Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

948 Reviews
Read the review
Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 06-10-1998

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 948 | Ratings: 2,346
Photo of ZeroSignal
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best before 09/10

A - Pours a dark brown with a cranberry red hue. Half an inch of mocha colored head with stick lacing

S - Nutty, burnt sugar, caramel, coffee and I pick up a hint of...grassy hops?

T&M - The first thing I think is that this has more of a hop profile then I'm accustomed to for a brown ale, but this is not a bad thing, just different. This beer has a nice sweetness aspect, some brown sugar and chocolate. Nuttiness is well balanced by the hop presence. Notes of coffee and roasted malts. Finish feels "bright" on the palate. Heavy medium to full bodied.

D - A well crafted brew, with quite a bit going on. A appreciate the moderate ABV and depth of flavor achieved. I got two in a variety pack, and will happily drink both. I may have a new favorite Brown Ale.

 797 characters

Photo of marburg
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Something of an oddity, I'd imagine, in this style/category -- a dry, bitter brown ale. Taking Newcastle, or even Sam Smith's, as the prototype, this is more than a stone's throw away.

But who gives a shit?

Amberish. A bit light. Bready, malty, mildly caramel-ish aroma. Any hop presence in the aroma is strictly herbal in nature. That changes in a bit though.

Starts a bit thin despite the obvious malt flavors and the mild roasted presence. Builds character as its story develops across the palate. Almost American Pale Ale like in its acidic, piney hop finish. Roasted bitterness and toffee notes compliment. This is originality to be sure. Obviously, this beer's been around for a while, but I can't see how this wasn't a trendsetter when it was first released. It's not going to knock any big Belgians off the top of my all-time faves list, but this is immensely quaffable and surprisingly interesting.

 916 characters

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark brown, opaque. Foamy off-white head which stays for awhile. Not much lacing, but maybe it’s the plastic cup.

S: Roasty malts with a slight sweetness.

T: Roastyness and sweetness up front, some light hops followed by bitterness; a bit weak overall. Nice bitter finish.

M: Good carbonation, a little warty though.

D: Maybe because it’s on tap, but this really goes down easy. There is a lingering bitterness but it is pleasant.

 447 characters

Photo of cracgor
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This as a silky offwhite head. It isn't tall, but it is thick and looks like I think it should. It sticks to the glass well. The body is a dark rich burnt umber.

Smell: Very hoppy. And a nice hop smell. Fruity and resiny.

Taste: This is my absolute favorite American Brown Ale with good distribution. It is well hopped. The malts are chocolate or coffee-like. It is fruity, well balanced, and intriguing.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. silky/velvety.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I really enjoy this beer everytime I have it.

 545 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeously deep and hazey cherrywood brown with a dark beige crown of firm foam that grabs about a finger height of might. A few spots and thinnly spread strings of lace stick about the glass all the while keeping a strong skim the entire session.

Aroma has some cocoa and roasty nuttyness about it while maintaining an airyness about the nose. It's not strong, but it's welcome, rounded, and clean. Drier maltness of pale, roasted, and brown malt tend to get in there with just a pinch of dry grassy hops too.

Taste is quite solid and bold for a Brown. Lengthy cocoa-esque dryness puffs about with dried toffee bits, whispy vanilla hints, and roasted nuttyness. There's some nice nuances and complexity to it that most brown ales fall very short on. This is faintly sweet with a darker breadyness behind its overall grazing dryness of roasty nuttyness(hazelnut)and cocoa fluffy tint.

Has a wholesome, lightly sweet and dryish medium, smooth body. Carbonation is just light enough to put just the right spark of bite on the palate while it places a very nice airy touch to dryness. The dryness is what carries a good amount of the complexities of the flavors as the sweetness holds it all together.

One impressive Brown and very sessionable to boot.
Brooklyn Brown Ale gets a thumbs up, and in a style that usually doesn't even get a thumb from me.

 1,353 characters

Photo of generallee
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. On the label there is a best before date.

Appearance: The body has a dark mahogany color with a light tan head on top. The head quickly fades down to just a ring on bubbles around the edge of the glass. The lacing is mostly slick and slides down the glass with just a little bit sticking to the glass.

Smell: The aroma sweet with hints of roasted and toasted malt.

Taste/Mouth Feel: Up front the flavor has a nice sweet bready malt with hints of roasted barley, caramel and toffee. The hop flavor is mellow but adds very good balance to the finish. It has a big round and smooth texture with soft carbonation and a solid medium to full body.

Notes: Over all this is one very tasty brown Ale.

 765 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, like deeply stained wood with very little head, about a quarter of a finger of oatmeal colored foam that very quickly dissipated into a thin halo of foam that laced the glass.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malts and barley with some slightly burnt toast notes as well, and burnt sugar and toffee. Very, very pleasant.

Taste: Lots of roasted malts and barley, dark bread and toffee. Some black pepper and clove, and a slight nuttiness. Caramel. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth. Nice carbonation to tickle the sides of the tongue.

Overall: This is a very fine brown ale. I really liked the roastiness of the beer.

 700 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a mahogany brown into a pint glass, with less than a finger of sepia-colored head, modest retention, and good lacing. The nose consisted of caramel, hazelnut, milk chocolate, and coffee, with a hint of herbal hops as well. Definitely a sweet, nutty, malty balance throughout, with a hoppier than expected essence as well. While some may find fault with the latter, I think it actually worked nicely; especially in mixing with the sweet finish. The feel was a little on the thin side for a brown ale, and also a little over-carbonated. That being said, it made for a highly sessionable beer. I found this beer overall to be a pleasant surprise.

 650 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good one!
Brooklyn Brown is that, brown, with a nice red glow to it. Nothing overpowering in the aroma, but sweet malt and toffee is detectable. Mouthfeel could use an improvement...I was hoping for a fuller, richer body. That's my only complaint, and it's not really a very important one.

This brew has a wonderful flavor. Sweet maltiness precedes mellow caramel and chocolate flavors. I could and would drink this all night. Great aftertaste as well, as others have mentioned. Possibly my favorite brown ale...however this does not surprise me as I have only had one other brown ale on tap...Newcastle. Eh, right? Brooklyn's effort is applauded! This is a smooth, malty, flavorful beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

 729 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a freshness date of best before September 05 clearly marked, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light brown with a reddish hue. Head develops and fades quickly, leaving the lacing behind.

Aroma - nutty and malty. Very pleasant.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts up front, some nutty flavors in the middle. The finish is a combination of the two.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp.

Overall: This is an excellent beer, possibly my favorite brown ale that I have tried to date. If you're a fan of the style this one's a must. Even if you're not give it a try.

 584 characters

Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a bright, deep brown color.

Overall: This beer has a variety of aromas containing sweet malt, a touch of chocolate and some nutty notes. The taste has good dark malt flavors of chestnut, chocolate, and touches of caramel malt sweetness. It also has a nice touch , fruity flavors as well. Brooklyn Brown Ale is a fantastic beer with lots of good malt and hop flavors.

 385 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For whatever reason, the appearance is unimpressive. This is a brown ale in every respect, and shows it in color and depth. Very little head forms, however, and little lacing is left on the glass. There is a foam that remains, though even that is very light.
The aroma is big on caramel notes from a heavy malt with a bit of hops balancing nicely. Coffee and chocolate are detectable underneath, as well as a slight nuttiness that comes out more in the flavor.
Everything on the nose is in the flavor, and this has a great roasted malts underscoring and enhancing the rest of the flavors. Roasty and earthy up front, hops linger underneath all the way without ever threatening to take over, so balance is superb. Coffee and chocolate notes really come out, and a nutty flavor rounds it out, particularly in the finish. I don't know if browns just aren't peoples' thing, but this is one of the best I've had.
The body is medium-full with a light carbonation, just enough to keep it lively, and a rich, smooth feel.
This beer is just further proof that Garrett Oliver and his boys know a thing or two about brewing, and I'm surprised this doesn't get more love.

 1,160 characters

Photo of mdunman
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Opaque brown/black with a thick tan head but not much linger.

S: Coffee, caramel and roasted malt take over.

T: Rich creamy flavor with caramel and coffee notes surround the roasted malt w/ a lightly dry finish.

M: Full body, good carbonation and a fairly smooth finish.

Good flavor beer, very enjoyable mix of tastes in a good balance. I would come back for another one, but after a meal as a dessert beer.

 414 characters

Photo of EvoRich
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a very deep, dark amber color.Tan colored head

Smell: The smell isn't very strong. But what I can pick up is a nutty, chocolate aroma.

Taste: Very nutty in flavor, with a very caramel and chocolate flavors coming in the end.

Feel: Pretty smooth, with a medium body.

 282 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brownish color, nice tan head, with lacing. ...

S - Nice malty smell, slightly burnt smell, but not overwelming...

T - Nice balance, malty taste, little bitter. ...

M - body is balanced nice...

D - Easy to drink, One of the best brown ales I have tasted...

 272 characters

Photo of Stunner97
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance- extremely dark brown, with small bubbles streaming up the bottom of the glass nice thick tan head off the pour very nice appearance for a brown ale

Smell- good amount of hops and roasted malts, chocolate tones aswell

Taste- very good malts balanced with very light touch of hops on the end, roasted malts are strong with faint notes of chocolate and coffee tones, very great flavor with good balance and good richness very nice taste to it, the balance is very good as it stays right in between malty and dry

Mouthfeel - very nice smooth and well balanced, creamy,

Drinkability- extremely easy drinking, had it both on tap this week and in bottle after being impressed and both were very good maybe tap was slightly better but could just been atmosphere cuz both times was quite tasty, beautiful balance and very rich easy drinking brown ale, one of the best i have had of the style, enjoyable and will seek out many more times, had it once about 3 years ago when just trying new beers and my appreciation for its is far great now then it had been at the time

 1,075 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best before Sept. 07, served in a pint glass.

A - deep mahogany with a long lasting tan head that left plenty of sticky lace.

S - hoppy aroma upfront with a wiff of roasted malt.

T - rich malty flavor from sip to swallow, then a nibble of hop bitterness, back to a sweet finish.

M - medium bodied, mild carbonation, good mouthfeel.

D - enjoyable beer drinking experience, a few of these can be had in a sitting.

 440 characters

Photo of coalcracker
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours amber brown with very substantial carbonation and head retention.
Smell: Aroma is a bit malt and sweet with a touch of hop spiciness.
Taste: Starts out sweet with tones of caramel and darker malts which become more pronounced through the back end of the tasting. Hoppy aspect also a bit more noticeable at the midway point which helps quell the initial sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium feel with a very mild hop burn; otherwise very smooth and a bit dry at the end.

Overall- A pretty solid brown ale with a little more emphasis on the hops than other brown ales, which is just fine IMO. Good effort.

 615 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed on phone.

pours a nice head with good retention. dark brown color

smell of toffee and caramel malts. wonderfully balanced with an undertone of chocolate malt.

caramel and toffee with an undertone of chocolate malt.

thick bodied and very drinkable.

this a mild well done brown

 289 characters

Photo of normZurawski
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is not a remarkable beer. But it is a good beer, which has some very good qualities. What's more, it has no downside. A lot of beers look and smell good, but taste mediocre. Other beers look thin and don't always hit the spot, but they really pack a flavorful punch. This is nothing remarkable, but it's nothing less than good either.

This is a smooth drinking beer that doesn't wow you with malt nor hops. It doesn't have a big head, doesn't have a great finish, nor does it blow you away with a thick mouthfeel. No undertones of chocolate, no hints of coffee. You do get a hint of nuttiness in the finish, toeing the line of the standard American Brown Ale.

In all, this is a smooth drinking beer that simply tastes good. It's a good beer for session drinking, not too high of an ABV but good tasting to boot. It's not a great beer to have if you're only having 1, since it doesn't bring a big flavor bat to the plate. Yet it's good, which is as much as you can ask for in a beer.

 994 characters

Photo of shippos
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured with a deep brown color with a good thick light tannish head. chocolate malty aroma with a little bit of hops. very well balanced with a thick chewy mouthfeel, has a little biscuity taste too it. the body isn't overly thick or heavy though just the right balance to keep this a very refreshing brown. the hops are very well balanced with the malt, gotta say that this might be the best brown ale I've tasted so far.

 422 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a Brooklyn pint glass from Mackenzie in Minneapolis, MN.

Appearance: Dark brown with a ruby red coming through when light is shining through. Small tan head that has decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Strong scent of roasted malts and nuts. Hint of hop bitterness, chocolate, coffee, and caramel.

Taste: Nutty malt sweetness with a nice bite of earthy hop bitterness. Has some chocolate and coffee mixed with the malts. More hoppy than the smell led on.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall: A tasty version of a brown ale with a nice mix of malts, nuts and hops.

 607 characters

Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in the bottle several times prior and now on-tap. It seems to be quite a bit better on-tap. The stricking difference is that the complexity of the beer really shines through more so on-tap than in the bottle. It has the dextrin sweetness, a touch of diacetyl butteriness, the beer is a touch creamy, and it has a nice hop balance. The maltiness, caramel flavors, and a touch of chocolate malt are also present. The beer is just so much more interesting and multilayered in this format. I wish I ordered another, not realizing what a pleasant surprise was in order. This is worth seeking out in this format. L'Chaim.

 626 characters

Photo of vitesse
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i think this has to be the epitome of what a brown ale should be.

At first pour: a huge head. i don't know if it was the particular bottle i got, but the head was just enormous this time around. there was a ton of lace on the sides of the glass as well and the head stuck around for quite a while.
The smell of the beer was nice, too. i detected chocolatey and nutty notes there.
the taste was what really does it for me. This beer just put me back in a british pub. i'd say this has to be the quintessential american rendition of a brown ale. They don't go overboard with the hops like most american brewers, so there's a nice balanced malty flavor that comes through.
I would highly recommend this beer to just about anyone: from BA to swill-drinker. It's also a good bargain at $5-6 per six-pack. Just one of the best beers you can ever get at that price.

 864 characters

Photo of proc
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good version of a Brown Ale.

Pours out to a dark brown in the glass with a decent, sized, light, brown head. Aroma is that of malt. It smells fresh. The taste is excellent with malt exploding in the mouth. Not as hoppy as some other Brown Ales (Bell's Best Brown comes to mind), but the malt sweetness really shines through. This is a very easy-to-drink beer and a definite credit to the style.

 412 characters

Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,346 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.