Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale
2,379 Ratings
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:
This is the award-winning original American brown ale, first brewed as a holiday specialty, and now one of our most popular beers year-round. Northern English brown ales tend to be strong and dry, while southern English brown ales are milder and sweeter. Brooklyn Brown Ale combines the best of those classic styles and then adds an American accent in the form of a firm hop character and roasty palate. A blend of six malts, some of them roasted, give this beer its deep russet-brown color and complex malt flavor, fruity, smooth and rich, with a caramel, chocolate and coffee background. Generous late hopping brings forward a nice hop aroma to complete the picture. Brooklyn Brown Ale is full-flavored but retains a smoothness and easy drinkability that has made it one of the most popular dark beers in the Northeast.

Added by purplehops on 06-10-1998

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,379 |  Reviews: 959
Photo of Vendetta
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a sticky, foamy head that leaves a strong, lasting lacing.

Aroma of brown sugar, sweet smelling. Malty.

Strong brown sugar, cinnamon taste here. Sweet, a small amount of bitterness in the malty finish. Pretty balanced. Full feel, decently easy to drink. Good carbonation.

I would definitely recommend this if you can get your hands on it. Brooklyn brewery comes through with another quality effort here.

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

Dark brown colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is sweet malts.Taste is sugar cane with a slight chocolate and coffee backround.Another beer from this brewery that I find average.Boring ,bland and tasteless.I would not recommend there are too many other beers out there to try!!

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

33cl bottle poured into standard nonic.

A-Dark mahogany body with a creamy tan head. Some nice lacing and head retention is moderate.

S-Roasted malts and chestnut notes

T-Roasted and nutty malts unfront, with a sweet biscuityness. An unexpected floral hoppy bitterness coming through in the finish.

M- Moderate carbonation and body,

D- Nice roasted malt profile as expected but the floral hopppiness in the finish seems a bit out of place. Nevertheless, an interesting flavoursome ale.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.88/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Reviewed 1/29/2009 (bottle BB Jan 2009):

Pours a dark rich colored body with a small creamy tan colored head. Has an aroma of hoppiness, and some sweetness. Has a creamy nutty taste, and s ome lager taste. Some hotness, alcohol. Eh, not a fan. Carbonated.

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Photo of number1bum
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-dark brown, slightly reddish color with a pretty dense but slightly foamy beige head. Retention is quite good with a solid and full lace and some patches of stick on the sides.

Smell is pretty weak and not terribly interesting or enticing. There is some lightly toasted grain, a bit of caramel and even a bit of chocolate, but not enough of any of the above to really stand out.

Taste is more distinctive than the smell, with more caramel malt sweetness in particular. There is also some chocolate and toasted grain, with a hint of nuttiness and some fruity hoppiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and quite smooth. It's quite drinkable and a pretty solid session brew. Certainly one I don't mind having on occasion.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance- rich, dark red-brown with a tan head which quickly falls to nothing.

Smell- a lot of nice rich malt smells, with a bit of fruitiness in there too. Not much else, to be honest.

Taste- crisp, sweet and roasted malts, without a lot of depth or range behind them. Swallow is refreshingly fruity and interesting, leading out to an unusual hops-and-water aftertaste. The beer isn't watery, and it isn't like that joke about how American beer is like sex in a canoe, but there is a distinct "water" flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel- light, crisp, heavy enough to avoid being thin, but no heavier.

Drinkability- clearly this beer is designed to cater to this category, while making compromises with the others. It is very drinkable, the aftertaste, while unusual, does lead to another drink, and the lighter body of the beer does make it "quaffable."

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Photo of droomyster
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany with a big tan head that quickly drops to a film. Sweet aromas of toasty and roasty malts with a smattering of brown sugar. Flavor is biscuity with an earthy hop - pretty simple and straightforward but solid. Not the best in the its class but a respectable craft beer from one of my favorite East Coast breweries.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Beehive in Boston. Served in a 20oz dimple mug.

A-Dark garnet body with a thick, tan head. Head will ring the glass all the way to the bottom.

S-Roasted malt smell, somewhat nutty, slight hop scent

T-certainly has the malty profile of a brown but with more hop bite than expected. Nutty, biscuit, toast flavors with some hop dryness at the end.

M-medium body but somewhat dry

D-very good for a session beer. Maybe a little too dry for the style but great beer to drink all night. Not out of this world but very fine taste nonetheless.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a 3/4 finger tan head that died slowly. Very dark brown body with medium carbonation. Minimum lacing left in Brooklyn glass

Smells of roasted malt and some chocolate. Some faint hops and raisin also present

First taste is of smoky, roasted malt. Sweet chocolate also and ends with some fruit. Not much on the hop side

Nice balance of carbonation, body is a bit on the watery side. Leaves a slight smoky taste in mouth

Over all is a good beer. Chocolate and roasted malt go very good together. Would buy again

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Photo of n811
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass revealing a nice one finger head and a beautiful dark chestnut colored beer. My anticipation grew.

Smelled like a very nice balance between malt, caramel, and a bit of hops.

Taste was like the smell, but the body was a bit lighter than I was expecting, which was not a bad thing. There was an interesting mineral-ness on the aftertaste that blended well with the hops and malt. A faint smell of sweet caramel worked in every once in a while. Great lacing in the glass, too.

Overall a very enjoyable beer!

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Photo of HeyItsChili
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap, poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours pretty clear, brick colored, and with a medium ecru head.

S - Smells like malt and caramel.

T - Sweet brown sugar, tons of maltiness, with some slight hop bitterness offsetting the aforementioned qualities.

M - Medium bodied, a bit on the thick side of medium, decent carbonation.

Notes - Brooklyn makes some damned solid beers.

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Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Brewery makes some solid beers, usually nothing spectacular mind you, but always good beers for sharing with others.

Its brown ale is no exception, offering a much lighter, more drinkable brown ale than is often found. This style can lean toward either over-carbonated Coca-Cola or a thicker, maltier beer. Brookyn's Brown falls somewhere in between and it's a nice middle ground.

The appearance and smell are average: dark brown with decent retention, though barely cloudy enough and the aroma needs a bit more waft -- presently its closest to potatoes.

But the taste has a studied simplicity to it, mostly of unsalted peanuts and buttered starches. The brewery deserves points for not making the beer overly sweet.

This is a nice brown ale to try for someone stretching out their beer palette.

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Photo of hopdog
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint glass served from tap.

Poured a darker reddish-brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Malty aroma and tastes with caramel and nuts. Lighter chocolate as well. Good lightly sweet and lightly bitter balance. Creamy body.

Notes from: 9/8/04

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Photo of almychristopher
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a dark translucent brown with red highlights. the dark malt comes through clearly in the nose, with a bit of hos in the background. the taste is surprisingly well balanced with a nice malt sweet malt taste and a good bit of hop bitterness. the medium body is well accentuated by the aggressive carbonation. a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light black (!) body with thick brown two-finger head that softens nicely into the glass... malty presence undeniable... sugars tantalize while the hops balance nicely at the nose... smooth, almost perfectly "brown" in its presence, with the liquidity of a stout and the hop body of a pale ale--easily drinkable... sugary impressions early, with some chocolate, smoky something (?) and toffee to sweeten the deal... satisfying--especially on a snowday nightcap--with the smoothness of a Newcastle and a flavor that sets BBA a step above Sam Adams et al....

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Photo of dennarb
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you like malt this is a good beer to try. The color is a rich brown with a deep tan head. It doesn't have much of a nose but it has a nice mix of malty sweetness and soft hop flavor. It is a friendly and unassertive beer that you can drink thought the evening. My wife who is really fond of Dog Fish Raisin D'Etre liked it a lot.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours up dark brown with ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

S - Smells of caramel malt, and a hint of hops.

T - Malt forward beer, with slight roast finish and a hint of hops

M - Full mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D - I really like this beer. It is extremely drinkable.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
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

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

brought back a couple bottles from kro's nest in beijing (a pizza joint with passable faux-nyc-style-pizza). this is also imported by ACBP (, but is apparently exclusive to kro's.

bottle is dated as jan 14, 2008, so getting a little long in the tooth, but the "best by" is one year, so...

dark amber brown, barely translucent. crystalline red under the light. decent head fades to wisps and ring. sparse lacing.

aroma has rich roasted malts and then caramel with hints of molasses, then some earthiness and grassiness from the hops. faint whiff of diacetyl, phenols and maybe alcohol.

flavor is a bit more aggressive with the hops. not too citrusy or piney and with grass or hay undertones, but definitely an overall bitterness that is moderately bold and might be slightly more than the malt can handle. still, the dark malts are there, very sweet and caramelized, making a note in the center and underneath in the finish, which has a crisp hop bite, but ultimately finishes a bit rough. also, a boozy quality does show up.

smooth and substantial at first, with moderate and lively carbonation, then a slick syrupy character.

not great, but not bad.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a mohogany color, with a thin off white head. the head fades fast, leaving no lace.

This beer smells caramel sweet. I smell a slight nutty aroma. It has an ever so slight coffee aroma.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Nutty fisrt with a mild caramel like malty flavor. This beer is very mild tasting.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It leaves a nutty aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol, and it tastes good and non aggressive.

Overall: Thanks to TheodorHerzl for the generous hook up. This beer was pretty good. Mild, and non aggressive. It might be just a little boring though. Worth a try.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brooklyn Brown Ale is a dark reddish brown with a frothy light brown head that fades to a blotchy film. The head retention is excellent and it leaves thick sheets of foam on the glass. It has a full, malty, chocolaty, roasty aroma that's fresh, a touch sweet and a bit spicy. The bouquet is dusty. It has a medium-light body and it's pretty smooth. The finish is dry and a little gritty. The flavor is mellow, roasty, lightly bitter and a touch sour. It tastes like brown sugar and it's grainy. It has pretty good balance. Good stuff.
(rated May 3, 2008)

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

Poured into a pint glass. This is a special review for me as I am using this beer to compare it to my first homebrew (obviously a brown ale). I am going to include a review for my beer in parentheses below each category.

3.5 A: Dark brown. Hard to see through, but it is indeed quite clear. Poor to average head retention and minimal lacing.

(A: Hazy almost black color. Good head retention and an obscene amount of lacing. - 4.5)

3.5 S: Big nutty aroma. Dark caramel malts. Not much else.

(S: Not as strong as I'd like. Some nutiness and to a larger extent caramel. Also a tinge of alcohol. - 3.5)

3.5 T: Nut flavor dominates. Surprisingly not much sweetness as it has a minimal amount of caramel flavor. Good balance, though hop character does not distiguish itself much.

(T: Well balanced between hops and malts. Once again nuts and caramel. Alcohol to some extent. Pretty good overall. - 3.5)

3.5 M: Medium body, good carbonation, but not as creamy as I'd like.

(M: Heavy medium body. Perhaps a little under carbonated. Creamy and a bit chewy. - 4.0)

4.0 D: Not bad, sessionable, and no major weaknesses. Problem is that there are also no major strengths.

(D: Good enough to beat out any macro. I'm happy with the results. I learned a lot from brewing this and I'm confident that my next batch (a weizenbock currently fermenting) is going to kick ass. - 4.0)

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Photo of stone3187
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a clean brown color with smells of sweet malt and a hint of grassy hop. The taste is brown sugar with a slight hop characteristic that doesn't allow the sweet to get carried away; I also tasted a bit of dried fruit in this one. I generally lean towards the reds when I want a malty beer but this one was very good.

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Photo of bc2208
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 6-pack in a Hoboken liquor store, poured into a thick beer mug.

Pour - Pours a nice deep golden brown, clear with some carbonation. Not much of a head and a little bit of lacing which dissipates.

Aroma - Not a whole lot, but a decent brown aroma with roasted malt and coffee smells.

Taste - I've had better browns. This one seems brighter, more hops than others, and that gives it a sharper taste. A little lacking in the depth, but in general a decent flavor.

Mouthfeel - Smooth beer, carbonation is present but not overpowering.

Drinkability - Drinkable beer. Probably more drinkable than a lot of browns, if only because of the lighter taste.

I like this beer, because I'm a big brown fan. On a scale of browns, though, I wouldn't put it at the top. Worth a try, but don't expect to be blown away.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 2,379 ratings