Brown Ale | Capital Brewery

70 Ratings
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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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of bditty187
2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber/tan hue, translucent, smallish white head, soapy retention, minimal spotty lace. The nose was hollow… nutty, malt was detectable as was chocolate powder; this combination wasn’t inviting. The palate had mixed success, it started off quite tasty: the malt foundation was solid, nicely nutty with caramel and floral hops too. But the sudden and flavorless ending diminishes the quality of this beer greatly. It was empty and lacking… only the carbonation seems to holdup. The mouthfeel is thin and inadequate. Overall this Brown Ale is below-average for the style, maybe Capital should stick with lagers.

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Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Capital Brewery's Brown Ale pours out with minimal head
over a not-unexpected cloudy brown brew. Nose is of malt
and something like honey, not too much carbonation though.
The flavor is of malt with the tiniest touch of hop. Aftertaste is
muted hops. It's not a bad brew- but not that remarkable. It
would be a good way to introduce fans of Michelob Amber
Bock to something a little more complicated- sort of like a
gateway beer to quality.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer comes out with a brown body and a off white head. Theres a bit of a caramel smell somewhere in there. A bit of a roasted and caramel flavor is what this beer has to offer, but it is on the weak side of things. Its not a bad beer, but dont drive to wisconsin just to pick one up.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted on 5/12/05 at Bricks (Beer Bar) in Cedar Rapids, IA.

Light brown with a nice beige head and decent carbonation. Pretty much down hill from there as this one is a pretty non-descript lightly sweet example of the style.

A bit weak in my mind but I've come to expect that in English Style Brown Ales...

Per Label : "English Style"

Per CB website: An ale with a deep brown tone, this is our version of a traditional British style, balanced toward the malt (three of the varieties used are imported), this ale exhibits classic ale smoothness.

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Photo of WJVII
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured with a nice brown color, a little cloudy with a decent head. The smell was slightly of chocolate and a little nutty. The carbonation was larger bubbles and went down relatively smoothly. There was the slightest hint of chocolate and some sweetness in the after taste. This beer had a nice balance, but wasn't overly impressive. Worth a try, but there are better beers in this category.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle from ketchepillar. Thanks.
Pours a mostly clear, medium maroonish brown with a moderate lasting offwhite head. Smell is as expected and malty and almost nutty. Flavor is malty and nutty similar to the nose and has a noticeable light hop character on the backend. Nothing fancy, but drinkable and a decent brown ale, all around.

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Photo of Tone
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells of yeast, grain, slight roasted malt, and acid. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, yeast, and slight hops. Overall, not a very good example of an English Brown.

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Photo of hero27
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Light brown color, relatively small head that holds it's ground decent enough. Nice combination of roasted & toffee malts. Nutty character takes over from there and carries it ok with a slight hop bitterness, but nothing to get too excited over. Pretty smooth and I could imagine drinking several of these if I was so inclined.

I'd take this over something like Newcastle any day of the week, but then again, it's not often that I eagerly reach for a brown ale from the fridge.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, dark caramel brown with a medium white head that disappears quickly.

Aroma consists of bubbling caramel.

Flavor has a creamy malt, slightly sweet, and just a hint of nuts. It has a light hop finish in the aftertaste. Overall, the flavor seems lacking.

Quite crisp, possibly too much carbonation. Actually, it might not be too much, but I can really feel the fizz over the muted flavors. I'd probably put the blame on the flavor instead.

It's drinkable, but it would really seal the deal if the flavor had you coming back for more.

A little disappointing.

 584 characters

Photo of Ahhdball
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another brew forced on me by The World Beer Tour at The Winking Lizard Columbus. Decent brown color with a slight beige ring around the top. Small amount of oily residue left with the lacing.
Barely any smell save for a few roasted nuts.
Rich nutty, good malt charisma with a mild presence of hops. An average mix for a brown ale.
Smooth and creamy, light and oily. Decent overall.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark gold in color with little to no head. The nose is decidedly malty. Fresh and clean attack with a smoothness to the flavor and the mouthfeel. Almost a cream ale type of flavor coming through for me. It finishes clean, but with a rising sensation brought on by the combination of lighter body, and the effervescence of carbonation. Dries quickly in the mouth at the finish.

 376 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So far, my experience with Capital Brewery has given me the opinion that they make solid, unexceptional beers. This Brown Ale does nothing to change that opinion. By no means is this a bad beer; it's simply a rather boring one. It looks pretty, a nice medium-dark brown with a creamy, off-white head. It smells good, slightly nutty and roasty, but nothing especially noticeable. Doesn't really taste like much, but it feels good in the mouth, a little bite from the carbonation. Easy to drink, easy to forget.

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Photo of hopdog
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium, see through brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, caramel and light chocolate. Tastes of pretty much the same - nutty, caramel and chocolate. Semi-sweet and tastes a little like maple syrup.

Notes from: 10/18/05

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.39/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear, light brown hue, with a short whitish head.
Aroma: nutty as all get-out, but nothing else,and largely dry, after that.
On the palate, unimpressive, little hops, decent malt, but nothing really good is going on here, it all just lays together and asks to be drunk, and quickly, that's all. Some dry fruitiness shows later in the flavor.
Texture is light, as is body, and overall this beer feels far too thin. I lost track, and didn't know if I was having a beer, or some somnambulistic nightmare!
Seems like they were trying to craft a Newcastle clone, and succeeeded spectacularly. Finish is too short, as is flavor.
Sorry, Capital, better luck next time...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger cream head that goes slowly leaving a little lace. Almost clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Malty nose. Starts malty, nutty but hops are balancing, smooth, clean finish. Nice brown. $1.79 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA.

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Photo of nickynick
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer was ok. A nice brown color. I alway thought that brown ales had to be sweet, however this one has pretty good balance making it drinkable. As it warmed a bit more flavors showed up. Not overly sweet, and not overpowering hops. Would not be my first choice, but would not turn one down, and would probably buy this beer again.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Along the same lines as Newcastle's version. Dark brown with a thin off-white head. A little thin with hints of brown sugar and caramal in the flavor. Mild nutty aroma. Not the best Capital has to offer but it is definitely potable.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a medium brown, kind of orange, with a three-quarter inch off-white head. It sinks down to a cap and leaves some moderate lacing.

Aroma is nutty with a bit of caramel and some hop notes. Nothing special about it.

Taste has some caramel up front with the nuttiness coming in the middle and lasting into the finish. The end brings some earthy hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a nice creamy carbonation.

While it's not the best English Brown Ale, it's certainly solid enough.

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is probably the best of the beers I've sampled from this brewery, which otherwise hews too closely to style. A nice malty smell greets me when I pop the bottle, then it pours a nice thick head over a dark brown body. I get a taste of roasted coffee, maybe even chicory atop a bed of caramel. A sharp hop sting gives it a little fruity note like… all I can come up with is blackberries. Carbonation enhances the delivery of flavor. This is close to being a nut brown ale. Capital could really cut loose if they wanted to.

 526 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color, with cherry highlights. Smells a bit sour (hmmm....). Taste isn't all that bad, with a nice toffeeish maltiness, and a touch of sourness. All in all, not the best brown I've ever had. Servicable, but just barely. I'd drink again, but only if I had to.

 278 characters

Photo of cokes
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber-brown below a skimming of beige cream.
Mellow whafts of dusty chocolate, bread crusts and English hops.
Begins with an easy-going earthy nuttiness dusted with cocoa powder. Toasted, crusty white bread body with a light caramel topping. Floral hops gradually build, and become featured by the finish.
Shy of medium bodied, but sessionable
Not an exciting Brown, but not a bad one.

 395 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Capital Brown Ale pours out a partially transparent brown color toppped with a large, off-white head. Doughy malt aroma with a light brown sugar-like sweetness. The flavor is very nutty with doughy malt and a touch of cocoa. Hops are light but come through more as the beer warms. The flavor is cleaner than most brown ales. Medium mouthfeel. Good drinkability. This is not a particularly interesting beer, but I suppose it could be a "gateway beer" for your non-craft brew drinking friends.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Medium head on a pancake syrup brown body. Smell and taste are what you'd expect from a brown ale: malts and nuts. Hint of a sweetness as well. Not too bitter, and fairly smooth on the mouth, this is a good brown. Not great, but good.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brown ale isn't. It's more of a clear reddish copper with golden highlights. The head is light toasty tan and decently sturdy. It's taking its sweet time deflating and deposits a respectable amount of lace when it does so. The nose is rather ho-hum, nothing much there to spark my interest. Standard aroma of caramel malt, a little spicy perhaps.

The flavor is just okay. Again, pretty simple stuff here, but that's not always a bad thing. Lightly toasted malt with notes of caramel and carob, accented by a gentle spiciness and a hint of hoppiness. The finish is increasingly, although still only slightly, bitter and is dry. I know that it's an ever-present complaint of mine, but the body could stand to be beefed up a bit. It isn't thin in the mouth, but it's damn close.

Capital Brown Ale is a brown ale 'by the numbers'. Nothing about it really stands out for me. I could drink a few if I was otherwise occupied, but I'd forget them as soon as they were gone. Much like I've forgotten... now what was the name of this beer again?

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Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep reddish-amber color with moderate off-white head.

Smell is rich in caramel.

Taste also has some nice caramel notes, but is a bit too dry for liking of this style.

Finish is also a bit too fry for my enjoyment.

Not a bad beer, just not something I will soon revisit.

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Brown Ale from Capital Brewery
3.67 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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