Hub City Brown Ale | Hub City Brewing Company

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Hub City Brown AleHub City Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Hub City Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Brown Ale is a medium-bodied beer in the traditional English style. It has a pale brown color with hints of nut and caramel. This beer has a light, clean flavor and smooth finish with just a hint of sweetness, perfect for warm summer days.

Added by Deuane on 08-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 49
Photo of Ragingbull
1.41/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Dark amber in color more than a light brown. There is some light lacing and a rim of foam. Some prickle can be seen where the light shines through. The nose is earthy with some malt tones and a gentle grain character. The nose more like wine than beer. Some sharp notes in the flavor are a major turnoff, especially in a brown ale. A highly grainy attack. Some nut tones are able to come through somehow. It seems to be undermalted in my opinion. Almost as if they used half the grain and malt and twice the water. The malt really struggles to hold up to the grain flavors and the sharp acidic tones. Way lighter and sharper than I expected when I bought a six pack of a brown ale while in Iowa. Ugh. I am not crazy about it. I shouldn't have reviewed it yet. . .maybe some schlub will want to try one of the four I have left.

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Photo of BehindtheFinBrew
2.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle obtained in a sampler.

A: Pours light amber to red. Definitely uncharacteristic of a brown ale. I've had red's darker than this. Zero-head. Wondering if I got a bad bottle as most other posts have a decent head present.

S: Slight off-putting sweetness but notes of roasted malt, caramel and chocolate.

T: I get the roasted malt and chocolate first. There's very little hop bitterness present on the back end. Slight metallic which I had in their golden ale as well.

M: Under-carbed (again bad bottle-theory).

D: I would say this is somewhat drinkable over a mid-long session provided you enjoy the beer.

I however did not. It's not a terrible beer but not good. Big point loss with the color. C'mon people brown ale's should be BROWN and not clear. So far Hub City is 0/2 with me.

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Photo of beerbrains
2.38/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

For a while now I have been excited to see all the beer activity going on in small towns across Iowa. I thought I had lucked out when on a recent trip to Des Moines I had the chance to stop a the store and grab a few 6 packs before heading home. Well, I have to admit I was very disappoited with my foray into rural brewing. I poured this into a pint glass. It had no head at all, thus no lacing. Its taste and mouthfeel were both watery. I got none of the hoppiness that others here have described,almost no flavor at all. The experience can be best summed up as drinking a watered down Newcastle. As I write this I am begining to think this may have been an old package (no date on the bottles or the carrier).

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My second review for Hub City and it's 0 for 2. It appeared more like a red/amber than a brown, initially with 3 fingers of head that setteld to 1/2 a finger that never died. Not much aroma. The tast was undetectible through all the hops. My tongue almost hurt because it was so bitter. This experiment ended in a drain pour.

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Photo of PaleAlien2
1.52/5  rDev -42%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

What In The Hell?

The beer is a disaster.

Much to light, transparent for a Brown. I can see right through it. Nice head retention and lacing though, so I have to give credit for that.

Smell is exceptionally sweet. Gets your attention--even from a distance.

I don't know if it's the worst beer I've ever had (see SA Cranberry Lambic), but it's in the conversation. Bizarre. Extremely tart! Made me pucker my lips. Literally tastes like orange juice after you've just brushed your teeth.

Remarkably bad.

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Photo of ghebel
2.41/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear amber/red. Not brown as advertised. Head is 1 inch off-white orange that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S - As I was pourig this beer, I got a whiff from a foot away that reminded me of being at the baseball game with my dad in the 70's smelling the cheap ballpark beer from the glass he was drinking.

When I stuck my nose in the glass I experienced a sensation similar to sniffing horseradish except mixed with a background of roasted malt and fruity graininess. Not overly pleasant, but the aroma does seem to mellow with time out of the bottle.

T - Taste is not so good either, sort of mouth puckering and sour with hints of roasted malt and breadiness. It too seems to improve as the beer breathes.

M - Thin and puckering, sour.

D - Not really drinkable for me.

Overall - I am having a hard time differentiating this beer from the Hub City Amber Ale. The main difference is that I may be able to finish this beer as it seems to get better as it sits in the glass.

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Photo of bashiba
3.45/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy copper color with a big thick foamy head, long lasing almost rootbeer float like head.

Had a sweet caramel malt nose mixing in with a tangy copper odor, along with some funky yeast.

The flavor is dominated by a slightly sweet toffee malt body with a bit of grainy bread and some chocolate hints. Has the same metallic coppery finish as their golden ale along with some funky yeast flavors.

The mouthfeel is ultra carbonated with a medium body.

A solid drinkable brown ale.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.38/5  rDev +29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark orange- brown with a thick fluffy head leaving sheets of lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, with hints of toffee. Hints of tropical fruit, slightly nutty with earthy hop.

Taste is malty and sweet with plenty of tropical fruit undertones - pineapple and mango. Earthy hops bring a balancing bitterness. Nutty and woody. Finish is crisp, yeasty, with a slight metallic quality.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Not too bad. Although initially sweet, there is a surprising amount of bitterness that seems to gradually increase as you drink. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 8/23/08. Bottle courtesy of pepsican. Pours a light brown with a small white head. Aroma of dark fruits, raisin, molasses, and caramel. Flavor of dark roasted malt, faint coffee, and sweet molasses. Kind of odd tasting and hard to describe, perhaps musty? In any case, I didn't care for this beer at all.
5/3/4/2/12 (2.6/5)

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Generously carbonated dark bronze with bright orange highlights. This is one of the lightest brown ales in recent memory. Actually, it looks like an Oktoberfest. The khaki colored cap is airy and rocky, but it isn't tacky enough to grace the glass with more than a few scattered shards of lace.

The aroma isn't consistent with the style either. More like two parts amber ale to one part brown ale. There's also an alarming amount of metal (which fades) and a subtle, clove-like phenolic character. Hmmm, did something go wrong with this batch or is it just poor design?

Hub City Brown Ale is the worst beer from this brewery yet. Golden Ale was no better than average. This one can't even make it over that low bar. Chalk it up to a lack of malt, a rogue yeast strain and an abundance of bubbles. And to think I was (mildly) excited to see another HCBC beer on local shelves.

This brown ale *almost* tastes like a poor-quality dubbel due to the funkiness of the clove-like phenols. Since I'm sure that isn't what the boys from Stanley were shooting for, no credit will be given for the brewing of a quasi-Belgian ale. Let's go with earthy-toasted-nutty malt and the aforementioned, out-of-place spiciness. There's too much bitterness as well. Not good.

Hub City's biggest hurdle as a new brewery looks to be figuring out body and mouthfeel. With the exception of their best offering (Wheat Beer), none of them have been anything to shout about. This one is much too thin, and isn't helped by a surfeit of sharp-edged carbonation.

Since Millstream (this state's only other brewery) doesn't brew a beer of this particular style, the obvious choice for 'Iowa's best American brown ale' would seem to fall to Hub City Brown Ale by default. Given what I've just experienced, 'Iowa's worst American brown ale' is a much more appropriate title.

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Photo of tmitch75
3.11/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brown color, almost like a red or amber ale, with thin white head and decent lacing.

Faint sweet malty/nutty smell with cooked veggies.

Watery taste, brown sugar/caramel malt, but not much else is there.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'd like, but passable, which pretty much sums up this beer all around. Not bad, but doesn't stand out in any way.

Tasted on 7/29/08.

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Photo of johnnnniee
1.78/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Received in trade from tedpeer, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a slightly cloudy Dark orange/amber color with a huge bubbly off white head that caused massive pouring issues. This bottle is over carbonated and possibly infected. The aroma is of spicy Belgian yeast, some phenolic. Taste is about the same as the smell, barely palatable. The bottle has no freshness date, Its too bad my first beer from IA is tainted.

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Photo of hero27
2.99/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle

Pours a cloudy chestnut color..small head of tan foam doesn't stick around long.
Candied toffee/butternut aroma. Flavor starts off nutty and blends into a soft roasted malt aspect.. some sticky caramel sweetness as well.
Body is pretty thin, even for a sessionable brown..needs to be a bit more robust.
Browns are not known for being exceptionally exciting, but this one is just a bit too bland for me to enjoy on any kind of a regular basis. Tweak the recipe and I'll give it another whirl..until then, there are better browns to be had.

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Photo of Deuane
3.25/5  rDev +24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep, clear brownish amber with a small off-white head.

S-Light toffee and roasted malt. Aroma improves upon warming.

T-Light roasted malt a bit of toffee/coffee but all VERY mild.

M-Light body with a thin watery finish.

D-Nothing bad but very unexciting. A drinkable session brew that you barely notice you are drinking. The perfect drink it and forget it beer for that family BBQ when everyone else is pounding BMC.

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Hub City Brown Ale from Hub City Brewing Company
2.62 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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