Oaktown Brown Ale
Calicraft Brewing Co.

Oaktown Brown AleOaktown Brown Ale
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #578
Ranked #38,458
3.67 | pDev: 15.26%
Calicraft Brewing Co.
California, United States
Oaktown Brown AleOaktown Brown Ale
Notes: Not your traditional brown ale. This is a big, bad, bold brown. It's the intersection of a cabernet and an IPA. Or, say, 15th and Broadway. A blend of three oaks added during fermentation creates a red wine-like structure. California Cascade hops bring the local flavor that goes from roasted and bitter on first swig to a soulful, chocolate finish. Generally speaking, not for wussies. But who are we to say?
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 135 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JayDubTrub
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap - one of the best browns I’ve had. It’s def thicker, fuller, creamier and maltier than most - yet retained a real smooth flavor. This and Alesmiths nut brown are my top two.

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JayDubTrub from California, Oct 17, 2019
Photo of BayAreaJoe
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Calicraft beer - I really wanted to love this since I live pretty close to the brewery. Alas, it's just a middle-of-the-road, basic brown ale. I'm not a fan of the oak used, it's more or a wet wood aroma and not some deep, profound oaky presence. Everything else was ok.

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BayAreaJoe from California, Oct 13, 2018
Photo of lastmango
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear brown with a frothy 2 finger tan head that dissipated to a thin layer. Moderate lacing. Chocolate malt aroma with a bit of char and vanilla. Initial taste of sweet malt, chocolate and bit of coffee that is overwhelming followed by moderate woodiness and hop bitterness. Moderate body and carbonation and a bit of creaminess. This seems too bitter for a brown ale.

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lastmango from Pennsylvania, Jan 27, 2018
Photo of VoxRationis
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle into a conical pint; best by 10/17/18.
A: Pours a clear brown with a one inch, fluffy, tan head, good retention and solid lacing.
S: Aromas of mocha, macademia/almond, and vanilla are evident. Definitely malty to the nose.
T: Sweet and malty. Flavors of coffee, lactose sugar, and vanilla with a little zestiness, consistent with but not exactly minty. Nutty flavors in the background. Bitterness plays a big role in tamping down the sweetness.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Sweet, tingly aftertaste/afterfeel.
O: Definitely an interesting, flavor forward brown ale. A bit sweet for my taste, but I truly appreciate the enhanced flavors provided by the oaking. Would have like to have seen more bitterness offsetting some of the sweetness, but I supposed that would have basically made it a porter.

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VoxRationis from New York, Jan 20, 2018
Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is brown in appearance and when held up to a bright light it is clear dark brownish red in color with a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high light tan colored head that died down, eventually leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a narrow collar around the edge of the glass, and sone specks of bubbles clinging to the edge.
S: Light to moderate aromas of nutty and chocolate malts are present in the nose along with hints of oak.
T: The taste starts off with some initial flavors of chocolate and nutty malts but these are quickly replaced by strong flavors of oak along with hints of floral hops and a light amount of associated bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops lend some dryness to the finish.
O: The oak aging completely changes the taste and mouthfeel of this brown ale, making it very unique.

Serving type: bottle

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metter98 from New York, Jan 14, 2018
Photo of NeilSilber1
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark chocolate brown color with fast fading light head, coffee and whisky oak barrel woodiness w notes of coffee, toffee, chocolate and whiskey. Sharp hop and deep roasty favor - drinks more like a stout than a brown. Good stuff!

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NeilSilber1 from California, Dec 24, 2017
Photo of DrMullet
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark, mahogany color.
Smell is a mix of cocoa and a bit of coffee.
Taste follows the nose, cocoa with a bit of coffee.
Cross between a brown and a porter.

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DrMullet from Florida, May 21, 2017
Photo of LeRose
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours a very clear, lovely mahoghany with a thin cap of biege bubble that rapidly subside. Still, it looks nice in the glass with ample red tint.

Aroma of malts, some nut aroma, toffee or caramel. Typical brown, but very subdued, muted.

The flavor follows. It has the basic brown ale flavors, just not enough strength. There us also a metallic tang that gets in the way.

Feel is thin, astringent, and there is a big smack of bitter mid-taste.

Overall it is a drinkable, serviceable beer. Not something to seek out, but a decent middle of the road beer.

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LeRose from Massachusetts, Jan 17, 2017
Photo of hopflyer
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Best by 1/25/17.

Pours deep dark brown, mahogany color. Quickly receded one finger head.

Smell is light nutty aroma with faint coffee. Overall, pretty muted.

Taste at first is a bit of light roast coffee and a touch of caramel. Some toffee. A bit of sweetness. I recently had some peanut brittle and this somewhat reminds me of that.

Body is sort of light for the ABV. Carbonation on the lower side of medium. Somewhat mouth coating, a bit sticky.

Decent brown ale. Malt bill feels right but missing something, not sure what though.

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hopflyer from Pennsylvania, Jan 15, 2017
Photo of Karibourgeois
2.64/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear brown pour with a small tan head that fades quickly. Aroma of nuts and a bit of earth. Kind of a strange taste upfront that has a bit of nut, roasted malt and earthy hops. Caramel and light bitter coffee flavors come out as the beer warms. Finishes with a dark bitter flavor.

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Photo of Mikey440
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried it from the brewery recently. Had a good balance of freshness and flavor. Didn't have a much hops flavor but wasn't bad either. Good for when I want a porter or something that has that coffee/cocoa/espresso taste. Wouldn't call it amazing, but overall enjoyable.

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Mikey440 from California, Jan 10, 2017
Photo of Weisenbeer
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as part of a gift pack for the holidays...was excited to try as this brewer is not one we see locally. Thin coffee/cocoa taste with some apparent hops. Not bad, not great.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I was happy to find Oaktown Brown on tap at the Oakland Coliseum, for an A's game. I can't quite separate my rating from the overall experience: watching Big Papi in the final month of his career, and watching the Red Sox roll up a 16-2 victory. I was happy to find a decent craft beer selection, and particularly happy with the Oaktown Brown.

The appearance is nothing out of the ordinary. The aroma and taste are a combination of brown ale flavors, and flavors you'd associate more with a porter: cocoa (quite a bit) and a little coffee. Then there is a liberal dose of hops sprinkled in.

The body is pretty thin.

If you're a style purist, this beer might not be for you. It's not exactly a brown ale, and it's not exactly a porter, and it's hoppier than either of those styles usually are. But I liked the mix-and-match nature of the beer's flavors, and I enjoyed it overall quite a bit. I probably wouldn't seek it out as a special purchase on my visits to the Bay Area, as there are much better choices around here. But the next time I'm at an A's game, I'd happily have another.

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VashonGuy from Washington, Sep 03, 2016
Photo of BrandonR
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark but shows a distinct deep red when held to light. Medium tan head that disappeared quickly. Very smooth mouth feel, just a touch of hops or bitterness. Touches of coffee and oak, but mainly a slightly sweet fruit taste.

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BrandonR from California, Apr 09, 2016
Photo of remingtonsteele1987
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've only had this beer on draft, and it's a nice all around beer. It's a very dark brown with very little head. Definitely has a burnt espresso aroma with the same flavors along with bitter chocolate. Although it's dark, it has a light to medium body and finish.

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Photo of zander4dawin
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Fluffy head, dark brown ale, thick creamy texture, dark chocolate notes, with coffee, grainy oatmeal cookies, and powdered sugar. Pretty tasty, mostly enjoyed the texture of the beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of head on a dark brown body.
The aroma is dry cocoa, roasted malt and wood.
The taste is burnt wood, chocolate, milk, and pine bitter at the end.
The texture is crisp and thick.
Tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of mactrail
2.42/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

While I have to say this is more flavorful than the average Brown Ale, I wish it wasn't. There is an intense back of the throat catch that is very peculiar. Severely roasted grain, burnt oatmeal, and a bitter finish.

Why is this so bitter? There is a little resiny and piney hop flavor, but mostly it's a bitter harshness that burns the throat.

Innocuous appearance-- clear brown color with a modest head. Spritzy on the tongue. Undrinkable. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Beer Revolution in Oakland.

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mactrail from Washington, Jan 18, 2015
Photo of bierdeflanders
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

S: coffee, citrus, pine, some cocoa notes

A: brown with red hues

T: nice cocoa note with some roasted malt flavor, nice and piney on the finish

M: light body, nice carbonation, very refreshing

O: good hoppy brown ale, not bad for the price (bomber for $6)

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bierdeflanders from California, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of MDDMD
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-medium brown color with an off-white head and good lacing

S-dark malt, coffee, hint of citrus, cocoa

T-dark malt, coffee, pine, hint of cocoa, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-decent drinkable ale, flavors ok but not overly compelling

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MDDMD from Pennsylvania, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of laituegonflable
4.01/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark red, murky. Head is beige, bubbly. Pleasant enough, nice colour. Not spectacular.

Smells grainy, sweet, with a bit of roast on there giving a touch of coffee, caramel and vanilla. Quite sweet, malty. Decent.

Taste is more roasty, but plenty of that sweet vanilla flavour, caramel, particularly upfront, then finish is nicely dark, bitter territory. Smooth transition from sweet to bitter though. My kind of brown beer.

Bit dry at the back, leaves a touch of sandy tongue on the finish, but OK.

I like a well-made brown ale a lot. And this is a well-made brown ale. Good dessert pairing.

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Photo of TruePerception
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Notes from tasting)

Calicraft Oaktown Brown:

Appearance: brown with red & yellow highlights;

Smell: light coffee, roasted oats;

Taste/Mouthfeel: slightly bubbly for a stout/dark style beer, hoppy, coffee, slight orange notes.

Pretty good.

Poured into a sample glass.

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TruePerception from California, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of beepill
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at the bar at SOMA StreatFood Park. Reviewed from notes.

A - Dark brown, clear body with an off-white head that quickly disappeared before I found a place to sit down.

S - Light nutty bread, milk chocolate, and raisins. Faint hint of hops.

T - Seemed watered down for some reason. The smells were evident in the taste, but to a lesser degree than expected. For some reason, the back end and aftertaste reminded me of how floral fabric softener smells (think chemically synthesized flowers).

M - Easy-drinking, light bodied and light carbonation.

O - An okay beer, not that bad, but not that good. Though listed at 6.7 ABV, it seemed like a session ale. The strange "fabric softener" aftertaste was not appealing, and is what made me not really like this one. I suppose I would have it again, but only if there wasn't something better available.

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beepill from British Columbia (Canada), Sep 09, 2013
Photo of flexabull
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear brown color with a small white head.

Aromas are light cocoa, nuts, and dark bread. The nose is faint but pleasant.

Taste is nutty up front. Creamy sweetness, light breads, then the beer fades to some light mineral hops and not much less. Not a bad tasting beer, but kind of boring.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean, but on the thin side.

Overall, an OK brown, but kind of boring and basic. Not bad, but nowhere near worth the $6 price tag, you could probably brew your own instead.

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flexabull from California, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of Offa
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

This is all right but a bit hot, spicy, boozy and thin in character.

Deep red-brown, medium-small tan head, slowly shrinks to foamy ring.

Aroma is nice, caramelly nutty and toasty, nice woody element and hint of citrus and coffee, then caramel and chicken or tuna hint.

Taste is up front light, thin, roasty and bitter woody-peppery character with lingering burnt coffee bitterness. It is a bit watery and thin in feel and character, spicy, overly boozy and hot.

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Offa from California, Aug 02, 2013
Oaktown Brown Ale from Calicraft Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 135 ratings