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

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Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
BA SCORE
3.83/5
Very Good
3,116 Ratings
Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#13,787
Reviews:
920
Ratings:
3,116
pDev:
11.23%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
108
Gots:
522
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,116 |  Reviews: 920
Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8212.

Appearance: Pours a clear brown body with a lush, though quickly thinning ivory-colored head.

Smell: Nutty, creamy caramel aroma with lighter notes of chocolate, wood, and dark fruits.

Taste: Dark crème caramel and toasted nuts with just the right level of sweetness. Faint fruitiness. Lightly hopped with a mild bitterness and a slight floral character. For all it's sweetness, the beer still manages to finish dry with a lingering toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A charming, easy drinking brown from Bell's.

 566 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of duceswild
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 4/22/11.

A: Poured a slightly hazy ruby/orange, not quite brown color. Carbonation bubbles were evident along the sides of the glass. A one finger head formed and left spotty lacing.

S: Nice combination of caramel and a nutty aroma. There is also some grain and bready malt.

T: Pretty solid flavor profile with a strong malt bill. Bready and earthy with caramelized sugar, some brown sugar, and nuts.

M: Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation, with lots of small carbonation bubbles. Crisp for the style.

O: Solid English Brown Ale, easy drinking and pretty sessionable. For a style that can be bland, Bells does a good job here.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnished bronze with loads of suspended particles. I may just have to chew this beer. The light brown head is large, firm and is a very nice lacer. Thick, chunky sheets adorn the glass as I drink.

The nose is of caramel/toffee, brown sugar and light molasses. As someone who prefers those flavors to chocolate, I approve in a big way and hope that the flavor matches the nose. It does. I can tell after the first sip that this beer has rocketed to the top of my 'best brown ales' list. A little more body would make it absolutely killer, but it's pretty damn tasty all the same.

Again, the flavor matches the nose: caramelized sugar-covered toasted malt with a little spiciness for good measure. I'm also reminded of sweet, dark fruits such as figs and dates. The sweetness--neither too much nor too little--fades to a slight dryness by the tail end of the long, lingering finish. I repeat, with a heavier body this would be extraordinary beer.

Bell's Brewery continues to grow on me. Brown ale is an often overlooked style that is sometimes short on excitement, but Bell's Best Brown is phenomenal stuff and has impressed me to no end.

 1,148 characters

Photo of drewone
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice and pretty clear hazelnut brown with just the slightest bit of a reddish tint to it around the edges. A very nice amount of carbonation was evident in the streams of bubbles that were chaining up from the bottom throughout the session. A very nice three finger high head of off white colored lace formed on the top on the initial pour and then faded back down to just a thin layer across the top after a few moments. The nice thin layer stayed with it throughout the session and gave off very nice residual side glass lace. Overall very nice and a good classic brown ale look to it.

S - The aroma was very easy to pick up, which was nice as sometimes it is rather light and it can take a minute to pick it out. The first thing I noticed was the nice malt bill attached to this one. A nice mix of cereal grains and bready malts that gave it a very nice base to work off of. As it warmed up I detected some nice light grass like hop notes in there as well some hints of fruit, banana to be more specific that were coming through and giving it a little more balance. The aroma overall was pretty classic, maybe with a little tweak of hoppiness to it, but a good representation of the style in general.

T - The flavor was classic, just a good all around brown ale. Started out with lots of malts, this was completely to be expected. Cereal grains, bready and earthy tones dominating, but then fading under increasing pressure from caramel like sugary notes that seemed to really bring out the best in this one. Deep flavor profile which surprised me to be honest. A nice long dry finish capped it off very nicely and provided that long dry bitter taste that just really is a sign of Bell's in particular.

M - A very nice light to medium bodied ale, this was pretty darn good I have to admit. There was a very nice carbonation profile, bubbles keeping it lively throughout the session and never really letting it get too dull or watery. Very strong finish and a really nice feel overall with a delicate smoothness balanced against a tight crisp profile.

D - Very nice here as I could easily make this an everyday session beer. Light enough in flavor and profile to be easily drinkable, but at the same time the flavors were very well pronounced and made it much better then just another brown ale. Low ABV and great carbonation wee just the icing on the cake.

Overall this was definitely a quality brown ale. I would not say it was the best I have ever had, but it was certainly above normal for sure. I would love to try this on tap, as I really feel it would bring out the best in its character when poured fresh. Definitely a high quality regular rotation offering from Bells here and something I would really like to try again.

 2,827 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.64/5  rDev -5%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, brownish amber with 1/2" of off white head that has decent retention. The nose has notes of caramel sweetness and toast. The taste is burnt toast, roast, caramel with a faint hop bitterness in the finish. It's medium bodied, lightly carbonated and very smooth and drinkable.

This beer is well balanced. The subtleties make it complex. There's a good, strong malt character. It's a little sweet at times, but good overall.

 436 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid brown with garnet highlights when held to light. Small mocha head sticks around for a bit. Smells of chocolate and a earthy nutty bready kind of thing going on. Tastes malty chocolaty faint bread and caramel. Mouthfeel is creamy, body is a little thin carbonation on the low side. Great little sessionable brown ale.

 395 characters

Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my pint glass. Color is deep amber with head that only sticks around for a short while. Minimal lacing on the glass. As noted from other bell's products it has the familiar particles floating in suspension (not just near the bottom of the beer.) Mild but pleasant hop aroma. Slight hop bitterness that is nicely balanced with malt sweetness. Slightly more bitter than it is sweet, it invites you in for the next sip. Very drinkable and a fine beer overall.

 482 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it pours slightly brown and leaves a tan colored body and leaves a one finger off-white head. It leaves some nice spotty lacing and no carbonation is seen rising. The aroma has a fair amount of toffee up front with some nice subtle flavorings of nuts as well as some chocolates and caramels. The flavoring is basically the same with more of the maltiness coming out as the beer warms. Its pretty easy on the palate for the most part or at least as any English Brown ale can be; overall, this is a very nice English Brown that I recommend and would definitely have again.

 570 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaker pint glass at the Schaumburg Whole Foods.

My first brew here at the WF bar. It pours a clear rich auburn topped by a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises biscuit, rye bread, toffee, walnuts, flowers, and greens. The taste holds notes of light roasted malts, walnuts, oak, nutty toffee, and a strong hoppy bitterness in the background. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice brown, maybe not the "best" around, but definitely tasty.

 541 characters

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no dating on bottle. NIce soft amber color with an off white head, leaves some lace. Pleasant doughy/malty aroma. Malty/bready flavor profile. Nutty, hints of rye, biscuits, almonds and oatmeal cookies. Moderate hops round things off. This is another tasty offering from Bells. My wife brought a mixed six pack back from Michigan, each beer has been tasty! Wish I could get more of these guy's brews here in NY state.

 431 characters

Best Brown Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 3,116 ratings