Downtown Brown | Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
405 Reviews
Read the review
Downtown BrownDowntown Brown

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

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 405 | Ratings: 890
Photo of merlin48
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, chestnut brown color with a small, ivory head that quickly fades into attractive sheet and patch lace.
Caramel malt dominates the nose, with a nuttiness in the background. Some English style hops are faintly picked up.
Mouthfeel reveals an active carbonation, and there is a peppery, hop bite on the tongue.
Taste features complex malt flavors of molasses and caramel. Some dark fruits(raisins and plums) emerge midway, and there is a definite, hazelnut presence that seems to emerge with the funky, hops bitterness in the background. This one has some malt character similar to a doppelbock.
An enjoyable, American brown ale that is more complex than expected.

 685 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear dark brown ale.

Smell is sweet with a whiff of chocolate malt and molasses. Mild fruity smell to this too.

Taste is sweetish with a smooth flavor of mostly roasted malt and very little hop.

Mouthfeel is less than average.

Drinkable, but not that great.

 278 characters

Photo of MobBarley
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fine brown ale that pours a luscious burnt umber with ruby highlights and also a healthy tan head. Smell is all roasted nuts and hops. The taste is tremendous and spot on for the style. The flavor of a dozen kinds of nuts dominates, but a smooth caramel toastiness takes over toward the end in tandem with a sharp hoppy bite. Mouthfeel is bready and wholesome and drinkability is tops. Hoist one of these and you shan't be disappointed.

 446 characters

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

Deep brown appearance, 1/4 inch soft tannish head. Simple but good lacing. Pleasant aroma, some chocolate tones and a bit of walnut. Mouthfeel is good to start, shy of medium but with nice restrained carbonation. A slight but distinct roastiness adds some character to the malt profile. Neutral overall sweetness. Finishes with slight hops but a bit more watery than the beer starts out with. Not a bad Brown at all, pretty easy quaffing beer here.

Source: Liquid Solutions

 476 characters

Photo of RootedFool
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 12 pack of seconds at the brewery.

Close to over-flowing, billowy and creamy dark tan head erupts on the pour, and very gradually decends. Color is a caliginous brown, actually had to squint to see that it's brown. Some shavings of lace cling to the glass.

Smell is a rich roasted nuttiness, some chocolate and coffee hints -- like a porter -- linger along the edges.

The taste opens with the roasted malty nuttiness evident in the nose, followed by a slight hop bitterness. Aftertaste is all rich roasted malts and a tinge of hops simmering on the palate. Mouthfeel is creamy without being chewy or cloying -- adds to the incredible drinkability of this beer.

You could almost fool me and call this a porter, if I had my eyes closed. But it's not a porter. Just one of the richest and most flavorful brown ales I've had.

One of my favorites from Lost Coast!

 885 characters

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one surprised me a little. Both the color and taste seemed more like a porter to me than a brown ale. I have never had a brown ale taste like this or pour so dark. It was very nice tasting, but it was odd because of the style confussion in my head. This is a good beer, but maybe a little too much for a brown.

 315 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich chocolate aroma, maybe a little coffee in there as well. Oatmeal cream colored head that didn't last long. Dark cola brown colored beer that lets just a little light through. The flavor is a nice balance between smooth maltiness and chocolate, with a little hop bite to balance the sweetness. The body is middle of the road and the mouthfeel is clean and smooth. A nice beer, easy drinking.

 395 characters

Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've never been a real fan of red and brown ales, but Downtown Brown is one that I've enjoyed for years. It's a nice change from the pale ales and IPA's that I normally enjoy. This one has a smooth blend of malt with a sweetness that is not at all overbearing. I sometimes am reminded of a Newcastle Ale, except this one goes down much better, has more character and is much more agreeable to the palate. The local watering hole in town finally has it on tap. Had one while enjoying the Purdue-Georgia bowl game and a submarine sandwich on New Year's Day. Lost Coast has some other tasty brews that I enjoy, such as 8 Ball Stout. It's a great brewery.

 651 characters

Photo of Reidrover
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok bought in the 22 oz brown bomber..slighly surreal chappy on the label.
Very nice appearance..deep garnet red coloured beer..appears brown when held away from the light..great frothy creamy off white head.
Aroma is good but a little subdues ,mainly od chocolate malts.
Wonderful tasteing brew...very chocolaty ( dark unsweetned)..very nice hop bite at the end, liquorice.
Great mouthfeel..creamy and smooth all the way.
A very nice and drinkable brown brown ale i have had in a long time.

 505 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber brown hue with a full thicket of tan lacing just beautiful appearance, lacing is speckled and spread out with no pattern to it. Aromatics is key in this beer, undertone of floral hop presence and mild chocolate tones from the dark roasts used here and a very mild coffee tone to it. Tastes vary between milky chocolate notes and finishing hops adding a balancing bitterness the dark roasted malts add a great tone of bitternesss to the overall flavor pretty damn good brown. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied brown with a smooth fluffy texture, can't beat it. Drinkability: Really nice to sip on if your into brown's the only other one I've tasted that compares to this is Avery's Ellie Brown Dog Ale very tasty.

 722 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at T. Phillips Alehouse (formerly Heroe’s Bar & Grill) in La Verne, CA. Had a dark brown color with ruby-tinged highlights. A modest, creamy tan head perched atop the brew and left nice sheet lacing all the way to the bottom.
Smell was an intriguing blend of caramel, roasted malt, and nuts with a hint of alcohol and a surprising smokey aroma. The taste was solidly based on roasted malt and had a mild nuttiness intermingled with that smokey flavor. The malt backbone was well supported by a decent bittering of hops in the finish. The feel was full and smooth.
Overall, this was a pleasing brew. I liked the unexpected addition of smokiness to the flavors of malts and nuts manning the ramparts. The hops bite made this a well balanced beer that made me think I was given the wrong beer at first. Worth trying if you see it. Downtown Brown has sparked my interest in the rest of Lost Coast Brewery’s line-up.

 929 characters

Photo of Mustard
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" date; no ABV %; purchased for $6.99/6 from the Beverage Warehouse down off Culver.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown with ruby highlights; smallish to midsized head; c-cup's worth of lace; head sticks around for about a minute.

Aroma: Benignly of toffee, malt and floral, woody hops; hints of chocolate.

Taste: Mild, toasty malt profile upfront and throughout; moderate bitterness in the finish; somewhat sweet; notes of roast and nuts; woody, soapy hop flavors; light to medium bodied with a crisp, prickly mouthfeel.

Notes: Have had this beer about ten times; have really enjoyed it fives of those times; have been turned off or indifferent to it the other five.

 746 characters

Photo of Dmann
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a supprising Brown ale. I am usually not a big fan of them, but this one tasted very good. It poured a very dark brown color and had a pretty good head but did not last long. The smell caught me kind of off guard with its smokey scent, but it intrigued me and I could not wait to drink. The flavor was great. It had a little bit of a nutty flavor which I expected, but it had a good hop bite and just a hint of smoke in there too which made this a wonderful drink. If I ever go for a Brown ale again, this will be my first choice

 538 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark Brown color, small tannish foamy head. Aroma is malty, nutty and slightly sweet. Lightly hopped. Roasted malts. Smooth and mild. Full flavor, somewhat malty, slightly nutty. Light taste. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is mild and nutty, slight bitterness.

 258 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brown ale poured a nice "brown" colour with a small, neatly shaped, off-white head. The aromas are of nuts, alcohol, candy, patent malts, hops, and more. The taste is a nice mix of nutty flavor, alcohol, hops, and heavy malts. This stuff reminds me of Rogues brown ale, or Sam Smiths brown ale! The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying and the drinkability is great too.


 379 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Dec. 2002, 22oz bomber. This brew was dying to get out of this bottle, cap nearly shot into space. Deep brown with sizable head, light retention and only minimal lacing. This didn't detract from enjoyment. Lots of carbonation in this bottle yet smooth and crisp. Aroma is super malty and sweet. Smells great in fact and reminds me of a good German Dunkel. This Brown's easily better than Newcastle in my opinion and has improved since the last time I had it a couple years ago. Flavor is malty and nutty and body is light yet completely enjoyable.

 555 characters

Photo of elmocoso
3.12/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. There was was a little beige head atop and a decent amount of lacing along the side of the glass as I drank.

There lacked a adequate smell here. There was a malty smell, but very slight. I would have liked to see more.

I detected, in the flavor, all those common to the brown except there was an uncommon roasted taste here that was interesting.

 429 characters

Photo of bierman2000
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice brown ale with a good chocolate balance and actually a nice hop finish. Dark brown in appearance with a malty nose with a hint of coffee. One of the smoother Brown Ales out there and these brewers are well known. Body is light and makes beer very drinkable.

 264 characters

Photo of Morris729
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown in color with a creamy light tan colored head that dissipates into a good amount of lace. Nose is sweet and malty with a touch of chocolate. Smooth in texture though the mouth feel is a bit on the thin side. Taste is roasted chocolaty malts followed by a mildly nutty flavor and a dry hop bitterness. Finish is a bit weak. A nice brown ale though nothing great. Thanks to Loki for the sample!

 409 characters

Photo of Loki
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz. bottle

Poured a dark brown with an one inch head that fades to a thin covering quickly. Leaves fantastic sheets of lacing.

Smells of malt, caramel, and toffee.

The taste was watery, I don't know if it was an old bottle or if it was too cold. After waiting for it to warm up a bit, it was indead too cold. After warming up a bit, I tasted malt, semi-chocolate chocolate. Finished clean, crisp and a little dry. The mouthfeel is a little light, but the drinkability is right on. A good beer, make sure it is just slightly chilled.

 559 characters

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

Dark brown in color. Aroma of fruit and a nice caramel. Slight chocolate aroma came through the more I was in contact with it. Moderate bitterness but not extremely noticeable as the beer is still all about hops. Chocolate, caramel and fruit flavors are the most noticeable. A very nice beer and bonus points for the cool label.

 328 characters

Photo of StevieW
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Snappy cartoon label. No freshness dating noticed.
Medium dark brown color. Minimal fizzy beige head. Initial smells of roasted carmel malt, and some sweet milk chocolate. Taste was smooth at first, toasted carmel, sweet chocolate smoothness. Some slighly harsh sulfer or metallic tastes present on the finish. Carmel malt sweetness lingers. Light bodied, water feel. Flavors and feel fall apart to a watery slick, and metallic second half of the glass. Brought a really good beer down to the middle of the pack.

 528 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA. Pours a dark brown color with a medium thick and foamy light brown head. Minimal head retention and lacing. Aroma is alternatingly malty and nutty. Sweet roasted malt and caramel flavors. Finish is pretty weak and was not sustained throughout the glass. I found myself uninterested by the end. Still it starts out pretty well so that is worth something.

 391 characters

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

Again another nice Lost Coast Label,beer also looked pretty good nice dark brown color with minimal head.Nice chocolaty smell with some earthiness to it.Taste was sweet but not overpoweringly chocolaty,nice soft malty brown ale.Was maybe a little thin in the mouthfeel dept at times though.All in all a good one.

 312 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2004 Tasting:
Diff from below: Full light brown head. Light coffee character all around. Still an excellent Brown !

Label States: "Smooth, medium bodied nut brown ale"

Per Lost Coast website: 1993 GABF - Bronze

'2613' lasered on bottle ('03' emb on bottom)
Tasted: 08/09/04

($1.61 / 12 oz bottle)

2002 Tasting:
Dark brown, almost black color with a light brown head. Nutty and light roasty malt aroma and taste. Tastes exactly like I thought it would from the aroma. Light bodied (close to medium).

Overall this beer has a very nice soft malt character and is extremely easy to drink. A great session beer!!

4.8% ABV (per a book that I have on Best American Beers).

 701 characters

Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
83 out of 100 based on 405 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.