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: 311 | Ratings: 856
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A brown ale made with Citra hops? Why yes please, what a joyous experiment. Pours dark brown with ample mocha foam, much like a porter. Aroma is a juxtaposition of strong citrus/tropical fruit and dark malts. Amazing complexity in the form of citrus (orange, blood orange, lime), mango, passion fruit, papaya, peach, and brown bread, almond nougat, chocolate, coffee, and brown sugar from the malts. Some body and residual sweetness coupled with a dry bitter finish from the hops. Really quite an aggressive brown ale that captures the malt aspects of the style but obviously experimental in the hopping. I like it but maybe not every day.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a medium brown color with a slight, beige head. The aroma is very malty. The taste is very sweet from malts and burnt sugars. Also in the mix are molasses, caramel, and a slightly bitter finish. This is surprisingly very good yet a complex brown ale.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a BB of July 2014. Purchased a while back from Trembling Madness in York, and stored in my garage. Described on the label as a tribute to Gottlieb Brekle, the founder of the original Anchor brewery in the 1850s.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. Bottle conditioned. A deep reddish-brown hue with medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of grainy caramel malt with hints of roasted malt, brown sugar, faint chocolate, stewed leaves and earthy yeast. Somewhat sweet, with a twinge of harsh cardboard in the background.

Tastes of subtle roasted malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, caramel/toffee, brown sugar, mild chocolate, stewed leaves, harsh cardboard and faint earthy yeast. Possesses a slight malty sweetness followed by an acrid bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with pleasant carbonation and decent body for the style. Could perhaps be a tad thicker. Rather astringent, with an aftertaste of harsh cardboard, stewed leaves and mild caramel malt.

OK, though nothing special. To be fair, I've never been particularly enamoured of brown ales. This one looks nice, with a lovely colour when held to the light. However the aroma and flavour, while malty, are quite bland and plagued by an undesirable harshness. Body is par for the course. It meets expectations, though the taste could be cleaner and fresher. Worth trying, but no need to seek it out.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a deep, hazy copper brown. Lots of red on the edges of the body with penetrating light. Good, 2.5 finger head forms and retains well. Lacing is good to very good with a solid, consistent lattice-work down the glass.

S- Can definitely get a dose of the citra hops here. Moderate hops bitterness is on the nose, along with some semisweet brown and burnt malts. Hops are more floral and citrus-like than pine-like.

T- Starts with some hops bitterness, light to moderate in strength. Some more traditional brown ale flavors move in with a definite nutty, roasted favor. The roasted and hops bitterness flavors intermingle and provide a somewhat unique flavor for the beer.

M- Highly carbonated and on the lighter end of the weight spectrum. Wouldn't be able to have more than 2 or 3 of these, but still not a bad weight.

Overall, even if this is almost two years old, this is still a good beer. I think the roasted malt flavors would be more rominent in a fresher beer, but this is an interesting flavor either way with the brown ale flavors as well as the hops bitterness.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown with a huge darker head.

S: Fruity, sugary, syrup, nuts, grapefruit.

T: Solid nutty malty backbone with a bit of bitterness at the end for balance. Solid.

M: Medium

O: Solid. NIce aroma and taste; there is nothing wrong with this beer.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber-tinged brown with a creamy khaki head. Head retention is quite good, but lacing is fairly modest.

S: Aromas of blood orange, mandarin orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, mango, and papaya fight against maltier scents of brown sugar, dark chocolate, caramel, biscuit, roasted nuts, and molasses.

T: Notes of brown sugar, nougat, vanilla bean, dark bread, dark chocolate, roasted nuts, caramel, biscuit, molasses, lemon, lime, mandarin orange, blood orange, mango, grapefruit, overripe papaya, and fresh herbs assault the palate. The finish is turbulent and relatively bitter with robust caramel, nut, brown sugar, blood orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit notes.

M: On the lighter side of medium and a bit slick for the style. Carbonation is firm, crisp, and a bit forceful. Not difficult to drink, but just ever so slightly overcarbonated and slick for my tastes.

O: I kind of like the idea of this beer: put Citra hops in a brown ale and see what happens. The problem is that it doesn't quite work. The hops fight and ultimately overpower the malt flavors here and this is difficult to miss, as this beer is so light, slick, and heavily carbonated. Probably one of the most turbulent brown ales I've ever had, I kind of think this one should be treated as a unique experimental brew and rated as such. In the end, I do not find Brekle's Brown to be bad at all, but I do not find it to be all that appealing either. I kind of don't know precisely how I feel about it. I suppose I can say that if you are a fan of the style, it's worth trying once, though I doubt this is the kind of brown ale fans of the style will reach for on a regular basis.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured dark brown with a big frothy mocha colored head that left chunky lace.

S- Big lemon, peach, toasted caramel malt, molasses, sticky toffee, and mineral notes. Not a very strong aroma but pretty complex.

T- Big molasses, almost burnt caramel malt, graininess, pie crust, nutty, and toffee notes with some lemon hop character.

M- Very creamy and smooth, medium body, semi-dry finish, and medium carbonation.

O- A pretty nice brown ale with too much burnt malt character for this to get a higher score. Overall, a pretty complex and easy drinking brown ale.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- it pours a dark copper with a 1" head of foam, good lacing.

S- mostly sweet malt in the nose, light roasted malt, a smidgeon of the single hop used...lemon/Citra.

T- fairly sweet on the palate at first, lightly roasted malty, I get the hop as it bobs and weaves throughout the session. It adds a nice lemon zap.

M- medium bodied, rather high level of carbonation.

O- a nice smooth drinking Brown Ale. The 6 pack I bought went quickly!

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Photo of jjboesen
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A highlight of my 2008 San Francisco trip was a visit to this iconic brewery. So, when I saw this bottle of Brown Ale, I knew it had to be mine.

It opens with a massive infusion of spongy froth - let it settle. The body is dark copper with some minor flecks of light at the bottom of the glass. Upon settling, the head consists of a wispy shell of bubbles and cream with minimal lacing.

The nose emits a mild whiff of plum and brown sugar., while the taste, though initially cloying, is reminiscent of mincemeat and licorice. The mouthfeel is pleasantly malty with a subtle kick from the citra hops.

This is decent quaff from one of the West Coast's pioneer craft brewers and one of America's greatest breweries.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

355ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£2.60):
Mahogany brown, a thumb sized, bubbly head that is a sort of yellowy cream colour. This halves in size and holds about a half centimetre tall after that.

Malty & very sweet with some earthy hops and a bit of sugar. There is some butterscotch, a few dark fruits and a hint of caramel and spice.

Sweet to start with some lighter, roasted malt flavours and a earthy hop taste that matches the nose and is what you would expect. The dark fruits are more noticeable than in the nose with some plum, dates and some apples. There is also a sweet, sugary taste and some alcohol towards the end.

Very sweet with a smooth, almost boozy taste and a medium body. Carbonation in this one is quite mild and the dark fruits give it most of the sweetness.

Not a bad beer this one. This one is pretty standard fair with quite a lot of fruits and sweetness with a nice mix of malts at the start. The mouthfeel and the soft carbonation of this one made it a clean, easy one to drink, although that being this one isn't anything special.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Well, if Brekle likes it... This stuff pours a clear dark sienna topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises toasted caramel (nearing burnt), light roasted malts, and a light kiss of what seems like orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, with the orange, more present and powerful, doing battle with the even-toastier caramel, leading to a confused clash of flavors that doesn't sit all that well on the tongue. There's a sense of cedar in the background, as well, mucking things up even further. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick-ish feel. Overall, the hopping of this brown just didn't do it for me, unfortunately.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark brown with lots of red hues. The beige head is really tall and compact. Rich lacings.

S: Loaded with dark dried fruits; the hard roasted malt is syrupy sweet. Butterscotch and some spice in the back.

T: Dark molasses and dark dried fruits - very sweet! Dark roasted malt but in the taste there is a healthy dose of bitter hops. Spices.

M: Full body and low carbonation together with long bitter and sweet aftertaste.

O: Perhaps a bit too sweet, considering the style, but Man, I loved it! It's like the love-child from a Doppelbock impregnating an ABA.

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Photo of jpro
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz single from Total Wine. Poured into a shaker pint glass...

A: Deep brown, with a buttery, tan head of creamy foam; a few initial patches of lace and although there is some really nice retention, that's about all it leaves; some garnet hues when held to light.

S: Sweet malt aroma... toffee, sweetbread, toast, banana(?); a very textured malt aroma; light butterscotch.

T: Malty... similar to the nose... plus some slightly roasted notes; dark fruit - could be a variation of the banana in the aroma; hop bitterness is minimal - the use of citra may add to the sweetness of this brew.

M: Medium-full bodied; high carbonation; nice lively and full mouthfeel.

O: A very drinkable 6% brown ale... Not the most robust one out there, but still tasty and different. Don't know if I'd seek it out - will probably stick with Anchor Steam! Still good, though.

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Photo of soju6
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours Reddish-brown color with a red hue around the edges. has a good full head and some lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, dark fruit and some spice.

T: Taste of dark fruit and roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and spice. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Nicely balanced.

O: Enjoyable beer, goes good with the holidays.

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Photo of arizcards
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single at Total Wine at the end of March for $1.79. Bottling date was 9-7-12.

Beer poured brown with a nice off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is light roast and light citrus.

Taste is pretty well balanced between the light roasted malts and the citrusy hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall this is a little more hoppier version of a brown. Not a bad interpretation of the style and would do again if available.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a brown/copper color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like caramel malt, nuts, apples and dark fruit. It tastes like caramel malt, nuts, citrusy hops (grapefruit), apples, dark fruit, and some molasses. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy with moderate carbonation. I think this is a good brown ale, it's certainly worth a try and I know I'd buy this again.

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Photo of brenty0man
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a malt centric beer. There is mostly malt in the nose and taste, very bready. It reminds me of when my dad used to brew beer and I would eat the malt... Carmelly sweetness. It has a decent finish with some slight bitterness. Very roasted flavoring. Pours a beautiful brown copper color though.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

compared to the faceless brown liquid I had from a bottle out east way, this fresher local SF draft sampling was tanfastic-er.

A: beautiful deep chestnut brown, relatively clear, quasi-webby lacing

S: liquid nut (wait, no...).... really (see below), dry-roasted nut, in (dilute) liquid form... mild floral-fruity ester... vague herbal note

T: whereas the bottle version I had a couple years ago came across bland, just straight old brown malt (not that I'm saying that's an ingredient) run-off.... this one had more character, apparent depth.... finishing dry, it doesn't come off a bit sweet either... just a nice, elegant, soft-rounded dry-roasted nutty malt, clean, with just a touch of chocolaty undertone...perhaps a modicum of earthy and bright-fruity hop to balance (comes more to the fore with each sip).... I'd like a little more lasting malt in the finish, but that's simply my taste....

M: some compact light-medium body up front.... super clean through to the finish, crisp and dry

O: definitely a treat for those who are connoisseurs of brown ales (such as myself)...wish I'd taken a crack at another.... I'll just keep an eye out around town

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Photo of Jadjunk
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Anchor's roots date back to the early 1850's, when pioneer brewer Gottlieb Brekle arrived in San Francisco. In 1871, he bought a beer-and-billiards saloon near Russian Hill, transforming it into the brewery that-25 years later- was renamed Anchor. We celebrate 140+ years of San Francisco brewing tradition and the legacy of our Anchor brewers with this classic all-malt, single-hop brown ale." Brewed in the style of a Brown Ale. Bought on an extreme discount at Green's at Ponce, $2.49 per a sixer. Bottling date is November 9, 2011. Hopefully these have held up.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a fizzy cream head of a burgundy-white tone over a very hazy and dense brown-red body. Carbonation is lively and plentiful. Retention is average, and lacing is thin and spotty. 3.25

(Smell) Malt body is a subtle, mildly sweet malt. Very little hop character left to discern. Aroma has a notable presence of intense fruity esters, grapes and sweet juicy apples mostly. Signs of a very dated beer- the malt bill and the hop character were not bold enough to keep this from giving in to age. What is left is something most vinous and cider-like- and otherwise, very clean. 2.75

(Taste) Flavor is very much the same as the aroma, with a subtle, clean graham-cracker, slightly bready malt sweetness and a strong fruity boozed-up finish. Hop character is nowhere to be found, and the malt is easily overshadowed by the yeast notes. 2.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, with a mild airy carbonation presence. Alcohol presence is very strong, easily dominates the beer's flavor profile. Body is light for a brown ale, light+ overall. 3

(Overall) Always check your dates. I can tell that this beer would be very mildly flavored and simple when young, but even that would be more enjoyable than a beer that has an intense boozy yeast character. Will try again at a later date. 3

Anchor Brewing Company's
Brekle's Brown All Malt Single Hop Brown Ale

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Photo of jimmah120
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with some code on the back.

look is a clear brown. smell is light, but extremely malty. malted barley, light grain, numbing presence of hops. taste is light, but malty, as well. some toasty grain, oak, sweet toffee. blast of bitter hops at the end.

solid brown, perfect session beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear reddish brown color with a decent sized tan head that persists for a bit. The aroma is quite sweet with lots of darker sugars and light and dark fruits and a touch of alcohol. Little to no hop aroma. The flavor is sweet like the aroma promised, lots of caramel and brown sugar with apples and cherries being dominant and lending to a slight fruity tartness. Little to no hop flavor or bitterness evident. Medium body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet syrupy mouthfeel. Overly sweet and lacking that light chocolate aroma and flavor that I typically associate with a brown ale. I'm thinking one and done here.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.12/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Appearance: A deep rich reddish brown, aka rich copper. Head is a tiny, almost non-existent, off-white. Small creamy collar is about all there is. Moderate carbonation on the pour. Relatively clear.

Smell: Incredibly bready. Baked brown bread. Sweet caramel malts with a faint grassy touch in the back. Almost toasted with some deep fruitiness. Some apple skin and flesh. Not the most complex thing out there, but it's incredibly clean and hits with a lot of what it has. Nicely nutty.

Taste: Baked and slightly burnt brown bread. Caramelized malt sugars and a hefty dose of caramel malt sweetness. Husky and grassy in abundance. Some lingering hints of apple core and citrus zest. Deeply nutty. Fruity with a good smack of grapefruit rind. Citrus ramps up but never really overcomes the sweetness of the malts.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Clean and easy drinking. Pretty standard affair.

Overall: Does what Anchor does best.

An easy drinking and approachable take on the style. Very bready with some deep sweetness. Lost a little as it warmed and just never really let up with the malt sweetness.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Clear, deep reddish amber body crowned by a massive, dense, and persistent tan head of ultra fine bubbles. Belgian-style lacing coats the glass walls.

Aroma: Lots of roasted dark malts, with a suggestion of nuts, bitter apple rind, and grassy and citric hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts open the taste, soon followed by mildly puckering tannic notes, and toasted nuts. Later in the taste, citric, particularly grapefruit, hops assert themselves, rising to ascendency above the malt. Towards the end of the taste the grapefruit rind is so palpable, one could think that the beer was infused with it. Finishes with a long, lingering grapefruit note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, velvety, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A little too much emphasis on the hops for my taste, but very good, nonetheless.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve ounce brown glass short bottle with a pry -off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas in March of 2013 for $7.99/six-pack.

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Photo of horshack7
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with deep amber hues and a two finger creamy textured head.

Aroma: Tropical fruits in the front and lots of grapefruit notes. Piney, kiwi fruit. Simple syrup sweetness from the malt end.

Taste: This one has a quite a citrus hop profile. Light dryness, sweet fruits, piney, grapefruit. Caramelized sugar and caramel malt notes.

Notes: It's rather unique with it's hop forwardness there is some sweetness from the malts but it's still a drinkable beer. Cheers.

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Photo of claytri
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a wonderful dark cordovan with a tan head, that had orangish highlights. The aroma was a bit medicinal with some hints of sweet malt. The taste is rich and malty with hints of dark fruits. The feel is light and just on the dry side. I really enjoyed this beer, it's a good malty brew. Quite a treat with all the hops out there to get something that is just a strait beer.

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Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 856 ratings.
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