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Brown Ale | Capital Brewery

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Brown AleBrown Ale
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 68
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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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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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 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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
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 WesWes
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a dry nutty aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth crystal and bisquit malt flavor that is a bit sweet and earthy with breadlike notes. There also seems to be a light hop presence. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good beer, but it isn't really a brown ale. It's too light in color and has more of an amber/red ale feel.

 562 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 556 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
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 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 Bighuge
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a creamy dense head that has some retention. Smell of sweet caramel malt. There's a nice nuttiness in the taste. Pretty balanced overall. A little light in body. Being one of the few ales that Capital brews, this isn't half bad.

 255 characters

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 dirtylou
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, Riley's

appearance: pours a dark amber mahogany, fairly clear body...a bubbly beige head forms on top with a fair amount of beige lacing left throughout...decent looking english brown

smell: delicate but pretty restrained...fairly nutty, sweet well toasted malt structure in the aroma, a touch of vanilla, buttery, fair amount of smooth caramel...not very strong but a nice delicate aroma

taste: smooth malts (marzen/okt style) right up front, caramel throughout, walnut and general nuttiness, slight grassy hops...pretty decent

mouthfeel: smooth, medium body, medium carbonation

drinkability: easily drinkable

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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.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
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 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.

 688 characters

Photo of cokes
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
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 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

 272 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 Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown longneck.

Beer pours a translucent coco brown with a medium beige head. Decent lacing.

The nose is of malt, bread and what I think is the signature Capital yeast strain smell.

Beer is mild with a nice malt backbone. Malt sweetness with a slight touch of roasted coffee. A little bit of alcohol presence as the beer warms. Hops are virtually non existent. Nothing threatening here, perhaps a perfect beer for getting a Killians type drinker to take the next step-up. Tasty in a mellow way!

Excellent low carbonation per style. Smooth mouthfeel as well.

 577 characters

Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of ADR
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big head, pretty ordinary brown color. Smell is just vaguely sweet. Taste has an interesting cinamon spice to it, a little more oomph than your average brew of this style. Its too carbonated for me, letting it wait twenty minutes improves the mouthfeel. It is still on the thin side however. An OK warm-fermenter from a mostly cold-fermenting brewery.

 356 characters

Photo of bditty187
2.96/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

 611 characters

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.

 299 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 mentor
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz screw-top bottle obtained from John’s Grocery (Iowa City) in January 2005 and consumed the next evening. Pours a half-finger cream colored head that settled very quickly. Nearly clear copper-orange beer. Smells of nuts and caramel with chocolate beneath. Tastes malty sweet and smooth. Nutty and chocolate arising late. Toffee and caramel. Hop bitter is present but is perfect for the style. The bitter is clean and blends smoothly into a cohumulone woody. Medium light body with a nice carbonation. Fizzes off the flat tongue at the swallow and then there is a more gentle and finer carbonation after the swallow that adds a bit of acidic and sour to the aftertaste.

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Brown Ale from Capital Brewery
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 70 ratings
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