Brekle's Brown | Anchor Brewing Company

311 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 311 | Ratings: 858
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a dense clear glowing garnet brown with a thick creamy light tan head that last as a thin film and has a gentle carbonation.

S- The brown malt has a faint raisin and toffee hint with some sweaty and grainy characters in the finish.

T- the brown roasted malt has a dry taste to it with a green herbal pungent dark hops finish with bitterness growing in the finish. There is a dark nougat character that comes through and a light citrus tartness in the hops grows aswell.

M- The medium-full mouthfeel has a scrubbing fizzy finish but no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a big fizz that scrubs away a lot of the flavor and the malt is already a bit faint with some odd notes to it. The hops are a bit overpowering and heavy on the bitter side with an odd citrus note to them. This beer could use a bit of balance to it.

 874 characters

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.

 1,128 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.12/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a medium brown with some tawny highlights around the edges. Pour creates about a finger of light caramel colored head which quickly dissipated. Pretty run of the mill looking pour.

Smell: Some chocolate malt notes and dark fruit. Caramel notes as well. Bright citrus notes thanks to the Citra hops. Pretty interesting smelling...not your normal brown ale.

Taste: Taste is very fruity off the bat and I was not expecting that. It's sweet even for a brown ale. It almost tastes under attenuated and I'm not getting anything from the Citra hops. Disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is sharp and prickly. Body is fairly light for a brown ale.

Overall: Starts off like a fun twist on the traditional brown ale but the taste just isn't there. A disappointment to me.

 843 characters

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

Geez, almost great. Served a bit cold, with very nice, large, tan, foamy, frothy, thick, creamy head that slowly settles and plenty of lace. Color is a pretty, clear mahoganey with many tiny bubble trails. Aroma is banana up front, then malt, roast, toffee, fruit. Flavor's like nose and is fruity up front too; then there's the classic brown ale flavors. Oddly, sweetness is muted at first and comes in later finishing along with the bitter and tang. Body and carbonation are good. Finish is like flavor, ending to a not altogether pleasant bittersweet slow taper.

 565 characters

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.

 727 characters

Photo of greybeardloon
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottled August 22, 2012

A: Clear, dark brown with a thick head and nice lacing.

S: Some hops.

T: Initially, sourness, like it's severely oxidized, but its probably from the hops. Then there's a fuller malt flavor with some roast on the end, but the flavor is overwhelmed by the sourness. It's two flavors that are probably pretty good alone but the sum is worse than the difference of its parts.

M: Medium creamy with a drying finish.

O: I really wanted to like this beer, but I really don't. The hops would be nice in a pale ale, and the malt would be great with different (but equally prominent) hopping, maybe something piney or earthy.

 645 characters

Photo of chickenflea
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep ice-tea colored body with a small tan head. Aroma of malt, alcohol, earth, caramel, pit fruits and nuts. Medium-bodied with a creamy finish. Pungent nutty flavors with caramel, a touch of dryness and some light hop finish. Aftertaste is mostly about the malt and nuts here with some very mild earth and dryness throughout. Overall, a nice brown, but a little boozy when warmer.

 382 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from "stubby" 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Cloudy brown/dark tea color, with a thick head of tan foam.
Aroma-toasted malt
Taste-Toasted malt, some off-putting apple tartness, fruity hop note, a faintly sour finish.
A surprisingly odd flavored brown ale that doesn't conform to style. I have to say that this is the one brew from Anchor that I have not really enjoyed. Flavors just don't seem to go together at all. A bit of a let-down for me from a normally solid brewer. Just my opinion.

 507 characters

Photo of phishsihq
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A throwback to 1871, celebrating a rich heritage.

A few days ago we were lucky enough to bring you a little bit of Anchor Brewing Company's history through their flagship brew, Anchor Steam. Today we will let Anchor bring out some more of their history, with an eye on the future as well. Anchor's Brekle's Brown ale is named after a German immigrant, Gottlieb Brekle, who opened a brewery in San Francisco that would 25 years later be named Anchor Brewing. In tribute to Brekle, this brew features a classic all-malt, single hop recipe (old) that makes use of a new hop variety, Citra (new). Brekle's Brown pours a reddish-brown with a frothy, off-white head that leaves a good deal of lacing. Slightly sweet malt rushes into the nose, with dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar, and trace hop notes lingering. Sweet malt is again in the foreground, this time well balanced by the new hop, hints of coffee and caramel come through on a sweet and lasting finish. The brew features a creamy light to medium body with good deal of carbonation. Nothing too fancy here, just an honest to style brown ale from a brewery that seems to be able to brew nothing but good beers.

 1,164 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. It has a dark brown color, but it is see-through. It has a huge bubbly tan head that leaves some descent lacing. A few bubbles seen in the middle.

S. There's a grassy scent. Some malt.

T. It has something of a soapy taste. There's a grassy taste that goes along with the scent. A mild malt flavor. Not much of a nut taste. A weird grape undertone.

M. A bit of a sour taste.

O. I'm not 100% sure I got a fresh brew, as it kinda tastes a bit skunked. But going on this beer, it's not what you would look for in a brown ale. Will try again to be sure in the future.

 569 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours an amber ruby color with tight foam. I get a caramel malt aroma followed by some
sweetness, and a hint of brown sugar. The flavor is dominated by that same brown sugar sweetness, almost one-noted unfortunately. This beer is malty sweet with a thin body—the light body saves it from being overly cloying. Brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops, although I really couldn’t tell.

 383 characters

Photo of Mediczod
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not really what I would consider a Brown Ale, but not a bad beer. Pours a reddish amber, good amount of head that lasted several minutes. Considerable lacing on the glass. Smells somewhat of malty sourdough with citrus tones. Initial taste was fairly bitter for a Brown Ale, very hoppy, but this quickly gave way to a malty taste with a bit of a metallic aftertaste. Lingers on the palate. Looks better than it tastes. I wanted a good Brown Ale, and I didn't get it with this one. I would have probably liked it more if it was more like I was expecting and in the mood for.

 573 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"2011" - quite a vague description for a bottling date. 12 fl oz sleek brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass. Acquired as part of a six pack at Trader Joe's in Culver City a few hours ago. It was about $8.99 if I recall correctly. Expectations are above average; this brewery has some good stuff. Reviewed live.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm a bit over the course of consumption. Poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

The pour went fine. No beer shooting out upon open or other problems.

A: Pours a four finger head of khaki colour, some nice cream, generally good thickness, great retention, and decent lacing. Colour is a nontransparent non-opaque chestnut with amber hues. The head looks pretty appealing with its rolling smooth foam. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Appealing for the style. Could be a bit more vibrant.

Sm: Hops are the first thing I notice - mainly flora, evoking the preservative character simultaneously. Clean evocative notes add the body. Maybe slight biscuit malt. Some caramel. A nutty quality. Hops are dominant, but the aroma is balanced. Moderate in strength.

T: Citra does really well in this brew, adding extra depth whilst not infringing on the balance. Some light subtle nut flavours are here, as is subtle caramel as well as full-bodied well selected malts. Very interesting for a brown ale. Some cream in the late second act. I quite like it for what it is. Not horribly complex, but nonetheless intriguing. Pretty well balanced. I like it.

Mf: Nicely creamy for a brown ale. Smooth and wet but not too much so on either count. Suits the flavours nicely. It does come off a bit thin to its detriment.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from excellent. Its relative simplicity holds it back. There's little here that's particularly bold or experimental, but its subtle enough in its execution to merit attention. I'd try it on draught at the right price. It's priced fairly out of the bottle. I wouldn't recommend it to friends but it's a nice little brown ale. Give her a go if you fancy. Hides its ABV nicely.

A poor candidate for aging.

High C+

 2,227 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

$3.99. Bottled 20th July 2011.

Last night, some enterprising Danes reviewed up to 144 beers in 11 hours. In their honor, I enter here, my third review for the night. In all, I've had about 24oz at this point, which is probably how much they drank in all ;-) Salud!

A nice reddish brown, there's a dense, light brown head with pretty good retention and nice lacing. The nose has a nice, surprisingly fresh hoppy nose to it. Bright citrus (the single hop here is Citra), and a little bit of tropical fruit are noticeable up front, but there's also quite a nice malt backbone here. Medium-dark caramel (think toasted sugar), a little bit of vanilla, wheat bread, toffee, this smells quite nice. I particularly like the blend of toasted sugar and the citra hops.

The palate, though, is a little disappointing. Quite thin, there's flavors of toasted bread, caramel and a little toffee, but there's also a little bit of a grainy, cereal-like character that I don't care for. This does ease up, though, as you keep drinking it. While the hops aren't noticeable up front, there is a prominent hoppy bitterness, especially on the finish. Dry, grainy bitterness is also present, mildly husky and astringent. There is, however, some citrus, mildly juicy, to ease things up a bit. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is decent on the palate. Ultimately, though, this beer isn't terribly enjoyable.

 1,400 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Deep transluscent amber brown color. A little over one finger of frothy beige head. Retenion is perhaps a hair below average and a "barely there" ring of lacing is left.

3.0 S: Strange aroma. The dominant component is some novel mix of cocoa powder and flowers with herbal undertones. Toasted malts with anise and caramel. Light, raisiny fruitiness.

3.0 T: Cocoa powder/flowers/herbs mix that tastes just as strange as it smells. Raisin, toasted malts, faint roastiness. Doughy malts overall.

4.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation that somehow in conjunction with the body makes this feel a lot like a beer from cask. Good creaminess, very nice.

3.5 D: Strange, but tasty beer that has a damn good mouthfeel.

 753 characters

Photo of MaximalC
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark, translucent burgundy in color with an ample, caramel-colored head. Aroma smells of fresh grapefruit and caramel; quite nice. The flavor matches the smell, but I fear the Citra hops may be overbearing. The caramel malt is still there, but it's well overshadowed by the citric flavors. I'd normally prefer these hops to most if they weren't so dominant, but the balance just isn't there. I'm also tasting a slight metallic twinge on the finish. Not at all what I was expecting from a brown ale. Maybe worth trying if you're looking for something different, but not a brew I'd seek out for pure enjoyment.

 614 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Ginger Man in Norwalk, CT. Served in a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a good off-white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a bit of caramel and toasted grain plus some mild roast. Faint hoppiness is there as well. Nice blend. The flavor has a bit too much roast and hop, coming together to create a strange bitterness that really affects the taste and feel. Medium body with average carbonation. All the components of this one didn't really come together for me, though I did enjoy the nose.

 565 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep garnet color with an off white head. Flavor is much different than expected. A bit of nuttiness but huge caramel sweet candy like flavor up front.

Balance is good though but oddly there's some detectable alcohol as well. Lots of toffee and roasted malt. A big robust and malty for such a smaller beer which makes sensesince it says "all malt single hop". Hops manages to balance the beer though making it not overly sweet. Caramel tootsie roll like after taste. Good but not something I can drink more than one of unfortunately. A malt masterpiece that just needs something more?

 604 characters

Photo of rawla
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet from a bottle. No freshness date.

A: A murky, mud-watery reddish brown. Tons of carbonation coming off the bottle.

S: Smells of roasted oats, and malt. Nothing very complex, but it entices you to try the beer. Smells like a well-seasoned oatmeal.

T: Roasted front of the tongue gives away to a bark-like bitterness midway. Boozy finish. I am surprised at how much of the alcohol sticks around on the tongue for a beer of this low ABV.

M: A sugary, starchy lacing sticks with you throughout the beer.

O: Not a terrible beer; it has some nice roasted notes, but it has an over powering boozy finish that hinders it's drinkability. I love Anchor Porter and Steam, but this is an average offering.

 721 characters

Photo of jm1229
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle opened on 8/27 and poured into my Stone IPA pint glass.

A- Dark red/brown. Given the name, who would have thought? Aggressive pour gave considerable amount of head and no retention on the glass.

S- Very malty. Some caramel, roastiness, and citra hops. Citra hops? So this is THAT beer that everyone wants... wait. Never mind.

T- Just like the nose, it's very malty with a little bit of citrus in the background. Nice, subtle aftertaste. No alcohol taste and a refreshing finish.

M- A little over-carbonated but definitely satisfying. A little thin, so it's a good afternoon beer.

O- I owed it to Anchor to buy at least one of these considering it was Anchor's Porter that got me into the craft beer scene. That being said, I didn't quite love this beer as much as I would have liked to. It's refreshing and enjoyable, but I'm not going to be seeking this out like I once did with Anchor Porter.

 914 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

(22oz bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge). Pours a clear dark brown--red color with a creamy tan head. Carbonation is almost like seltzer water. Aroma is very interesting: I’m getting some light caramel and cocoa, but also something like a peach jolly rancher. I like the smell, but its a bit weird. Taste is sweet malt, but not cloying at all. That peach is in the aftertaste. Thin bodied with slick texture. I’m not sure what to make of this beer. I don’t know too much about the Citra hop so I just looked up some info and the resources I saw mentioned a fruity aroma like melon, papaya or mango. Well, this is an interesting beer and one that might grow on me more or turn me off completely. Definitely worth a revisit.

 730 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a massive head that becomes craggy as it descends

Smell: Brown bread, nuts and grain with just a hint of citrus

Taste: Brown bread and nuts, at the outset, with the citra hops adding a citrusy zest by mid-palate; the two flavor elements hash it out without converging

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not well balanced, at all; chalk up the combination of the citra hops in a brown ale as an interesting idea that probably shouldn't be tried again

 516 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown pour, a little thin but great clarity for a brown. Then again, Newcastle, uh, nevermind.
Nice sweet aroma, not much of a toasty malt thing going, but I like the sweetness.

Mild taste, smooth, sweet but not overly, enough substance to it to ride it out. No hops. Could make an Oktoberfest fan happy I bet. A little toffee in the mouthfeel, seemed par for course. Might pick up a 6 of it if I ever see it bottled, simply because its a nice agreeable beer to have around when people come over to the house empty handed.

 524 characters

Photo of Philousa
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Imbibed from a growler poured at Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits on 9/15/13.

Pours a cola brown, great clarity, with a thin head of dark tan. Aroma is sweet like molasses with lots of nut (almond, walnut, and pecans), some chocolate, and a bit of earthiness, probably from English hops. Flavor starts tart and is bitter throughout. The tart yeast sticks around for only a second before the pecan and molasses sweetness mixes with the earthy bitterness. Lots of mineral flavor without being overbearing. Feel is slightly watery with a sweet finish.

This one is nuanced, but not too ornate for a brew you'd have regularly. Almost too sweet, but the different facets make up for this. Solid.

 689 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml bottle, a nice ode to the original brewer at the operation that would become Anchor.

This beer pours a bright cherry reddish amber hue, with a multitude of tight foamy pale tan head, which leaves some random chunky swaths of lace around the glass in the slow, but not quite agonizingly so, process.

It smells of muddled, but surprisingly strong, grapefruit/generic bitter citrus, and nutty caramel malt. The taste is caramel malt, rather subsumed citrus, some dark cherry fruitiness, and a weird earthy, yeasty character that I can't help but remember from previous Anchor offerings.

The carbonation is pretty reserved, the body a leaky medium weight, and egregiously smooth. It finishes just barely off-dry, the weak malt ceding too much ground to a metallic, acidic fruitiness.

What is it with this brewer and me? Things start off so well, in each instance, but quickly go to shit - the off-flavours always an acute surprise. Here, we have a nice hoppy brown ale, which turns unpleasantly into a phenolic mess all too soon. Sigh. 5 more bottles to pawn off.

 1,069 characters

Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 858 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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