Brewhouse Brown Ale | Real Ale Brewing Company

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Brewhouse Brown AleBrewhouse Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Real Ale Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 12-17-2001

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Reviews: 233 | Ratings: 471
Photo of Sammy
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty ordinary beer. Mahogoney brown body with lots of off-white lace. Very malty, though not coying, including chocolate malt, low IBU hopped, noticeable sugar. Decent drinkability but nothing out of the ordinary.
A bit less than average mouthfeel. Silver X's bottle.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewhouse Brown is described as an American Brown on its lable, but I think that the beer is more appropriate as an English Brown because of its modest hop character and nutty flavors. The beer starts with a very dark brown color and nearly opaque. Head formaiton, retention, and lacing are all timid. From nose to finish, this beer has a firm grip on the chocolate malts, nutty flavors, and malted milk flavors. Hints of coffee, toffee, and toast also make their way into the mix, albeit in secondary roles. Crisp and clean in texture, the beer's body hinges near grainy and thin at times. Ultimately Brewhouse Brown is largely error free but is also a bit lackluster as well. Obvious control of brewing proceedures is impecable but the recipe could use a boost.

Thanks Exiled.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.63/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic label art and branded pry-off cap acquired as part of a Real Ale variety six-pack and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the brewery. No ABV is listed on the bottle. Best before: 10/16/13.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice thickness. Decent creaminess. Okay frothiness. Little lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is below average - maybe 1.5 minutes at best.

Body colour is a very dark amber which flirts with brown but never quite gets there. Semitransparent. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks more like an amber than a brown.

Sm: Pleasant pecan/caramelized pecan. Brown malts. Dark malts. Amber malts. Chocolate malt. Caramel. I like the combination of the pleasant nutty character with malty sweetness.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol is detectable.

A fairly pleasant aroma of mild strength. There's something a bit artificial about it, though.

T: Subdued pecan nut notes ride atop a sweet brown-and-amber malt foundation, with hints of cream, chocolate malt, and other dark malts. No roast. The nuttiness is just a bit artificial, lightly redolent of a syrup or extract. Caramel and vanilla surface, but aren't particularly evocative or interesting. It has some interesting elements, but it's not particularly well balanced; certainly not gestalt. I like the pecan; that's the highlight of the beer for me. Lacks complexity and subtlety.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character, hop character, or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Lightly syrupy. Too thick. Overly full-bodied for a beer with such limited flavour depth and diversity. Mouthfeel complements the flavour profile in a general sense. Overcarbonated.

Not oily, harsh, biting, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Downable but mediocre. I'm quickly beginning to view Real Ale as the Gordon Biersch of Texas; everything I've had from them is so unmemorable. Why brew this? Hides its average ABV okay. Very pedestrian for a brown ale; I definitely wouldn't get this again, nor would I recommend it to friends. Far from unique or special.

That said, I do enjoy what little pecan there is, even if they did resort to a flavour extract to accomplish that character.


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Photo of LXIXME
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Medium sized light tan head sits above a clear dark brown colored ale.

A faint sweet lightly roasted nut aroma coming off this beer.

Light chocolate malts with a creamy smooth taste.

A very light dryish aftertaste without much tastes lingering behind with this medium bodied brown.

This beer seems like the halfway point between Bud and Guinness, not sure if that's a compliment or not.

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Photo of mothman
2.82/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours 1.2 finger of off white head. Fades to a ring. Color is a lighter brown.

Aroma: Nuts, caramel, and light cocoa. Mainly malts.

Taste: Roasted malt and chocolate, nut flavors with some grassy hops. Pretty simple beer.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, sweet, and crisp. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a fairly average brown. Nothing to special or out of the ordinary. Somewhat drinkable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to atxdelivery.

Pours a lighter small fizzy head almost no lacing, over murky mahogany dark brown color.

Nose has some toasty and slight reddish malts, some brown sugar, light candy, rich of caramel, dark crystal malts, very slight roasty.

Taste is very malty, kinda oktoberfest flavored, reddish and very toasty malts, some munich and crystal malts, bit if brown sugary and light candy, little nutty, very light earthy hops, touch creamy. Finishes with a touch more earthy hops, a slight bitterness, more lingering hops and a bit drier but little sticky.

Mouth is med bodied, lower but decent enough carb.

Overall pretty good, lots of nice toasty reddish malts, light hops, little sweet and sticky but nice, drinkable.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep hazy amber/almost brown with a finger of creamy looking off-white head. Retains mostly around the edges, with some thin wisps in the center, leaving a decent amount of lace back which quickly falls down the sides of the glass. The aroma has a thick smelling roasted bready edge to it, along with a nice amount of floral, spicy, and earthy smelling hop character to it.

The taste is a tangy feeling sweet mix of toasted malts, citrus, light caramel notes, with a firm spicy bitterness to it in the back. Finishes with some light notes of lingering sticky sweetness and bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a thicker carbonation up front that then gets a bit creamier towards the back, leaving a bit of an oily feel behind.

All around decent Brown Ale here. I think that I enjoyed the hop profile of this the most, as it played nicely off the roasted notes. Another solid brew from Real Ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Its hazy mahogany body is topped by a light tan head of foam that holds quite well and leaves some jagged and craggy rings of lace at the outset. The nose is yeasty and fruity above a mildly caramelish and nutty malt. The body is medium/light and its very fine, natural carbonation is lightly zesty in the mouth. Chocolate and caramel mingle well together in the flavor along with a slight fruitiness, a light yeast bite, and some leafy hops. It's well balanced by a low-key bitterness and it finishes short and dry with just some residual nutty malt. This is probably quite excellent in cask conditioned form, but it seems to fall a bit short in the bottle.

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Photo of mactrail
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark brown, not quite Porter dark in the pint shaker. Watery mouthful in a nice way. Sweet and malty but full of roasted flavors. Returns to the usual caramel taste, but pleasantly different. A bit fruity, like sweet apples, with a faint burr of the dirty sort of hops. Tends toward a mucky aftertaste.

On the whole this is better than some Brown Ales I've had, but for the English style it's nothing to brag about. On tap at Cricket's in Lubbock. [From notes overlooked after 11/07/2012 tasting]

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark chestnut brown body with a thin, whitish head.

Smell: Nut-covered, lightly malty nose smelling of caramel and wood bark.

Taste: Predominately nutty with supporting malt flavors of cocoa powder and dark caramel. Powdered sugar sweetness. Earthy, faintly woody hops with an altogether mild bitterness. Slightly chalky. Finishes dry with a light bitterness and lingering nutty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pretty basic brown -- take it or leave it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted pecan brown with red-orange highlights (on the coaster), dark russet (when backlit). Two fingers of khaki colored foam sit atop the beer. As the tight-bubbled cap slowly loses altitude, an impressive band of Swiss cheese-like lace comes into view. A pretty standard brown ale look and a pretty damn good one.

The aroma is on target for the style as well. There's a nice balance between cocoa and nuts, as well as between toasted and earthy. There isn't much in the way of hops, but then they aren't classic in an English brown ale anyway. A little more power and a little more depth are needed before a 'good' score is a possibility.

I feel the same way about the flavor. What makes it to the taste buds is enjoyable, there just needs to be more of it. This is an easy drinking brown ale that will, hopefully, pick up a little more chutzpah as it gains a few degrees. Unfortunately, it doesn't.

The brewery will only say that four different malts are used. Pale, Munich, crystal and chocolate perhaps? As in the nose, earthy/toasted is as prominent as chocolate/cocoa. Some brown bread sweetness and a peanut skin bitterness emerge with warming. BBA favors dry over sweet, especially on the quasi-crisp finish.

Despite the words 'rich' and 'full bodied' on the label, this brew is neither. It's par for the brown ale course, perhaps a fraction lighter, and is acceptably bubbled. Although the mouthfeel is a boon to easy drinkability, it fails to impress otherwise.

Brewhouse Brown Ale is pretty typical Real Ale Brewing Company beer. In other words, it's style accurate, tasty, drinkable... and well short of great. I'd still love to have them relocate to this craft brewery-deficient, craft beer-starved state. Thanks to mhewes for another solid beer from down Texas way.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

So this was another anomaly that I recieved in a trade from a very generous Autin BA. I was not a big fan of the pale, I have to admit, but I was hoping that the brown ale would redeem itself, and the brewery for me. This bottle was stored in my fridge since I recieved it about a month ago, maybe less. So this afternoon I decided to pull it out and see what was going on with this one. A nice brown ale would be the stuff right about now, so lets see where this one goes. Pulled the twelve ounce bottle right out of the fridge and poured directly into my Otter Creek pint glass.

A - Poured a very nice and very cloudy deep dark hazelnut brown. Almost completly opaque save for a few hints of light that were wondering around on the side of the glass, giving it some tiny little hints of a reddish hue, and allowing enough visibility to be able to see that there was a good deal of cloudiness to contend with here. A very nice three finger high head of tan colored lace formed initially but was quick to fall back down and leave behind just a thin film across the top and some slight bits of bubbles around the edge. Really no side glass presentation what so ever to speak of on this one.

S - The first whiff of the aroma of this one set me back a little bit, as the first notes to come through were of chocolate of all things. Very welcome and very suprising to say the least. A nice rich milk chocolate sweetness was coming through and really sweetining it up. There was then some hints of caramel malts in the back coming up and really letting you know this was a sweet little brown ale. The next flavor rocking on the nose was some subtle coffee notes and tons of earthy grains. Overall not a bad aroma for a brown ale and it seemed to really be a nice one coming through so far.

T - The flavor was not as big as the aroma and the look would have led me to believe, but that is not saying that it was bad in any way. Not at all, this was a tight little brown ale for sure. Lots of sweet notes not coming through as well, sugary caramel and some light chcocolate notes are predominant here, with a nice touch of earthy grains making up the backround very nicely. Somel ight hints of wood and vanilla come through as it warms up and really deepen the profile, while keeping it sufficiently light. The finsi hwas dry as could be at first, but no hint of hops at all, a very sweet dry finish leaving a long lasting flavor of caramel and a nutty sort of flavor lingering in mouth for a good long while.

M - The feel on this one was a little thing to be honest, the carbonation was not the greatest and that would really be my only knock agaisnt it. It was no where as watery and thin as the last brew I tried from them, as the flavors had a nice sweet depth to themm, it just did not have the bubbly carbonation pushing it through and felt a little weak to me.

D - As for the drinkability of this one it was absolutly outstanding. I could have easily polished off a sixer of them with no problem at all. It was just that nice and light feeling that I was looking for. Really great flavors with no alcohol at all and a nice tight little dry finish leaving you looking for a little more.

Overall not a bad brown ale at all, and has renewed my intrest in this little texas brewery. I really thought the flavors came off quite well and that the overall package on this was quite sessionable, The only thing I could say was to put a little more carbonation in it, but other then that, this is totally a beer you should try if you see, dont think it will dissapoint.

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Photo of russpowell
4.38/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 26 may, BBD of 30 Aug 06

Pours chestnut/mahogany with a massive 4 fingersmocha clored head. Very good lacing & good head retention

Smell: Malt & nuttiness

Taste: Biscuitty malt & slight nuttiness up front. Finishes dry & biscuitty, witha faint nutiness

MF: Rich with good balance & carbonation

Easy drinking brown that has some character, very impressed. This would be a nice session ale for sure

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Photo of billab914
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Freetail pint glass. It poured caramel brown in color with a thin tan lacing barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows a roasted nuttiness to it along with a caramel sweetness. It's also breadyness coming through. The taste is similar wit ha roasted nuttiness coming through as well as a pretty bold caramel malt flavor. Towards the finish it gets a bit more roasty and adds just a bit of a burnt flavor. Pretty nice flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a bit below average. Drinkability is good, I enjoyed this one a lot. I really liked the roasty nuttiness it brought with it and thought that supported the caramel sweetness nicely. A pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty good brew, maybe not complex enough to be a great beer. Brewhouse Brown pours a nice dark color with dark ruby highlights. The aroma is slightly sweet, but not too strong. The starts moderately sweet and ends with some hops bite. This is a beer I could drink again, but too many in a row would be a little too filling. I enjoyed this beer and can't wait to see what the other Real Ale Company offerings taste like.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy brown with a eggshell creme head. Nose is sweet with a nutty edge. Flavor is a bit tangy. Nutty tones are there. And especially show up on the aftertaste. The whole tangy aspect is a but too much, but nothing is ruined really. Feel has a slightly boisterous carbonation and the liquid is slick and sticky. A pretty nice brown ale. Another Real Ale brew I think would be interesting on cask.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to OakedCanuck for sending me this bottle as an extra!

Pours the color of rich mahogany (and many leatherbound books). Looks like nice wooden furniture. Very attractive. Nice head too, though it doesn't stick around too long.

Doesn't smell like much of anything. Some faint maltiness but I have to sniff at this really hard to get much of an aroma.

This is way better than I expected! Very rich flavor. Roasty chocolate and coffee, caramel/toffee candy malty sweetness. I was extremely impressed at the first few sips. The richness and complexity subsided somewhat as the beer warmed or this might have got an even higher rating.

Very creamy mouthfeel but also some decent carbonation, right on target for the style.

A very nice brown ale. Definitely above average, bordering on excellent.


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Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to armock for this one!

Best by March notched on label.

Pours orangeish light brown - on the light side for the style with a thin head that becomes a thin, wide patch. Vanishing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of light toffee with fruity and bready/yeasty notes.

The taste is of sweet toffee - towards chocolate - maltiness is on light side, however, allowing some bitterness and a bit of "burnt" edges to come through. It has a floral, slightly fruity undertone. There's a bit of oxidation in the sweet-ish finish.

I don't know about "full-bodied", as it claims on the bottle - more like reaches medium-bodied. Something thinnish about it.

A standard-ish, mild-ish brown that is fine despite small "detractors" (a bit of "wet cardboard", lighter maltiness for style, a touch of yeast and astringency - however - all "small" detractors that, despite them is still pretty drinkable/enjoyable).

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown color, red around the sides, small, dark head.
Aroma: very cola-ish, up here in the nose, bits of nuts, and cocoa, but so high in carbonation that it's spoiled a bit.
Mouthfeel, again, too carbonated, some bitterness, medium-bodied, with a middle arrival of fruit (cherries, grapes).
Not much to my taste. Better than weaker-bodied browns, but lacks a lot.
I did enjoy the other offerings from this nice little Texas micro, so 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
Thanks, kbub!

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Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single in Dallas. Poured a clear brown body with a tan head.

Mmm, there are great chocolate flavors here. There's an especially nice Swiss chocolate note as this beer transitions to the aftertaste. There's also a nutty, chocolate roast flavor, but this is a very cocoa-centric brew - though it's not overly sweet. For fans of brown ales, chocolate lovers and folks looking for something a little different, give this a try.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Csims

Pours a clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice two finger creamy tan head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is of malts, slight chocolate, and caramel. The taste is malty and slightly dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brown ale, glad to have had a chance to try it out.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brown color with a tan head. The aroma is very good. In addition to the caramel and toffee, I also get some earthy hops and a little bit of coffee. I don't get any coffee in the flavor, but it was replaced by chocolate which is a welcome surprise. The flavor also has some caramel and earthy hops, lightly toasted malt. The beer has a very creamy mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A great brown ale.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz received as part of a bunch of nice extras in a super trade with chriswilkes33... Thanks a ton Chris... This one was a nailbiter for a few hours, but I'm very happy it worked out for the best. Poured into a tulip with a 2 finger lite tan head.. the brew is deep polished walnut... very pretty... nice lacing.

Off the nose, this is spot on for the category and smells very fresh. Nutty with mild cocoa... earthy.... smells "brown".. sorry I don't really how else to describe it.

Flavor mirrors the nose perfectly... very nice earthy element that meshes perfectly with the lite toast and nutty presence.. caramel essence without the sweetness.. instead an encompassing lite malt profile carries and melds all the components very nicely.

Body seems about right.. so does the carbonation.. Medium lite body with a lighter carbonation.

Nice... I would buy this pretty regularly if it was available to me.

Thanks again Chris for a super trade.... I hope you like your box as much as I like mine!!


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Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with fairly decent head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty mute, but what there I get is pretty aattractive. Seems as if there is some cherry, light coffee and a hint of vanilla. the flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this moderately sweet ale. Not really much more to say. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to light, with a fairly clean finish. Drinkability is OK, with the alcohol not the least bit noticeable.

I don't know... there's nothing wrong with this beer, but it strikes me as "cookie-cutter" brown ale. This isn't one of my favorite beer styles, and it literlly tastes like pretty much every other decent brown ale I've ever had. Nothing wrong with that I guess, and once upon a time I was a fan of Newcastle brown ale, but these days there are just so many other interesting options out there. Mehhhh...

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to turbine2475 for the chance to try this beer. Pours extremely dark brown, almost black with a head that fades quickly. Smells quite malty with a bit of roastiness, molasses, and chocolate. Pretty gentle flavors that are fairly similar to the aromas. Sweet malt and a light roastiness, well integrated, but a bit too mellow. Mouthfeel is smooth rather than creamy. Decent brown ale, but a bit too light, even for the style, to truly enjoy.

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Brewhouse Brown Ale from Real Ale Brewing Company
3.58 out of 5 based on 471 ratings.
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