Oaktown Brown Ale
Calicraft Brewing Co.

Oaktown Brown AleOaktown Brown Ale
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American Brown Ale
Ranked #566
Ranked #37,537
3.66 | pDev: 15.3%
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?
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 134
Photo of BayAreaJoe
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
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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Photo of lastmango
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Photo of VoxRationis
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
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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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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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Photo of NeilSilber1
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
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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Photo of DrMullet
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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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Photo of LeRose
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
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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Photo of hopflyer
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
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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Photo of Karibourgeois
2.64/5  rDev -27.9%
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 -7.1%
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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Photo of Weisenbeer
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +0.8%
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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Photo of BrandonR
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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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Photo of remingtonsteele1987
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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%
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 +0.5%
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 -33.9%
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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Photo of bierdeflanders
3.31/5  rDev -9.6%
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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Photo of MDDMD
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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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Photo of laituegonflable
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
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%
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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Photo of beepill
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
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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Photo of flexabull
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
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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Photo of Offa
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
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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Photo of kaseydad
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Wifey picked this up for me recently. Passed by numerous times...but time to give it it's due.
Label looks like the bear is covering his nether-regions. I press on....

Pours a dark, dark brown brew with a big time off-white foamy head. Light lacing.

Getting a lot of chocolate here in the aroma. Nuts also included. Wood. Hot cocoa. Light smoke, but overall this aroma is on the sweet side. Fruity. Liking it.

Roasted malts is the main taste, but the flavor is big here. Smokey, more sweet chocolate and big hope presence. Light pine is peaking through as well. I like the addition of the Cascade hops. It gives it a bite that is oftentime missing in brown ales. Maybe this is a hybrid style??

Brown ales are not my favorite style, but this is something I enjoyed. Overall I really like what the boys are doing here. Turning a sometimes boring (imo) malty, brown into a hybrid brown/IPA brew. Sort of reminds me of a black IPA but with more chocolate. I know these dudes are starting up but the two beers I've had so far are pretty good and I look forward to seeing what else is in store and supporting them along the way.

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Oaktown Brown Ale from Calicraft Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 134 ratings