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 cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of scootercrabb
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of Tone
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 373 characters

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.

 925 characters

Photo of Fartknocker
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle

A- a dark amber almost brownish color
S- a minor malt aroma
T- like the smell, not a very strong malt flavor. Not the usual nutty brown ale taste
m- plenty of carbonation
d- average

According to their Facebook page, Capital is retiring Brown ALe, at least for now.

 282 characters

Photo of Ragingbull
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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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

 274 characters

Photo of roadhouse
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
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 hopdog
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
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 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.

 377 characters

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.

 471 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours light brown with a half inch off-white head that went away pretty quickly. Lacing is good. The aroma is toffee, toasted malt, bread, and nuts. It's a sweet and malty aroma. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like toasted malt, caramel, toffee, nuts and bread. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. I could easily have this as a session beer. Overall it's a good enough brown ale, it won't blow you away but it's definitely enjoyable. I'd try it again.

 583 characters

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.

 591 characters

Photo of ibashmuck
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 298 characters

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.

 1,373 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 283 characters

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 334 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body ringed by a thin circle of white bubbles.

Smell: Mild aroma nutty malts with some hints of wood.

Taste: Sweetish maltiness with tastes of nuts and toffee. Leafy hop character. Very mild, balancing hop bitterness. Drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice, light session brown that goes down super easy.

 392 characters

Photo of morimech
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A very large head formed over this light colored clear brown ale. The head does settle down to a thick cap and a thick ring of lacing is left at the top of the glass.

I don't get much from the smell. Just a touch of roasted malt. Rather weak.

The taste is not overpowering. It delivers a nice malt flavor with chocolate hints. No bitterness and rather neutral in the sweetness department. Carbonation is active and the body is light. I can see this is a beer that could be drunk in large quantities. Goes down nicely. I could see myself buying this in the future.

 565 characters

Photo of nickynick
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

 353 characters

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.

 684 characters

Photo of WJVII
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

 402 characters

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!

 320 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

 448 characters

Photo of terrabyte
3.18/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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