Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Ellie's Brown Ale | Avery Brewing Company

very good
702 Reviews
Ellie's Brown AleEllie's Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
IBU's: 17

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 702 | Ratings: 2,067
Photo of Halcyondays
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours red-brown, with a small white head at first, but very good retention, makes a nice looking brown in the end.

S: Light chocolate, molasses, cappuccino.

T: Brunt of coffee bitterness upfront, almost stout like. Light caramal and raisin bread come out next, with an earthy hop bite at the end. Definite nutty theme throughout not unlike almond butter.

M: Smooth and creamy, nice overall feeling, light-bodied as it should be.

D: This is a pretty good little brown ale by Avery showing they can make a good beer and not be over-the-top as they can be, but I love 'em for it. First time seeing this beer in CA, I'd love to try it on-tap.

 661 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, light brown head, ample. Sweet roasted malt aroma.

Taste, hoppier than your average brown ale, not necessarily smooth, has some bitterness going for it. West coast brown ale kinda thing. Some nuttiness, hints of vanilla. Stays sweet. Coffee is present.

Caramel and molasses seem to be in the mouthfeel, bitterness wanes as more of the sweet and smooth side finally come out. A little more complex than your average brown ale.

 444 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Toffee-brown brew with deep garnet highlights and a nice khaki two finger head that eventually settles to a thick collar.

S - Pleasant earthy mushroom and brown bread notes. Reminds me of a big dense biscuit or scone. Lots of brown sugar and toffee make this warm and inviting.

T - The taste very much follows the nose...brown sugar, maple syrup, earthy mushroom flavors, raw cane sugar, and dried plant matter....like dead leaves. Very mellow, but pretty complex too.

M - Medium bodied with very mild carbonation and a very soft feel on the palate. Some mineral notes are detectable, and the finish is neutral with a vague hint of gentle dryness.

D - I can see why this is named after the brewer's chocolate lab...I imagine that the doggie was gentle, easy going, and likable if not all that bright. This beer is a good reliable companion for a session, but it's no AKC champion.

 889 characters

Photo of drtth
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a standard shaker/pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer is a dark brown with reddish undertones, with virtually no head. What head there is light tan in color and consists mostly of a patch of foam with small ring around the liquid. Sipping leaves some widespread speckled lacing but by the time ¼ of the beer is gone, so is the head and lacing.

Smell: The aroma is faint but clearly contains roasted chocolate malts without too much in the way of hops.

Taste: The flavor is sweet from the dark, roasted malts and has a definitely bittersweet dark caramel/chocolate character. The hops show in the bitterness that emerges after the initial impact of the malt, but in many ways the bitterness could be from the roasted malt as much as from the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light bodied with no real carbonation except a faint prickly sensation. The finish is long, bitter, a bit citric and dry.

Drinkability: This is an OK brown ale, but I'm not really interested in having more than one and will probably not seek it out in the future.

 1,110 characters

Photo of GrinkoN
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

-Dark but not overbearing
-Little head
-Some carbonation

-Heavy malt

-Not to powerful
-Nice finish

Mouth Feel:
-Hopy on the back end

 176 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Uncle gave me this when I visited...

The beer pours dark brown with a medium head and a nice one hour head retention. The smell is pretty bold on the malts.

The taste is heavy and sweet, but I let this one set a little. It is very enjoyable. The beer was a bit rough on my throat but still a drinkable beer.

Final Thought: It's different than most, but not all that great.

 381 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a deep brown color and a fairly clear consistency. There was about a quarter inch of head, but it didn't last long.

S: Aroma was nutty and malty, with a bit of hops thrown in.

T: Taste was decent. Malt, nuts, some hops, as with the smell. Not overly striking, but solid.

M: A pretty high amount of carbonation and a smooth finish.

D: Overall, this isn't a bad beer. It's not exactly the best example of this style, but it's drinkable.

 483 characters

Photo of TXHops
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

-ABV: 5.5%
-Malts: Crystal and Chocolate as specialty malts
-Hops: Bullion, Cascade, Fuggles

Ellie’s Brown Ale is one of the more English Brown Ales out there, IMO, even with the use of Bullions and Cascades. The clear, deep ruby body is topped by a thin, almost splotchy head of beige, lacing head. The aroma of sweet, chocolate and crystal malts mingle with the coolness of American hops and the Fuggles. Between the chocolate malts and the Fuggles, the medium body is very earthy, after the initial sweetness. Then an almost piney coolness almost mitigates the maltiness. The two opposing flavors linger momentarily in equilibrium, but the earthy maltiness wins out and the beer sours ever so slightly in the finish due to the imbalance and the resulting, left-over sugar. A solid offering, but by Avery standards, this one’s a bit weak and uninteresting…

 866 characters

Photo of Kelly88
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Ottos Deli. Served in a standard pint glass.

A- dark dark ruby. Mahogany if you will. This ruby brown beauty is topped with an ashy tannish grey head. Lace has surrounded the perimeter and ain't going anywhere.

S- not much going on here. Crisp fruit, juicy sweet not hoppy fruit. Some sweet chocolate is barely noticeable. Pretty uneventful.

T- sweet chocolate covered apples seem to be the flavor. Sweet pears and maybe carrots mix with the alcohol at the finish. Solid brown ale.

M- light to medium. Weighs the palate down nicely. Carbonation is very crisp and really is kind of tingly on the swallow.

Overall a beer I will look for again. Enough flavors to keep you guessing and enough heft to make you appreciate the flavors. To bad the aroma is lacking

 780 characters

Photo of kflorence
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imported from my ratebeer.com profile - APR 8, 2008

Pours dark brown with little to no head. Smells of caramel, malts and molasses. Tastes much the same, very smooth and pretty tasty. I could drink a few of these, but there are better brown ales out there.

 257 characters

Photo of claybeer
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Avery Ellis Brown Ale is a dark wet leathery brown. It has some redness to it and not much of a head. It was one finger thick and disappeared instantly. The nose is rich with malts and burnt peanuts. The malts carry over to the taste. I pick up a lot of sweet malt and some brown sugar. The finish is subtle but lingering. Some smoke sticks in the back of the throat. Definitely a food beer that would complement anything off the grill. The first thing I think of are some shish kabobs with pork, venison or beef smothered in molasses and sweet bar-b-q sauce with cherry tomatoes, green peppers onions, and maybe some seedless jalapenos.

 637 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and nutty. A medium bodied brown ale. Malts are very nutty and very sweet. Hops are slightly spicy. Nicely balanced. Smooth taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

 265 characters

Photo of klkatz
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is quite cool.... like a cherry coke... reddish black. I gave it a 5...

Smell was good... organic/authentic... malty... slightly nutty...

taste was nutty... perhaps i'm not a fan of the style, but I give it an average...

MF was okay...
overall I'd give it a 3.5...

 283 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown, damn near black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is nutty, light chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, some chocolate, not really getting much of the nuttiness detected in the smell. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall a pretty good beer.

 303 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with maroon highlights and copper highlights. Minimal head retention with minimal lace that sticks around. Aroma is light chocolate, slightly lactic and sour. Taste is sweet chocolate with a minimal bitter aftertaste. Not overly complex but very drinkable.

 275 characters

Photo of Jwaks
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 12oz bottle

Pours a brown chestnut color with an impressive two finger light tan head that settles into a thick ring of lacing and a thin covering of froth. Adequate carbonation and a translucent body are revealed when holding the beer up to a bright light. This looks like a damn good brown ale.

Carob, roasted malts, floral hops, hints of citrus zest, nuts, caramel, mocha and sour fruit hang on a heavy nose.

Roasted malts and mild, bitter hops come through on the entry that eases into carob and nutty malt flavors on the mid palate. Some bitter, floral hops tie this together on a bittersweet finish revealing a nice caramel mocha infused finish with a bit of smoke. Bitter hops and a bit of citrus zest permeate the brew creating a nice balance to the sweet roasted malt and chocolately flavors.

Very smooth and unctuous, this boasts a medium to full body with adequate balance and great complexity. Bitters can become a bit overwhelming though the underlying sweetnes does well to balance the bitter body.

A complex character and smooth body keeps this interesting and adequate carbonation keeps it lively.

Overall a great brown ale that's a slightly bitter, complex malty treat.


 1,224 characters

Photo of foles
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

American Brown - the style where the commercial examples dont seem to meet the BJCP guidelines. This one is no different. A fairly dry bitter brown ale with some chocolate notes, full body, and some light hops in the palate. However not citrisy in hopping, fairly balanced, somewhat earthy in hop flavour. Another strange point - the website says 17 IBU but it feels like about 40IBU?

Not sure where I stand on this beer. Enjoyed, but not savoured.

 449 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 11/18/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark roasted malts, caramel, chocolate & nuts.

T: The taste is very malty, but not too sweet with flavors of chocolate, nuts, caramel and a touch of maple. The hops presence is very mild. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, worth drinking for a while, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

 678 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to brown-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, chocolate and roasted malt. In the taste, just like the aroma, chocolate and roasty malt, with a small hop presence. A small bite and a medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry roast of chocolate. More a porter than a brown, light body, but ok.

 328 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown beer with a lighter brown head, 2/3". Sweet roasted malt.

Packing more hops than your average brown, plenty bitter, nutty. Coffee malt flavors. A little caramel, toffee, coffee all over it. This is a chunky, jacked up brown, and it is better than average for sure. If its not 1st tier brown ale, its damn close.

Reminds me of that sweet Ellie girl at the Winnemucca courthouse. So fine :)

 409 characters

Photo of Atlas1
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd had the Ellie's Brown before, but a recent article on brown ales in the NY Times sent me scrambling back to the beer store for more. Ellie's received a glowing review in the article, and I had to try it again to see if it lived up to the hype.

Pours a deep ruby-brown, almost mahagony color, with a fat 1.5 finger head on top. The head settles down after a bit and leaves a decent amount of lace on the sides of the glass. Held up to the light it's a pretty beer. The smell here is nothing special in my opinion. Faint malt and chocolate aromas permeate, but nothing jumps out and grabs you. The taste is nutty. A bit too carbonated here, but it does settle down a bit and mellow out. Notes of chocolate, coffee, and black cherry exist as well. Nice coffee bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is solid enough. Overall, it's a pleasant beer. A worthy session beer for sure. Pairs well with Beauxfort cheese.

 917 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice clear ruby brown color with a 1-finger foam head and nice lace. Pretty good.

Smell: nutty, toasty malt; very little hop character, but nice.

Taste: nutty, toasty, a little sweet. Hops are minimal in presence and floral in character.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with low carbonation. I think I would have liked a little more fizz.

Drinkability: while this beer is not bad at all, it really just doesn't float my boat. It's not a bad thirst slaker, though.

 521 characters

Photo of andythejerk
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Generous, pancake-batter head on this one. The color of a cherry coke, with lots of bubbles tracking up the inside of my mug. Smell is striking--yeasty and nutty notes hit my nose and, as is not unusual, start me salivating. Pavlov was my master. It's fizzy and medium bodied, and has a rather tart flavor, with a bit of metallic edge to it. Definite roasted nuts too, though. The finish is a bit short and abrupt, but that blast of tart, roasted flavor is really very tasty.

 475 characters

Photo of peck95
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark mahogany brown with a small but decent sized head a very appetizing appearance
a good chocolate/nutty smell
a strong caramel chocolate taste mixed with hops. the individual taste are there but they don't blend together completely.
the body of this beer is good but the hops fighting with the sweet taste causes a tingling aftertaste
this beer is a pretty good beer overall it just barely misses the mark of being great would probably recommend a few other brown ales over this one

 494 characters

Photo of paulginva
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Pouring from a tap into a pint glass produced a 1/2" fizzy off-white head that dissipated quickly leaving a decent amount of lacing behind. Looking at the body in the light revealed a soft carbonation in this clear dark brown brew with redish highlights. Appearance wasn't bad but wasn't distinguished in any way either.

AROMA: The aroma seemed smooth, with a moderate hit of toasty malt, a caramel overlay and just a hint of candi-derived sweetness. The smell of hops, in the form of light scent of citrus was also present.

TASTE: Taste pretty much followed aroma -- a mild-mannered, slightly sweet toasted malt with chocolate and caramel and a modest citrusy grapefruit taste with a hint of pine. Overall an easy-drinking taste without much to distinguish it.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is mild and easily drinkable. Moderate carbonation accompanies a slick feel to tickle the tongue slightly. The initial flavor was very slightly sweet with a short feel of bitterness that shifted in a modest amount of time to a lightly sweet, lightly dry bitterness. Tongue hit was mainly to the middle and back. Body lacing as I drank this was modest and dissipated quickly.

DRINKABILITY: This beer would make a good session beer for watching a football game or for a long-lasting game of cards, but otherwise is not particularly distinguished in any way. It's easy to drink repeatedly over the course of a night and has decent value. All in all, I'd buy, and drink, it again.

 1,474 characters

Ellie's Brown Ale from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 702 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.