Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

2,366 Ratings
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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:
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Ratings: 2,366 |  Reviews: 958
Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: clear body with a rich amber-brown hue and a good finger of pillowy tan foam. It actually looks rather good, although head retention isn't great.

Smell: caramel malt with a light biscuitiness and a very light nuttiness. Very autumnal; pretty good.

Taste: a faithful partner to the aroma. Caramel flavors, though the flavor is rather dry; there is also plenty of biscuit to go around. Again, autumnal is the adjective that comes to mind. A pretty solid brown ale, if not my favorite.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a very nice, well-integrated carbonation. This beer is smooth and creamy to drink: great stuff.

Drinkability: this is just a classic realization of a brown ale. I rather enjoy it and am finding this a pleasing drinking experience; I'd definitely get it again.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer can taste quite different depending on how fresh/old it is and, perhaps, how they brew it each year. I wonder about the latter because their Black Chocolate Stout seems to be different year to year. Oh, and the Brown, in my experience, is not the same beer at all on tap. That said, I'm reviewing it bottled here, best by date Sept 2010, poured in a mixer pint.

The light tan head is dependably thick, more compact at the base, and fizzles out slowly. The color is milk-chocolate brown with some red highlights. Not completely opaque.

When the aroma is at its best, it's nutty and bitter, mildly hoppy (noble), with tiny hints of caramel and chocolate. When it's off (stale, old) it's mostly bitter with a lingering essence of brown paper bag.

Moderate presence of hoppy bitter in the flavor, fleshed out with nutty, grainy and mild roasty qualities. Medium malt backbone with chocolate undertones. Once again, if you get mostly bitter in the aroma, the flavor will be dominated by it as well. But when it's good, it's real good.

As far as how it feels and drinks - it's malty and medium-bodied, goes down fairly clean. All one might be left with is a bit of a hoppy bitter and nutty aftertaste - occasionally, an astringent, scrubby feel as well.

I've enjoyed this beer for many years. Used to be my favorite brown - the "house" beer at my home. Having come across better browns since, I still regard this as a great, inexpensive go-to.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark brownish amber in color and poured with a finger high head that quickly faded away into a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of roasted caramel malts and nuts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the flavor is very malty with caramel flavors and notes of chocolate, coffee and nuts. It doesn't come across as being that sweet due to the hop balance.
M: The beer feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth.
D: The beer is very easy to drink, which makes it very sessionable.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. "Best before" November 2010 stamped on the bottle.

A - Super clear with a slightly darker than eggshell foam cap that was left behind when the head died rather quickly. A great ruby brown color. Almost frighteningly clear.

S - Caramel, sweet malt. Not a very strong aroma but sweet and inviting. Very good for the style.

T/M - Sweet caramel maltiness right up front that transitions into a mellow, slightly sweet nuttiness. Half a second later you're tasting a nice balance of american hops that goes right back to a sweet roasted malt finish. A very smooth beer with a great medium body and perfect amount of carbonation.

D - A great American Brown Ale. It goes down easy and has some great layers to the flavor.

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Photo of halo21
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: I poured the brow sudsy liquid into my Samuel Smith pint glass, with room for the half inch thick white head to expand and settled out quickly. This translucent beer is finely carbonated with a hint of red.

Smell: Toasty sweet malt, with light doughy yeast and caramel.

Taste: Slight toast and sweet malty. Hints of earthy coffee and nuts.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and sharp with fine carbonation and refreshing mouthfeel of a clean lager.

Drinkability/Palitability: Quite high, but a little more potent than some brown ales coming in at 5.6%. They go down easy, that is for sure.

Notes: A great American brown ale. I have been reading a business book by Steve Hindy and Tom Potter, the co-founders/owners of Brooklyn Brewery. It is a great read, extremely informative, and inspiring; especially to someone starting a brewery like myself. I grabbed a 6 pack to drink as I finished the book off.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of donniecuffs
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of bigrzman
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought a party pack of Brooklyn and so far this is and the IPA are the Kill Joys at the party. The Lager and the pennant ale were kick ass but this and the IPA were weak overall.

A: A little weak in presentation: Thin head compared to others in this style. However, carbonation is appropriate for a brown ale which is little.

S: Sweet nutty caramel malts. Clean overall

T: Nutty and sweet as a brown ale should be. Hints of coffee and chocolate as well. Well roasted and malty.

M: Silky and wet as it should be by this style. Overall a little thin for a brown ale. I was expecting to chew on it a bit more.

D: Not bad not good but average.

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3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass. Best Before date of 9/10

A: Pours with a 2 1/2 finger light brown head. Starts out chunky, and evens out as the head diminishes. Medium retention. The body is fairly clear with about 90-95% transparency. Dark mahogany brown in color with ruby highlights in front of light. Very cola-like in appearance (color and effervescence).

S: The nose displays a healthy malt bill with lightly roasted nutty, chocolate, coffee and caramel qualities. I expected a little more balance for a brown ale. The hops are very hard to detect but definitely lend a certain fruitiness to the nose and palate. Mild leathery yeast component.

T: The taste follows the smell's lead and adds a bit of cola flavor and the lightest sarsaparilla. Flavor duration is long and while it is appropriately sweet, there is not enough hop bitterness to go around. Lightly sour on the palate's back end.

M: The highlight of the brew. Medium full body with a thick texture and lively, biting carbonation. Semi chalky finish, dry, with mild bitterness.

D: This is a solid example of a brown ale. Don't look for any bells and whistles, just expect another classic example from a brewery who's year-round offerings are consistently true to style.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 500ml Weihenstephaner World Cup glass.

Appearance: Cola-brown color with a large light-brown head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves heavy spots of lace.

Smell: Sweet malts throughout- actually has a bit of a cola smell about it.

Taste: Begins buttery and sweet, finishing with a caramel flavor and some mild citric hints. Chocolate flavors linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium body (a bit on the lighter side) with sharp carbonation on the tongue. Sticky finish.

Drinkability: A pleasant, sweeter brew. Not the best or most complex (even as far as malts are concerned), but still a solid, enjoyable beer. Very sessionable and something I wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

a - Pours a deep brown color with 2-3 inches of light tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and caramel malts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, caramel malts, chocolate, and some hops.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

d - A nice brown ale. Some nice roasted malts and chocolate in the smell and taste. Would have again

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Photo of goblue3509
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish brown color with a one finger head. The aroma is faint and of caramel malt along with a slight dark fruit. The taste is of a caramel malt and roasted malt backbone with some nuttiness to it. In the middle there is a slight dark fruit character and it finishes with a slight citrus hop bite. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and slightly creamy. The drinkability is good, a very smooth and easy drink. The nose was a little disappointing but the flavor really comes through to make you want another.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a beautiful brown, garnet when held to light, with a thin head that sticks around.
S- smells of caramel and malt. pretty simple, yet appealing.
T- Good upfront malt flavor with a floral/grassy hop in the background. a bit of nuttiness also exists throughout.
M- Starts a little rich and creamy, finishes with the hop-induced dryness.
D- Overall this is a solid beer, a simple, yet well done brown. To some degree I feel like the malt and hop flavors didn't quite mesh together right for me, but it was still a solid beer.

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

Appearance: Poured a dark brown, garnet color, clear. Very little visible carbonation. One finger khaki head, with decent retention. No lacing.

Smell: Roasted and caramel malts, with some nuttiness and biscuit. A hint of dark fruit and citrus hops down deep. Moderate sweetness.

Taste: Roasted malts, with a light chocolate nuttiness. Dark citrus hops again way in the background. Not overly strong, but not too weak.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation bite and a smooth finish.

Drinkability: A very good brown ale. Much better malt and hop balance than most of this style. Very good flavor and malt profile without being too grainy.

Buy Again? Yes.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass...Medium brown pretty dense. Light tan head, only about a finger and gone right away...Aroma is strong and very nutty, totally dominated by nuts, light coffee, a little hop finish...The taste is ok, mostly its really light and watery which is annoying. There is very little flavor as well, light but that's it.

Overall, nothins special, easy to drink but doesn't bring much to the table. I would drink hammered but that's about it.

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Photo of AEK
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml brown bottle poured into a JW Lees pint pot.

A. Dark chestnut brown with a 2cm thick, soft looking milky coffee coloured head.

S. Bitter chocolate, coffee, nutty, toasted malt.

T, Fruity malt, meaty flavours, roasted malt, chocolatey and a slight coffeeish taste.

M. Medium bordering on thick, lightly carbonated.

D. Brilliant American version of an English brown ale. This has a really good complexity for a beer of only 5.6%ABV. Really nice to drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown with orange highlights, big off-white head turns to a swirly cap quickly then a ring. Leaves a couple small spots of lacing.

Smell is pretty faint, but the malt and some usual brown ale scents like caramel and coffee are there.

Taste beats out the smell for sure, and is not as bland as many reviews here would lead you to believe. Lots of nutty flavors, followed by some coffee and vanilla. A little bit of roasted malt and grassy hops. Not the most exciting brown ale in the world but pretty decent.

A little watery on the mouthfeel, a little more thickness would've been nice. Carbonation was on the low side.

This beer had it's weaknesses but I liked the flavors and it's easy to drink. I wouldn't mind getting it again.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
2.62/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with a one finger tan head that leaves little lacing.

Nose is almost non existent, maybe a little malty

Taste is not much better, some subdued malts...very bland

This is one smooth drinking beer, but it does not do much for the senses.

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Photo of callhimishmael
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love a brown ale that's solid, dark brown. It tells me it's a serious dark beer without being Guinness. That's this beer.

Smell was . . . okay. At one point the word "garbage" flashed across my mind, but by then it was in my mouth already, and that made up for everything. . .

. . . because the taste was delicious.

And the feel was good. . .

And I could have sat there all evening drinking it without feeling bloated . . . .

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Actually bought a six-pack to use in a barbecue sauce. Poured a 12oz bottle into an English pub glass.

A: Dark brown, tawny hues, with a really thick off-white lacing. The beer looks appetizing and you can tell just from its appearance that the beer is rich is creamy.

S: Sweet caramel malt aromas, nice nuttiness, reminds me of hazelnuts, chestnuts and maybe a dash of pecan. Brown sugar, and molasses. Maybe some allspice and vanilla too.

T&M: Rich in flavor, but light in mouthfeel. This is a brew that really packs a lot of punch, but is rather light and fluffy. The sweet malt really shines, but the chestnut flavors overtake around mid-palate. There is a slight hop note on the finish, rendering the beer crisp, but very full and long lasting.

Overall, I really love this beer. American Browns either tend to be too out of balance (either too sweet, or too hoppy). This one is perfect. I could drink this all the time with a nice piece of grilled meat. Never had a beer that had such a long and distinct finish. Wonderful!

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this one at work. Best by July 2009. Almost a year past date. Obviously my store doesn't sell much of this beer.

The pour was light brown with a light head that dies down pretty quick.

The smell is very sweet with hints of brown sugar and maple. No hint of hops.

The taste is also sweet with no hops. The maple and sugar up front are quite tasty and are allowed to shine since the hops, if there ever were any since I haven't had this beer fresh in quite some time, have long since departed.

The mouthfeel is still full bodied and surprisingly carbonated.

This was actually pretty drinkable, especially for a low ABV beer.

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

Pours dark brown, almost a deep copper, and clear, with a small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is mostly caramel, with maybe a hint of a roasted malt in the background. No clear hop contribution.

Flavor follows aroma being mostly caramel, but picking up just a faint roasted note as it warms. No hop flavors, or bitterness to speak of.

Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Had this one once in a bottle a while ago, and was underwhelmed, so I was hoping a draft sample would prove to be better. As before, though, I found this to be too basic, and somewhat bland. I don't get any of the coffee, chocolate, or hop elements described in the literature for this beer either in the bottle or on draft.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a rich mahogany brown. it had a finger thick tan head but it didn't last.
smells toasty in the glass, caramel malts and a slight hop aroma in there too.
the toasted malt is in the taste as well. the label says chocolate and coffee, but my palate doesn't.
slightly too light bodies for me, on the watery side.
overall i would have this again, but its just a decent brewed beer.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

0.33l bottle poured in a chalice

A: Nice clean and dark brown color with a creamy beige head (1 to 2 fingers) dissipates quickly leaving not much lacings but a very nice floral smell of hops
S: Toasted malts, roasted nuts, sweet caramel and a lovely floral of hops in the end (which I personally think is very characteristic on Brooklyns)
T/M: Again, roasted malts and nuts, sweet caramel which makes it a bit molasses. Very good presence of grassy hops which gives it a moderate bitter end. Medium body and carbonation
D: High. Refreshing beer. Good quality beer as expected from a Brooklyn

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Photo of sluggermatt15
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a medium brown that leaves a whitish brown two finger head. Some lacing, but settles down nicely.

S- Nuts, malts, caramel. Somewhat rich, but nothing overwhelming or irritating.

T- Malts for sure, followed by some caramel and sweetness.

M- Low carbonation in this one, which is great, in my opinion.

D- Definitely a drinkable one here. It's possible to have more than one of these per sitting.

Overall, a moderate beer. Nothing too great or too lousy. Relatively inexpensive, which is reflected by its qualities. I would say in terms of brown ales this one is about on par or a half-step below New Castle Brown Ale.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.67 out of 5 based on 2,366 ratings.
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