Charleston Brown Ale | Carolina Beer Company

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Charleston Brown AleCharleston Brown Ale
23 Ratings
Charleston Brown AleCharleston Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 09-29-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by Nutleybeer:
Photo of Nutleybeer
3.62/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap, on the deck at Tubby's on the Riverwalk in Savannah. Great atmosphere, surely making the beer taste even a little better.

Overall, though, a dark brown, leathery color. Not too much of a head on my pint. Not much lacing to speak of. A pleasant enough smell, hinting of the flavor to come.

Had a smooth, mild taste. Roasted, but not too strong or overpowering. It went well with my meal (burger and fries).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice brown reddish color,mine had little head both in bottle and draft.I liked the malty aroma, somewhat earthy,one of the most buttery tasting beers I have ever had.The buttery taste was most evident on tap but even out of the bottle it was apparent.A decent beer couldnt drink many but the butterieness was something different.

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Photo of sponberg
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours reddish brown with a cream head that disappears very rapidly. Interesting aroma - sherrylike maltiness with a background aroma from my wood shop, sort of a freshly sawn oak smell. Maybe a raisin in there too.

Rather thin body which improves slightly as it warms. The flavor is English style brown ale all the way, sweet, but it takes a while to show up. After an intial aspect of little flavor whatsoever, a sweet malt flavor consisting of nuttiness, hints of smoke, and some notes that remind me of how unburned pipe tobacco smells arrives. It finishes slightly dry and has hints of sherry. Average in a different sort of way.

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Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with an “Enjoy by date” on the label.

Appearance: Medium sized tan froth, obvious brown color … spot on for that.

Smell: Dark bread aroma with hints of raisins.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very smooth and slightly creamy with a thin body. Nice all around maltiness with a faint sting of hop bitterness. Some warmth in the back of the mouth from the alcohol. Light toasted malt and a ghost like chocolate flavor present.

Drinkability & Notes: An extremely drinkable and a quite enjoyable brown ale. Sometimes basic comes by as being better.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) deep mahogany body with a crimson cast displays thousands of very tiny bubbles rising steadily towards its creamy, dark tan head. The retention is good and it initially leaves some craggy rings of lace. The nose is distinctly cocoaish, and quite welcoming. It's medium bodied and it's very fine, natural carbonation from bottle conditioning leaves it lightly zesty on the tongue. The flavor is not as sweet as the nose suggests it might be, and it has more of a dark chocolate character to it than sweetish cocoa. Some floral hops linger in the background, and some nuttiness and a touch of caramel add to it, but it's not rich or complex. Still, it has enough character to keep it interesting throughout a pint. It's well-balanced with a solid bitterness, and it finishes short and dry. And when enjoyed at cellar temperature where its flavors are fully revealed, it makes a nice session ale.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.05/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Carolina Beer & Beverage brews this and the Cottonwood Low Down Brown, my personal favorite for this style. This one just does not compare as favorable. Definitely too hoppy for the style. Nice mouthfeel but nothing too impressive in the smell or appearance. not a great after taste. Paid $1 per bottle at the Carolina brewery. This has been my least favorite that they have produced so far.

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Photo of AaronRed
2.17/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was quite dissapointed with this brew. I poured it hard, to induce some kind of head. I got nothing (and my glass was clean). Brown murky looking without much aroma- some slight malty smell- almost like dough. Taste wasn't bad, just average at best. Sort of like brown sugar and malt cooked together, but unrefined. No hop presence whatsoever. Overall, a bland beer. There is little reason to drink this.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mahogany color, with some dark amber highlights. Thin white head with decent retention. Patches of lace on the sides of the glass as the beer was drank. Slight roasty and chocolatey aroma. Nice roasty and chocolate flavor. Sweet, but not to much so. Not much bitterness. A bit thin, light body moderate carbonation. I found this to be pretty tasty.

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Photo of Gusler
2/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep ruby red color on the pour with the head negligible in size and off white in color, the lace elemental. Nose is malt, Carmel hints, somewhat sweet with the front lightly sweet and the top flimsy. Finish is astringent and the hops trifling in their spiciness, quite dry aftertaste does little for me, but that’s only my opinion

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Photo of Gad
4.82/5  rDev +50.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great Brown Ale style brew. I think some people are missing the true value of this beer. This is an English style with American overtones. And it is about as perfect as it gets. It is not a Porter or a Stout, it is about a perfect as one can get for a Brown Ale. It's a bit dark for my personal taste, but none the less it is perfect to the tredition. Especially on TAP in my kitchen. Pull a pnit of this now.

Oh, and the file size (exact)requirement for this site sucks!

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Photo of marc77
2.49/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy deep garnet / brown hue w/ a light tan head that promptly recedes into a meager thin ring. Nutty, sweet dark caramel and chocolate malt along with hints of roasted barley. Mildly spicy hop nose. Light chocolate is perceived at first in flavor, then fades quickly to allow one dimensional dark caramel malt sweetness to dominate the flavor profile. An out of place light tartness emerges late palate along with subdued biscuit malt. Hop bitterness is low, and leaves caramel malt sweetness unhindered. Lightly bodied, and thin, borderlining watery in mouthfeel. Finishes w/ a hint of butterscotch, but otherwise bland and clean. Not a particularly good brown ale. Thin and uninspired. Passable drinkability.

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Photo of aracauna
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour a dark brown, and it has a nice head fluffy head with decent retention. The aroma is malty and woody. The flavor is not rich, but it has more of that woodiness with a little brown sugar. There is a mild bitterness and a mild sweetness. It's boring, but not really a bad beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.95/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brownish color with amber tones and a low light tan head. Light fruity aroma and light brown malt aroma (kind of wheaty?). Tastes much like it smells; fruity ale character and malty but not overly sweet. Light bodied.

I prefer this English-style Brown Ale over any imports I've tried.

Label states "A classic New English Brown Ale"

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Photo of jdhilt
3.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Easy pour with only moderate carbonation and head that doesn't last. Roasted malt nose and flavor is real good with slight sweetness. Finish is good mix of hops and malt. The recipe is based on an American version of an English brown.

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Photo of JISurfer
3.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really dug this one. I thought it was a little bit malty for a brown, infact it had more of a taste of a weak Imperial. The aftertaste was balanced out though, with a chocolate malt and semi-sweet citrus taste. The smell was very strong. I got a steak sauce smell out of it. The color was a dark brown, almost a black color with a tan head. The head was very thick for a few minutes and then died down to a laceing. I actually enjoyed this, but was worried when I saw the reviews for it. Guess everyone's tastes are different.

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Photo of Stimack
2.58/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had the Charleston Brown Ale while I was on a business trip in NC. The brew poured to a medium brown color with an off white head that had some retention but not much lacing. The aromas of this brew are of roasted malt and caramel, but have a very similar off aroma that I noticed in the Charleston Pale Ale. The taste is of caramel malts that seem to be overly sweet? Again is has a off taste in the finish similar to the pale ale, it may be me but something with this brew just seems off? Not a very good brown in my book, but that is just my opinion.

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Photo of John
2.91/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Charlotte Douglas airport main concourse bar. The color is, simply put...brown. Decent tan head that's revived with a vigorous swirl. Very little nose with this beer, though some roasted chocolate malt and breadiness is detected. Good balance of roasted and sweet malt...hops are minimal. Some hop bitterness is there if you search hard enough. Not bad, but at best, an average/entry level brown ale.

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Photo of beerguy101
2.23/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark brown color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet.. Toffee flavor, not very hoppy. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is malty. A spectacularly unimpressive brown ale. Drinkable and better than some but not by much.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled at A Taste of Carolina at the Charlotte airport. The beer came off tap a light brown color with a small head that rings the beer. I think the color is a touch light. The nose was weak, with a slight roasted nuttyness. The flavor was a touch better, with a slight brown sugar sweetness with a slight roasted nut character. Nothing really grabs me. The feel was moderate wtih a nice lively carbonation. Overall, its just okay. Everything was just average.

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Photo of Boto
3.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draught @ the brewery: This was an OK beer. Probably being kept down a bit by the NC 6% law. It pours a chestnut color, with a tinge of ruby to it. Some head. The aroma is pleasant but not too strong. Some notes of malts with a hint of roastiness. The taste is along similar lines, with a hint of nuttiness. Decent and easy to drink.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours to a clear garnet with ruby accents, forming a thin off-beige head which has poor retention and no lacing. Carbonation is medium-light. Aroma is very English with a pronounced molasses note at the beginning and butterscotch and caramel creeping in. Mouthfeel is crisp and semi-dry with a medium-light body. Taste begins with molasses and malt extract, giving in to a bright butterscotch note, followed by a pleasant wood and pronounced moist pipe tobacco note in the finish. Toffee and nuts are somewhere in the mix. The hops are relatively restrained and add just a hint of bitterness to offset the malts. The finish is also initially "zingy" with a spritzer like quality, though not in the carbonation sense...perhaps it's the light body. There is a semi-metallic rubbery note in the finale.

I really wasn't expecting much based upon the "I want to be a microbrew but taste like Leinenkugels" label...that and the fact that,'s from North Carolina:) Overall though, it's not to shabby..I would recommend it to those who like English Browns. It's certainly better than Newcastle:)

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Photo of AlexJ
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very fresh bottle straight from the brewery pours dark, chestnut brown with a moderately fluffy beige head that laces quite well.

Aroma is malty sweet with lots of chocolate, coffee, raisens, and dates. Roasty, nutty, and with a definitive floral hop presence.

Flavor is a pleasant surprise. Tons of creamy chocolate, mild coffee, hazlenuts, and darkly roasted and carmelized grains. A very unexpected floral hops taste does a beautiful job of balancing out this brew.

Mouthfeel is medium-light and smooth. Very thirst quenching and highly quaffable. This beer could satisfy a stout or porter craving as it packs quite a bit of dark, roasty flavors. Well done, but could use a bigger body to support all that malty goodness.

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Photo of bmills1608
2.08/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured limply out of the bottle. Average head. Taste was very one dimensional, slightly sweet, malty, perhaps nutty, but probably not. Complex....NOT. Hops?, I guess they were in there somewhere, but hardly had a say. Very boring brown colored beer. Did nothing for me.

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Charleston Brown Ale from Carolina Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.21 out of 5 with 23 ratings