oatmeal Stout. That being said, it is still a very enjoyable beer. I'm mostly just stoked to see an Iowa beer in a bottle that doesn't say Millstream on the label. Just as a note to anybody who is reading this: I am not going to review this beer completely according to style, because I don't think it would be fair to fail it, because I actually thoroughly enjoyed drinking it.

The beer pours to a very dark brown, damn near black, allowing only the slightest hint of a ruby hue to shine through the otherwise completely opaque liquid. Has a good inch of dark tan head with a fairly weak retention, and hardly any lacing.

The smell is fairly dominant with black patent malt, with a hint of caramel. Also, as I hinted at above, it smells like it has oatmeal in it due to a somewhat sweet "bowl of oats" cereal grain aroma. With the black patent roastiness, it kind of has a chalky aroma as well. As with the appearance, this beer smells a little darker and roastier than I would expect for a brown, but as a beer in general, it's quite good.

The taste is, as expected, kind of stout porter-ish. Dry, chalky black patent roast up front followed by a sweet caramel and oatmeal finish. Even hints of nuts and chocolate, even a very light coffee roast. No hops to speak of, but I wouldn't really expect them to begin with. Very, very similar to the Brown Ale from Norwegian brewers Nogne O (less hops, though), which is another beer I loved but thought it was mislabeled.

The body is fairly thick for the style, even as a porter, but I kind of like a creamy mouthfeel regardless of what style it is. The carbonation is fairly crisp, but not biting. Very good, and very easy to drink. And not to beat the dead horse, but this is not a brown ale, though I find no fault with that because I still really liked this beer. Looking forward to trying what they come up with in the future.

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Photo of lester619
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark mohogony brown with a thick foamy dark tan head. There are some reddish hues when held to the light. Roasty chocolate malty aroma. The tasty is very thick and malty. Stong burnt coffee espresso type flavor up front. It becomes a little sweeter with notes of dark chocolate, toffee, and vanilla. There is a strong burnt toast aftertaste. Very thick and creamy chewy mouthfell. Overall this is pretty much what you would expect from an American craft porter. Not the best I've had, but a flavorfull beer with solid dark porter flavors.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown color, minimal creamy head. Smells roasty like I expected but a surprisingly sweet smell that I can't quite place. There's also a bit of vanilla and oak in there.

Flavor is quite roasty too, with a touch of vanilla. Not nearly as full as the smell. Body is too light fo rthe style, but still pretty creamy.

Not a bad beer overall but not one of the better porters I've had.

Tasted 8/5/08.

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Photo of KeefD
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I honestly can't believe this beer has as this low of scores. It's easily the best from this brewery, and a great porter to boot. I've had this several times on tap at a local pizza pub. Since I made homemade pizza last night, decided to pick up a sixer. Pours a dark brown color with a small tan head that was gone quickly. Aroma is deliciously fudge like with a tinge of roast and plenty of caramel, but overall very clean and dry. The flavor is what really does it for me. Lots of chocolate, but not sweet. In fact, it's got a nice dry finish that's reminiscent of an Irish dry stout. Mouthfeel smooth and creamy, low carbonation, but if it had a little more body it would be like milk. Great brew and really underrated. This is my go-to local porter from here out!

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Photo of Cubsfan1087
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Olde Browne Porter isn't the best Hub City beer I've had. It pours very dark, good head. I thought this beer had a somewhat coffee smell. Can definitely taste coffee as well, with a little bitter aftertaste. This "porter" seemed to be more similar to a chocolate or coffee stout than to other porters I've had. I don't think I could drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had bottle as part of a variety pack. Poured to a very dark brown with medium-thick tan head that lingered to mid glass and left okay lacing. Nose was a malty mix of chocolate, toffee, coffee, some roasted nuts and a hint of dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and somewhat sweet, though not overdone. Taste accentuated the malty scents of the nose and the finish was long lasting with a pleasant after taste. My first beer from Hub City was definitely an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a lighter tan along the bottom of the glass. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, slight hops, and slight toffee sweetness. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and slightly smooth with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, hop background, and slight acidity. Overall, good blend, body, and drinkability. The best Hub City I've had.

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Photo of nhindian
2.02/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a Southern Tier goblet. Bottle generously provided as an extra by MilwaukeeCrusher, thanks!

A - This beer actually looks pretty solid all-around after it's all said and done. It settles in the glass as a dark brown, with a creamy, frothy head that stands about 2-fingers tall and is tan in color. Retention is long-lasting, and the lacing is very generous as well. A very nice looking beer.

S - The wheels start to fall off at the nose, however. It starts with a rather strange earthiness that just seems out of place, before gathering some nuttiness. Strangely, that's about all I'm getting in the nose; peanuts and dirt. Quite awkward and somewhat metallic as well. My girlfriend suggested that it is reminiscent of Kung Pao chicken, and now that she said it, I can't shake the thought.

T - This taste is confusing for me, as there are flavors that I can't really say I've gotten from a beer before, nonetheless a porter. It starts pleasant enough, with some cocoa and light roast, but from the mid-palate in, it takes on a metallic twang that ruins any momentum the beer had going. Additionally, the finish is full of an intense nuttiness to the extent that I can swear I can taste peanuts. There is even some semblance of leather that floats over my tastebuds every now and then.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with medium carbonation. It is pretty smooth going, if not a bit watery at times. Finishes especially dry for a porter.

D/O - Drinkability is low. There are too many off-flavors in this beer for me to really consider trying it again. While leather and peanuts are new notes for me, I can't say they were welcome in this porter. A shame that the appearance is the best part of this beer.

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Photo of Deuane
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep,clear dark brown with brighter highlights. A nice tan head formed only to reduce to a thin ring leaving no lace.

S-Healthy notes of chocolate and roasted malt. Certainly has the nose of a roasty porter bordering on a stout.

T-Rich roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of licorice in the background. Really nice flavour profile edging into stout territory for sure....and that's ok!

M-Medium body with a dry finish.

D-Wow...this is nice stuff. I would be happy to have this as the standard porter offering from my local. Rich, bold and roasty but not heavy, well done.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dan for sharing this one last Friday night. The last time I reviewed a Hub City beer, the brewer contacted me and questioned my review of one of his beers. Here we go again. This is the third one we had from this brewery the other night, and the only one I had a second pour of. Medium brown, with reddish highlights. Lightly roasty, milk chocolate, dark malts and roasted nuts.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown, thin head and little lacing.

smell is mild but of malty sweetness and lightly of roasted grain.

A bit sweet and malty at first, then grainy and a bit roasty through the middle. Finishes slightly bitter and dry.

modest carbonation and tingling, some coating of the mouth, briefly, then finishes somewhat dry and slightly bitter. Pretty thin.

Easily poundable. Guessing the abv is fairly modest, likely between 5 and 6%. Certainly not outstanding, but beats the crap out of any macro. And it's made in a small town in Boondocks, Iowa! Great to see breweries sprouting up like corn here in heartland.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Blood orange highlighting around the rim and bottom of a dark brown brew. No head - big pour, but no head. And really not much lacing is coming through.

The nose is pleasingly strong and malt-forward, with a lot of chocolate malt and hints of patent malt, roasted barley, etc. A little bit of that watery, porter-thing comes through too, with a pleasing dark fruitiness. Smells quite nice.

The taste is solid if unspectacular. Roasted malts lead nicely, chocolate and coffee mix is well done. Fairly dry overall; that carbonation issue from earlier certainly isn't gone. There's some bitterness that lingers; maybe some hops, but probably just astringency from the charred malt side.

Body is thin and would appear to be a touch over-carbonated if the visual evidence didn't point so overwhelmingly to the contrary. So I have to chalk it up to a thin malt end, and dock the flavor a bit. Not bad at all; decent porter available to Des Moines and surrounding areas.

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Photo of FlannelAvenger
2.66/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I had tried a beer from this brewery recently, and was very disappointed. It was one of the worst pilsner beers I'd ever had, so I was leery of this one. My dealer had some singles for sale, so I took a chance.
12 ounce bottle, poured into straight pint glass.
Smell was good, roasty chocolaty malt, hints of coffee.
Very little head at all, dissipated immediately.
Mouthfeel is what killed this one for me, very thin and watery. Taste was balanced enough, with a nice little backing of bitter to offset the chocolaty malt up front.
If they get the mouth feel right, this would be good, but a beer, especially a porter, needs to be thicker than water.

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Photo of gford217
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of tedpeer poured into a snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown with mahogany in the edges and a decent off-white head that lingers for a while leaving bits of lacing. The aroma is really nice with sweet roasted malts and chocolate dominating. There's also a bit of lactose in nose as well. The taste has the malted milk ball taste up front with some coffee bitterness in the finish. There's a roasted character to the taste throughout. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation and a little dry in the finish. All in all, a very drinkable porter and one that I would recommend.

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Photo of afinepilsner
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle

Hub City Olde Brown Porter was dark brown (nearly black) in color with a short light tan head that quickly became a thin ring. The aroma was chocolate and dark malt. The taste was chocolate with some dark roasted malt and coffee with a dry, somewhat bitter finish. It was medium bodied with light carbonation. Drinkability was average. The brewery needs to be more consistent with the carbonation as four out of the six-pack had no head or carbonation. The other two were pretty tasty but still needed a little more carbonation.

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Photo of maximum12
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first bottle of Hub City courtesy of pepsican.

Almost no head on this deep brown bad-boy, but the smell is whacked surprising, with a sweetness & a latent vanilla outpouring that was completely unexpected. Taste matches the nose to a tee, light, sweet, vanilla syrup.

This is about as straightforward, pleasant porter as I've had in quite a while. The mouthfeel matches the brew perfectly, & I could see myself tying into a few of these.

Very good, well-crafted porter from a brewery I'd never heard of; took me by surprise. Makes me look forward to the other two that are resting innocently in the fridge.

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Hub City Olde Browne Porter from Hub City Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 32 ratings