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

Subscribe now!

Sweet Josie Brown Ale | Lonerider Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
101 Reviews
Sweet Josie Brown AleSweet Josie Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Lonerider Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 05-07-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 101 | Ratings: 507
Photo of SLeffler27
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The foamy almond head reaches half an inch, then lingers over a dark brown beer with russet highlights. Lacing coats the Harp nonic.

Sweet malt is muted behind toasted and nutty aromas, particularly peanuts. There is also some caramel.

Overall well balanced, however, slightly to the bitter side than most brown ales. Otherwise, the flavor closely follows the nose. Some chocolate can be found in the finish.

A medium body with chewy velvet texture, fizzy carbonation, and a hint of alcohol. Warmth brings out a creamy texture.

This is a good pub beer to be enjoyed with a burger or on the deck with pals.

 609 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice brown ale. Pours a clear mahogany brown color with amber highlights when held to a light. Antique white head, decent size, fairly good retention. Aroma is roasted and bready malts.

Taste is primarily bready malt...a little on the sweet side, hence the Sweet Josie name. Tastes pretty good.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, the sweetness is not overdone. This beer is rich enough for a brown ale.Don't notice the slightly high abv.

Overall pretty good brown ale. Too high octane for a session beer, but I could certainly enjoy a few of these.

 549 characters

Photo of Arborescence
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper. Pours a medium head of moderate creaminess.

Aroma: Delicate mix of hops and malt, with a hint of caramel/toffee sweetness. Nutty.

Taste: Chocolate sweetness and a hint of coffee. Light, but with a nice balanced malt background.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, light carbonation.

Overall: It's pretty good. Quite a light beer really, none of the aspects are overwhelming at all, but there's a nice mixture of characteristics and delicate flavours.

 478 characters

Photo of jktedder12
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a chilled pint glass. Half finger head with some lacing dissipated within a few minutes. very nice color; a deep brown, slightly ruby. Smelled of roasted nuts, but only minimally with a hint of chocolate. Medium body with a bold mouthfeel. Definite taste of chocolate malts with a bit of nuts and hint of coffee. Hops are noticeable as well as the alcohol. A bitter/sweet brown. Overall very nice American Brown.

 443 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown, 0 clarity.

S - Sweet smells. Not much hop aromas.

T - Wow, very sweeet. ABV is not too well hidden.

M - Light bodied, not well carbonated.

O - A decent brown. A little sweet for the style....hence the name "Sweet" Josie.

 243 characters

Photo of kneeland
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Who is Sweet Josie and where can I meet her?

This was pretty good, but I had higher hopes for a brown ale. It's got a lot of good malt, caramel flavor, and a decent laced foam head. The 6.1% abv is nice too. It's just missing that "it" factor. But overall, I did enjoy it and thought it was good.

 297 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From my home tap, this one looks gorgeous in the glass, with a warm, reddish, deep-but-still-translucent medium brown color and capped by a thick, foamy, tan head that clings to the glass after every sip. The aroma is likewise thoroughly enticing, with a dry, bittersweet chocolate character and a bit of minerality. The flavor is similarly only slightly sweet, with a slight bready sweetness creeping into the mostly dry, roasty, chocolaty profile. The flavor is also a bit grainy and astringent, however, especially in the aftertaste, which detracts from the nice balance of flavors. The light body and light carbonation helps it all go down smoothly, though. Overall, this one doesn't slide too far to either the sweet or the bitter sides of the spectrum, making it an easy-to-drink yet flavorful brown ale

 809 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong, malty aroma has notes of yeast, cinnamon and caramel and just a hint of molasses. It pours a somewhat transparent warm brown with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled tan head. Flavor does not quite live up to the aroma, having malty, caramel and cinnamon notes but a bit of a metallic tang and a bitter undertone that is not hoppy. Texture has average body and only a little fizz. Well, maybe this bottle came from a not-so-hot batch. A decent ale nonetheless. Give it a try.

 479 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark brown with a one finger tan head. Head retention is fairly good.

Smells of milk chocolate and roasted malt. There is a hint of coffee along with a slight nuttiness.

Tastes of moderately roasted malt along with milk chocolate. The nuttiness in the smell comes through in the taste too along with some coffee. A moderate amount of bitterness towards the end helps balance out the sweetness. Finishes with a slight alcohol note.

Overall a well put together brown ale that is not too sweet and has decent bitterness. Glad I was able to try.

 590 characters

Photo of KajII
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a hazy medium brown with a large (2-3 finger) white rocky head that pretty much lasted throughout and had some fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a dark roasted malt, an earthy hop and a light leathery yeast with notes of milk chocolate, a mild coffee odor, a touch of caramel and a bit of nuttiness.

The taste was nice and malty and a bit nutty with a hint of chocolate in the beginning and then a pronounced hoppiness took hold with hints of coffee and maybe a little brown sugar towards the end. The flavor hung around for an average amount of time after the swallow letting the hoppy malt taste linger for a little while.

Mouthfeel was just about medium in body with the texture being quite creamy and a tad dry with an almost prickly carbonation.

Overall a fantastic Brown Ale that had just the right amount of bitter sweetness and a surprising hoppiness at the end.

 923 characters

Photo of thain709
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deuane brought me a bottle of this from a recent trip to North Carolina. Thanks buddy!

A - Poured a nice brown with ruby highlights...it showcased a tan one finger head...the head fell to a spotty cap, but it was the whole way across...decent lacing

S - Dark and milk chocolate...some hops...toffee...a strong nuttiness

T - First sip shows this brown ale is very malt forward...roast and sweetness are leading the way...there is a big blast of milk chocolate in the middle...that's followed by another level of sweetness and some dark toffee flavors...soft hops finish with a subtle nuttiness

M - Medium bodied...sometimes thin...soft hops and a subtle nuttiness

O - I enjoyed this brown ale...there were notes of chocolate and toffee and even softer notes of nuts...the body was never too sweet or heavy so you could have more than just one

 846 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet Josie is a deep wooden brown ale that is just a few shades away from stout territory. The head is thin and the color of over milked coffee but doesn't last much past the pour.

The nose is faint for a brown but has some great stout like characteristics. Things like chocolate and coffee are there minimally as are some roasted grains but everything seems to be wrapped in plastic.

The taste on the other hand is all about those malt flavors and there are plenty to go around. Bittersweet chocolate is the foundation of this brew and filling in the gaps are all the roasted grain in between. The flavor is a touch muted but I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a stout but a very full brown ale.

Mouthfeel is decent in this one. Nothing special but there is a nice pinch of hops and a light carbonation that I keep thinking should be bigger. Smooth and slick with a malt finish that seems to cover your teeth long after its gone. A tasty beverage with more flavor then I was expecting. Good for those who like the dark beers and well worth checking out. I'd buy again in a minute.

 1,098 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes: Thanks goes out to DeadTerry for the bottle share.

appearance: dark brown with orange hue minimal off white head

smell: roast, coffee, malts, caramel,

taste: coffee, roast, malty

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent brown ale, a little heavy on the roasted malts. but it was a new brewery to me and I like trying new things.


 388 characters

Photo of Paincane
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown with off-white head leaving moderate lacing.
S: Malty aroma with a hint of coffee.
T: Sweet malt, barley, subtle chocolate and coffee. Malt fades into slight hop bitter finish.
M: Medium-bodied with active carbonation. Well-balanced.
O: A pleasant surprise to find in the snack/drink area in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott just a short distance from the Raleigh-Durham airport. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Would definitely have another.

 460 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

thanks to brstls4drmrs.

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. deep rich brown that settled even darker. full finger plus of cream colored bubbly head. pretty sticky lacing.

s - molasses and barley and grains. hint of brown sugar and nutmeg, but this is a grain monster.

t - flavor is big and bold. molasses, barley, malts, and grains. missing some of the sweet character i typically look for in the style.

m - full and bready. finishes a bit bitter. cooling.

o - overall, a decent brown ale that is worth trying. the earthiness is pretty dominant making it a bit unique, but not tailored for my tastes.

 616 characters

Photo of halfbeer
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful brown ale. Definitely worth getting a keg of. Also, a good judge of a beer in my opinion is how the guys oogle over it and choose it over everything else in the fridge. It is that kind of beer, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the brown, I could drink quite a bit of it. I also just like Lone Rider, even though this and Shotgun Betty are really their two best at the moment. Still, if you are in the Raleigh or Durham, NC area and have to visit a tavern- go to Big Boss. Big Boss's ales (especially the stuff like the "wooden monkey" (they made these for a while then stopped- why?) and "sneak attack" (a short run) are awesome- even though they don't have them on tap at the tavern. Anyway- I digress. Sweet Josie is a must buy, and get a keg.

 770 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a small tan head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is roasted malts, a little wood, peanut butter, caramel when it warms opens up a bit.

Taste is balanced, some sweetness from the malt, particularly as it warms. Nice herbal hops, and fairly aggressive flavor overall, but smooth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry.

Drinkability is solid, as is this brew, a nice punch flavor but smooth and balanced.

 418 characters

Photo of pBRale
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From tasting notes on 9-6-11
Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance: Dark brown with virtually no head. This beer left absolutely no lacing whatsoever.

Smell: Not much here that I am detecting. Some sweet malts and a hint of alcohol, perhaps.

Taste: Toasty malts, some hop bitterness also there, but the malts win out. The finish is somewhat bitter, however.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery. Not that appealing, and not as drinkable.

Overall: This beer was okay, but I probably wouldn't have it again any time soon unless there wasn't much selection.

 555 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Arrives a rich chestnut brown, clear with a very light tan head. Very good retention and quite creamy.
Smell is malty with caramel, dark chocolate and coffee notes.
Taste is roasted malt with caramel, coffee and dark chocolate.
Medium-full body with a good efdervescence. Ever so lightly warming. A very good beer.

 314 characters

Photo of mothman
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours 1 finger of beige head. Decent retention leaving some lacing. Color is a dark nut brown.

Aroma: Notes of chocolate and caramel. A bit of roasted malts. Some nut flavors.

Taste: Creamy and chocolate. Nut flavors with a bit of roasted malts. Caramel. No hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation ends dry.

Overall, a fairly average brown ale. Easy to drink and fits the style fine.

 464 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Fork and Barrel in Raleigh

Pours a deep amber with a light lacing of head. Nose offers caramel and nutty malts. Taste is caramel, then nutty, then...coffee? Yeah, I think that's what that was. This beer is medium bodied, smooth. Overall, this is a solid beer. Lonerider continues to impress.

 302 characters

Photo of lovindahops
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a gift from a friend who moved south. I love brown ales

A- no question there is a consistent dark brown body with massive lacing ripping along the sides of my pint glass. This might be the look of an Am brown ale

S- chocolate, toffee, and some musty nutty notes. A good scent flowing through the glass. Even a little dryness that I like

T- again, great toffee taste that meshes with the roasty flavors. It is a good brown ale taste

M- creamy and good coating flavors

O- this is a good brew from the south that can always be enjoyed. I would take more anytime

 563 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle received courtesy of jpmclaug, poured into a tulip glass. I will admit, I'm not the biggest fan of Brown Ales of any kind but I'm looking at this for what it is.

A: Dark copper / brown body with some amber hues in direct light. A slightly off-white bubbly head sits atop and has some fairly quick dissipation. The retention turns into a small cap and leaves some faint, splotchy lacing behind.

S: Gently roasted chocolate malts come through, along with a certain sticky caramel quality. Sweet toffee blends in and a bitter coffee note leads out the aromas on the end. It's not overly aromatic but for the style, but it's very complementary.

T: The chocolate and caramel malt base is laid out from the beginning, along with a mild bitter piney hop note. Toasted toffee chunks, pecans and cashews last into the finish. Coating the palate is a slightly salty and very nut-like flavor. It's nothing bad nor wonderful, just good for the style.

M: Fairly active and bubbly carbonation, medium-bodied while remaining pretty smooth for a Brown Ale.

When I think of Brown Ales I really don't think of complexity, and when I find one that is seriously complex, it's a shock and unfortunately raises the bar for the style. I've had some Brown Ales that have completely blown me away before, much like Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale, but it's nothing typical for the style. Sweet Josie was a very solid example of a base line, traditional American Brown - not bad.

 1,474 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the brewery in Raleigh NC into a plastic cup.

No head given or present, giving a minor collar with perhaps some tan color. Body is a cloudy chestnut brown, but when opened up to the sun it gives a great cloudy ruby red.

Nose is nutty like a classic American Brown, with some estery fruit sense. Roast bent seems kind of mild but still alright.

First comes that mild nut presence in the taste. Hits the mid palate pretty solid and obvious, but lots of clove also. Finish gives a big sense of roast character and there's just a hint of cream as well.

Overall a really good solid brown ale that these guys make.

 629 characters

Photo of carolinahophead
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brown ale pours a pure brown color with a light cream head.
I do like the aromas ... you will get light roast coffee , good malt and maybe a smooth cocoa aroma.
What a smooth taste . You can tell they use good malt with a hop finish . This beer is sweet & bitter . Like a good woman.
Mouthfeel is medium with a sweet malty finish. I also get nutty and creamy palate.
Lonerider hit a homerun here my friends. A beer for all seasons. Sweet Josie is sexy, built and fun to be with ...

 490 characters

Sweet Josie Brown Ale from Lonerider Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 507 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!