Downtown Brown | Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe

909 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 909 |  Reviews: 411
Photo of cleverbeername
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

55* bottle, snifter

A dark dark brown. off white head, avg, but better than some

S hint of brown sugar, but almost not present

T wheat toast, nuts, hint of light brown coffee and maltiness

M mid mody, dry finish

D i would drink over new castle. worth the price

 265 characters

Photo of Stimack
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After knowing that my local store has carried Lost Coast beers for a number of years and that the proprietor said that they sell a lot of this product I thought I would give it a try. The brown was my first offering from this brewery. Poured to a clear medium brown color, some reddish highlights. Had a somewhat small light tan head that had good retention though the lacing was minimal. The aroma was of roasted malts and a nice nutty scent also there seems to be a slight coffee and chocolate presence but they are in the background. Some hops seem to be there but for me they where not clearly definable. The flavor was similar to the nose; roast and crystal toffee/caramel flavors give it a nice drinkable flavor with a slight coffee roast that tries to peak through. The hops that are there give a nice finish at the end but I wish they where a little more pronounced. Now, I am not sure if it is the beer itself or possibly the age where the hops could have fallen out over time. Over all this was a pleasant brew but nothing there really grabbed my attention where I would look for this one again. To many other Brown Ales that hit my mark.

 1,148 characters

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

A - Poured a brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of slightly sweet caramel malt in the nose

T - Follows the nose with caramel malt flavor with a touch of chocolate

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a solid brown thats easy to drink with a good taste overall a well made beer thats worth trying sometime

 371 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with a ruby hue. A thin tan head tops it off. The head eventually wears down to a wide patch. A little trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of toast, caramelish graininess and slight powdery cocoa. There is an underlying vague fruitiness.

The taste is of sweet cocoa and caramelish graininess. A touch of roast and a vague fruitiness come through in the semi-sweet finish.

Medium-bodied with medium carbonation, some sweetness lingers though finish is relatively abrupt.

A decent, somewhat thinnish, brown ale that is easy enough to drink.

 553 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a gift pack.

Sheets of lacing coat the glass in a concentric formation of rings. Ruby brown in the light. Not the best retention, but whatever.

Toasty, nutty aroma, mildly sweet. Brings to mind sweet dark pumpernickel bread. Flavor is similar, toasty cereal, nutty malts that are hard to define. Clean with no off flavors, fairly satisfying as it warms, like a cereal milkshake. Maybe not that satisfying after all... eh.

Medium bodied as the label says, easy to drink. Good transition beer, for the non-craft drinker.

 540 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, dark russett brown with a fluffy tan head that leaves blobs of sliding lace behind on the glass. The smell is toasted grain, anise and a mineraly quality I can't put my finger on. I'm giving the taste a score of four because it says "light" brown ale right on the label, what else could you hope for but a flavorful and easy drinking 5% ABV brown, and it does deliver that. Mild coffee and dark chocolatey malt balance nicely with a minty hop quality. Medium light bodied and a bit more carbonated than I would like in this beer. Extreme? not even close. Drinkable? yeah, it is and it's a pretty good session beer option.

 628 characters

Photo of luchris80
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tasting Notes: Stored in the fridge and served in a mug/stein.

Aroma: Very lightly roasted malt with low hop aroma in back. Slightly nutty, maybe maple nose.

Appearance: Medium to dark brown color. Slight, light tan head that slowly dissipates (at first). Clear with a few rising bubbles visible.

Flavor: Medium malty flavor. Moderate to light hops and slightly dry at the end. A little finish flavor that matches the nose (low aroma intensity/body).

Mouthfeel: Medium to low body with light carbonation. Some dryness on palate.

Overall Impressions: Easy drinking dark(er) beer. The appearance left me expecting more body and flavor.

 638 characters

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

Served into a standard pint glass at about 40 degrees.

Pours a dark brown with a light ruby tint & an off-white froth. Moderate lacing...nothing spectacular. The nose offers somewhat sweet aromas of roasted caramel malts, coffee, lightly roasted nuts, chocolate, &, strangely enough, a definite raspberry character (maybe they tapped the raspberry brown instead?) The beer shows some malty weight (however, very crisp and easy to drink) on the palate with very little hop presence and a medium finish. Overall, this is a great gateway brown for people that want to try something new. Very smooth & easy to drink, but nothing too complex. A solid brew.

 652 characters

Photo of pants678
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Downtown is a deep mahogany, a lot like Sam Smith's Nut Brown. The head is a light beige that sustains as just a lacing. It's bubbly, not dense or frothy.

A real thick aromatic of molasses and strong toasted malts. There's an apparent sticky, oaked caramel that's for sure enticing.

Taste is similar to an Oktoberfest, the malt character specifically but with compliments of brown sugar. There's a bit of cinnamon that hangs around the same woody caramel that's in the nose. The middle is not so robust, in fact it seems to thin out. The aftertaste is all but harsh but has a short hue of pine and coffee.

It's a pretty hefty carbonation that keeps pungent flavors from being piercing (see DFH's Palo Santo Maron). This brown has some weight to it, but that's the nature of the type.

 786 characters

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a beautiful off white head. Lots of frothy gootness.

Smells pretty good, though slightly weak. Sweet malts, nuts, and other goodies dominate.

The taste is a little thin. It tastes true to style, but slightly watery. It livens up as it warms, but not too much. Not a bad attempt, but I know they could do better.

Again, slightly thin. The carbonation level is nice, but the beer is a little watery.

Unfortunately the watery nature of this bottle takes away from drinkability. I would love to try it on tap or even a bottle closer to its source. This isn't the first beer I've had to not fare too well from its journey across the country.

 669 characters

2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Downtown Brown. Another Lost Coast poster child. For a person who isnt particularly fond of brown ales, this one isnt all that bad. its appears alot darker than it tastes. it has a sharp aroma of hops with subtle hints of coffee and chocolate. its tangy on the tongue, more bitter than sweet, but keeps you coming back for more. Has a light feel, dark bite, and a descent finish. a beer that would a make a better dessert beer than anything else. the bitterness of it would pair nicely with sweets like chocolates or creams, although its not as heavy as a stout or porter, so you might catch yourself handling a few more than you anticipated before you realize it.

 664 characters

Photo of Bajasith
3.46/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Heard this beer was similar to New Castle so I decided to give it a drink.
Appearance/Smell: Pours much darker than New Castle for a brown ale, more like a light roasted coffee look. Smell is like that of light roasted coffee beans with a hint of burnt caramel.
Taste/Mouthfeel: I would have to say Dowtown Brown is a full bodied brown ale compared to New Castle because of it's color and great nutty/caramel with a hint of roasted malt/hop tinge at the end.
I could see myself downing a six pack of these brews along with some ceviche... Hmmm

 544 characters

Photo of seand
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a medium dark translucent reddish brown, with a small amount of light tan head. The head that does show up mostly dissipates, leaving a ring around the edge of the glass which provides so-so lacing.

S: Sweet, brown sugar and maybe caramel. Smells nice, if fairly one dimensional.

T: Somewhat sweet, with some nutty and earthy tones. Little to no hop presence.

M: Fairly highly carbonated, with a light to medium body. Slightly sticky aftertaste.

D: It's not too heavy, reasonable ABV, no big flavors, but still tastes pretty good, so it's a winner here.

 566 characters

Photo of velosuds
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Paid $2.89 on sale at local health foods store. Normally sells for $3.55.

A-Pours a medium chestnut brown with almost two finger light tan head that recedes quickly leaving only scant lacing.

S-Somewhat subdued but chocolate malt, a slight nuttiness, and a hint of grapefruit hops. Not robust enough.

T-Chocolate dominates the taste with a nutty essence. Malty sweetness followed by the balancing bitterness of the hops finished with a nutty-chocolate flavor reminiscent of chocolate cover nuts without all the work of chewing. A nice flavor profile.

M-Very smooth with a balanced complexion, but it is a tad thin.

D-A good English style brown ale and very drinkable.

If the brewer improved the aroma and mouthfeel characteristics, this would be a very good beer.

 848 characters

Photo of sliverX
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a translucent deep brown with a small tan head that lasted a short while
Smell was very much malt and a hint of nuttiness
Taste followed suit with the noise
Mouthfeel was a medium to thin brew, smooth
Drinkability is pretty good, about perfect for a Brown Ale

 268 characters

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

from bottle poured into a wine glass

Appearance is dark brown with traces of ruby. tan dissapating head. moderate lacing.

Aroma is sweet and roasty, fairly malty and nutty. not too complex.

Taste, sweat and clean, very clean, with a nice nutty malty finish.

Mouthfeel is light carbonation and, again very clean.

Drinkability is smooth and tasty.

All in all not the most complex beer in the world but nice and well rounded. good for a relaxing drink.

 455 characters

Photo of n0rc41
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good all around beer. This is my girlfriends favorite beer so far....Poured into a pint glass. nice dark color with brown creamy head. Tasted of dark malts and little nutty-carmel tastes to it. went down smooth with nice after taste. I had thsi beer on tap and in the bottle. I prefer it out of the tap....from a pint glass I think it tasted better....

 352 characters

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

Lost Coast Downtown Brown is a dark brown ale that has a shade of dim garnet. It's crystal clear with a dense, creamy, light coffee colored head. It has excellent retention and leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. It has a toasty, nutty aroma with notes of roasted dark chocolate, walnut bread and a fruity grassiness. It's medium bodied, soft and smooth with a slightly gritty finish. It's fruity and roasty tasting. It's chocolaty but only a hint sweet. It has nice balance and it's a bit warming. It's a well executed brown ale.

 538 characters

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

A: Pours a dark, nutty brown. I gave it about a finger thick head. It dissipated quickly and left only a little bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet malts, spices, with a slight nuttiness. Most of what I notice about this is the surprising sweetness and how the nuttiness is unusually subdued for this style (although, admittedly, I am not super familiar with it).

T: Bittersweet with a strong nuttiness. Chocolate malts with citric hops. Sort of unusual, but delicious. Tastes sort of like grapefruit, but sweeter.

M/D: Medium-thick body with quite a bit of carbonation. Still I've had a really hard time slowing down on this stuff. It's really tasty, really easy to drink.

 677 characters

Photo of aristeros
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Second brown ale of the evening, and the last one was a tough act to follow. Poured into a pint glass. Nice two fingers of fluffy head, good retention and some lacing. Brown with ruby highlights in the light. Smells sweet, chocolate and banana, some nuts, specifically walnuts. Pretty good so far.

Up front, strong walnuts, followed by sweet malt and light caramel. Fairly mild. Slightly bitter, lightly roasted malt finish that's more like a porter than a brown ale, but it's not overwhelming and works well with this beer.

A watery texture and lighter body than I expected from the nose, with a moderate amount of carbonation. More 'summer-appropriate' than most brown ales.

Definitely a decent beer, laid back and reasonably complex without trying to be too bold. Not quite as good as the Rogue's Hazelnut Brown, but it has its own unique qualities that would cause me to choose this one over the Rogue or the more aggressive browns.

 940 characters

Photo of jminsc76
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The body is a dark brown (duh!) with a slight tinge of red around the edges. Didn't notice too much head on this one, but the color of what is there is light brown with a slightly grayish tinge.

Initial aromas of coffee and bananas, with more almonds as it warms. An excellent bouquet.

Very roasty and nutty flavors on the front, with more espresso flavors on the finish. Even a little chocolate somewhere in the middle. The flavors are fairly rich but also well balanced; almost drinks like an English Porter but with more of the nuttiness of a brown and less of the chocolate/cocoa of a porter.

A medium-body mouthfeel, with a bit of a kick on the palate from the malts. Highly drinkable.

I cannot figure out why this one gets an overall B rating from other beer reviewers. I think this has been a very successful beer for a reason, and would chalk it up to both a nice intensity and a refreshing balance, with plenty of complexity in the nose and palate. Is it my favorite English brown? No. That would go to Rogue's Hazelnut. But I would come back to this one repeatedly.

 1,083 characters

Photo of taxguyjase
3.04/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had some Lost Coast beers and they were pretty good, so figured I would most likely enjoy the Lost Coast Downtown Brown. That did not prove true with the Brown, which just not what I expected. The beer started off nice with a really oaty, malty aroma. It went downhill quickly though, as the head was pretty wimpy and the beer itself looked more like an amber or red, rather than a brown.

The flavor was malty at first, then ended sweet, which I didn't care for. I expect a more robust taste with a brown and this wasn't it. On a good note, this was a smooth beer, but unfortunately not one I would buy again.

Smell - 3.5/5.0 - nice oaty malt smell
Appearance - 2.5/5.0 - Wimpy head, more amber color than brown; head was gone quick
Flavor - 3.0/5.0 - there was some malt taste, with a sweeter finish - not what I would expect in a brown
Feel - 3.5/5.0 no aftertaste, pretty smooth
Drinkability - 2.5/5.0 - not my style of brown, so won't be picking this one up again

 975 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The logo for Lost Coast is very eye catching if you ask me. Their labels are not far behind in visual appeal. I hope what's behind those two stands out as well. Poured into my pint glass the beer is a reddish brown hue with emphasis on the brown. Nice thick creamy tan head that peaks right to the top of my glass. The head leaves a decent amount of sticky lace around the rim. The aroma is wonderful. Cotton candy like sweetness with chocolate and caramel. It smells like a melted candy bar. Or a mocha latte with five tablespoons of sugar. The flavor is nowhere near as sweet. Which is a good thing since it would be too much if it were. A moderate cocoa flavor that's nutty and malty overall. Very mild and easy on the tastebuds. Medium body with enough carbonation to keep my tongue interested. Overall this beer is very easy to drink. Maybe not a stand-out for the style but, a solid effort.

 896 characters

Photo of dbtoe
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good brown, not my first or second choice but a good one to try. A little more Smokey than I like in a brown. It tastes more like a porter to me.
Look is a nice darker brown with a very small head that reduces to a small ring quickly.
Smell is pretty mild a little roasted malt and some sweetness.
Taste was stronger than I thought it would be from the smell. Nutty and sweet with a Smokey bitterness.
Feel is fairly smooth and finishes clean. Good carbonation.
Drink I had a few of these, 4, and could have easily finished the sixer in one sitting.

 560 characters

Photo of dislogik
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this for a friend that came to town and exclusively drinks stouts and porters. I too enjoy stouts and porters, but not normally during hot Vegas summers. This beer however is a good choice for summer drinking. It's easy to drink and doesn't over power the taste buds or leave a heavy after taste. It has a slight hit of chocolatey bitterness when it first strikes the tongue. It's a very dark brown with a slight transparency that reflects a deep crimson. As a side note on smell, it didn't have any outstanding aromas in which to speak. That aside it is a good beer that I would recommend as an alternative to most summer beers.

 636 characters

Downtown Brown from Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe
3.66 out of 5 based on 909 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.