American Brown Ale | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Very Good
23 Ratings

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Medium-bodied brown ale with chocolate and roasted flavors and an assertive American hop bouquet and bitterness.

35 IBU

Added by Kegatron on 04-03-2009

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Kegatron
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Lancaster on 4/3/09. Served in an oversized Mugger mug.

Pours a deep clear amber/nearly brown with a finger of foamy beige colored head. Retains with a thin fizzy look that flares up a bit when swirled, leaving foamy spotty lacing back. The aroma is HOLY HOPS! Sharply floral and citric smelling, with an underlying layer of sweetness and roast but damn, this bouquet is all about the hops.

The taste is once again an extremely sharp hop bite up front that flows in to some tangy citrus before ending with a huge flush of deeply burnt roasted grains. Roasted bitterness and hops linger linger for a bit. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied (although if I had to pick, I'd say more toward the lighter side) with a sharp and prickly carbonation that goes right along with all of the hops and bitterness.

Well they certainly didn't skip on the "American" part of this American Brown Ale! Hops character just dominated this (maybe to the point of overkill) but I didn't mind too much. At times I wondered if I had been mistakenly given a mug of their equally overhopped Imperial Stout. I'm going to have to revisit this again.

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Photo of Lanstrum
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of drcarver
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - the head flows up to the top like any good nito-fed beer. It takes a few minutes to settles and then hangs around from the entire beer tracing itself down to the bottom of the glass.

S - Rich nutty malt aroma with floral hops dancing around in the background.

T - The taste is almost identical to the aroma, rich nutty malts with a hint of burnt malt. The hop hangs at the back of of the beer.

M - Smooth and creamy, as it should be.

D - Hell yeah!

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: In the light appeared a deep mahogany, while in the glass was a dark chocolate coloring with a frothy, compact 1 finger light beige head that was well lasting while leaving a clingy spotty sheet coating down the glass walls. A good visual representation color and lacing wise while the head maintained nicely adding to the appeal.

S: The nose was strong with sweet burnt malty tones and hints of dried pine and citrus. A bit unusal per style but was very pleasant none the less.

T: The flavor opens up with a nice fresh roasty flavor that was deep with a dryness of pine and a burnt chocolate sweetness. A nice toasted nuttiness and lingering roasted malting hangs around for a bit with hints of earthy dried citrus tones. The beer finishes up dry, with hints of earthy peat moss, fresh charred wood and a lingering roasted malting well suited per style at medium strength that will keep you warm and cozy on a chilly autumn day. Flavor-wise iron hill seemed to up the ante a bit here exceeding expectations.

M: spot on, with a smooth texture providing for a good hold and feel here. A good bitterness coats the tongue upon the swallow.

D: Good drinkability and likewise enjoyment. A hearty brown that drinks like a porter with an earthy and roasty flavor that comes with a high recommend. Growler worthy by all means and my first A beer rating by iron hill that is rightfully so. At 5.4% abv just the right amount of abv to make this an American session.

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Photo of akorsak
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Lancaster brewpub.

A: The brown ale is a dark copper color, still translucent despite the full color. The ale arrived with a half a finger of head but stiull managed to lace prodigiously.

S: The nose is weighed down by dark over-roasted malts. The burnt toast aspect is rather high, offset by a crisp citrus hoppiness.

T: As advertised, chocolate and roasted malts dominate the early part of each sip with burnt bread and baker's chocolate. The bitterness is in the same spirit as Kerplunk from Spring House, dialed back significantly though. Dripping citrus hops add a pleasantly bitter sweetness to the malts, a bitterness that is different from the malt bite.

M: I like the malt-forward flavor of this brown ale, it's not your run-of-the-mill toffee-flavored ale.

D: If not for the oak aged cherry quad, I probably would have had another glass of this beer.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown body with a nice white cap.Nice lacing also.Dark malts make up the majority of this fine brew with some bitterness thrown in for good measure.Chocolate malts in there also.Very smooth beer and easy to drink and could make for a great session beer.I havnt had a brown ale this good since ive had Troegs brown ale.I'll have this agsin for sure.

 348 characters

Photo of AsburyParkJMH
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice caramel brown colour with a bit of crispness to it and a mid sized wispy white head that leaves a marginal amount of residue on the glass.

The aroma is a mix of a touch of caramel, slight hop notes, some chocolate and a good amount of roasted malt. It's sweet but a touch rugged at the same time.

The flavour is essentially more of the same. Hop presence is well balanced with the malt flavour. I'd say the sweetness of the chocolate comes through a bit more here, with the roasted malt still present but set back a bit in terms of how much that particular flavour comes though. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a touch of slickness to it and very much in line with what I like to see from a brown ale.

This is a nice one. It keeps itself simple but does everything well and does it with a subtle punch that makes for a tasty easy drinking beer.

 869 characters

Photo of salthemonster
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came a dark glowing brown, but faded to a red amber and then again to a lighter straw. The creamy irregular film of head left behind some nice lace.

Smells of smoky molasses, sweet barley and hazelnuts with hints of raisins and port.

Tastes of sweet red grapes and sweet, smoky honey with a nice woody campfire smokiness and wallnut that fades to a light, dry, woody hop.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied and glassy smooth with a small bubbled easy carbonation.

This one’s a pleasure for the senses for sure. One of Iron Hill’s finest.

 568 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Rifugium
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Iron Hill, Media, PA

A decent brown ale here. Poured a translucent dark brown with a moderately sized cap of white head that laced well. Aroma is pretty much malt-driven, roasty, with tones of chocolate. Didn't get the hop aroma that many people seem to. More of the same in the taste: dark roasted malts, bakers' chocolate, toasted grains, and despite the lack of hops in the nose, there is definitely some fresh citrusy hops going on from the mid-palate onward. Medium body, pretty easily drinkable, decent overall.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Media. One of what seems like a new breed of American brown ales being brewed this year that have a rich toasted malt quality as well as assertive and vivid hopping. This one was particularly fresh at the time of my tasting and lovely tropical fruit hop notes leapt from the glass on top of a full-bodied, chocolaty, toasty malt character.

This one poured a nearly clear brown/amber color with a two finger off-white head that settled slowly. Lacing is creamy and clings to the glass. Aroma leads with the fruity and floral hops, followed by a sweet chocolate note and some bready malt. The flavor is a bit more balanced but is certainly highly hoppy for the style; again the hops lend tropical fruit, citrus, and floral notes as well as prominent and lingering bitterness, but they are counter-balanced by the sweeter chocolate and toasted malt flavors. The finish is semi-dry.

Medium body and carbonation, quite smooth and a bit creamy in the mouth. A really tasty, interesting, and well-crafted contemporary brown, and another Bob Barrar creation I’ve really enjoyed this summer.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for serving up this brown ale, Maple Shade! Very nice.

Fluffy moderately creamy white head atop a rich, murky, milk chocolate-toned liquid. Bands of lace - good.

Nice touch of bitter hops accenting some moderately thick chocolaty, biscuity malt aromas - fine ratio, hops-to-malt. Mellow, not weak. Inviting. Borderline Hersheyesque.

It has enough of what I would like as far as flavor from a bolder American take on a brown. The biscuit-chocolate at the perfect intensity - not too thick and desserty, not too thin or weak. Touch of caramel. Soft bitterness accenting that tasty malt though not overtly hoppy.

Lip-smacking, delicately foamy feel. Clean but with some traces of brown-sugary malt sweetness sticking behind. The body will be found most appealing to casual beer drinkers and those like myself who often crave intense constitution. Whatever, had trouble expressing that thought - hope you understand.

Exceptional brown ale no doubt. Very pleased. Everyone around me felt the same.

 1,004 characters

Photo of pburland23
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Media, 11/6/2010

Dark brown color with a thick off white head which created ample lacing. The aroma is heavy on roasted malts and a touch of chocolate. There is a bit of hops bouquet present as well.

This beer smells and tastes much hoppier than your traditional brown ale and I like it. The ever presence hops bitterness provides the roasted malt backbone of the beer with a worthy foil as you drink the beer.

It's medium bodied and definitely at 5.4% sessionable if you wanted to head in that direction. I could see myself picking up a growler of this for a cool, winter evening. An excellent version of the American Brown Ale.

 653 characters

Photo of spedprof
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Foxman
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a slightly hazy latte brown that ambers up toward the edges. A full finger of off-white head dwells for a short while. Squiggles of lacing doodle the inside of the glass.

The aroma first grants a lightly sweet swath of caramel, some molasses, and a bite of chocolate, all speaking of roasted malt. The hops are well balanced with a touch of citrus.

Upon tasting, the malt is toasty and sweet, carrying forth caramel, light molasses, and milk chocolate. There's also a nutty touch. A little biscuit falls behind a mellow, dry hop line, itself reminiscent of grapefruit but far more subtle. The finish is nicely crisp but still with a trace of the grain that leads us here. It's impressively balanced and a smooth presence.

Between light and medium bodied, the malt has a slightly sticky character that helps flow like light cream across the palate.

The malt is the star, but the hops are blended in so well that even though their role is more of s supportive nature, they still carve out a nice niche as well. It's smooth and just a joy to drink. And the ABV ensures that this is an apt and ready session partner. There's no reason I wouldn't be willing to drink one of these, or two, or three.

 1,210 characters

Photo of tpacek
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Durandal_777
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of gr0g
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DIM
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: This was a clear, fairly light brown. It was served to me with a thin, fizzy, light tan cap.

s: The website lists this as being 35 ibu's and 5.4% abv. I smelled a lot of hops here, sharply perfumed. I also thought I detected a decent amount of heat from this one. There was some molasses and brown sugar for sweetness.

t: Definitely an American Brown, maybe too much so. The dry perfumed hops and sweet toffee and brown sugar kind of clashed. This had a fairly sharp alcohol bite to it.

m: A little light bodied, with gently fizzy carbonation.

d: I'm a big of Paul and my local IH, but this was a miss for me. Time for some Kryptonite!

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Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Iron Hill Lancaster on 1/16/10.

A - Clear reddish brown body with moderate carbonation and a thin, creamy beige head that reduced to a bubbly patch and deposited some strands of sticky lace around the glass.

S - Citrus hops and chocolate malt comprise the initial aroma, although a sweet nutty character and some earthy, herbal notes are unearthed as well.

T - Flavor is quite hoppy for a brown ale, with citrusy American hops at the forefront and, to a lesser degree, some spicy notes. Sweet chocolate malt and a nutty character nudges in during the middle, offering some caramel notes as well. Finishes with moderate bitterness and lots of earthy, herbal notes, as well as a hint of spiciness.

M - Medium bodied and fairly robust, yet rather prickly and bristly. Finish is somewhat dry and bittersweet on the palate.

D - This is certainly one of the hoppiest brown ales I've ever come across in my travels. American Brown Ale almost drank like a dark IPA.

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Photo of bgildea
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice clear brown color with a thin white head that leaves a lot of lacing.

S: Smells strongly of hops. If you closed your eyes and were asked to smell this beer, you'd definitely think it's an IPA, it's that hoppy. Slight background smells of chocolate add to a really nice rich complex aroma.

T: The flavor starts off with a smooth chocolaty taste that moves into a decent amount of hops. The flavor then bends back to a chocolaty finish/aftertaste. The flavor is very deep and very complex. There aren't many brown ales out there that taste like this.

M: Really thin beer. I would have liked a bit more chew to it, but it's sufficient.

O: Overall the beer was excellent. The unique blend of chocolate, malts, and hops makes this a beer that everyone should try. I loved the blend of flavors and was pleasantly surprised by how well they worked.

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American Brown Ale from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 23 ratings