Best Brown Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
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Style:
Brown Ale - American
Ranked #193
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
86
Ranked #21,958
Avg:
3.85 | pDev: 11.17%
Reviews:
984
Ratings:
3,300
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  113
Gots
  562
SCORE
86
Very Good
Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
Notes: A smooth, toasty brown ale, Best Brown is a mainstay in our fall lineup. With hints of caramel and cocoa, the malt body has the depth to stand up to cool weather, but does not come across as heavy. This balancing act is aided by the generous use of American hops.
Reviews: 984 | Ratings: 3,300 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of blazerkor
blazerkor from Nevada

3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It smells bready and sweet like a brown should. There's not much else to it.

It starts off a little watery but then the flavor picks up and it's malty with an earthy but slightly chocolaty taste.

It's thin, smooth and moderately fizzy. The finish is short and sweet with only a hint of bitterness.

It's a decent brown better than average but nothing setting it apart.  Overall I'd give it a 3.7 out of 6.

May 10, 2021
Photo of jasonbloho
jasonbloho from Tennessee

4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather hazy dark amber color. Off white head with a lot of variation in bubble size. Smells like beautiful toasty malt, but not too powerful. Primary tasting notes are caramel, toast, nuts and malt. Surprisingly light on the pallet, and very easy to drink. Great fall/winter beer.

Jan 12, 2021
Photo of nick_perry
nick_perry from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany color. Lot of rising bubbles. Thin lingering white head. Enjoyable notes of nuts, caramel, and roasted malt. Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Dry finish. One of the better representations of the style.

Nov 14, 2020
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/20/20

Slightly hazy brown, two fingers large bubbled tan head, full curtained lacing and cap.

Caramel, ginger, cocoa, date aromas.
Nutty Roast malty straightforward flavor.
Nice bitter finish, medium body, plenty of carbonation, creamy feel.

Perfect for a cool Fall afternoon.

Oct 31, 2020
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120 from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, almost three months old according to the 'born on' date

Can't comment on the look, I dranked it out tha bottle. Sweet and creamy with a smokey hoppped-out funk, this is a brown that delivers all-around.

The name is a boast, but an accurate one

Oct 28, 2020
Photo of imnodoctorbut
imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is a straight forward four-on-the-floor brew that is an absolute delight. nothing extravagant here, and decidedly uncomplicated, this brew aims at being consistent and enjoyable and absolutely sticks that landing.
as advertised, it is a cocoa and caramel malt bomb with a slight earthiness and fair nuttiness to spice it up; it looks beautiful and brown/chestnut with amber hues, with a tan head that sticks around and leaves little-to-no lacing behind spare a few suds; medium carbonation and medium body leaves you with a full pillow-fluffed mouthfeel and a slightly bitter finish that warms in slight brown sugar booze heat as it sits.
splendid. 10/10 will do again and recommend. extra "overall" pts given for nailing their aim

Oct 18, 2020
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut appearance, some haziness, with a small tan head and decent lacing. Good mix in the aroma as notes toffee, caramel, brownie bits and walnuts swirl around. Earthy flavor of roasted malts, dried fruit and cocoa. Moderate sweetness but the hop profile keep things from becoming too gummy, Nicely carbonated mouthfeel with a lasting finish.

Oct 08, 2020
Photo of MrOH
MrOH from Malta

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy brown, dense off-white head, nice retention and lace
Nutty, slightly caramel and cocoa nose
Pretty much tastes like it smells
Medium bodied, low carbonation makes it seem more full
Browns aren't really my thing, but this one is very nice

Oct 07, 2020
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken from New York

4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hey! This is really good - hard to say "best" with Underground Mountain Brown on the shelves but then again... this is great without the coffee and bourbon trappings... hmmm... Very impressive - warming malts and sweet brown bread notes but not too sweet - lightly toasted grains with a nutty edge - and super-drinkable - very smooth and light... I'm not normally a "brown ale guy" but this is something else... Get some while it's around...

8/5/20 bottling...

Oct 06, 2020
Photo of Deaconmark
Deaconmark from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a can but very nicely done on the pour. Not a big head but tight and dense. Beautiful color. The smell is certainly malt and some sweetness. Going down it is not heavy but balanced for sure. The malt show right away good taste of Carmel and a brown sugar. This is a very good brown ale and I hesitate to say that a better one is around really. It has a depth but not so that you cannot keep drinking one and yet nothing light. A real gem with an American spin not the English brown ale we might be familiar with.

Sep 27, 2020
Photo of officerbill
officerbill from New York

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful dark brown amber, the color of really strong iced tea, with a thick, long lasting, dark tan head.
I didn't get much of an aroma, just summer slight nuttiness and whole wheat bread
Dark malts, molasses, brown bread, maybe a little cocoa powder.
Malty sweetness at the front and a walnut/almond edge at the finish
Not as heavy as it looks, this is a refreshing way drinking brown ale well suited for cooler days.

Sep 13, 2020
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Appearance is a clear, vibrant mahogany. Tan head is more than a finger thick with good retention and lacing.

Aroma consists of brown malts, nuts and chestnuts, bread crusts, raisins, cocoa, brown sugar/molasses, caramel, biscuit, milk chocolate, a little grass, floral notes, and all-spice and other spices.

Taste mainly consists of brown malts, toasted grains, chestnuts, along with the sweetness of the caramel, brown sugar/molasses, and some dark fruit. Most of the other notes mentioned in the aroma play a subtle sweet role with the sweet notes mentioned in the flavor. Body is medium-light. Overall, has a nice roasty and grassy flavor with a sweet side too.

Sep 12, 2020
Photo of DoubleDown248
DoubleDown248 from Michigan

4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best might be overstated, but this is a very good beer. Its a brown, that stays true to the style. This one tends to be available on many store shelves, too, and has rescued me from limited options of nothing more than american0 light beers and IPAs a time or two.

Sep 12, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a snifter
Canned 8/20/20

A- pours brown in color with a one-finger off-white head that has decent retention

S- smells of brown malts, bread crusts, caramel, raisins and a hint of pine

T- brown malts with a hint of caramel and dark fruit, followed by some light piney hops, the finish is sweet and malty, slightly nutty

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- standard but solid straight forward brown

Sep 11, 2020
Photo of CTHomer
CTHomer from Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; mahogany in color; 1 finger finely pored tan head that receded to a thin cap; nice rings of lace;

S: cocoa and toasted grain;

T: caramel first, then cocoa with toasted grain through the mild to moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: thoroughly enjoyable;

Apr 24, 2020
Photo of the_monolith
the_monolith from Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is exactly what I want when I'm craving an American Brown. Feels and tastes like fall, and as a nutmegger, it's basically the Pumpkin Spiced Latte of beer nerds...

Jan 27, 2020
Photo of Wattie83
Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber, thin head. Malty aroma. Caramel and light chocolate. Mild, earthy hops. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's malty, but not too malty. It's hoppy, but not too hoppy. Everything is in proportion and balance. Feels light on the tongue. A good brown that leans toward the English styles.

Jan 19, 2020
Photo of tucson_brewson
tucson_brewson from Arizona

4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into imperial/nonic pint glass.

L - Pours a rich, clear amber/copper color with about two fingers of creamy off-white foam. It dissipates very slowly, leaving enough to drink almost like a Guinness, very little lacing as a result.

S - Cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, roasted biscuit-y malt, cherry/dark fruit, nutty with a hint of spice toward the end.

T - Follows the nose with caramel and toffee sweetness, roasted malt and dark chocolate bitterness, slight hop presence, bready and finishes balanced.

F - Medium bodied, very little carbonation, smooth and creamy.

O - A nicely balanced brown ale that doesn't lean heavily on the malty sweetness or bitter hops.

Dec 31, 2019
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruby red color with a mild light tan head. SRM of 17-18. (3.75)

Aroma: Mild aromas of smooth cream, milk chocolate and caramel. Faint aromas of dark bread. (4.00)

Flavor: Mostly malts here. Some cream, smooth caramel, and milk chocolate on the flavor. Possibly some faint citrus and roastiness. Definite caramel that evolves into a cocoa flavor in the middle. A dryness is then present followed by a caramel and slightly milky red fruit sweetness. (4.00)

Feel: Medium to light bodied. Medium carbonation. A sweetness finishes. (3.75)

Compared w/ Surly Black Horseman: Lighter in color. More caramel malts in the aroma. More malty flavors. Less airy and sweeter, heavier overall.

Compared to Cigar City's Maduro 11/15/20: Pours a lighter color with a stronger head. More smooth milk chocolate and caramel. Less roasted cocoa, espresso, and smoke. More smooth and malty overall.

Compared to Pearl Street Brewery's DTB Brown Ale 4/20/21: Pours a slightly darker hue. Stronger head. More caramel, chocolate, pine, red fruit, and citrus. Less toasted and bread malt. Finishes heaver, sweeter, and more complex. Winner: Best Brown

Overall: A delicious malty offering. It sort of reminds me of an Anchor Steam. A strong red fruit and citrus flavor with some hints of vanilla and pine. Less ruby citrus than an amber. Less bitter and tamer than an Altbier, but it has the same flavors and body, just milder, smoother, and maltier. Very faint citrus and roastiness. Mostly malty. I would imagine this would be similar to Bell's Amber Ale, but it would be more malty and less ruby red. Very good, and one of the best brown ales I've tried. (Final Rating: 3.96)
*Compare to anchor steam or an Amber*

Dec 22, 2019
Photo of sseisele
sseisele

4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served at about 50 degrees in a regular mug. Achieved the right temp by freezing for 45 minutes and warming up in hot water for 5 minutes.

Thick and brown in color. Very thick and slow dissipating head. No lacing on glass. Smell is sweet and hoppy with a hint of coffee. Tastes of cocoa with a slight "burn" going down. But overall excellent.

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of jmc65267
jmc65267 from Georgia

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty enjoyable ale! Nice flavor and coloring. This is my first time having it and I would definitely buy it again given the opportunity. I highly recommend.

Dec 07, 2019
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is sweet brown sugar, slight toasted malts, caramel.

Deep reddish brown, rising bubbles, topped with a tall, thick, creamy light tan with streaks of darker tan head. The color glows garnet red with a backlight. The top becomes uneven and rocky as it recedes, leaving very thick head remnants (too thick to be called lacing) down the side of the nonic glass.

Taste is toasted bread, hints of sweetness without ever becoming sweet, with very mild bittering in the middle, which fades toward the finish. Some coffee-like flavor, but not quite there. Hops add a bit of spiciness to the mild bitterness. The finish is mid-way between sweet and dry, with the caramel and toasted bread malts taste lingering on the tongue.

Body is medium, toward the substantial side, good mouth feel from the carbonation.

Overall, an excellent brown ale. The hops and bittering are nicely balanced by the toasted bready malts. Very well done.

Nov 11, 2019
Photo of Buckeye55
Buckeye55 from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outstanding brew. Pours a cloudy copper color with full head. Scent is sweet and the taste follows with strong malt. A light mouthfeel with good carbonation. Aftertaste is mostly malt and sweet

Nov 08, 2019
Photo of SmokySignals
SmokySignals from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into pub glass..
Look lighter copper brown, large, airy, light tan head fades off after a few big chugs, no lacing.
Smells faintly cocoa, malt
Taste is bright, cocoa/caramel- ish and light feeling. Pretty good brew overall, but falls short of recommend or repeat status.

Nov 03, 2019
Photo of hopsputin
hopsputin from New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: murky brown color with some dark purple, cherry, and mahogany notes. 1 finger rocky tan head

s: sweet nutty caramel, walnuts, brown sugar, grass, milk chocolate, mild toasted malts that leave a touch of bitterness

t: follows the nose. sweet caramel and toasted malts upfront. a little bitterness from the toasted malts behind that with chocolate and subtle molasses. big nutty sweetness behind that along with some grassy earthiness. more caramel and and nuttiness to close it out

m: solid medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

o: really nice Brown Ale. on the sweeter side (for an American), but i really enjoy the sweetness and the robust character of the malts in here

Oct 25, 2019
Best Brown Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 3300 ratings