Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

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Brooklyn Brown AleBrooklyn Brown Ale
2,377 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: 2,377 |  Reviews: 959
Photo of hyuga
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well-presented chocolate brown brew with an off-white head that stays very well and leaves lots of lace. I'm glad I poured this perfectly, it's the only bottle I've got and it's not available in my area. I was only able to get this thanks to francisweizen! Anyway, on to the aroma. Certainly smells like a well-hopped beer, I'm getting hints of earthy and leafy hops. Chocolate malt makes itself known quickly, combining very well with the hops. A bit of grainy malt character is detectable under all of this. As for the flavors, it looks like we've got a winner in this department too. Hops are really leafy throughout, hitting their peak in the middle of the palate. Chocolate malt is the major player on the sweetness side, making itself known best at the front and back. Rind-like hop bitterness balances things out. Crisp, dry finish. Nice medium body, but flavorful. Not much complexity, but this is a good, solid beer that will satisfy your palate well. Easy drinking and refreshing, it would make a good session beer. I'd definitely get this again.

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Photo of IPA17
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A good product. Not overwhelming in any sense--good or bad-- but a beer that you can drink any time. I brought a six-pack over to 2 different friend's houses (people who don't understand good beer-- and they were both against trying it, preferring their Amstels or Buds) but they were both like "wow" when they tried the Brooklyn Brown. It will not turn off those who normally drink tasteless from beers from the big breweries. For fellow beer advocates: don't look for this beer to knock your socks off but it will satisfy and quench your beer desire.

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Photo of shirfan
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany brown, mostly clear with just a hint of haze. Decent sized head settles to a layer of extremely fine bubbles that lace well.

Smells of baker's chocolate and confectionary sugar with just a hint of earthy hops.

Taste follows suit without ever becoming cloying or bock-ish. Starts with a delicately bitter chocolate note, moves to an earthy, rich yet still dry malt flavor, and finishes with just enough zesty hop flavor to balance the beer out. A wholesome yeast flavor underlies the entire progression.

This is very well-balanced and drinkable; as others have said, it would make an excellent session beer.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep amber or mahogany color witha nice foamy off-white head that leaves lace all over your glass. OH does this have aroma. It has a great malt sweetness that is combined with some spicy hops, and a touch of dark malts and chocolate.

The flavor of this beer is also enjoyable. Tingly carbonation gives it a crisp start. The sweet malts come first with a bit of cherry flavoring to it (atleast it is the same kind of cherry flavoring I got out of one of my homebrews). Chocolate comes in strong, and then you get the roasty dark malts. A fair amount of bitter hops also get into the mix. Just before the aftertaste, you have a hit of chocolate cake. This is a very complex beer, and I did not expect it at all. A medium to full bodied brew that is also very drinkable.

Many different people have selected this beer from the store I work in, and I figured that it was just a trendy thing, since not too many people actually pick good ones, but I am glad I finally got it. A friend said, you haven't had this, Give it a whirl, so I did. You gotta have this one.

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Photo of jeffboo
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has all the right stuff for a great session beer.One to have many pints over an evening's conversation. It's a beautiful reddish brown in color with a fluffy tan head. The aroma is a nice combination of malt and hops. There are hints of roasted and chocolate malt in aroma and flavor, with a nice earthiness in hop flavor and aroma. The finish also has a nice balance of malt and hop dryness.This is a great quenching beer, nice smooth medium/light body with an orangy-chocolate flavor in the beginning
and nice hop character for a brown. Well done for an American brown lower alcohol brew, easy easy to drink. Thanks to Francisweizen for the bottle.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.59/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer. It seems a lot more assertive than most other browns I've tried. Vey dark amber/ruby in color, with almost no head at all. Aroma is dominated by rich caramel malt, with a nuttiness than becomes more assertive as the beer warms. The flavor is quite terrific. Starts with a sweet caramel malt, develops some chocolatey notes mid-palate, then gives way to a satisfyingly bitter hop finish. Just when you think it's over, a surprisingly roasty aftertaste kicks in, lending an extra dryness to the finish and leaving you yearning for another sip. Medium-full in body, this was quite an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of vitesse
4.2/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of Denali
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear dark brown/red color, nice tan head.

Smell: Hints of chocolate and coffee.

Taste: I was suprised by the initial hops flavor. That flavor is followed by a sweet, almost raisin-like taste, and then finishes with a nutty taste. I liked the three-phase taste - very good.

Mouthfeel: Slightly dry.

Drinkability: Slight alcohol taste, but drinks very easy. I would have no problem drinking this all night.

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Photo of oberon
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice color very little head,nice chocolaty aroma.Nice malty/cocolate flavors with earthy undertones just like a good brown should be.Finished nicelel didnt thin out towards the end like alot of brown ales do.Really enjoyed will have again,hopefully soon.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this pours a nice dark brown colour with some wonderful aromas of dark malts, nuts, and chocolate. This tastes great and is one of the premier American brown ales. This has a very full mouth feel and a good drinkability to boot. All in all, this is not as good as sam smith's brown ale, but it is good none-the-less.

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Photo of aaronh
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coper brown beer that poured with a minimal head. Looks like it may have been off white in color. The aroma is sweet and nutty, inviting you to take a drink. The atse exhbits a strong citrus hope note, then the malt, somewhat dry background. As the beer warms, chocolate notes are evident on the finish. The mouthfeel is solid and enjoyable. The hoppiness adds to the drinkability, and creates an original brown offering for Brooklyn that represents the style, but duplicates nothing I've had before. Nice beer that I will buy again.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color. Slight white head. Sweet malt nose. Medium to fuller mouth for a brown . Big roast malt flavor that coats the mouth and throat. Slight cream flavored finish to the taste. Nice and Roasty Brew!

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown with generous ruby edges that work well in towards the center. Off-white head that lingers as it should. This has a good thick taste, malts, some hops to balance, and an appropriate nutty flavour. It's less nutty but tastier than Newcastle. A "good" beer, entirely deserving of its rating. I've had better, but it's easier to find worse than better... so this is a recommendation.

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Photo of doerickson
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany color with zero head (maybe a bad pour by the bartender). Aromas of caramel malt and floral hops. Medium carbonation. Sturdy body. Very, very well balanced. Brown sugary malt offset by a leafy hop presence. Clean finish. Another winner from the Brooklyn Brewery.

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Photo of Kwak
5/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Verry good brown ale.

Nice thick head rich and cremy.
Full body nice color deep dark hue.
Taste very brown almost like a catchers mit goes down
smooth verry dry.
Good after taste. somthing to look fowerd to at the end of the

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Photo of RBorsato
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 Review:
Brown with a low tan head. Intense caramel aroma and flavor (hope contract brewer/Saranac didn't blow this one); nothing like the older version/review. Dumbed down from Excellent to Average and one I would not buy again unless it returns to it's previous glory.

Per Brooklyn website:
Malts: two-row pale malt, caramel malt, chocolate malt, biscuit malt, wheat malt
Hops: Cascade, Willamette and Northern Brewer
Alcohol: 5.5% by volume

Best Before: August '04
Tasted: 08/09/04

($23.99 / case)

2002 Review:

Orig Scores: A 5.0 / S 4.5 / T 4.5 / M 4.5 / D 5.0

True Brown color with a tannish, light brown head that lasts. Chocolate malt aroma is dominant but it certainly has a light caramel aroma too. Strong chocolate malt flavor balanced by a nice roastiness and light nutiness. Medium bodied (leaning towards the lighter side).

One of my favorite Brown Ales and the one that I use to introduce most people to the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear. Deep russet brown with ruby highlights. The frothy, light tan head holds fairly well and drops to a decent collar which leaves some good lace. The aroma is surprisingly full, loaded with rich, bready maltiness and spicy, floral hops. The body is medium-light with a gentle carbonation that makes it lightly creamy in the mouth. The flavor displays a gently fruity, lightly toasty, and toffee-like malt that's well backed by bitterness and a light piney hop flavor. The finish is dry and lingering with hop bitterness, chocolatey maltiness, a soft roastiness and a light nuttiness reminiscent of wanut or almond. It's unfortunate, but I've had better versions of this. This is also a fresh bottle, but that's the way it goes with contract brewing. I highly recommend the draft version over the bottle.

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Photo of Lupe
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with a frothy, light brown head. Excellent lacing - clings in sheets to the glass. The nose is malt sweet, with some hop floral tones. Starts malt, the middle is medium, the finish is dry and hop bitter. There are also carmel and nut flavors, plus a slight herbal taste. Nice and flavorful.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper / amber color with tan head. On the nose there are aromas of toasted bread and caramel malt.Pretty dry/smooth mouthfeel. On the palate there is more toasted bread, caramel, chocolate, sweet/but no overly sweet, nutty, slight hop bitterness…emm good. Nice full flavored brown ale…

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Photo of DarthMalt
4.46/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oh, Daddy!

There is a reason that we, as Beer Advocates, should always keep a few points in reserve when we rate beers--there's always another beer lying in wait to knock us on our ass!

Like a chocolate malt soda, BBC Brown tastes to a Beer Advocate like double-fudge chocolate-chip brownies would to a chocoholic. There's some serious sweet malt in this beer, which I love of course (check out the moniker). Hard to believe it all comes from the malt.

For an ale, there is a serious lack of off-ferment characteristics on this one, save for some kind of master's stroke in the ester department. It's smooth as a lager.

The hops serve a perfunctory role, as they would in a double bock, but their balancing characteristics definitely keep this malt-banger from being overly cloying.

As it stands (or, while I'm still standing), I'd put it between a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.


PS - If this is what beers tasted like before prohibition, damn us all to Hell for what this nation's beer has become!

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Photo of jackndan
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown Ale: maple syrup aroma, and look. Very little head on this tapped beer. This beer had a substantial malt sweetness, that did remind me of Mrs. Butterworth’s in the aftertaste. Great with spicy jalapeno poppers.

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

Pours a dark ruby with a nice creamy head. There are some nice malt tones in the aroma as well as hop accents. Some chalky cocoa powder on the nose as well. There are some nice tastes present. Like chocolate malt, cocoa and hop bitterness. I have come across few brown ales that make me stop and take note....and this isn't one of them. It's an o.k. beer from one of my least favorite styles.

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Photo of Murph
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber/brown with a creamy head and a nice clinging lace. Smells of light chocolate, caramel, and some malt. Sweet malt taste with some caramel and some faint bittersweet chocolate. Light earthy hops provide a nice bittering compliment to the sweetness. Creamy and smooth on the tongue and very drinkable. I really like this beer. A great session brew. Also, it has just the right amount of body that it is light enough for the summer and heavy enough for the winter.

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Photo of bmills1608
2.2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Quite a dark brown color with a dirty brown head when poured. Head sustains itself pretty well.

I don't know if it is the hops or what, put basically, for me, this beer is just too bitter. It smashed me over the head with bitterness, no balance, and not the usual good bitter taste that I find in so many other brews. I could be talking out my ass here, but I think they used too much roasted malt which imparts a rather bitter taste to begin with, then made the all too common American mirco brewer mistake of WAY to much hop bitterness. It's over the top and in my opinion it is too much. Definitely not what I expected. I think it could be more balanced. Not my style.

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Photo of jermar
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just had this on draft. Much more flavorful than the now-toned-down Pete's Wicked. Good balance of maltiness & hops - very full taste.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 2,377 ratings