Downtown Brown | Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

408 Reviews
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Downtown BrownDowntown Brown

Brewed by:
Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
California, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 01-01-2001

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Reviews: 408 | Ratings: 902
Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with ruby edges and a finger of beige head. The head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some nice lacing behind. The nose is slightly bready. The body is relatively hearty. The flavor is bready with a faint touch of maple. The finish is semi-dry.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Very low head, but otherwise a nice deep copper. Slightly murky, and nice sediment.

S: Brown sugar, butter, chocolate, smokiness.

M: Thin, grainy, and rough. Low carbonation, and a chocolate soda like fizz. Unfortunately not as smooth as the guy's plum colored suit, and the beer's major fault.

T: Chocolate, caramel, burnt toffee, tobacco, roasted malts, roasted hazelnut. NO bitterness. Residual sweetness. Or are these big flavor at fault?

O: Confusing beer. Great flavor profile with potential to carry complimentary bittering herbals with its thinner texture, but is wasted by being too dry, making the chocolate seem powdery. Granted this beer was stamped 12/13, and if I see a fresher bottle I would like to re-evaluate for hop character, and hope for:
1) A nice hoppiness; or,
2) A smoother mouthfeel.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pint glass on tap at the Lobster Trap

Look is a dark cola color, clear, with a small cap of mocha head. Smell is light: grain, malt, cocoa. Taste is light roast, chocolate, nutty, and faint earthy hop.

Slightly above-average, enjoyable, been-there-done-that.

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Photo of The-Jolly-Imbiber
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a somewhat smallish pint glass.

Dark red brown body under a 2-finger head.

Nice fruity scent on the head.

Taste: Good bitterness over the gentler flavours. Dark fruit, some breadiness.

Moderate carbonation.

Overall, pretty good, though I'm not sure I'd order it again if there were other more preferable beers on the menu.

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Photo of theteleman
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

One of my go to brown ales. 7$ for a sixer at Sprouts in Poway, Ca. Cant beat that price and this is a decent brew. MUCH better then the Newcastle that is being sold over here in the states these days, and cheaper too. A medium bodied mouthfeel with biscuty undertones balanced by malts and nutty accents. Basic, but really good and you cant beat the price.

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Photo of brewbattles
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

We conducted a blind taste test with this beer and 5 other brown ales to objectively determine which one was best. The 5 beers were: Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Lost Coast Downtown Brown, Big Sky Moose Drool, Newcastle Brown, and Wychwood Hobgoblin. You can view the video here:

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Photo of BethanyB
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Good clarity. A very dark brown, but ruby highlights are highly visible when held to the light. A contrasting white head vanishes almost instantly.

Smell: Burnt mocha and overripe banana bread. Not terrible, but not very promising.

Taste: A remarkably clean aftertaste doesn't do this beer any flavors, as the roasted dark chocolate flavor seems to simply fall off a cliff with every sip. The overripe banana is also found in the taste, and somehow workks well with unexpected alcohol flavors, making something of a rum cake mixture.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, but with a bit of fizz.

Overall: Some interesting elements, but walks a strange, thin line between flavorful and flavorless that ultimately makes it forgettable.

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Photo of usechopstix4soup
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice caramel into glass, head wasn't too thick and didn't last very long. The color reminded me of something lighter than pepsi but around that hue. Light is able to penetrate through, which gives it a nice tint and isn't too dark.

I've got to admit, the smell is probably my favorite part of this beer. Awesome nutty, chocolatey, caramel sensation that makes my mouth water. Roasted brown malts give the drink a nice smokey, heavy smell.

Taste is interesting, it is not very bitter but it leaves your mouth wanting more. Mouthfeel is very nice, well medium bodied beer that goes down like water. I notice the taste isn't too prevalent, which is strange for a beer of its class. It is sweet, tons of caramel and finishes with a dry, hoppier finish.

The secret in this beer is the wonderful smell and I can't get enough of it.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours coppery brown with a off-white head.
Malty aroma with nutty and bready notes. Quite sweet-smelling. Moreish!
Lovely malty flavours; bready, nutty melanoidin notes, somewhat sweet. Lovely nutty characters.
Good moderately high carbonation. Could be a little higher.

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Photo of Hex92
3.24/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is my second lost coast beer, I thought it was a bit better than the other. I think its a good session beer. I could drink a few of these. Its not good enough to be satisfying if you are only going to have one. Its just doesn't have enough in any category.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear but dark reddish brown, almost a dark copper color. Tan head doesn't have great retention but subsides evenly and leaves a little lacing.
Smell is the weakest aspect here because it is a bit faint. Notes of caramel, malt, a little cardboard. Good balance but not as complex as I expected.
Taste is better, notes of roasted malt, caramel, hops, cardboard, green apple or grapes (I can't tell), and nut. Nicely balanced with the expected complexity.
Medium body, near medium effervescence with just the right amount of tang/tingle to it. Easy to drink and not heavy at all. Good stuff.

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Photo of C3likesbeer
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Nice slightly hazy amber red pour. Nice tan creamy head left a half inch of foam that dissipates relatively slowly. Minimal but decent lace.

S - Smoooth and sweet roasted nutty malt smell with some slight spice and hops. Maltiness prevails.

T - Sweet and creamy malty taste. Very thick and almost syrupy (not in a bad way) mouthfeel. Sweetness and malts prevail. Very smooth going down with a nice warmth afterward. Great beer to drink in the fall or winter. Some say it's chocolatey but I didn't really taste it.

O - Very good brown ale. Almost as good as Avery's Ellie's brown ale. Good stuff and a great beer when you consider the price.

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Photo of Why-P-A
4.26/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown in color, not overly black with thick creamy head.

S: Roasted and toasted malts with a hint of chocolate malt but minimal burnt coffee aroma.

T: Very smooth, heavy malt body that matches aroma with a nice bitter finish developed from hops and darker, more burnt and bitter grains.

M: Velvety, possible addition of oats to prove a creamy character.

O: Excellent overall aroma and flavor, one of my go to brown ales. Easy to find at a good beer store and very consistent quality.

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Photo of BWED
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tulip

A- A deep brown, yet quite clear. Light shines through and showcases a nice light brown highlight. A dense light tan head rests on top, and retains well at a half finger. Just a little lacing hangs out.

S- A roasted nut aroma is at the forefront, with a semisweet chocolate lightly chiming in.

T- A mellow roasty maltiness, with barely any hop character, yet not terribly sweet.

M- Medium, and faintly chewy, but has a nice clean finish, with a semi dry aftertaste.

O- It's nice and malty, but clean. Not oversweet, as well. This makes a good seasonal transition beer. Coming out of those strong dark winter beers, and hopping right on Pales and IPAs can be a bit shocking. This brew carries you gently into the spring.

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Photo of Dbrown144
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark caramel color. Thick foam head.

S: I really like the smell. It's sweet, and smells mostly of roasted malts and caramel.

T: one of the better brown ales that I've tasted. While I wouldn't describe the taste as strong, there's a lot going on. It tastes a bit like a porter, the main tastes I can pull out are coffee, chocolate, and sweet roasted malt. At the very end of the sip, i taste a very faint hop flavor.

M: goes down nicely. Little carbonation and average consistency but bordering slightly on the thin side.

O: refreshing and tasty. I normally don't go for brown ales, so it's not one of my favorites, but still a solid beer.

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Photo of Cyrano41
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the local Yardhouse in Virginia Beach.
Deep brown with a good inch on head in a standard pint glass.
Picked up some earthy, nutty tones on the smell, not alot.
The flavors were malty with strong undertone of nuts. More nutty than I expected but not harsh or overpowering. This was the best beer of the day and I immediately sought it out at the local total wine for home consupmtion.

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Photo of WestCoastLibations
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

For some reason, Lost Coast Brewery, and in particular Downtown Brown, are readily available in 12-ounce bottles here, far across the Pacific, in South Korea! I don't know if there is some stipulation in the recently ratified FTA which aims to promote good beer, or if there is in fact a beer aficionado on some trade committee, but either way, those of us who are familiar with this blessing straight from Humboldt County, are grateful! I for one, have visited the brewery itself while riding my bicycle down the coast of California, so when I stumbled upon it in a corner mart in Seoul...well...I was beside myself!

Poured from its unforgettable bottle into an accompanying Lost Coast pint glass, the namesake color was obvious, with plenty of bubbles present as well, lining the glass with a almost cola-like appearance. Fear not though, this was no cola, but rather a breathable beer, which even after traveling across the globe, had seemingly not lost any of its freshness. Likewise, the smell had also not lost anything in translation, as the scent reminded me of the bays of Eureka, rather than the mountains of Korea.

Following then, the taste also drew me into much warmer climates, with regards to both body and S(e)oul, with hints of Hops which are unfortunately lacking in many of the Korean Lagers so prevalent in these parts. Dark but not heavy, Downtown Brown, as with all good beers, was able to transport me to a time and place far removed from my current set of local circumstances. A reliable go-to back home in Killa Cali., and now, for some blessed trade clause, here in South Korea too!

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Photo of Hawksfan79
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: dark brown with red highlights. Thick light brown creamy head. Good lacing.

Aroma: nutty. Roasted malts.

Taste: nutty and caramel, roasted malts, coffee flavor especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel: thin, watery with a soft carbonation.

Really good beer, great aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty pretty disappointing.

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Photo of VoodooBear
2.97/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle with no freshness date. Served in a Samuel Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Deep, dark caramel color. Develops a thick, two finger, tan colored head that fizzles out into a thin ring. Leaves some nice, patchy lacing.

Smell: Very faint, so it's hard to notice. Smells mainly of caramel and a little bit of malt.

Taste: Roasted chocolate and caramel notes are evident. The malt sweetness rounds things out and a hint of hop bitterness provides balance. There's a slight alcohol feel at the end.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, and easy to drink, feels a little thin, even. This might be surprising to a lot of people who expect a darker beer like this one to be stronger and fuller. It has some nice and crisp carbonation.

Overall: This is a very good brown ale, easy to drink and pleasant. It's simple in taste and smell, so it won't win any awards for being bold, dramatic and different. But sometimes you just want to drink something nice and easy. This is what this beer provides, and it does a really good job at it.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

A finger of light tan head on a fairly clear brown colored body.
The aroma is chocolate, coffee and roasted malt. It smells like a porter.
The taste is mild bitterness, roasted malt, chocolate sweetness and finishes on a bitter note. A good profile.
The texture is crisp with a little cream. The carbonation is on the higher, fizzy side.
Overall a good brown ale.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer before, but I can never remember the flavor. I am not usually a fan of this style, but it's been a while since I have had an English brown ale. Having been to England recently, maybe that will help me enjoy this beer more. Plus, it's a cool story. Two women founded this brewery, and one of them is the brewmaster. That, and this is one of the first beers she came up with. Oh, and I love the label. It's fun! A lot of breweries are trying to use crazy names and create interesting packaging for their beer. This one is simple, but a bright and fun label that was designed by a local artist. Local to Eureka, California, anyway.

Let's drink!

In the Glass: It is darker than I expected. Not black, but a nice thick rich brown color. The lace is weak, but the beer is appetizing. Maybe because I am thirsty, but it still looks delicious.

Nose: I could smell this as I was pouring it. The nose, without even sticking my nose in the glass, is powerful. When I do stick my nose in the glass, I am getting lots of chocolate and some nuttiness that the tasting notes mentioned. But I do get more chocolate than I expected. I just had a can of Sex Panther (LOVE the name) that is a double chocolate porter. I am getting more chocolate here than there.

Flavor: The flavor is really nice. I haven't had a brown ale in a while, but this one is solid. The flavor starts out somewhat sweet, nearing bittersweet. See… I am thinking chocolate again. Then the flavor profile changes completely as you swallow opening up all sorts of flavors. It is a little dry, that I didn't expect. I guess most English beers are dry… so I am not surprised. The aftertaste is really nice, too. But we will get to that.

Mouthfeel: At first, the mouthfeel is thin and boring. But as the beer slides across the tongue, bubbles start to dance and you are hit with a dry finish that lingers. The bubbles are nice, too. I don't normally like carbonation in my beer. But here, it works. It makes me think of a flavorful domestic at first, but then settles on the tongue and leaves you with a really nice nutty finish.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is great. It lingers on for a good three minutes. It's dry, and has a burnt chocolate flavor to it. For as cheap as this beer is, I would totally buy this again just to experience that aftertaste. The brewmaster made this beer to pair well with food. I can totally see where this would pair well with pork or beef. Well done, ladies!

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby brown...if that makes sense. Looks a lot like Coke. Great thin layer of tan foam and lacing. Not overly carbonated and quite thick.

Smell: Vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Fairly smoky.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Tastes like it smells. Mouthfeel is way too thin to stand up to the flavors.

Overall Drinkability: Not the best brown ale, but it's pleasant enough.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Dark clear brown/red with a filmy head with no carbonation. That's pretty much it.

Smell - Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Roasted Barley and Malts. Fairly sweet smelling and quite nice.

Taste - Chocolate, Cocoa, and Roasted Barley. Simple flavor but good.

Mouthfeel - Light and crisp. Carbonation is light so it's easy to drink.

Overall - Simple tasting brown ale but it's still good.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a conical pint glass.

The beer is a nice dark ruby mahogany with a frothy cream colored head that takes some time to recede. Really foamy lacing clings to the glass initially.

The aroma is rich in barley and malts, glazed over with a bit of caramel sweetness.

This is one of the sweetest, most delicious brown ales I've tasted in a while. Very malt-forward with a sweetened honey-like glaze in the beginning. A nice brown sugar body, and a toffee finish.

The mouthfeel is clean and medium to light.

Overall, I'm really impressed with this brown, certainly as a session beer. In fact, it may be too sweet with not enough hops to balance it out, but that's alright.

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Photo of Gstarkey
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very delicious brown ale. Pours a dark coppery brown with a slight one finger creamy looking head. Smells of medium roasted malt with slight toffee and nutty notes. The first thing you get right off the bat is the nutty toffee flavor . Then you get the sweet malt and chocolate notes. Finishes with a very subtle pleasant bitterness

Overall a very good, above average brown ale. I would actually prefer this beer over newcastle. Definitely worth picking up and trying. One of my favorites. Cheers.

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Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
3.66 out of 5 based on 902 ratings.
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