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 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 jstilwell
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first attempt at an Avery product, and I will need to try some others.

A: Orangy Brown with > 1" Head poured into pint glass. Some carbonated bubbles apparent.

S: Mild Malt & Cream w/ toffee

T: Creamy Caramel and mild roasted nuts. Crispy fiinish with mild hops to this extremely well balanced offering.

M: Silky Smooth, medium body

D: This is extremely drinkable and would be a nice session beer. If I see this on tap at one of my favorite watering holes, I might open a session.

 491 characters

Photo of sevineyes
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle featuring a chocolate lab on the label.

A: Nice ruddy copper color, but with not too much head and little lacing.

S: Sweet with some smokiness. A nice prelude to the taste.

T: Sweet malt. Some caramel. Smoke.

M: Nice carbonation that complements the flavor. Ends a bit astriingent.

D: Great.

Overall: I like this brown a lot. For its style this is an exemplary beer.

 408 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 tylerprince
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very nice hazy brown with copper/ruby hues. Two finger tan head with decent retention. Excellent lacing. Some sediment floating in the glass.

Caramel malts, nuts, tobacco, hints of coffee, chocolate, citrus, and grass. Moderate strength.

Rounder than other browns. Starts all caramel malt, which gives way to nutty flavors, finishing with tobacco. Finishes clean and sweet.

Smooth, resinous, and syrupy, yet sessionable. Close to zero alcohol sensation. Nicely done.

A great brown - while I'm not a huge fan of the category, I would most certainly buy this again.

 616 characters

Photo of Dubblebock
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ellie's Brown Ale is a pleasant and enjoyable brown ale from the Avery Brewing Company. It comes with an eye-catching label featuring the chocolate labrodar namesake of the brew in profile, with a nice backstory about the dog and the beer on the side label. Nice touch.

The Brown Ale poured extremely well, with a large, dark tan head and a deep-brown complexion. The beer almost profiled like a stout or a porter, it was so dark and rich looking. Nice nose, with chocolate and toffee overtones.

The taste was malty and chocolately, with Colombian coffee textures in abundance. Hops were present, but only to give some balance to the malty goodness. The finish was dry as a cracker, with something of a toffee aftertaste. This is a brown ale in the European tradition, hearty and rich in texture and taste.

Good mouthfeel, good carbonation level. Very drinkable, but I wouldn't think of this as session beer necessarily. It doesn't make a good summertime quaffer, but I could easily see myself grabbing a sixer or two as the calendar swings towards fall and early winter. I could just as easily reach for this as a good porter or stout. As brown ales go, it was quite good.

 1,182 characters

Photo of micahgoldfus
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep, dark brown with some ruby hues, and a nice head that sits forever as lace across the top. The smell is nutty, obviously, but specifically it reminded me of roasted chestnuts. Plus there is a strong presence of dark, roasted malts, and no trace of hops. The taste is a bit darker than most brown ales I've had, but I was expecting it based on the smell. Chocolate roasted malts up front, combined with the flavor of sweet (but not too sweet) nuts, which finished off with a ligh sweetness from brown sugar and toffee and even a very faint hop bite. A smooth beer with a fairly light mouthfeel, it was very drinkable, flavorful, and refreshing.

 657 characters

Photo of jbone78
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Buddy of mine brought this from Alabama for my birthday. Pours somewhat dark brown with a finger or so head. Smell is full of nutty goodness. Flavors: I pick up hoppy citrus balanced with chocolate and toasty malts. I think the carbonation is a bit high for a brown, but I don't care.

This is a really good, easy drinking brown.


 337 characters

Photo of rmcnealy
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ellie's Brown Ale

Poured a dark red copper color, no sediments. What little head generated quickly faded leaving an inconsisent off white lace around the sides of the glass.
Smell is not overwhelming and not one single scent can be distinguised.
First tastes are common of brown ales, including roastiness... nuts, caramel, the usual fare.
Mouthfeel is slightly above average. Has a bitter taste and flees to a slight remnant on the buds.

Overall a decent beer. Have tried other brown ales that I prefered more like Downtown Brown by Lost Coast Bewery.

Stay thirsty my friends!

 582 characters

Photo of auntfloyd
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into a US pint glass.

Pours a nice clear brown color, with a trace amount of head which quickly dissipates. The nose is sweet, with chocolate and caramel dominating. The taste follows up on the scent with a sweetness at the start, with notes of caramel, chocolate, and malt, followed by a faintly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is smooth all the way, and drinkability is high.

For a brown ale, this is extremely chocolaty and sweet.. I can see people who have never tried a micro or real beer enjoying this. This is a fairly sweet ale, and may not appeal to people who don't like that kind of brew, but I know I certainly do. Brown ales are one of my favorite styles, and it's easy enough to make a mediocre one -- which Avery has decidedly not done. This is a great beer, and probably my new favorite brown ale. Another win for Avery.

 869 characters

Photo of optiontwo
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. poured into broad mouth glass

Appearance: Clear brown with ruby hues. Minimal head, with alright retention and medium lacing.

Smell: Caramel right away, lots of brown sugar, then floral and earthy hops mixed with chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate takes the forefront in the taste, unlike the aroma. Then there is some grassiness, coffee, and a good punch of citrus hops which also contributes a nice bitterness. It's an interesting balance.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light bodied with high carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy and tastes great, can't ask for much more.

Overall: I was really surprised with this beer. Browns can be real hit or miss for me but this one really stands out. According to BA this is an English brown, could have fooled me because I thought this was pretty hoppy. Either way, it's a great brown ale that's definitely worth picking up.

 865 characters

Photo of TheDinger
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of cans from GBX as a flyer. Had never tried this before and always looking from new Browns. Got home and poured into a snifter. Beautiful mahogany and medium brown with a generous head and good lacing and spotting. Smell was a surprise. Carmel and nuts took over the aroma and it was a nice blend of the two. Perhaps some brown sugar on the end as well. Taste was what really caught my attention. Very smooth blend of malts and hops. Like the carmel mixing with the hops to give a little complexity to this brew. Feel was a little heavy carbonation, but not over the top. More toward the thick end for me. Overall- A very nice surprise. Sessionable brown with tons of flavor and a great blend. Avery got this right and it's growing on me. A very solid Brown that will find it's way into regular rotation-

 826 characters

Photo of dhd1491
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with little tan head that quickly dissipates. Clear darkish brown with a hint of red. Big taste up front with peat and smoke, caramel malts and a bit of butter. Really big initial flavor that disappears remarkably quickly. Some coppery mineral aftertaste, otherwise very minimal and light. Some oily mouthfeel. Quite easy to drink. Overall, some interesting flavors and easy drinkability make for an enjoyable brew.

 421 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a can (brewed some point earlier this year, I really need to know how to read those canning dates) and poured into a pint glass. The beer is a transparent brown color with a thin head that disappeared quickly on me. The beer has a sweet smell of the mixture of malts and chocolate with a hint or a toasted aroma. The taste is a little nutty and chocolaty with enough malts and hops to give the beer an easy to drink balance.

 437 characters

Photo of Justin23060
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown w/ red highlights. One finger beige head that stuck only slightly to the glass. Smell is all chocolate with some English hops (I guessed Goldings, but the their website states Bullion, Cascade and Fuggles). Taste is roasty chocolate with a nice amount of sweetness that ends semi dry. Carb is mild giving it a creamy quality. At this time I'd say it's probably my second favorite American Brown. If you enjoy Browns at all you should definitely put this on your must try list.

 492 characters

Photo of davidt
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper-brown color with a frothy tan head. Head is short lived. The aroma is not strong, but a light, sweet malt. The taste follows suit with a very slightly sweet malt flavor. There’s a light bit of roasted malt with some toffee in the background as well. A slight hop bitterness comes through in the aftertaste. This is an easy drinking beer with no over powering flavors. This is Colorado beer is easy to find in the East, and is one we try to keep on hand.

 474 characters

Photo of bjoyce12
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Truth in advertising; Ellie's pours a nice shade of brown. Not a lot of carbonation, not a strong aroma, but this is what I expect from a brown. Not an IPA, not a stout, something right in the middle. Goes down smooth, a few hints of malt, no fruits nor sweetness, with a light aftertaste. Again, what to be expected from a brown. A nice solid choice is you're looking for a brown ale.

 385 characters

Photo of thelagerheads
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The handsome dog on the label aside, this is the middle class man's choco-coffee stout (of which I am the lower dregs). As opposed to say a New Holland's Poet or King's Pontiac Porter this is a smidge watered-down as is their intention according to their label rhetoric. I approve of this but only wish that the taste was more in the body than in the aftertaste. It comes across as a medium Lite Dark as opposed to the black tartar morass that I am and crave more of. A mysterious shadow whom intrigues moreso than a dark figure who leads you away to unknown places.

 566 characters

Photo of sjohansen
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice simple brown. Lots of clarity, even though it's dark you can see through the beer. I get a one finger head from a hard pour, it disappears quickly leaving behind some bubbles and wisps on the top of the brew. Leaves some thick impressive rings of lacing on the glass.

All I can pick up is milk chocolate in the nose. Smell of hot chocolate before you put the marshmallows in.

Hints of sweet and smooth brown sugar on the front of the tongue. Nice bittering hop characteristic in the finish that usually eludes brown ales. Gives this one some character from beginning to end, but still has that nutty, brown ale characteristic.

With such a contrast between the smooth sweet front and the punchy bittering back, the mouthfeel is creatively inspired.

I'm not a huge fan of the brown ale style, but Ellie's made me go back to the fridge for a few more.

 865 characters

Photo of MEsoJD
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Poured into a Mason Jar]

I: An Avery Brew that I had my eye on for awhile and finally purchased at Whole Foods. This brew has a pretty good reputation, so lets hope it doesn't disappoint.

B: [5.5 ABV 12 FL. OZ ] I love the label on this beer. With chocolate being an important ingredient, putting a Chocolate Labrador makes sense. With a back story, abv, ingredients, and date, I'm pretty satisfied with the amount of information given.

A: A hardly transparent dark brown body/reddish tint with a semi fluffy/scattered head (medium dissipation), and decent lacing.

S: Brown sugar, chocolate, nutty, and bread malt complimented by vanilla.

T: Pretty much follows the nose. Vanilla is pretty open with the bread malt, chocolate, caramel, subtle hops, and a nutty after taste.

M: Smooth finish, medium body, medium carbonation, and moderate alcohol presence.

O: Very tasty brown ale that gets better as it warms. One of the best brown ales I've come across. I'll buy it again and I would recommend to friends.

 1,019 characters

Photo of sublimesipping
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this beer was but a B- experience for me. Now it seemed to be a fair representation of its style, which is not a style that I am overly fond of, but I found the beer lacking in both mouthfeel and taste. the beer seemed thin with not much foam or glass lacing. taste of burned malt very strong and I felt also a bit overhwhelming and not subtle enough for my taste. Would be a fine session beer, but again this style is generally not to my preference. thought that color and clarity were both quite good.

 503 characters

Photo of DevilDogBeer
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ellie's poured a great brown color, not too dark but certainly a brown ale. The head was off-white and hung on throughout the entire glass. The smell was that of an English brown ale, very malty but well balanced with hop bitterness. The roasted and chocolate undertones were very enjoyable and the aftertaste was reminiscent of a great cup of coffee. Not too overpowering but definitely enjoyable; the medium bodied brown ale went down smooth and was very satisfying.

 468 characters

Photo of ph2001
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle in pint glass

a reddish amber color, one finger of foamy head that settles into a nice layer. very mild smell with slight carmel notes, also smoke and chocolate.

light body, good carbonation, smooth. sweet flavors, chocolate and carmel. finishes with a breadiness and hoppy flavor. nice maltiness with a little bite.

 331 characters

Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
no bottle or enjoy by date
pours amber brown with a thin off white head that faded quickly
smell chocolate smoky nutty and a bit fruity
taste similar to the nose smoke up front and then chocolate and fruit with a dry finish
feel smooth drinkable med body
a very solid consistent go to brown

 332 characters

Photo of beersheppard
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, with ruby twinges. Nice white lingering head with decent lacing.

Smell: sweet malts, nutty, brown bread.

Taste: sweet malts, nutty, perhaps pecans, caramel, and brown bread. Sweet tasting, not overwhelming with the malts i.e. Dogfish (Not that that is a bad thing. I really love that beer.) but, Ellie's is not a wimpy listless brown, full flavored.

Mouthfeel: decent carbonation, substantial.

Drinkability: A very, very good brown ale. Great flavor and very drinkable. A well crafted a tastey brew.

 527 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.