Brekle's Brown | Anchor Brewing Company

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Brekle's BrownBrekle's Brown

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Single hopped with Citra.

Added by largadeer on 03-07-2011

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Reviews: 310 | Ratings: 855
Photo of Pahn
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled November 29, 2011, drank January 9, 2012.

Appearance: Free pour yields an inch of brownish white head that dissipates steadily and lacelessly. The beer is slightly hazy and is a color somewhere between ruby and maroon. Leaves a few small streaks of lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: Cascade-reminiscent hops (can't tell it's Citra) that don't make themselves known again afterward.

In the glass: Cinnamon-like spiciness, fresh grains like not-yet-boiled pale malts, with some underlying sweetness. Slight bubblegum / cinnamon gum aroma that slowly turns to caramel (maybe I'm crazy).

Interesting transformation of the aroma. I think there's a characteristic smell in many Anchor beers, sort of a fruity pastry smell, and it comes out in this one as well. Matches great with the fresh malt.

Taste: Very malt forward, with pastry and grain flavors up front, resolving with some tingly carbonation, bready flavors, and low but noticeable hop bitterness, finishing dry and clean. Grains have that same "taste the ingredients" freshness as in the aroma.

One main element in the flavor is a sort of "dark hard candy caramel" flavor... like maybe Werther's Original or something (I rarely eat candy, much less this kind, so it's hard to be specific here). It's caramel candies that you suck on because they're too hard to chew. Also a very slight cherry flavor, and a little bit of vegetal hop influence.

Solid American brown ale.

Mouthfeel: The flavor is good, but the mouthfeel is exceptional. Light side of medium bodied, smooth and creamy up front leading to a slightly sharp tingle of carbonation and hop bitterness, finishing very dry. Spot on.

Overall: This is a good, straightforward beer. Not too crazy, but still some interesting flourishes in the flavor. I'd like to taste the hops a little more, but that's a mild complaint.

Most likely a repeat buy. I'm a sucker for really well made beer, where the ingredients shine and the mouthfeel is perfect.

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Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of the newest additions to the Anchor Brewing lineup is the Brekle's Brown Ale. First brewed in 2010, this brown ale pays homage to their very first brewmaster. Sometime in 2011 they started bottling the Brekle's for distribution and this 12oz little guy found its way to our desk as a sample.

Brekle's Brown Ale pours out a nice dark brown color, mostly opaque but some light still makes it through. The lively foam is a light tan color, and lingers a bit longer than expected. Very little lacing left behind on the glass but that's not surprising. Aromas are nicely malty, slightly sweet with just a touch of caramel and toffee.

Flavors are great! The Brekle's Brown Ale is flavorful but super smooth. Completely dominated by malty flavors, I'm not picking up any hops bitterness at all. That being said it's not a candy-sweet style, as the Brekle's finishes nicely dry.

I can honestly say this is the single best beer I've every had from Anchor Brewing! It's smooth yet flavorful, refreshing yet satisfying: I'm legitimately impressed! This is a brew that we'll definitely be adding to our selection as soon as our distributors make it available to us. If you've never tried the Brekle's Brown, I'd suggest stopping in for a try.

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Photo of nimrod979
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours somewhat of a reddish brown. Big two finger off white almost tan rocky head. Pretty decent retention.
Aroma is caramel malts. dark fruit. Brown sugar. Slight roasty and a faint citrus hop aroma.
Taste is sweet caramel malts. Some roastiness and citrusy bitterness coming from the hops. Dark fruits. I don't think it really meshes too well. Kinda of all ver the place. Don't care for it that much.
Smooth and creamy mouthfeel medium bodied. Sometimes feels a little watery but it's clean with a lingering hop bitterness that offsets the sweetness of the malts. Unique.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper red that muddies to brown with a creamy tan head.

Smells of citrus and pine followed by malt and a faint hint of caramel.

Taste is bitter citrus and pine up front followed by a good sting of carbonation which gives way to a slick malt backbone. It finishes dry with coffee and caramel notes. A very good and interesting ale, but it tastes a little watery in spots.

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Photo of shand
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

This brew pours a deep brown with red highlights. Head is fairly small. Aroma is good, sweet malts and a bit of nuttiness. Big caramel aroma here. The taste is very good, this is quite the interesting brown ale. It might seem like it's going to be a cloying sugar bomb when it first hits your tongue, with huge amounts of caramel and sweet malts hitting the tongue. However, there's a fairly substantial amount of hoppiness (for the style, that is) that comes in the finish, along with a touch of roastiness that really helps to balance things out. The mouthfeel is perfectly substantial and well-carbed, and the drinkability is very good. Overall, yet another winner from Anchor. I find Anchor are really one of the most underrated breweries. They really don't do anything "extreme," but I've never had anything less than a great beer from them.

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Photo of Dodt
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

since bombers of anchor products are hard to come by in my neck of the woods i decide to pick this one up . poured from the bomber into a pint glass.
deep amber in color with a nice head. wonderful aroma and taste of roasted malt. for me not a great beer but a good beer none the less.

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Photo of warnerry
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep clear amber/brown with two fingers of tan head. Head has very good retention and leaves rings of nice lacing.

S - Aroma is pretty faint, but I think I pick up some toasted malts and a bit of brown bread. Also a faint sweetness.

T - Mostly malt, with toasted brown bread and a bit of caramel. Citrus hops come in midway, but the finish is again very malty.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a bit of bitterness and a dry, earthy finish.

O - Not the most exciting, but a pretty solid brown ale. I was watching the Prohibition documentary from Ken Burns recently, and all the still photos from the '20s and '30s with people holding dark beers in hand made me wonder what beers were like in America before the adjunct lager took over. While I know bocks were pretty popular back then, I couldn't help but feel like I was drinking a historical beverage while downing this one (minus the Citra hops, of course).

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Photo of ithacabaron
3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The appearance, when held up to the light, is of a bright velvet cake red. When the pint sits on the table, it's something of a bruised brown. A thin cap of foam sits on the top. Not the most impressive brew.

Smell is rather nice. Tons of candied chestnuts on the front end, with a fog of that oh-so-distinctive Anchor yeast There are underlying whiffs of unsweetened cocoa powder and maple.

Taste is a tale of two stories. It starts out full of sweet cream and caramel, but, mid-swallow, a sharp and acidic bolt comes out of the blue. Unearned bitterness. The finish intensifies with more of the same, leaving an unpleasant, astringent, kiwi-like flavor on the tongue. A weirdo, and not in a good way.

Mouthfeel is fine, albeit a little low. Could use some a thicker, fuller feel.

Overall, somewhat nice, somewhat a disappointment. I think Anchor could make a truly tremendous brown ale (the yeast is born for the job), but this isn't it. Scrap the Citra, dose up the brown and chocolate malts, and bring it again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured too aggressive and got a huge 2+ finger head fluffy, dvds fades semi slowly with lots of lacing, semi clear darker mahogany ruby brown color.

Nose toasty brown malts, light sweet brown sugar, interesting soft steam beer that brings a lager like crispness and fruity demeanor. All that blended with a light fruity grassy hop.

Taste starts a bit sweet but not much, with a toasty brown malt and light brown sugar, and hint of toffee caramel and even slightly nutty. Then again with the light crisp malty like steam beer that gives it a lager like crispness and hint if fruity flavors. Hops barely come into play a first but bring a light grassy fruity hop and hint if spicy bitterness. Finish is slightly bitter with grassy hops, light sweet brown malts but dry, and a bit more of the crisp lager like.

Mouth is med to slightly lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall a nice beer, perfect touch of hop bitterness, nice brown malts, good stream lager flavors, soft with plenty of flavor and very drinkable.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.54/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

$2.09 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. Brewed with 2-row pale, caramel, and munich, hopped with Citra. 6.0% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear mahogany, forming a tall creamy tan head with excellent retention and solid sheets of lace. Mild to moderate carbonation. The aroma is that of a pale ale, with nice citric hops sitting on top of a malt base with toffee with the suggestions of hazelnut or walnuts. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, with a light acidity. It's a little watery feeling. The taste is pretty good...a recap of the aroma with a nice balance between the flavors, however as I get further into the beer, I pick up on wet cardboard and newspaper and slight fusels, like an open fermentation that was a little too warm. I wonder if they used their normal yeast strain on this because it tastes a little different than their other beers. Not a very clean example of the style.

Brown ales in general are not my favorite, and I don't really enjoy this one either. As far as brown ales go, I don't think it's very good. I'd rather have Bells Best Brown, Moose Drool, or Goose Islands Winter mild, which are much much better.

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Photo of laituegonflable
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a shiny red colour, clear, with nice beige head; visible bubbles but a nice dense foamy top. Lace streaks around the glass. Good-looker.

Smells quite potent. Malty sweetness with a fair quantity of hot booze behind it. Slight weizeny esters - banana and vanilla, touch of coconut maybe and some brass. Could be more toned down heat-wise and yet more kick could be added, with hops or spice for balance. Not bad, though.

Taste is quite disappointing. Just lacks a lot of the character of the nose - grainy with a touch of rye bread, some corn notes and a distinct pear-apple ester. Hint of copper towards the back but ultimately finishes thin and flat, without really much flavour at all. Not offensive; not really anything. Like a hollowed-out shell of a nice American ale.

Bit of body to it, but not a lot of texture. Strikes me as dull.

Really needs a whole lot more done to it. It's bland, in spite of the hints it displays of bold flavours.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear, dark, ruby red liquid that borders on brown. The light brown head is thin but creamy and has decent retention.

S- Butter, cocoa powder, some light fruitiness, and some pine.

T- Butter, honey, cocoa, pine, mango, and caramel. A pretty unique combination of flavors.

M- The body is light and the finish is pretty clean with just. Few lingering flavors.

O- A unique take on the style. Although there are a lot of flavors, I feel that this is rather simple- which is not a bad thing. Nice for something different.

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Photo of heelsn02
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into New Belgium snifter.

Qtr inch off white / creamy head (not much though)... head dissipated very fast. Nice brown/ reddish color towards the bottom of my glassware

Really nice toffee/ caramel malty smell... very sweet.

Malty caramel taste... bitter finish. Definitely some "anchor" malt if you know what I mean. Just get that classic anchor flavor. hard to describe...

Smooth mouthfeel... good carbonation...

Overall... pretty solid offering from Anchor. Tastes like a brown version of the classic anchor steam brew, which I've always been a big fan of.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: incredibly deep copper-brown color, full tan head that kept it all the way, clear
S: mild roasted malt with spicy hops
T: deep roasted malt up front with good hop bitter finish that is well-balanced and not overpowering, a bit of metallic bite in finish that subdued over time
M: decent with a bit of metallic bite in finish that subdued over time

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Photo of gatornation
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 12 oz bottle

A- pours a mahogany brown color with cherry striations a fluffy tan head that recedes quickly with some nice lacing

S- was malty with dark fruit smells and malts, hops and bread

T- roasted malts, baked bread, some dark fruit tastes , a touch of hops, raisens and spice

M- was thin but full of taste with medium carbonation and a dry and fruity/malty finish

O- very nice brown slick and tasty will drink this one again

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Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat dark orangish-brown with nice initial head, leaving slight lacing.

Smell: Caramel and roasted malt with some definite citrus and spice from the Citra hops.

Taste: Tastes like a Brown Ale with Citra, with caramel, nuts and a light roastiness offset by a somewhat spicy, bitter and citrusy finish. Some sips it seems like there is too much Citra; other sips not enough. Odd that the balance never seems quite right. Some lingering sweetness as well.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, fairly dry finish.

Overall: While definitely enjoyable, it does not mesh as well as hoped and is somewhat of a letdown for Anchor.

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Photo of Clembo1957
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tribute to the Brewer Gottlieb Breke who founded what would bcome years later The Anchor Brewery in San Francisco.

Poured from a 1 pint 6oz bottle with a good head which quickly dies, Brown in color (as the name suggests) Brekle's comes in a larger version of the iconic Anchor bottle, in fact i'll definitely keep the bottle when i've finished the beer.

A malty brown ale made with Citra hops, a good beer as a one off but not one i'd select on a regular basis, having said that it goes down well and is worth checking out. Good but nothing earth shattering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Brekle's Brown
22 oz. bottle; $6 @ Capone's, Norristown PA
Code date: 10Z

Appearance: Clear, crimson-accented mahogany brown body beneath a creamy head of tan. Very good head retention, and good lacing.

Aroma: Fruity and berry-like. A slight touch spicy. Lightly sweet malt note. Whiff of chocolate.

Taste: Bright and fresh. The berry-like fruitiness found in the nose returns. I'm pretty sure that's due to a combination of yeasty fruitiness and the citra hops. It's really unique, and quite charming. The malt is restrained, lending just a hint of sweetness and a mild dark-caramel/chocolate note. Some brighter fruity notes (orange, apple, red grape, pear) swirl in the background, and some raisin appears towards the finish. It's gently bitter, and very well balanced. It finishes with a splash of fruitiness that fades into a lingering, dry, brown malt roastiness with a touch of residual chocolate, and some woody and grassy hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body and moderately carbonated. Silky smooth and gently creamy.

Overall: Impressive! Quite nice. Unique. It's an easy drinker, but watch out for the surprising 6% ABV.

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Photo of StoutishDan
2.82/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can't really tell why I decided to review this beer. Since my last review I've tried my share of stellar beers. I love Browns, so I picked up a 22oz of this at Total Wine Kennesaw (phenomenal place and good prices). I thought I'd give this one a swig.

A - Head is hanging on by a hair now that I've taken a few sips (and gulps) here and there. Deep red in color. It's a little cloudy.

S - Typical American Brown...a little hoppy on the nose. Bitterly sour hues. Nutty and yet, not mildly so. This is reminding me how much I have disliked every American Brown Ale I've this REALLY an American Brown. Buggs!

T - Not as sour and hoppy as I had expect from the smell. Sweet malty character shining through. The hoppiness is still there, but quickly fades, welcoming the next taste. Carmelly sweetness is definitely there.

O - Grant it, I wouldn't order this beer while out with friends. Although, if someone was to buy me this beer specifically, I'd drink it and enjoy it. On my scale from 0-100 I give it an 80.

I again realize that I am definitely an English Brown kind of guy.


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Photo of pmsawyer
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - medium clear brown. Good head decent head retention.

Aroma - caramel and malt sweetness some spice.

Taste - initial malt sweetness offset by hop bitterness that lingers a bit. Hops come through in the initial bitterness and the lingering aftertaste.

Texture - medium body, smooth carbonation

Overall - very drinkable variation on a brown ale. Citra hops worked well with the very malty character of the beer.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

review #400! 22oz bottle, a larger version of the iconic shape of the Anchor bottles. Code of 10Z on the back, not sure what that means.

appears a clear brown color with amber highlights. thin cream colored head that hangs around - good retention.

aroma of brown sugar, a little milk chocolate. taste is bready, biscuity malt. clean, slightly sweet. thin to medium body, higher carbonation. easy drinkin' .

first time I've seen this brew, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with a tan head. Clear as can be. Caramelized sugar with a hint of chocolate in the aroma. Not very strong but pleasant. Taste very similar to smell, awesome dark sugar flavors but not grossly sweet. Couldn't tell you what hops are in here, notable bitterness but not a very distinct hop flavor. Clean yeast, fairly neutral in taste. Smooth and drinkable, with a light acidity at the end of the sip. Not my favorite style of beer, but this beer is very impressive. Delicious and remarkably balance.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

640ml tubby Anchor bottle, shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a really pleasant deep red-brown, almost mahogany hue, quite transparent and clear, with a filmy and bubbly head of turmeric coloured foam, bright when swirled. Some speckled lacing, decent weight to the body. Looks pretty fine—it certainly looks like a beer that has had some craft put into it.

Nose is mild with sweet sugary characters, and a hint of spice. I get very little hint of the Citra, although there's a powdery sweetness and rosewater hint that gives it a bit of a lift. OVerall, it's pretty mild, but pleasant enough.

Taste is better, with the malt coming through, giving a toasted raisin loaf character along with hints of banana bread. This is balanced (and perhaps accentuated) by a slight hop astringency, which adds its own complexity, but seems more to enhance the malty characters—much as a judicious dash of salt brings out the flavours in a savoury dish. Feel is clean and very light.

A solid enough beer, and a well-made one. But while it has no obvious flaws or faults, it just not that damn exciting.

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Photo of tapman
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Large cinammon-colored head leaves a shattered glass (windshield) lacing and sits atop a dark plum body. Head dissipates rather quickly and it appears filtered (no sediment). Has the typical Anchor dark ale smell (at least to me) of dutch chocolate, toffee and minty herbal-ness. Taste wise I'm getting a lot of phenolic flavors, which are not abnormal though is different for an American brown, and hay, though not miller light hay, I'm talking fresh, grassy hay. Also in the taste is German low sugar chocolate biscuits. Mouth is light and crisp and not heavy, like the label suggests. Overall an interesting American Brown and while this is still not nearly my favorite style, this one is a little more interesting than some, though more phenolic-like than any other.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a fat 22oz bomber into my Samuel Smith nonic.

Cloudy, nearly opaque sienna liquid with a lasting pasty finger of khaki foam. Sticky lacing, vague lagues, superior retention.

Hops permeate the nose with candied fruit and herbs. CITRA is a bit of an odd choice for a brown ale in my opinion but it almost works in this case.

Cocoa, coffee, kumquat, sherry vinegar (very light, not oxidation), and agave are suggested on the palate. Gentle tart bitterness offsets the toasty malt notes. Finishes dry with hints of green tobacco and dandelion greens (though not vegetal).

Medium-light bodied, creamy, well carbonated...

While I prefer their porter (and this is in someways similar), it's interesting to see Anchor's take on the single-hop trend.

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Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 855 ratings.
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