Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

951 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 951 | Ratings: 2,354
Photo of Thur123
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a very dark brown red color with about one finger worth of head. The carbonation judging by the head seems good but the look of it is slow. The smell is deeply roasted malt with a sweet chocolate edge along with a burnt smokiness that's very faint and also a toasted bread smell. Little sweetness in the smell but a very good balance all the same.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is roast-like without being harsh or grating in the least bit. The mellow malt sweetness really comes up under the roast flavor and the chocolate provides a bit of bitterness as well as complexity to this malty goodness. A kind of sharp breadiness comes in towards the end as well. Overall a very nice drinking brown with subtle complexity and all proper flavors present. Drinkable and thought provoking for Brown ale.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown with a clingy off white head, nice lacing. Chocolate malt aroma with some florally hop tendencies laced in there as well.
Biscuitty, coffee, caramel, nutty goodness with the floral hops from the aroma coming through on the finish. Very nice, but being more chewy than normal brewpub clones. The carbonation was more aggressive than needed, making it go down a bit smoother than the malty breadiness would usually lend. Medium bodied and very drinkable.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep ruby-brown with a creamy, slow-settling, off-white head. Excellent lacing and minimal apparent carbonation. Nice, creamy cap stuck around until the end.

Smell: Sweet malty goodness with slight chocolaty notes. Gentle hops, just a kiss, keep everything nicely balanced. Requires substantial agitation to release the bouquet.

Taste: Very smooth, but slightly watery, body. More roasted malt, again with the slightest chocolate. Fairly straightforward, although with a much fresher, greener hop profile than most brown ales. Finishes slightly dry and doughy, with leafy hops in the end. Gets greener as it warms, with more chocolate and spiciness too. Body also thickens slightly as it warms. Don't drink this one too cold.

Notes: A good alternative to the Newcastles of the world, and would make a beautiful bridge beer for that potential BA we all know.

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Photo of Andreji
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'10 re-review:

Trying the brown ale fresh and on tap on location (during their happy hour fridays) definetly added more to the experience of the brown ale.

Cloudy brown pour, small tan head, not much carbonation but then again, it is fairly opaque so you wouldn't really see much.

smell is malty for the most part, seems a bit dry at first which i found interesting as to how it contrasts considerably with the taste. it is very discrete, however, but quite good.

Taste is great. sweet, roasted malts all over the place, a discrete burnt caramel undernote, with a alcohol astringency to follow up; yet a very soft balancing bitterness at the end, not too over-the-top so the whole mouthfeel is only favoured. And it is perfectly sessionable, for all the taste it's only 5.5abv.

Great beer.

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
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 RobH
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

I drank this as part of a flight of malty brews, starting with two beers from England: Monty Python's Holy Grail, then Wychwood Hobgoblin, and then to this Brooklyn Brown.

The transition from the Hobgoblin English Brown to this one immediately brought an adjective to mind for the Brooklyn that is often used in the wine world: "bright".

Indeed, the Brooklyn Brown was "brighter" on the palate than the Hobgoblin. It is malty, for sure, yet it was a cleaner feeling in the mouth in by taste.

I like this Brooklyn Brown, in fact it's one of the first Brown Ales I've ever had and I've always liked it.

I'd recommend this one without qualification.

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Photo of dmarch
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby color with a slight head. Aroma is malty and slightly chocolatey. Taste is of caramel and molassass up from with a hoppy finish. Definately an American brown ale. The mouthfeel I feel is a little overcarbonated for the style. There is also some warming alcohol in the mouthfeel which I feel makes it seem a bit strong for the style (although 5.2% is hardly strong, it seems so for this particular beer.)

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Photo of palma
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the Blind Tiger Ale house in NYC.
Boy is this one good on cask. Mouthfeel is awesome. Smooth and creamy on the palate. Well hopped which is typical for american brown ales but this brew kicks butt. Warming alcohol is definitely there but it just goes down so smooth. Dry finish. A good beer from the bottle but excellent on cask.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a very clear, deep red rose color with a medium, creamy, light brown sugar head that leaves GREAT lacing.

S-The aroma is very nice indeed. The hops in this beer is perfect for an american brown ale. Very earthy and maybe a little woody, which is good to compliment the roasty, nutty caramel and toffee notes. Very good aroma.

T-Man, if I havenm't said this before, I say it now... temperature of the beer being drunk really effects the outcome of the flavor and mouthfeel. As I first tasted it, it seemed a little watery and bland compaired to the aroma. But after it warmed up a little, MAN it changed into this wonderful tasting brown ale. Lots roasty, nuttiness. A good amount of hops bitterness for a brown ale, which I like. A bitterness that lingers. And some carmel on the back end.

M-A lighter medium bodied beer that has good moderate carbonation, and creamy and smooth. The beer coates the mouth well. And stays around for a while.

D-I suppose this could be sessioned pretty well. I think I could have a few of these in a night. So I highly suggest this one. Brooklyn Brewery is not bad at all.

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Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label notched June '06 - it's been in my fridge since May.

A forceful pour exposes a ruby edged brown liquid with a sturdy 1 and a half-inch creamy beige head. Superb clumpy massive lacing.

Scent is full of vanilla and brown sugar along with toasted rich maltiness that's still very fresh. Raisins and grapes also emerge.

Flavors of toasty malts with just the slightest burnt edge. Very sweet elements of (again) brown sugar and nougat. Creamy & nutty along with a faint dry hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is very playful with fine carbonation at the 'American' Brown Ale standard, not as flat as it's English counterpart. Medium bodied with a sweet but very slightly dry long finish.

Drinkability is nice. I believe the sweetness might turn 'newbies' on, if you will.

Overall a very flavorful brown ale with lots of character. Nothing timid or ambiguous about this beer. Everything is pronounced and well balanced, except maybe just a tad sweet - but I really enjoyed it. I can imagine pairing this with cream cheese stuffed French toast, mmm...

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown. Almost dark enough to make it opaque. Two finger fizzy head that hangs around a decent amount of time. Good lacing.

S- Mostly nutty and chocolate scents. Underlying tones of sweetness.

T- Just like the smell except for hints of coffee roasts added. Good nutty tones. Sweet chocolate and brown sugar flavors. Also, a hint of spicyness towards the end. Finishes somewhat dry and tart. Little aftertaste.

M- Decent weight. A littly silky going down. A fair amount of carbonation.

Overall, one of the better brown's I've had. A solid first experience for me with Brooklyn Brewery.

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Photo of CHickman
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brooklyn Brown is a very good beer that starts out with a creamy head, and has a nice malty and hoppy flavor combo, combined with a coffee and/or chocolate taste that is slightly sweet, roasted grains, nutty, brown sugar, herbs like tea leaf or a dry floral hop and peat moss. Complex and yet malt dominant with a hop balance to make it smooth. Mouthfeel is average, with a medium body, average carbonation and a nutty finish that is sweet and trails off with chocolate malt. This beer goes down very smooth and is full of taste. I will enjoy it again and recommend it.

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Photo of y2jrock60
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, with a slightly off white head that laces nicely

S- Slight hop aroma with a hint of roasted malt. The aroma
threw me off. It tastes nothing like it smells.

T- Delicious!!!! Extremely smooth with all kinds of flavor. You can taste the roasted malt along with a sweetness and slight hopiness

M- Very Smooth and Light. The beer looks thick but its not

D- Highly drinkable. A good session beer too

I picked up a 1/2 keg the other day hoping to find a Newcastle Clone. This is not a new castle clone but something better. It is not as sweet as Newcastle, but it has a lot more going for it. Its smooth, sweet, roasty, and slightly hoppy. I would recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of interzen
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens tulip glass

Look: Pours a very dark brown, almost black - hold it up to the light and there's some ruby red apparent. Fairly tight off-white/tan head with decent retention - at first blush you'd think someone had poured you a glass of Guinness or similar. Some lacing.

Smell: Quite earthy and nutty - plenty of malt in evidence with hints of caramel. None of the hop 'zinginess' is apparent.

Taste: Doesn't quite follow the smell - the earthiness is definitely there, though. This is far less hoppy than a lot of American beers I've had of late, there's still a hint of hop-related bitterness coming through at the end. Not exactly an earth shattering flavour but I'd hardly call it unpleasant either.

Feel: Given how it looks when first poured you'd be forgiven for thinking that this would be heavy going. Not so - if anything it's a little bit thin for a brown ale. OK as it is, but a little bit more heft in the body wouldn't hurt.

Overall: For me, this is a welcome antidote to the almost relentless hoppiness of most current American beers. The hop-heads will no doubt hate it, but for those who prefer things a bit maltier (ie. people like me) this isn't bad at all. Not sure I'd want to have a session on it at nearly 6% ABV but it's not something I'd actively turn down either.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Sweet malty nose with caramel, chocolate, and toasty flavors. Equally present citrusy hop notes.

Maple brown in color. Persistent off-white head. Clarity is good.

Prominent maltiness. Includes a fair dose of chocolate and toasty character. Hop bitterness is medium-low. Mild resiny hop flavor, not cloying sweet, good balance. Dry finish.

Medium bodied/medium to med-high carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall it's a very drinkable brown and one of my personal favorites. Could benefit from a bit more hops but it's still a great example of an American Brown. Nicely balanced, well-varied malt character. Easily could drink a few pints.

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Photo of NyBeerBro
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Love the NY roots of this Brown Ale that is spot on to the style. Brooklyn Brewery almost always does a fantastic job with their brews and their brown ale is no exception. Way to represent BB!

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Photo of eljefe21
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, dark brown in color with hints of red. Light brownish, tan head rises to two fingers of foam. A little watery lacing barely clings to the side of the glass.

S: Toffee, coffee and roasted malt flavors waft into the nose. A classic brown ale smell.

T: Smooth, toast, roasted taste. Sweet caramel flavor melts in the middle of the tongue.

M: Low carbonation as expected. Body is medium, almost a little watery, but not horribly.

D: A great cool weather beer. Some warming qualities and thick enough to keep you toasty. Mild enough in strength to enjoy several in a sitting.

Served: in an shaker pint glass.

Review from notes taken on: 8/26/09

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is dark mahogany brown in color with respectable tan foam above it. Caramel and roasted malt dominate the nose. Some dark fruit notes are balanced by a semblance of hops.

Medium Bodied on the palate and a tad prickly. This beer definitely has a sweetness to it that contributes to its depth of flavor: caramel, fruit, and roasted malt. Nicely balanced with some pervading bitter hops. The palate is left with bittersweet memories of the elixir gone. A dryness in the aftertaste is reminiscent of cocoa, among other things.

Not a bad brew. In particular, I think, it pairs well with food, but stands alone just fine.

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Photo of bditty187
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Darkish, reddish-brown, good depth, smallish beige head, a little less than a finger’s worth, soapy retention, some unorganized lace. The aroma seems a tad muted, nicely hoppy, spicy, floral, malty, unsweetened chocolate. Awesome palate, it makes you rethink what a brown ale can be, bittering hops establishes the flavor profile with subsequent toasty malts, floral, pine, spiciness… very well constructed. Unbalanced, leans towards the hops but the caramelized influences create a nice linger aftertaste. Dry finish, leafy. Ideal carbonation, excellent mouthfeel, medium-bodied. This is a very impressive brown ale, recommended… thanks stegmakk for the sample!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

German-style refillable growler filled at Oliver's Beverage, Albany, NY on 10/17/04, enjoyed on 10/19/04.

First imperial pint glass pours with a dense tan 1 1/2" head, which was slowly dissipates, leaving heavy lace/foam along the glass. Clear and deeply reddish brown in hue. Well-balanced aroma, with medium malts pairing with a pleasant hoppy tinge. Taste is nutty malts, with slight hops character in the mouth. Some light fruit and citrus notes finish the picture. Mouthfeel is smooth, oh so smooth, and the drinkability is excellent as well. Nice represenation of the style, and I would search it out again.

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Photo of hopmashian
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Sam Adams glass it produced a small head that disappeared quickly. Appearance was brown as promised. Smell was mildly porter like with more malt than hops, ala Oktoberfest. Taste follows smell, red fruit, coffee and chocolate. Somewhere in the realm of a Porter and Oktoberfest or a Stout. Malt and hops are perfectly balanced. I'll need lots more of this for St Paddys.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Surprisingly clear body for the dark Tootsie Roll brown colored body with garnet highlights and a nice off-white, tan colored head.

S- Fruity smells of raisin and apple along with a sweeter characteristic of brown sugar and molasses.

T- Taste is smooth and complex with flavors alike the aromas found in the smell. Sweet without being one-dimensional nor cloying.

M- Smooth carbonation with a body that is light but has a bit of a sticky quality.

D- Damn drinkable with a good balance of flavors and a light body

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Photo of Stimack
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brew pours to a dark brownish amber color with a nice sized tan head that has some retention and leaves some lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma is of sweet malts that highlight both chocolate and caramel. Very rich and malty smelling brew, very enticing. The taste is of malt, which has a sweet taste with some roasted characteristics. Notice some hop like characteristics at the end but mostly the malt flavors are what I catch. Over all this is a great aromatic brew with good tastes and high drink ability. Fantastic brew, and one of my favorites from Brooklyn Brewery.

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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.

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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.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,354 ratings.
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