Peter Brown Tribute Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
355 Reviews
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Peter Brown Tribute AlePeter Brown Tribute Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Peter Brown Tribute Ale is malty American Brown Ale, brewed with molasses, brown sugar, and hopped with Cascade and Centennial. It's just the way Pete would have wanted it.

2009 California State Fair - GOLD
2009 North American Brewers Association – GOLD
2006 Great American Beer Festival® Brown Porter – BRONZE
2004 Great American Beer Festival® Brown Porter – GOLD

Added by xlperro on 09-06-2003

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Reviews: 355 | Ratings: 615
Photo of biglite351
2.32/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Clear burnt amber color with short, tight, off-white head

S - Very mild malt and caramel, hint of bitter

T - Hop flavor up front with malt and caramel through the finish

M - Thin but nice coating, slight tingle on tongue

O - Was not expecting the hop flavor... pass

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Photo of yemenmocha
2.36/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance is like any other quality brown ale - deep brown, thick light brown head. Almost opaque.

Nose is more faint than anticipated. Some clean fresh bready aromas, nuts, and slight roastiness.

On palate this is a shocker. Huge sour yeasty taste, then comes sugary brown sugar with very light molasses & roasted malt. Part of this reminded me of the way the usual Bear Republics are hopped and maybe I'm getting some sort of atypical brown ale. But then as I had several sips I just couldn't tolerate it any further and decided it must be a bad bottle. Nope. After reading the other reviews, apparently that sour yeasty taste is the norm. Normally I'm willing to relax because there are variations on interpreting a style but this stuff is not potable, no matter what the style classification.

Two thumbs down.

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours with a rather aggressive tan head with large bubbles and some nice structure.
Brown shoe polish colored beer with very good clarity and no visible carbonation. The head does fall to a thin film of foam that remains. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is light, slightly sweet and of grain.. Not very roasted or caramel like...

Hmmm, a bit disappointed with the flavor here. Quite watery. The phrase "one dimensional" comes to mind. Light roasted malt flavor, some sweetness. A bit dry towards the end. As I continue to work my way through the bottle I am struck by the one dimensional nature of the flavor. I am searching for more elements to describe and can't find any. Perhaps a tiny hint of cocoa, but I am clearly searching.

Mouth feel is very light. Too light. Almost watery. Some graininess in the mouth feel.

As for drinkability, I will say there is not that much. Not offensive, but also not inviting. I will not willingly be back to try this one again.

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Photo of jrnyc
2.53/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this at a local restaurant, not one I would usually pick up but gave it a try. Came out in pint glass, not sure if this came from bottle or tap.

The appearance was outstanding, dark with beautiful head. But it basically had no taste. Finished about 1/4 of it and that was it.

Can't recommend this one at all.

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Photo of Budlum
2.55/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A fountain of foam immediately rose from the bottle as soon as I opened this beer. A glass filled with foam upon pouring only two ounces in to a glass. Foam continued to rise out of the bottle even after the fluid level cleared the neck of the bottle. After about six mini-pours, I had a full glass of beer. The body is a rich, brown color with quite a few tiny particles held in suspension. Naturally, there was a huge layer of brown head on top of the beer.

The nose is a straight-forward, run-of-the-mill brown ale. Sweet malts with a light nuttiness abound. Hop smells are notably strong for the style.

A brief, sweet rush hits the palate and is immediately squelched by a sharp, bitter yeast flavor. The sharpness is tolerable but it isn't the stuff brown ales are made from. After the yeast flavors drop, the rich flavors of a brown ale shine through for a brief glimpse. A strong nuttiness, toffee sweetness and mild hops show what could've been. Maybe this is a unique take on the style or just a bad bottle? If this was presented as a porter, the judging would've been more favorable but still not good.

The mouthfeel is thin and a bit soapy but it does offer good carbonation.

Drinkability is sub-par because of the sharp, acidic flavors. I hope this was just a bad bottle. This brew was certainly not up to Bear Republic standards.

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Photo of foles
2.78/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased at International Beer Shop Perth, no best before date, imported by Pheonix beers.

Pours a very dark, almost black, brown. Small head that hands around the edges. American hops and some light toasty/roasty notes on the nose. A little bit of an oxidised dark malt aroma.

Unfortunately the taste is part american brown, part oxidised/sweet tasting dark malts. Also quite watery and a leaves a bit of a coca cola twang on in the mouth. Drinkable.

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Photo of granger10
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

After my last two Bear Republic's I was hoping for another something special. Sadly let down here. Flavors lean on the sweet side but nothing's really there to me. Mouthfeel just feels thinner than I'd hope. Nutty flavors seem to be the most prevalent. Other than that the sweetness almost seems nondescript. The finish is what really killed this beer for me. Kind of a sour acid yeast flavor. Reminded me of some Alesmith beers I had a year ago. I don't know if this is the result of me buying an older beer (where's the dating?) or the yeast strain just gone funky for this batch. Maybe I'll try again, hopefully I can sample this on tap somewhere.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

6.3% ABV confirmed. Acquired at a local SoCal beer store. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glasss bottle with branded pressure cap served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average; this is a surprisingly tough style to pull off but Bear Republic makes some great beers.

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

A: Pours a four finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and pretty good (4+ minute) retention. Soft smooth consistency. Body colour is a rather dark amber. Semitransparent and semitranslucent. Generally appealing for a brown; there are no overt flas here. Nothing unique or special. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Huh. Not what I expected, though not in a bad way. Some sort of weird berry. Are we certain Lost Coast didn't brew this? More nuts come through as it warms. Hazelnut, chestnut. Dark malts. Little hop character. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's not a great aroma, but at least it's got nutty notes - which is what I look for in a good brown. An above average strength aroma.

T: Decent nutty notes. Amber malts. Light toasted character. Light floral hopping. This is pretty simple stuff. No yeast or alcohol comes through. It's not bad, but it's just plain pedestrian. There's little here that interests. Decent flavour. Balanced, if bland. Built alright. Why brew this? A bit too sweet and sugary - especially for a brown. I get some brown sugar.

Mf: Smooth and wet, just as it should be. Adequate carbonation. Decent thickness. It's a bit syrupy; that molasses might have been a bad call. Decent body. Complements the flavour in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. I definitely wouldn't pick this one up again. Hides its above average ABV okay. Pretty mediocre stuff considering the pedigree of the brewery. I'll finish this bottle, but I wouldn't recommend it to friends. Mundane.


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Photo of lackenhauser
2.88/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown color. No real head to speak of. Somewhat bready aroma other then that not much there. Malty flavor-slight hop bitterness. Very one dimensional. Nothing really stands out. What flavor is there is somewhat soapy. Ok body. A very ho hum beer. Im sorry to say not much of a tribute. Im suprised since everything I have had from Bear has kicked ass.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12/05/04- Purchased at Belltramo's Wine and Spirts in Menlo Park, CA

Appearance- Pours a brownish-amber color with a 3/4 inch head, and nice lacing.

Smell- High nutty and chocolate scents.

Taste- This is the strangest brown ale I have ever tasted. It tastes like a brown ale and an ESB combined. I'm not really a fan of ESB's, thus the low score from me. Very bitter and hard for me to swallow. The bitterness of ESB's hit my gag reflex. Kinda on the watery side too. But, my girlfriend really enjoyed it, and her favorites are brown ales, stouts and porters. So, I guess it's not as bad as I rate it.

Mouthfeel- A bit overcarbonated to me and like I said, hit's my gag reflex.

Drinkability- For me, not at all. If it were up to my girlfriend this beer would get a 4+. So, I guess brown ales lovers should give it a go. It is bitter though.

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

On tap at ';bones. Very dark brown when served, with a low head. Aroma-wise, there is some intrigue from roatsed cocoa nubs, and then some vegetal notes take over. Medium in body, the flavor is all about being roasty. It starts with some initial grainyness, then there's some vegetal notes, and then the roasted flavor takes over. I don't think I've ever used this word in a beer review before, but: this was a weird beer. Not awful, just may have been in weird shape.

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Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one at the Bottle Barn about a month ago. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with hints of red, and clear. Guess you would call this cola color. Good two finger tan head but little retention.

S: Mild smell with a bit of dark sweetness, possibly molasses.

T: Typical brown ale flavor...a bit of sweetness out front, though pretty mild. The finish is slightly hoppy and slightly burnt or toasty.

MF: Light body, almost watery. Not much carbonation, a pretty smooth beer.

D: This was a lot better on tap. Fine for the style, but as with so many brown ales, flavor and body are lacking.

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Photo of briman
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a medium dark reddish brown color. About a full inch brown head, with good retention, settling into

Aroma is sweet with molasses and brown sugar. Maybe a hint of hop presence, but not much.

Flavor is slightly sweet, somewhat indistinct, moving towards a slightly roasted taste in the finish which is dry and somewhat chalky. Slight almost burnt bitterness pops up for a second in the aftertaste.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance seems ok, but overall I find this one indistinct and a bit tasteless. Based on that, can't say I'll seek it out again.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This looked and smelled fantastic. Medium to dark brown pour with a khaki coloured foamy head that became craggy and "chunky" as it slowy died down. Smell was huge cereals and grains and was rather nice. Taste, though, was very forgetable. It wasn't that it was bad. This is *not* a bad beer. It is just that there was a sour taste here that I didn't care for. Not a sour taste that would lead me to believe the beer had gone bad; this tasted like it was supposed to be here. Perhaps it is just me. Nevertheless, I didn't really care for the taste. Not a bad beer, just not for me. As always, though, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried on June 19, 2008
Pete has a big, foamy, lasting head on top of a clear, deep dark russet body. Aroma is full of brown sugar and molasses along with an earthy smell. Flavor is mostly sweet chocolate, but overall very light. Finishes slightly bitter with an aftertaste of sour cherries and iron. Alcohol is noticable, but not overpowering. OK, but not anything I would buy again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

A: Ruby glints. Dark brown beer with creamy, off-white head. Good lacing.

S: Nutty malts and not much else. Typical brown ale.

T/M: I remember quite liking this on tap, so I'm a little disappointed by the mediocre beer in my glass. Thin-bodied, smooth, with a touch of caramel malt or brown sugar, but the sweetish malt base is a bit more grainy/bready than I'd like. The aftertaste is short and lightly sour.

O: Decent, drinkable beer, but not something I'd recommend or regularly purchase. If you get it, try to find it on tap.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/21/08. Bottle. Pours dark brown with a thick tan head. Aroma of smoke and sweet roasted malt. Flavor of roasted malt, sweet cantelope, and sweet honey. Weak bodied. Meh, an ok beer but not one I'd revisit.
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 3/5
Overall: 13/20

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Photo of JDV
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour, with a lightish tan head that didn't last. Smell is of slight roasty malt, a bit nutty perhaps and a touch of brown sugar. Taste is rather ordinary light roast malt, typical of browns, with a just a hint of brown sugary bitter sweetness too. Still, flavor is on the light and mellow side. Mouthfeel is moderate. Not too thin, but not substantial either Alcohol is barely perceptable if at all. Very drinkable, but not too incredibly unique or interesting. Worth a try if you like browns, I suppose.

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Photo of david18
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of this at a grocery store in San Francisco. I never refuse a bear republic ale even though I'm not a big brown ale lover. In general not too bad, a bit fizzy and I'm surprised that it's only 6.3 percent as I felt pretty trashed after one bottle of it.

Color is a very pretty brown, quite fizzy head that dissapates quickly. Aroma is bready/malty with a nice hoppy back end. Flavor is ok, not great...again, not a huge brown ale fan. Drinkability is also a little questionable as I felt the alcohol very quickly and almost couldn't finish the beer.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber poured into my big ol’ D-backs mug.
Pours a rich deep brown with ruby tinges, with a thick long lasting tan head. Chunks of lacing cling to the glass
Aroma is roasty, nutty, smokey.
flavor is sweet and smokey with just a hint of dryness at the end.
Body is a touch thin.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber from the International Beer Shop, thanks to bluebetty. Poured into a Mikkeller tulip.

Pours a murky, almost black colour with a little bit of red around the edges when held up to the light. Yellowy-beige foam sits atop but doesn't lace as it falls.

Smell is sweet nut, along with a little but of melted brown sugar and caramel. No real hop impact like is expect to see in a US brown ale.

Tastes plenty nutty with a solid sweetness there backing it up. Some sugary sweet flavours come in to make it seem more English than US.

Mouthfeel is solid and relatively big, some hop presence breaks up the sweetness and adds a bit of variety to this. Just a touch of heat.

Average US Brown Ale which dips its lid to the English. Plenty of nut which works, the booze or alcohol heat doesn't help, but still a decent brown ale that is PB the sweeter side.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.3/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$4.99 for a 22oz bottle @ Jacks. Brewed with molasses, brown sugar, and hopped with Cascade and Centennial.
ABV: 6.3% IBU: 21

Pours out to a clear very dark mahogany, forming a modest light yellow head with average retention and solid lacing. Beautifully colored. The aroma instantly reminds me of Bell's Best Brown, it's eerily uncanny. The blend of Wyeast American Ale yeast, those hops, sitting on top of a robust amber and chocolate malt body, carob, black cherries, and distant walnut is appealing. The mouthfeel is a little tart with a medium body. The taste is a recap of the aroma, but there is a peculiar green kiwi flavor and a sour tang which may not bode well for this beers longevity in the bottle. The hops are herbaceous and mild with a woody finish.

This is interesting. It's a decent brown ale, and I bet it's great on tap, but the kiwi fruit tang has me worried and throws this brew off-kilter. Despite the similarity in nose, I would choose Bell's Best Brown over this.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: A 22 ounce Bomber of Bear Republic, I am not sure in what order all of the words on the label are supposed to be read, but its seems that a logical formation is hard to work out. Simply has the following words ‘Peter Brown 1949-2002’, ‘Brown Tribute Ale’, and the number ‘27’. Listed as an American Strong Brown with a strength of 6.3%.

Appearance: Fantastic looking light tan brown head easily forms. A rocky bubbled surface sits atop the 2” deep head that forms but in a controlled manner. The body is a deep polished chestnut brown that is clear and reflects the light with a dark ruby-red hue. Light lacing that clings well as the head eventually settles. Decent levels of dissolved carbonation invigorate and restore the head when the beer is swirled.

Nose: Dark sweet caramel and molasses. A restrained nose that nonetheless contains hints of coffee and roasted malts but at levels that take some finding at times.

Taste: A sugary start that reminded me of when you put too much brown sugar into a strong black coffee. The sugars continue through the middle and mix with molasses and caramel, but the caramel is more akin to burnt brown sugar, rather than the toffee kind. I find this beer to be a little unbalanced at times and heavy on the burnt sugars. The ending is a little sticky and cloying. Burnt, rather than roasted malts cover and subdue the beers profile and lend a one-dimensional feel. There was a distinct lack of nuttiness in this Brown, a flavor which I consider to be a staple component and one which would balance the burnt sugars I feel. I expected much more from Bear Republic.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was rather annoying and for me is one of the beers let-downs. Burnt aspects, like drinking a hot coffee, or eating hot cheese, stick to the tongue and at times mask the beers other flavors.

Drinkability: Heavy going at times and not really that quaffable. I had a Bomber of this and it sat near me for something like 45-60 minutes, quite a long time for me. I nearly left some in fact. As it warms it gets harder to drink and the burnt cloying flavor really comes through and sticks in the mouth.

Overall: I love Bear Republic, and I’m afraid I was under-whelmed by this ‘Strong American Brown’ when I had it for the first time at Papago Brewing with the legendary Gusler this weekend. I could not believe that I had found a BR beer that I didn’t like. So I put it down to the fact that I had drunk many big ass beers earlier that day, and so I purchased a bottle to bring home with me and prove myself wrong. But sadly I couldn't. Even sat down in more studious surroundings, I’m still disappointed by this offering, but maybe not as much as I was the first time. It’s not bad, but it is far from balanced and a little topsy-turvy at times.

Not one I would recommend to others.

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Photo of barknee
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Bear Republic Brown Ale pours a dark cola color with red highlights and a mocha colored creamy frothy head. A inviting nose of warm well roasted malts and hops welcome the nose along with the taste sensation of dark sweet cocoa bean and carob, generous mouthfeel, medium in body and sweet; though not cloyingly sweet. All alcohol is completely hidden here with a luscious marshmallow aftertaste that lingers big time.
This is not a bomb of a brew, light notes of stout-esque flavors and essence reward the mouth and nose; not a blockbuster brown ale but nevertheless a good ol’ American Brown Ale; warm multifaceted and complex through warming, very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of baiser
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown, with ruby highlights and a large, light tan head. Aroma of roasted nuts, sweet malt, caramel and some dark fruitiness. This beer didn't really do it for me. No outstanding flavours. Just a blend of non-commital flavours, none to define this beer. Some spiciness, malt sweetness and slight hop flavour. Medium bodied, ok drinkability. I've had better from Bear Republic.

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Peter Brown Tribute Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 615 ratings.
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