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

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Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
Very Good
3,196 Ratings
Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,196 |  Reviews: 947
Photo of Imsothirsty
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of Wponemon
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of ploobs
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of jwbradley77
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of Ryandey
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
1.23/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer was quite disappointing. I love brown beer and I love Bells but I feel the makers of Bells put zero effort in the making of this brew. But what really boils me is that Bells has the nerve to label it Best Brown Ale when it is probably the worst brown beer on the planet. It's like come on Bells you make a good IPA with Two-hearted, an amazing whole cone IPA with Hopslam, make one of the best Amber beers, and amazing Christmas brew, what the hell is this brown brew? Should've tasted it and then try reformulating with better ingredients. But until making the best brown beer do not put it on the market. I strongly urge not to get this one.

 659 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
1.42/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. PKG 08/08/2018 printed on bottom right corner of back label. Rare format, I feel special. Anyway this one is 2 months old so it should still be plenty fresh. Spoilers this beer was shockingly bad so here's some additional info stamped on bottom of the bottle in case it's of some use to the brewery: PRN: 22280. The back label says its shelf life is 6 months so it's still got 4 months left in its life expectancy, unfortunately it may be dead on arrival.

Appearance - Absofu**inglutely massive tan head with great stick and decent retention and thick patchy lacing. Very hazy mahogany brown body with tons of carbonation. Can barely make out shadows on the other side, even with a light source behind the glass. 5

Smell - Dry cardboard. Literally sniffing boxes out here. I mean not literally but trust me. It's some dang cardboard. I'm really disappointed the smell didn't live up to the appearance. 1.75

Taste - Soy sauce. Nasty. This might be infected to be honest. Very dry. Bitter. Cardboard. And as I continue drinking it the soy sauce character recedes into the background behind its other nearly equally unappetizing characters. 1

**WAIT WHAT** Being now thinking this is infected, I look into the mouth of the bottle at the bottom, with a light source behind it. And I see what looks like some kind of thin film of sludge or some kind of strange residue slowly cascading down the bottom of tilted bottle.

Mouthfeel - BLEH. I'm too grossed out to think straight. But it is pretty bad. 1

Overall - Get this out of my face. It's either infected or otherwise a bad batch, or just straight up a terrible brew. 1

 1,663 characters

Photo of Jade
1.5/5  rDev -60.8%

Photo of larebear
1.75/5  rDev -54.3%

Photo of Jstewart6
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of psuwiz99
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of JBoz
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of suckaj
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of bobhits
2.09/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brown, thin, filtered, 1 finger head, white off white creamy head.

Toasty aroma followed by caramel malt. Some hops mixed in. Creates a rather complex and interesting aroma.

Somewhat thin, watery, toasted malt up front, finishing carmal, hops give an earthy piny touch that's just enough there to add some almost texture to the beer.

Drinkable enough and clean enough in the mouth feel, but both are just off. It's a touch too thick in mouth feel for the flavor. The flavor is pretty light and ready to a day of drinking but the body isn't. it's not something I'd drink 4-5 of in a night. Just too thick and not flavorful enough to have me keep tipping my glass.

 667 characters

Photo of GuyWithGuitars
2.11/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This swill is NOT, I repeat NOT a nut brown. This is yet another disgusting IPA trying to -disguise- itself as a nut brown ale. What in the HELL is the hipster obsession with hops? If I wanted this much stank I'd lick a skunks asshole. I've been drinking nut browns since I was a wee lad and made the mistake of trusting this yet un-tested American nut brown ale (a paradox) just to give it a go. Bitter, overbearing hops dominate what traditionally is supposed to be a coffee/chocolate/malt in a nut brown. I could say more, but if you're looking for a good nut brown, find yourself an icy 6 pack of Old Chub. Ok. Bye.

 619 characters

Photo of BlueTomorrow
2.22/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Photo of SouthPhillySips
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of JJFordick
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Trevormcraig
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Seubseubs
2.28/5  rDev -40.5%

Photo of rkinsella
2.32/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured into a nonic glass, looks great...dark tea colored with a bit of a haze, off white head with good retention and average lacing.

On the nose, alcohol whiff right away, toasty bread with a bit of spiciness. Smells like a boozy home brew...sadly enough.

Taste starts with bread like flavors dipped in alcohol, moves to a slight tanginess before the subtle hop finish.
Missing all the wonderful flavors that can emerge from a brown ale...i.e. nuttiness, fruity and brown sugar notes.

Medium carbonation, medium to heavier body.

Too boozy tasting to be a session brown...almost has a winter warmer feel to it.

Not what I look for in a brown ale. Better domestic offerings from Goose Island, Avery, Sam Adams, etc.

 722 characters

Photo of kellbell44
2.36/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of Crosling
2.36/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle purchased at the old brewery about 2 weeks ago. Bright copper color, with a small head. Very apparent oxidation in the nose; lots of sherry and wet cardboard, with light malts, honey....etc...but not much besides oxidation. Oxidation is less present in the flavor, thankfully, which I usually tend to experience in my tasting. Honey and dark malt flavors. The oxidation ruined the beer. I wouldn’t rate it, except that I purchased it the brewery a week or so ago.

 471 characters

Photo of Zimmerman
2.37/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Eyes and Nose: Deep, dark reddish brown with a thick tan head that slowly dissipates. Somewhat nutty on the nose.

Mouth: Subtle maple, cinnamon, caramel and apples. Slightly roasted but all around a very muddled flavor that feels somewhat murky. Slightly tart and sweet, while also burnt and smoky with a touch of almond.

Ultimately this beer's complexity is its undoing. The earthy bitterness of the malt clashes with the caramel/toffee amber notes. It's not a bad beer, but it needs more refining and perhaps a touch of either sweetness or hops.

 549 characters

Photo of plumberman63
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Nice dark caramel color and tan head. Has a sweet chocolate malty aroma with a hint of coffee. taste follows the aroma especially out of a glass. A little to bitter for me can't drink out of a glass, out of the bottle its tolable. Not something I would get again.

 263 characters

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Best Brown Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 3,196 ratings