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: 858
Photo of SerialHiker
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a nice, dense brown with some reddish hues…light tan head about a finger width thick that’s not lasting long…(3/5)

Smell: Complex…a malt smell with dark fruit sweetness...brown sugar, caramel, citrus…this thing is rich and distinct…a full bodied aroma…some medicine astringency…(3.75/5)

Taste: Wow…that’s some serious flavor…malts, roasted malts, sweetness, citrus hops, caramel, lemon…there is a lot going on here and all of it is good…I feel a bit of the alcohol in the flavor, but thankfully it stays in a complimentary role…the more I sip, the more the citrus hops’ lemon flavor stands out and lasts on my palette…(3/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation…some citrus zest on the palette…not too much bitterness, definitely malt along the tongue…lemony after taste…(3.5/5)

Overall: This is an interesting beer…the flavor stands out from other browns that I’ve had…it’s a candied flavor with tons of sugar and dark fruit sweetness…the citrus hops snuck up on me after a couple sips then lasted the longest on my palette…very unique in many ways…it’s worth trying and I do plan on buying another to cellar, but it’s not something I could drink more than one of in a sitting…maybe I’ll get one now and try it in a year or two to see what happens…the alcohol is high and I’m sure the sugars will only sweeten…(3.5/5)

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Photo of rlee1390
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Clear deep amber, not much carbonation, two finger off white head

S-Overly malty, some grass, caramel and candied sugar, no hops.

T-Malty mess, candied sugar, overly sweet, no balance or hops.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation, a little on the watery side.

O-A poor beer, I am disappointed in this one, was expecting a lot better from Anchor.

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Photo of claspada
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark reddish/light brown color with a frothy, foamy, beige head of foam.

Aromas begin with mild hop accents of citrus and dried grasses. Then you get some toasted bread maltiness with notes of brown sugar and roast. As it warms you get some slight raisin-like fruitiness.

The tastes follow the nose but in reverse with toasted bread crusts with lesser sweetish hints of brown sugar and dark caramel. Mild inclusions of raisin, molasses and roasted pecans. The hop flavors and bitterness builds as it warms with the citrusy Citra hops and some grassy dry-hopping accents.

The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is increasingly bitter and the citrus clashes with the brown malt leaving an odd taste I do not enjoy on the palate.

Overall this just once again proves I do not like the flavor profile of dark malt and hops, dark beers should be malty, light ones should be hoppy. There is nothing that can change my taste preference on that so take this for what it's worth.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown pour with thin light brown head, good sweet malt aroma, super mild toasting.

Taste was smooth, mildly chocolate. Toffee. Thicker Oktoberfest. Almost no bitterness.

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Photo of MONKandTUCK
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Please note, I'm not certain of the freshness of this bottle. If you can guarantee access to a fresh example grab the beer! It's a very good beer, but I suspect, as with most hop-oriented beers, freshness is essential to enjoying the beer as intended.

A - very dark amber, as opposed to thick brown. Kinda lame for a "brown" ale. I wish it were perceptabliy thicher and a little darker. The head retention, however, is impressive.

A - muted. I have to blame my shampoo. I could barely make out much of the Citra hops... the very reason I bought this beer. Though, as it drank I did detect a definite peach juice/ papya note that I know isn't owed to my shampoo. There's also roasted notes... think cacao.

T - this beer really has to be enjoyed closer to room themperature. There the maltiness fleshes out. The beer is just sweet enough, without becoming burdensome - it's 6% alc and 1pt6oz bottle.
The roastiness is very reastrained, and there's no acrid bite in the finish. That's OK, but it seems they kept the grist simple so the hops might shine through.... it just doesn't work that way.

The hops hold up to the malt, but wisely haven't be used to contend with it.

I'm not finding anything ground-breaking, but I definitely can't stop sipping this one. It's not unforgetable, but it disappears very quickly.

M- At 6% ABV, and using Cali V - a less attenuating yeast strain - the beer does a good job of coating the palate and then drying up on the finish. The flavor may not be remarkable, but the finish makes you want to give it another try.

O - Some beers styles work and some, sadly, do not - at least most of the time. A Texas Brown... which this truly is, isn't really a style I have time for. Malts competing with hops is never a good thing.
I really enjoyed drinking this beer and missed it when it was finished, but it doesn't hold the same place that Anchor Porter or Old Foghorn do in the pantheon of beers.
Who knows, if it were fresher, perhaps the Citra hops would've shown more pervasively. But it seems like this beer ought the have used English Hops, or been an Altbier, since it celebrates a German brewer.
For the Citra hops, a Blonde Ale or Pale Ale would've been more suitable.

A good beer, worth picking up off the shelf. Just don't expect an out-of-body experience.

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Photo of socon67
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown pour with a tan foam that foams high and settles fast. Patchy lacing in the glass.

S - Malty scent that is very earthy. A very simple smell that while it is nice, really doesn't offer much else.

T - Strong flavors of dark malt are the first thing that I taste. There is some residual bitterness, but it gave htis beer a bit of a feel like an ESB. A slight roasty feel is present.

M - Its an easy drinking brown ale, but tends to bee a bit too malt-forward.

O - This beer is both special and limited becuase of how simple it is. If you like a malty brown ale this is a pretty solid choice. But that's really all it has to offer.

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

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color. The head is a two finger light mocha shade; the retention featured is excellent. The creamy texture leaves behind a good conglomeration of lacing on the glass.

S: What seems to take the forefront are distinct melon notes from the hops. The usual brown ale notes reside behind it (hazelnut and chocolate, primarily). It seems like the hops feature a distinct acidic quality to them in the aroma - old bottle, perhaps?

T: Even if its an old bottle, the melon and mango qualities really give it something different than what the style is used to. After a hoppy, bright opening, some chocolate, hazelnut, and brown sugar pops up to help finish the beer. Altogether, the citrusy hops and dark malts give it kind of a 'chocolate-covered orange' taste to it, while exhales allow toasted malt qualities to appear. Simplicity aside, it's still a good one right now; I could see a fresh bottle being great.

M: Not that heavy. Most brown ales I've encountered are really sweet yet chalky; this one has a pleasant smoothness to it, and a balance between lingering malt sweetness and hop dryness. Sweetness wins out, but overall this one is quite drinkable regardless.

O: Pretty likable, I must say. I'd reckon one bottle is enough for me; move up to two and it would become pretty cloying. Still, a solid example of a style I don't really care for.

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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 ElSid
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Beers of California


Freshness Date: None

A: Deep mahogany with a finger of khaki head. Good retention and ample lacing. Looks enticing and full.

S: Timid nose of mostly toasted brown sugar. Herbal notes in the background.

T: Sweet brown bread with a herbal, slightly medicinal astringency which builds toward the finish. Some hints of citrus zest in the middle.

M: Somewhat syrupy with appropriate smoothness and overall moderate body with medium carbonation.

O: A hop heavy brown with clashing charachteristics. I was hoping for a bit more sweetness and cohesion. The combination of flavors are somewhat confused and lack harmony which is the hallmark of a great brew. I love that this brew takes a chance with the citra hop notes but overall needs a bit more work to attain greatness.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint. Colour is a rich brown with a reddish hue. Finger-thick head, toffee in colour, fades to a layer of puff leaving a mostly even lacing. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Much to my dismay, I can hardly smell anything in this beer without agitating it an incredible amount. When the aromas finally arrive, nice sweet and roasted malt is all there is.

Taste: Sweet, musty malt in the front quickly makes way for some bitter, citrus hops. Finishes a little boozy and sticky.

Mouthfeel: Nicely rounded medium body with a mild bite.

Overall: The smell is disappointing but everything else is fantastic. A satisfying beer done the true Anchor way.

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Photo of popery
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes. Sampled during SF Beer Week 2011. Pours a nice, hearty brown with a nice light beige head. The aroma is citric hops, caramel, nuts, a touch of tin and mild roasty fruitiness. For me, the hops are pushed too much in the aroma and taste. It's also a bit dry for a brown ale. More caramel and fruit in the taste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. It's a good beer and a somewhat interesting take on the style, but I would have preferred to see Anchor go a different direction for both a brown ale and a new beer. I just like brown ales that are easier to drink with less (clashing) complexity.

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

Scored at The trusty Rake Borough.

Gorgeous dark burgendy like ribena syrup. Redy brown highlights, good head retention but minimal lace.

Blackcurrant and alcohol an the nose. Sugary and boozy.

A medium thin body with decent carb that is malty sweet up front, boozy sweet through the middle with some tanin dark malt notes, suble grass/pepper hops towards the finish and it lingers fairly sweet.

Not bad.

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Photo of nbree00
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice to see Anchor putting out a new beer here and there. Can't help but root for my home town brewery, which just so happens to be an institution in the craft brewing world.

A: Pours a deep rich brown and mahogany with some reddish undertones. Also produces a nice frothy 1/2 inch head, which dissipates quickly. Slightly above average score here, but it looks better than most Anchor Steam beers I can remember.

S: Smell is kind of muted here, maybe a bi-product of the pasteurization, still pleasant though. Aromas of aged fruitcake, strawberries, pineapple and whole wheat bread. Really get a lot of Citra hop character on the nose.

T/M: This definitely strikes me as an English style brown with some American flare. Nicely rustic and dry, with a subtle bitterness on par with an ESB, just slightly more fruit character. Flavors of pecan pie, prunes, bakers chocolate, raspberries and a hint of pencil shavings. Bright and dry finish, very palate cleansing. Having it with some BBQ right now and it's holding its own.

O: For a take on a traditional brown it's spot on. It' a great session beer and seems to have versatile food pairings. The style will never impress me like an imperial stout or barrel aged sour, but what are you gonna do.

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Photo of jjchristiano
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into my Duvel Tulip glass.
I really don't have a lot to say. It was a very average Brown Ale.
Nothing to complain about and nothing to rave about. I still prefer the Brooklyn Brown but I would have no problem drinking several of these in a sitting.
Anchor makes good quality beers and this is a nice brown ale.

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Photo of Scrylol
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark ruby color with a one finger pale brown colored, creamy head. Looks great.

Bit of hop tinge to to the aroma, with slight tropical fruits. Malt and caramel notes also presence. Seems like the hops play a big role in this Brown Ale in the aroma department. Interesting.

Big roasted malts flavor on the tongue balanced initially by hop bitterness, but soon it overpowers the malty presence. Don't get much of the tropical fruits anymore. Before the finish there seems to be a bit of boozy-like flavor present - pretty weird for a Brown Ale at 6% to have that. Ends with a dry, sweet caramel-like flavor to it.

Feels creamy and smooth on the tongue. Bit too much carbonation for my liking though. Still feels good.

A decent Brown Ale from Anchor Brewing. Interesting use of Citra hops here.

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Photo of jsled
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 4/5. beautiful clear rich brown. Good finger of off-white head, well-supported.

A: 3/5. sweet. cinnamon. caramel. herbal.

F: 7/10. rich sweet spicy caramel. some minor roast, but very minor. which leads to a mostly-balanced fun brown ale.

M: 4/5. good. reminiscent, but not lingering.

O: 7/10. a very good brown ale. malty and rich but not overpowering.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm. I really wanted to like this beer, but although I like the idea of it and some of the elements are nice, I think that something is a little off kilter here. Primarily, the use of Citra hops here in a brown ale doesn't really work for me. The hops add a note of zingy citric sourness to the roasty, malty notes of the ale, and so are evocative of the grainy sourness you sometimes get in a brown ale. Not the flavor I'm looking for. In a hoppy brown ale, I much more appreciate herbal or pine notes that play up the roasty notes rather than work at cross purposes to them. The beer does have a nice color to it, a toasty, reddish brown, but the head fades relatively quickly. Quite citrusy in the nose, with a pleasant sweetness and hint of roast. If the taste more closely emulated the aroma, I'd be sold. A shame, because the body is solid as well. An interesting experiment, but I'd try it again with another hop profile.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby and cola colored brew. Quick bone colored head. Nice bubbling.

Roasted malt and bready sweet aroma. Pumpernickel aroma. A little dry.

Super toasty and medium roasty bread crust. Full on malt through and through. Chalky, powdery palate. Dry, but easy to drink.

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Photo of matjack85
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binnhy's store in Bloomingdale, IL. Love the squatty 12oz brown bottles from Anchor Steam, but wish they'd start putting freshmess dates on their products.

The beer poured a dark brown color with incredible head and lacing. Over half the glass was filled with tan colored foam which took over 3 minutes to subside.

Big citrus hop aroma along with roasted maltiness and nuts.

This is a very citrusy (lemon flavored) brown ale. Plenty of roasted malt flavor that likes to cling to the tongue. Both sweet and bitter.

On the thin side for a malty brown ale with very little carbonation.

Unique for the style and worth a try.

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

As I pour a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, a thick 1-2 inch head develops atop a beautiful dark amber red/brown brew.... Unfortunately, the head diminishes without leaving much lacing.

I take a whiff, and I immediately get roasted malts and nuttiness.... Following that, there's almost a sweetness like that of brown sugar with a slight bit of citrus.

During the drinking, I also get toasty malts, bread, and sweet brown sugar with a little coffee and a citrusy aftertaste like that of lime.

The mouthfeel (or lack there of) is on the light side of medium-bodied with little carbonation leaving not much of a "feel" at all.

Overall, this is a decent beer.... OK at best, but not the best out of Anchor, and definitely not something I'd purchase again

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Brekle's Brown from Anchor Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 858 ratings.
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