Brown Ale | Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

very good
72 Reviews
Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
Colorado, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our medium-bodied Brown Ale is brewed in the English tradition, with an infusion of American creativity. The rich, malty backbone balances an assertive hop character, and ends with a smooth, dry finish. Our Brown Ale boasts a dark brown body that supports a creamy tan head.

Added by Domingo on 11-28-2010

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 324
Photo of tronester
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, clear ruby brown with a thin light tan head. Smell is like freshly toasted bread. Taste begins with some initial marzipan flavors, followed by some light coffee flavors, and an earthy dry finish. Rich mouthfeel, smooth low carbonation. Overall quite a strong brown ale, but also quite good.

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Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-Reviewed September 08th, 2016

Original ratings: 4 4 4 3 4

Just about all of my original impressions remain with the exception of the mouthfeel. In this case, the beer comes across as smooth and silky with a lot more body.

This remains one of my go-to ales....


Appearance: dark, red copper color. Decent thick, creamy head with good lacing on the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts, slightly burnt, bitter aroma.

Taste: Roasted grain, nice bitterness towards the end with burnt toast-like flavors counter-balancing.

Mouthfeel: Light with a fine carbonation bubbling along the tongue.

Overall: Nothing distinctive nor worth writing home about, but a fair beer for a basic brown ale. A middle-of-the-road offering that's worth drinking when nothing better is available.

Note: I updated and upgraded my scores based on another can of the beer sampled 7/21/12.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

Pours forming a finger of light latte-colored head over a dark brown opaque body.

Smells very lightly of caramel, toasted marshmallows, and lightly roasted malts.

The flavor packs much more depth and weight than the aroma did. Big malts with a caramel (almost chocolaty) sweetness balanced by noticeable but not intrusive hops. The flavor is not strikingly deep or complex, but has a pleasing simplicity and displays bold basic flavors that come off clean and well crafted. There is an awesome light-coffee dry acidity flavor that is quite pleasing and doesn't become apparent until well into the glass...

The mouthfeel is creamy and full due to a surprisingly low carbonation (I was struck at the dull sound the can made when I popped it open). I love lower carbonation levels and thus this beer hits very close to the bulls-eye concerning feel (for my personal tastes).

Conclusion: This is a solid brown ale that I would be proud of brewing if it came from my home brewery. It is not something I would go out of my way to track down again, but if it was served at my local pub I would revisit it often and regard it as a solid standby. This is my first Upslope beer and I am not disappointed.

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Photo of tbern007
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown, one finger light tan head, remains for a little while, lace is lacking.
Scent is of roasty malt, caramel, nut.
Taste is of cocoa, nut, roasted malt. Starts sweet and the brown sugar is evident. Moves into a hint of the English hops and there is some tea there. Finishes dry and with the roastiness.
Very drinkable. Pretty good brown. Stronger than the "english" would leave you to believe. I had too many of these. Added brown sugar and 6.7% lead to the HA the next day for sure.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I believe Boatshoes sent me this can as a karma correction, served in a DFH signature glass.

Beer is brown and clear with a nice off white head of small bubbles. Decent retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is low but roastier than I expected.

This beer is thin and a little watery with a strong back palate bitterness from roasted grain, some ash and smoke in there with a decent amount of malt leading up to it. It drinks more like an English Dark Mild than a brown but still a decent little beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The last of my haul from pokesbeerdude in the Thrice as Nice CANs BIF. Thanks, dude!

From the CAN: "Hand-Crafted Beer"; "Roasted, Malty, Aromatic"; "Ingredients Snowmelt Malt English Hops American Yeast Brown Sugar"; "Specs Hand-Crafted Aluminum Can Portable Recyclable Good".

Man, but the Crack & Glug was phenomenal resulting in two fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep dark-brown with ruby highlights. Nose smelled of evergreen and cocoa and I may have just been inspired for some hot chocolate this winter. I used to love peppermint schnapps in my hot chocolate and I have not done that in years. Mouthfeel was thick and viscous and I'll be damned if that taste was not just like the cocoa I mentioned a moment ago! Minty chocolate. This must be a panty peeler of some stripe, I would imagine. Finish was literally breathtaking with its intense mintiness up front, followed by a soothing wash of chocolate. How many of these do I have left?

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Photo of Spider889
3.24/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at the Colorado Rare Beer Tasting at the Rackhouse Pub on 9/28.

I was completely unfamiliar with Upslope and so went into this with zero expectations. Their rep walked out of the tasting room for 20 min at a time so when I was at a loss of what to sample I nabbed a whole can of the stuff.

Pours dark but clear. Otherwise nothing very notable.

Smells nutty and dark. This is welcoming as far as I'm concerned in an American brown.

The flavor was a little off to me though. It begins nicely enough with a bit of roast and honeyed malt. But then the roast grew and grew into some strong ashiness. This became detracting and out of place for a brown ale.

Crisp and medium bodied.

Overall this is out of style... it's a beer that wants to be a porter but is being forced to be a brown ale instead (not unlike a left-handed school child being forced to use his right hand at all costs).

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Photo of tone77
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yet another canned beer provided by the
(in)famous woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a pretty dark brown color with amber hues and a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malts, nutty, caramel. Taste is good, malts, caramel, nuts, a touch of hops is present, very flavorful. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a high quality brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured dark dark brown into a pink glass with almost no head at all to speak of. smells sweet and strong. notes of molasses for sure in the nose. yum. mouthfeel is off a little bit, maybe undercarbonated. not quite flat, but perhaps only a problem with the tap system and not with the beer. taste is excellent. its burnt sugars and roasted malts and alcohol. prominent sweetness in the finish, a great beer for fall. my first upslope brew, will definitely not be my last. a nice spin on the conventional brown ale.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Mayor of Old Town, Ft. Collins, CO

Poured a pleasant mahogany with a thin off-white head. Toasty brown malts and brown sugar sweetness in the aroma. More of the same in the taste, with lots of sweetness, brown sugar and molasses, some cocoa notes, and little to no hops to speak of. I don't like many brown ales, but I did like this one. Medium-bodied, and nicely drinkable.

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Photo of DelMontiac
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up six cans of this in Colorado Springs on the recommendation from an employee at Coaltrain Liquor.

I like cans! Pours a really nice looking crystal brown with ruby highlights and a one inch eggshell head that slowly subsides in to nothing, but leaving behind some scant lace through its short lifespan.

Smells very malty, nutty, and toasty.

Flavors abound with nuts, sweet caramel malt, baked whole grain bread, dark toasted english muffins, and fades into sweet woody almond-vanilla deliciousness.

Medium bodied, fairly smooth, and very dry.

This is probably the best brown ale I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Should have bought a case!

Edited 03/07/14.
I've really come to love this brownie. After a couple of cases worth of experience I can say that I really can't get enough of this beer. The only other brown ale that I might consider over Upslope's would be Dogfish Head's Palo Santo Marron which is really it's own thing. Go for it and prepare to be amazed.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice filtered brown color with reds and blacks... Head is nice straw color. Head pour is aggressive. Nice foamy head.

S - Slight sugar malt scent... Nice roasty scent. Lots of big smooth smoke. Nice scent. Lots of pine too.

T - Very roasty and malty. Great smokey flavor. I'm not a smokey fan, but this one is done well.

M - Perfect carbonation. Great mouthfell. Well-done.

O - A little all over the board... Definitely recommended! Great brew, perfect for a hot day or a cold one...

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Photo of SamN
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a dimpled stein.

Mmmm, mouthwatering looks! A thick creamy head of dense foam sits atop a solid, dark brown liquid. Amber highlights really make this beer glow, and that head is just fantastic for a brown ale. Great looks, the prototypical brown ale. Smell is strongly aromatic; hazelnuts, creamy robust malts, a good balancing bitterness that compliments the malts perfectly. Really, this is the ideal of Perfect Balance, I've yet to taste a brown ale that blends the two flavors so perfectly. There is a delightful, long-lasting finish of coffee and toffee. Really, goddamn, this is one delicious brown ale. A little stronger at 6.7, but the alcohol is pretty well hidden in the taste, a little warming is present. Mouthfeel, however, could benefit from the lessening of carbonation. Also, the palette numbs a bit from the slightly higher strength.

Overall, this is a stand out brown ale, a stand out can beer and one of the few brown ales produced in CO. I am quite impressed by this offering from Upslope and look forward to having it again!

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Photo of rawfish
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep shade of brown, dark wood highlights all over the glass. Forms a small bit of froth on top the body that has decent retention and leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

Definitely stock brown ale, roasted malts, a touch of brown sugar, and some burnt popcorn. Little bit of hop character here mostly pine.

Robust full flavors, not exceptionally bold but the drink fills the mouth with light coffee and dark chocolate, some caramel and nutty sweetness. Roasted character lingers through out the drink. Malts are complimented with some herbal hop character and a bitter note towards the end of the drink. Rather balanced and pleasant. Honey sweetness on the aftertaste.

A touch too much carbonation, active and lively yet biting, really brings the roasted malts to peak at a near burnt level. Medium bodied with no unpleasantries in the after taste or mouth coating.

Quite a pleasant surprise for a random pick up. A very drinkable and -robust- beer comparable to it's Boulder sibling, Ellie's. Side to side I'd say they are even. Good beer, will pick up again.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour - dark, dark amber in appearance. This is a very rich looking brown ale with a rather thin head that fades to a film of off-white.

Aroma - wow. Lots of big malty aromas coming from this brew. Some very pleasing smells of coffee, cocoa and malted milk balls. If I didn't know better I'd think this might be a coffee stout!

Taste - a malt-ensive wave of sweetness slams my taste buds and carries with it dark roast coffee, bitter chocolate, Tootsie rolls, dark rye bread and some biscuity flavors. This is a serious brown ale and a great candidate for those that have found brown ales to be rather lacking. Upslope has beefed this style up and really packed this beer with roasty/toasty flavors. Maltheads rejoice and for you hopheads this is one you wont want to pass up.

Overall - robust is the best one word description of this brown ale. Usually I am underwhelmed by most brown ales but this one has some "oomph". Nice bitter roasty flavors from beginning to end and a few ticks higher on the ABV scale to boot. One of the better brown ales I've come across (just my taste I guess).

Would I buy more of it? - definitely. I'd be a repeat offender with this one for sure. I'm definitely sad to see my last can go but hopefully I'll be able to source out some others in the near future!

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Brown color with some sticky lacing on the glass, maybe that's the brown sugar? Smell is roasty, toasty, and definitely signals brown ale. The flavor was very rich, malty, sweet, good. The only problem I'd have with this beer is that it's so rich and the ABV is close to 7% so I can only drink a couple of these. This is easily upslope's best beer.

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Photo of katan
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a pint

A - Pours a very dark brown color. Thick and opaque. Lots of mocha colored head formation. Appears to be fairly carbonated.

S - Very malty nose, lots of nutty, toffee, and caramel notes. Very much a brown ale. Hopping is very low. Perhaps a small amount of chocolate.

T - Starts off lightly malty, caramel and coffee. Mid-stream gets balanced, but hops are hidden. Some roasted notes sneak in towards the end. Very clean smooth finish, lightly bitter.

M - Solid beer body, somewhat creamy. Carbonation is certainly present as well, giving it a lighter character. Very clean finish.

D - Smooth and easy drinking. Pretty potent for the style. Not very filling. The roasted notes are a bit overbearing for sessioning.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz can. Pours a medium brown with a small creamy white head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet nutty chocolate malts.

The flavor is sweet nutty chocolate malts that are a bit acidic. There's a bit of bitter roast in the finish with some off plasticky notes. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an OK brown.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up as part of a mixed sixer the other day, even though I've never been a huge fan of their other beers. Poured a medium chestnut brown color with a good light brown head. Aromas of roasted nuts, milk chocolate and a hint of hops. On the palate, medium bodied with flavors of roasted nuts, caramel and chocolate. The best from Upslope so far.

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Photo of Rayek
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany with a slight chill haze. A rocky nougat head slowly falls to a patchwork film. Leaves spots of lace.

S: Baking chocolate came through first. Behind it is some burnt toast and a bit of black tea.

T: Starts out with bittersweet chocolate. A moderate black tea bitterness comes on next. Heavily roasted malts hit late. Finishes with a bit too much astringency for my tastes.

M: The medium body is slightly dry and has the right level of fizz.

D: I liked this OK, but it didn't really strike my fancy overall. The astringency of the finish was the big drawback. Cut that back and this would be a very nice beer.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Luke for the sample.

Chestnut body, light tan head.

Nutty, roasty, toffee aromas. East Kent Golding hops lend an herbal, floral character.

More nutty malt, some roasty character, a bit of cocoa, and a nice, balancing, bitter hoppy finish.

Mediun body, long finish.

Good brown, interesting take on the style. Great hop/malt balance. Best Upslope beer to date.

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Photo of Domingo
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The old draft-only favorite finally makes an appearance in a can. Not sure what took so long!
Pours a deep, dark brown that might be mistaken for a stout in dim light. Lots of head from a normal pour (typical for cans), although it laces like few browns do.
The nose screams "potency." Chocolate, roasted grains/nuts, and heavy handed American hops are there in equal portions.
The flavor starts off sweet with a semisweet chocolate note, followed by some molasses. The middle is where the roasted character takes over. Mild coffee and slightly burnt nuts. Maybe even a little tobacco character. The hops creep up with citrus rind and a little earthiness, although the finish has a hint of residual sweetness to tame the bitterness. Good stuff!
While this is a potent beer, it's drinkable due to the silky texture and the fact that it can be paired with any meaty dish very well. Maybe even some desserts, too.
I like this beer a lot and am glad to see it get some well-deserved attention. If you like big brown ales (DFH, Cigar City, Abita, etc.) this will definitely make you happy.

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Brown Ale from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
3.95 out of 5 based on 324 ratings.
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