Brown Ale | Capital Brewery

Brown AleBrown Ale
Liked This Beer
3.63 w/ 70 ratings
Brown AleBrown Ale

Brewed by:
Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-15-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of Atron67
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a great version of a brown all. pretty solidly malty. crisp finish, smooth all over. not quite as 'nutty' as say fat squirrel but has a significant 'nut' character in itself. clear body smooth finish. all in all one of the top domestic examples ive had of it

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Photo of shbobdb
4.27/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I tend to group breweries into "countries of inspiration" categories, and Capital is a down-the-line German brewery. So it should come as no suprise that their "Brown ale" tastes more like a vienna lager. After all, that is the vibe they rock.

The beer pours a nice light brown, almost a deep gold with a nice white head. The head manages to survive the best efforts of my whiskers to destroy it, and it leaves some lacing on the way down to boot!

The beer smells like toffee and fresh cooked bread. There is also a vague estery presence from the yeast but I can't quite put my finger on it. It is very fruity, but not overwhelming.

The fresh, crusty bread note carries over into the taste. But the toffee is strangely absent and has been replaced by a nice, light chocolate. The fruit medly also makes a nice showing here, taking backseat to the malt but in doing so it compliments them.

The mouthfeel is nice a light. The beer has a nice, knacky, dry Germanic finish that I relish. The carbonation is light and doesn't get in the way, hardly noticable.

I dig this brew. But I think it suffers from being between worlds. The English esters get in the way of the overall Germanic quality of the brew, while the name of the beer leads one to expect more of an English malt character. I really like it, but it is a style bender in an area where styles are rarely bent.

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Photo of Musky
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Has a nice brown color as it poured into the glass with a nice head beaded with medium sized bubbles. The aroma is of chocolate and maybe a little roast. Extremely smooth going down the palate with a chocolate aftertaste lingering for a while. Hardly any hop aroma to this which is perfect for the style. Excellent beer!

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Photo of malcontent
4.15/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not much head, uneven but foamy lacing. A very pale brown ale but not transparent like a Newcastle.

Sweet malt, honey, and hazelnut are the primary scents I pick up.

Very even-keel taste ; toasted/sweet malt and subtle nuttiness (closer to peanuts than the traditional hazelnuts). Exceptionally clean finish.

Crisp but not over-carbonated, some slickness but not viscous. Great in this area.

As far as browns go, this isn’t the best one I’ve had but it is absolutely one of the easiest to drink and totally satisfying.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled full bottle at the Capital Brewing Seminar for distributors and establishments in Brooklyn Center. Thanks to AL for the invite.

Color is a lighter brown of chestnut hue with red tones near the bottom, a small light and loose glue bubbly white head sits atop, leaves stringy lace. Smell is a nice lightly sweet bread-like malt with a touch of nuttyness. Taste is mild of malty sweetness and nuts with a favorable hoppy light bitterness thats lingering into the finish. Feel is medium bodied, moderate and late bitterness, smooth, mild, and easy. Gets really nice as it warms, really nice.
This is pretty good brown thats balanced and mild to the point of very good consumption.

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Photo of Rennpferd
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a deep golden brown with a two finger head that retreated down quickly. There was a lot of carbonation at first but it then slowed down to a trickle of activity.

It had a roasted malt aroma that was accented by a slight touch of some floral hops at first whiff.

It had a very nice malt taste. Like slightly cooled biscuits. It had a medium body that finished with a touch of alcohol tinge.

It's very drinkable. I had it stored at room temperature and then tossed it into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. It's like the perfect temperature. As it gets warmer it gets better.

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Photo of botham
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a crystal clear deep amber/brown color, with a finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly into a soapy ring.

smells strongly of caramel malts, with notes of chocolate, munich malts, and a touch of grassy hops. very basic aromas here, but well balanced overall.

taste is sweet; mainly of caramel malt. notes of chocolate and munich malts as well. almost synonymous with the smell, only bolder. good concentration here, without overpowering.

aftertaste is nutty, with caramel malts.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel. very smooth finish.

drinkability is good. not too heavy or overpowering. a nice, mild brew that will satisfy on a mild day.

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Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark for a brown ale. Red with a nice, tight head.

Smells more hoppier than all the other English Brown Ales I have had. Sweet caramel malts mix with a very nice nutty smell to give this beer a wonderful complexity.

And it tastes good, too. Malts like a marzen upfront, bitter, sweet, and smooth, caramel and dark chocolate. These give way to a light, bouncy hop bitterness in the back, followed by a very nice, distinct nuttiness.

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Photo of chilidog
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Brown makes a nice easy in-between, regarding pils & stout. It pours a true brown color with an impressive tan head. One thats frothy & maintains well, laces great. The aroma is sweet, malty and of caramel. The taste is also malty caramel with little hints of coffee. Hops don't play a taste factor on thisone. The drink is smooth and pleasing. It can be enjoyed alone or with a meal.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber color with about a half inch of thick tan bubbles at first pour. There are some sporadic bubbles lingering about on the side of the glass. There is some lacing.

Aroma: Some roastiness with some reserved hopping in the nose is the first thing that I notice. There are also some nutty malts in there

Taste: There is a nutty and slightly caramel malt presence that greets you when you first sample this beer. This allows a bit of hops to peek through somewhere in the middle of the profile. Finally there is a slightly bitter and bubbly finish from the mouthfeel.

Opinion: I think that this is a pretty good brown ale. It isn't too assertively hoppy and manages to retain a malt balance. It is a bit light, but still a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of granger10
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours into three color beginning with a deep dark brown at the bottom, a normal brown in the middle, and almost an oragish brown up top. Medium off white head is rather small. Not much lacing.

Aroma is on the weak side. Some caramel and bready yeastiness. Maybe a little hoppy spicyness.

Very good taste though. More chocolatey than I thought it would be. A nice toasty toffee sweetness under the dark chocolate flavor. Yeast is noticeable underneath and gives this beer a slickness. A nuttyness, which seems to be from the malts and not the yeast, comes in. Hops are more assertive towards the finish but never really stick out. They do provide a nice balance though.

This is for sure great session beer material. Especially for the late fall/early spring Michigan weather. Capital has failed to disappoint me yet.

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Photo of longarm
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with little to no carbonation. The color is decent and occasionally glints flashes of dark amber.

Aroma is sweet with nice hints of nut, carmelized malt, and just enough malt complexity to keep it interesting but not out of style. I notice a dash of vanilla too, but that could also just be coming from the sweet malts. I find nothing wrong with the aroma.

The flavor seems to flow in four stages. First to arrive are the same nutty tones noticed in the aroma, followed by a very slight touch of hops included in a mildly alcoholic bite. The finish is simple and clean. Not bad, but not a lot going-on.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but it coats better as it warms.

I like this better than Newcastle.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

When poured, this beer had a medium sized ivory creamy and smooth head with fine-small sized bubbles.The body was carbonated and clear with a reddish-brown hue.The nose was malty and caramel.The flavor was caramel, malt and a hint of coffee with a very smooth mouthfeel that made this beer very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Reneejane
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a dark orange color (not quite brown) but about as brown as Newcastle brown. The aroma is mildly hoppy and it is very drinkable due to it's low alcohol level. I enjoy this beer anytime I can get it because it's so refreshing. It's a fairly balanced beer, a good standard brown.

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Photo of MJR
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear light brown with red highlights. It's tan head starts out rather small, then shrinks down to a simple ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is very malty and a touch sweet, with nutty and bready notes. I detect a hint of chocolate, but it's really buried.

Taste: Starts out sweet and malty, with a warm baked bread graininess. Mid-palate, a touch of spiciness that almost gives the impression of rye appears. That same ghost-like, chocolate hint from the smell is present as well. After the spiciness subsides, a huge burst of nuttiness takes over through the finish. There's a bit of hop bitterness on the tail end, bringing some balance into the picture.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, with a mouthfeel that's on the lighter side of medium. Finishes with a touch of dryness.

Drinkability: While a brown ale from this well-known lager brewer is a bit of a surprise, this is a decent brew. It's not as interesting as some of the better browns out there, but still drinkable.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber to brownish color with good head shrinking to light film and has good lacing. Though a little weak, can still pick out some of the malts, a little nuttiness and I think i pick out some chocolate, which I thought was a little odd. With taste, again some chocolate along with the malts, carmel and good enough body. Good session beer, unremarkable but definitely not bad, a good local beer to have after work.

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Photo of Wisconsin
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown color with a two finger head that slowly fades after a few minutes. Five minutes into this review and the head is still standing as a thin lace.

S - Nuts, grains and some faint malts stand out.

T - The flavor is light with nutty grains and some malts standing out. After-taste is nice and smooth.

M - Smooth and crisp.

D - For the average drinker, this is one Capital beer that you could drink a lot of.

This is one of Capital's better beers.

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Photo of Wildman
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber color. Light tan head that didn't hold and left only a little lace. Slight aroma of malt and nut. It had a flavor of honeynut and malt. It had a nice, slightly sweet finish. Not as sweet as nut browns, but very similar and feel it falls under those types.

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Photo of Winter
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So far one of my favorite offerings from Capital. Poured a dark amber in color with a white head that remains throughout consumption. Aroma consists of malt and a sweet nuttiness is present. Mouthfeel is medium to thin with a tingling tongue sensation present from plenty of carbonation. This lessens as the beer warms, though. Sweet caramel front with a rich toasted malt middle. Finish is soft with and contains a pleasant nuttiness to it. Indeed reminiscent of Newcastle and Goose Island's Hex Nut Brown (though nowhere near as smoky and complex as HNB).

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Photo of DeeMented
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a glass beer mug.

The color was a clear, golden amber with maybe a quarter of an inch of white head. After the head finally receded, it left some soapy-looking lacing and a ring of white froth that stayed along the edge of the beer until almost the last sip.

The smell has a little toffee, and an aroma that's like a fruity, dry white wine.

In the mouth, it feels light. The carbonation is hardly noticeable.

The taste starts with malts and a little chocolate, and finishes a bit dry. The fruity dry wine from the aroma carries over, and is more noticeable in the finish. There's very little hops on the finish.

Not really sweet, and not really bitter, this is (was, as it's now retired) one of my favorite brown ales, but I realize in reviewing it that it's actually closer to an amber or red ale.

Very easily drinkable, and a beer that I hope they bring out of hibernation one day.

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Photo of marc77
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark bronze / light brown hue w/ brilliant clarity topped by a light beige head that readily recedes into a thin, spotty layer. Assertively spicy and herbal noble hops hits the nose upfront, then is ensued by mellow chocolate, medium caramel and biscuit malt. Rich, toasty continental, perhaps Vienna malt adds richness in aroma. Flavorwise, this brown doesn't quite deliver on the aroma's promise. The strong hop flavor, although a trait I usually savor, cuts into the malt profile, and partially overshadows the chocolate malt. Dark caramel thus becomes the dominate malt character, w/ toasty base malt present as an undertone. Hop bitterness is secondary to malt, but provides sufficient contrast to caramel sweetness. Full bodied for a brown, w/ a agreeably smooth mouthfeel. Finishes relatively clean, w/ a combination of light residual sweetness and herbal hops quickly fading. Capital's Brown Ale is an odd, unique, yet enjoyable brown. It is akin to a Dunkel / American brown ale hybrid. Overall, it's quite lagerlike, partially due to the virtual lack of esters.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear brown in color, just a little creamy off-white head. Brown sugar and roasted malt smell, maybe slight coffee. Taste is surprisingly hoppy, very dry, and roasted through and through. Body could be thicker, but overall this is a pretty good brew. Not an elite brown ale , but highly sessionable.

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Photo of sweethome
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with decent white head.

Nose is rather boozy, with maple. Flavor profile is quite full - starts with a vanilla flavor, nuts, and then some of the maple I got on the nose. Silky mouth feel. Alcohol present.

A flavorful beer, the taste fell off a bit as it warmed up, lacked the charachter of the first few tastes when fresh out of the bottle. A decent beer.

This brewery's strength is their lagers - particularly those with heft.

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Photo of zeff80
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, burgundy color with a one-finger, thin, foamy head. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled fairly floral with a roasted malt aroma.

T - It was sweet with a biscuity maltiness. It had some nice hop spice.

M - It was fairly crisp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a nice brown ale. Very sessionable and easy-drinking.

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Brown Ale from Capital Brewery
Beer rating: 38.6% out of 100 with 70 ratings
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