Brooklyn Brown Ale | Brooklyn Brewery

952 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: 952 | Ratings: 2,355
Photo of Naerhu
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful creamy off-white head. Dark, dark amber brown body.
Caramel and deep malt aroma.
Slight initial bitterness followed by a dry maltiness. This is all about nutttyness, and for the first time, I found this nuttyness to be attractive in a beer. While being a fantastic beer, this is a tad too dry for my tastes. I always thought Brown Ales were slightly sweet, no?

Almost thin palate with sweetness on the finish.

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Photo of putnam
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I can tell from the nose this is in the rustic, yankee doodle craft style of Bell's and countless other high-quality eastern micros: plump, milky coffee fruit, dried mint, sage, thyme, cardamon, pie crust, baked cherries and pepper. No sign of gratuitous west coast-style fresh hop infusions. Thankfully.
On the palate it is very dry. I gather this is the result of some virulent, hyperactive yeast strain that wants to leave not a trace of sugar in the broth. This is vanguard, indoor beer, for intellectuals. Lingual pressure and warmth elicit a sliver of citrus peel sweetness, but it never comes close to rewarding the punishment of the powdered bone-like, dry hop tannins.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The Brooklyn Brown poured ruby-brown with a big, fluffy, light brown head that showed excellent retention.

The aroma was nutty chocolate with a slight fruity hop note.

It was medium bodied (a little on the thin side) with nice carbonation. The taste was a surprisingly big fig flavor initially with lots of chocolate and nuttiness. It had a crisp, very subtle bitter, and slight metallic finish.

Overall, a nice, drinakable brown ale. It reminded me of a cross between a New Belgium Abbey and a porter.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap with dinner tonite.
The brew came to me in a pint glass. Small beige head hovers on teh surface of the dark brown beer. The light reveals a rich ruby tint hidden in my glass. The aroma is generally soft, but consists of light earthy hops and a mix of malty scents, sweet toffee and chocolate dominate.
The first sip reveals a very smooth textured brew with average body and carbonation. The flavor starts off all malt with a chocolate note that is mixed with rich caramel. The finish allows for some hops to come through but overall the beer is malt driven and very tasty.
This is a very smooth beer that went well with my dinner and was very easy to drink. I will buy this one again.

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Photo of Crosling
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep burgundy in color with a wispy white head. The head lasts throughout.

Doughy aroma, somewhat grassy with herbal and piney hops accompanied by a lovely chocolate and caramal malt backbone.

This is a very solid brown ale. Sort of robust for the style and quite hoppy. The hops are herbal. The malts are fruity, chocolatey and carmelly.

Good Brown Ale. I could pound a few.

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Photo of psyco1
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my first brown ale and a good one it was.

It poured a nice deep brown with a slightly tannish head that stayed for a minute or so. The smell was a hint of hops with some carmel and maybe, just maybe a slight bit of choclate. The taste was like the smell with the hops starting out stronger and ending up quite malty with some sweetness throughout.

This is one I can drink all night, and have.

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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.

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Photo of stewart124
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazel color with reddish hues and a decent foamy head. Smells of earthy tones and a overall nutty character. Very smooth tastes of roasted malts backed up with a bite. There is a slight hop bitterness to round out this beer and it finishes with a mellow nut fell and again earthy malts. This goes down fairly easy and is a pretty well done brown ale but maybe at bit dry in the aftertaste.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Great looking reddish-brown body with a nice soft head.

Smell: A good malty nose. There is a nutty sweetness that I don't find in many American Browns. Very promising.

Taste: A bit of a dropoff here but still pretty good. The nuttiness comes through in full effect. However, it is a little too sugary at times. The beer is not totally one-sided though, as it stays fairly well-balanced for a brown. There is also a detectable amount of alcohol all the way through.

Mouthfeel: Nothing special to speak of, but it's not bad either. It's just there.

Drinkability: The slight alcoholic quality might become disagreeable after a while, not to mention the fact that particularly sweet beers always tread a fine line with drinkability. Even so, I'd like to drink a few of these.

Beef Notes: This is one of the beers that I was into when I started drinking better brews. I still like it and have a bit of a soft spot for it, but it's not like I remember it.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful cream colored head that fine and froathy and left a coat (can’t call it lace without holes can ya?) Deep dark brown in color, almost black towards the top of the pint glass with a slight cola glow. Rich coco aromas with a caramel malt backdrop. Coco flavors up front followed closely by a mild coffee bitterness and finishing a with a bit of caramel. The mouthfeel is mild, nothing at first and then towards the end its kind of cloying, coating your tongue with flavor as the beer disappears. Doesn’t seem to be as hoppy as the bottles, but I could drink this all night long.

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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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It is rich in roasted and crystal malts. It has an intense chocolate smell as well. The taste is good. It is smooth and creamy with a great "brown" flavor created through the use of multiple crystal malts. It also has a decent hop taste that peeks through the malts. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an awesome brown ale with real malt character; a great sessions ale.

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Photo of UncleFrank
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Brown and clear with a tan head that thins out quickly.
Smell is sweet of caramel and a bit of citrus american hop aroma. Nutty and bready too, but not like biscuts.
Malt taste is balanced. I prefer to have more malt but this is a great blend of toast and citrus. Sweet caramel but not plain sweet crystal. The finish is of dark grains with a hop "snap" at the the end.
A very nice refreshing brown ale that is a great example of the American style.

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Photo of oelergud
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep ruby/brown color, tan head that doesn't stay long and low carbonation.
Nutty smell mixed with alcohol and sweet molasses, a little bready too.
The taste is nutty and flowery with some fruit flavors and maybe some almond.
Kinda flat in the mouth, not much body and little to no mouthcoating, a little disappointing
Drinkability leaves much to be desired, this may be a good beer to go with a good meal but it cant stand alone. Head goes down too fast and more carbonation is needed. A boring brew unfortunately.


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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, clear in character. What was initially a 1" head is now only a thin layer of foam on my glass. Lacing is barely there.

Smell: Malty, hints of caramel and bread.

Taste: Malty at first, but with some pretty nice bitterness balancing the taste out. Big feel to this beer. A sort of lingering sharpness finishes out the taste.

Mouthfeel: Mildly sharp acidic feel. Carbonation is good, but maybe a hair too high. Alcoholic warmth is really nice.

Drinkability: A good beer, not my favorite brown ale, but definitely worthy of attention.

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Photo of twilight
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'd been sucking this from the bottle for months until recently when I began drinking everything from glassware. So my impression of this beer completely changed. Still good, still bitter, but more definitely more flavor.

Pours a reddish brown with slight chocolate/roast aroma. Taste is citrusy-sour with a slight metallic taste which accompanies/masks the alcohol giving way to a slight roast aftertaste.

Bitter, but not too earthy, and very drinkable.

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Photo of mschofield
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a touch of redness. Three finger tan head, laces in webs.
Malty, nutty aroma, some coffee.
The sourness I tasted in the keg versus was gone, there was a nice sour tone, but it was nothing compared to the last time I had it.
Chocolaty taste, coffee, mild hop bitterness - citrus (orange and lemon). Nutty and buttery.
Medium feel, smooth and pleasant. A good, not too-simple, not too-complicated session beer.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It had to happen sometime. I finally found a Brooklyn beer that let me down.

This beer pours a beautiful dark chocolate brown in the glass and has an amazing off-white head, but sadly beauty is t's best feature. Smells midly of caramel malt.

The taste is average, which for another brewery is ok but not Brooklyn. They have set the bar quite high with other offerings and this doesn't measure up. It has a nice little blend of toasted and caramel malt, but then it just does nothing. No character to me outside of that first wave of malt. I'm bummed. At least they have about six other beers I love.

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Photo of counselor
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle pours a lovely color brown like a chocolate labrador retriever into the pint glass. Nice foamy head that stays the whole pint. The nose is adequate, but the tatse of nuts, like a Mary Jane candy, linger well after the first mouthful and makes me want to guzzle another. I choose to drink slowly and the aroma and flavors improve as the beer warms. When the glass is empty, I am looking forward to hitting the fridge for the next bottle. I could easily poich off the whole six, but work tomorrow prevents it. Well, I'll wait until tomorrow to finish them off.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer is a dark umber brown, topped with a creamy almond colored head. The head is nice and thick, retaining through the pint with at least 1/4 of an inch left at the last sip. That's some great head retention in my book. Lots of lace on the glass, leaving rings all the way down.
The aroma is richly malty, with lots of caramel toasted malt, and a bit of nuttiness. Definitely in the english style, with minimal hops. Some biscuity yeast aroma, with light apple and plum fruitiness. A touch of chocolate.
The flavor is pleasant and mild, starting off with a mild malty sweetness. Smooth caramel and cocoa flavors up front, wandering into a wonderful fruity middle. Well defined plum flavor, with a bit of pear. Very mild herbal hopping in the finish, providing balance without much in the way of bittering. A bit of nuttiness in the end. Some chocolate biscuity malt comes through in the finish, lingering into a quickly disappearing aftertaste.
An excellent brown ale. Probably my favorite american interpretation.

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Photo of BeerFan
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head into my 16 oz Brooklyn Brewery pint glass. Decent sized head settles down leaving a small layer of foam on top which leaves some nice lacing down the side of the glass. Smell and aroma of chocolate and slight coffee. Solid roasty, malt background balanced nicely with a good hop finish. This medium-bodied beer is very drinkable. This was Brooklyn's first holiday beer back in the late '80's and was soon added as the second beer in their line-up.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep, rosy-reddish coppery hue, with a slim tannish layer of film atop.
Aroma: brown sugary sweet, notes of toffee and caramel, light, malty & pleasant.
Taste: hmmm....first of all, the neck label asserts that this asserts a higher hoppiness in contrast to the malt, but, oddly, that's not how I found this brew. Quite the opposite. To continue, tasty mouthfeel, richly rounding the palate and coating it good, brief, but tasty hops, lush, chocolatey malt. Medium body, feeling thinner as we drain the bottle, with a simple, but assured finish.
Definiely tastier than the milder versions out there, (I'm talking about you, Newcastle)but not by too much.
Thanks to 36LbLoveChild for this one.

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Photo of Jarod
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by dated: 09/03

This beer poured a mahogany brown color that when held to the light it showed hues of ruby. It was crystal clear and well carbonated. The head that was produced was a mix of light tan and beige colors, fairly thick, dense and fluffy at first pour, then fell to just a ring on the edges that seemed to be fairly thick as well. The lace that was produced was a sheety consistency. The aromas that came from the glass started off with a plum/berry fruit like aroma mixed in with a sweet malt, then it dried out and scents of ash, cocoa powder and some roasted coffee became noticeable, it finished with a hint of grain on the end. The flavors that I tasted began with roasted malt with tads of sweetness, in the middle it waived with some dry ash and sweet fruit, close to the finish cocoa powder, light hops and coffee and it finished with a barky leafy grain taste. (Hard to explain, as it warmed the finish became a mix of the 3). The after taste was of roasted malt and light hops. The body was on the medium side. This is a clean crisp, complex and at times dry beer. As it warmed the flavors became more pronounced and complex. They melded together well and was a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draught at Winking Lizard (w/ a logo glass!). Dark mahogany color with a thin beige head. Thin and slow lacing. The aroma is roasty and malty. Medium body with a nice smooth malt and caramel flavor. There is a mildy nutty aftertaste with a bit of hops thrown in. All in all this is a smooth and drinkable Brown.

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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.

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Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,355 ratings.
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