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 Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown, Ok in terms of taste. Malty sweet more than hoppy, both significant malty and hoppy. Mollasses, brown sugar. Grainy, nutty. An average ale for them, drinkable. They make better.Courtesy of the Buffalo contingent at Radekfest Rerate May 2005

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: small head with scattered lacing on a deep clear amber body.

S: aroma is mild with caramel, hint of toffee and milk chocolate

T: this one seems a little watery. Caramel malt base with nuts, hint of citrus hops, earthy notes, semisweet toffee and

M: thin, light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Clean and mildly crisp.

Overall: this one seems under flavored and watery but I guess it's fine for the style. Low ABV but still barely tastes like alcohol is even in this one. Drinkable and better than most in the genre.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky dark brown with a 1 inch puffy tan head that fades to a small cap. Tight patterns of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate bars. Taste is of roasted malt, brow sugar/molasses, and a bitter hop finish. There is also a slight nutty flavor I am getting. The bitterness sits on the tongue after each sip. There is a pretty good level of carbonation with a somewhat crisp and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good brown ale but nothing too special on this one.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

this is a bomb brown ale. you can really feel and taste the molasses and brown sugar, and i think overall they have done an incredible job with this beer, that skirts the line between american brown and american porter in terms of style. nice head on the pour, some red edges on my nonic pint glass, but mostly brown in looks. some slightly tannic or metallic elements in the nose, but they mostly go away in the taste and feel. sparged a little warm maybe, but there are a lot of pros here. deep malted chocolate layers, hints of barbecue and butterscotch, even whiskey for a moment. the added sugars make all the difference, and make this an awfully unique glass of brown ale. tons of residual sugar and even a little fusel alcohol. i dont hate it, but it brings a new twist to the style. flavors of copper piping, rum raisin, and oxidation all creep in at the end, but with the molasses flavor, it all ends up working out. very very righteously carbonated for the style, and squarely medium on the body. i could float in a bath of this i think. overall another excellent and original offering from bear republic. these guys just dont get enough credit for being innovators. this is super tasty and well worth finding in the market...

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Photo of t0rin0
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from Lonehill Liquor. In general I don't like Browns, Porters, or Stouts so when reviewing these I try to be as objective as possible.

Pours a deep brown color with beige head that lasts quite a while and is very silky. Its clear, or at least it was clear until I got to the bottom of the bottle and didn't stop pouring. Nasty chunks of yeast fell into my glass. I won't hold that against the beer, it was my fault. Good lacing.

Aroma is moderately heavy on the roast and the coffee. There is evidence of brown malt and only the slightest hint of alcohol if you look for it.

Flavor is a little less roasty than the smell suggests and has a stronger alcohol bite. Some nuttines but not a lot. Quite bitter for a brown.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, and medium drinkability due to the hop/alcohol/roast bite.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and very dark amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that quickly died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of nutty malts and some hints of roasted malts.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a light amount of sweetness with some added notes of brown sugar in the flavors and hints of licorice.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and is very smooth with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and goes down easily; I could definitely drink a few of these in one sitting and would consider it to be sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a small sample, it would have been easy to pass this beer up for something more exotically flavored, but I decided to stick with it for the full pint. I'm glad I did. The beer remained simple and pure, but grew on me more and more after each sip. Delicately balanced between chocolate, barley malt, nutiness, and with a touch of lactose. Soft coffee (Sumatra) lingered in the back notes and gave some complexity, but never commanding attention. The beer is agressively hopped and take on the grassiness and herbal notes of English hops. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and as easy to drink as chocolate milk. Mild alcohols never become an issue. The look of the beer certainly fits the bill with it's solid dark brown hue, light haze, and froathy head formation, retention.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany body with garnet hightlights; a voluminous rocky beige head that leaves plenty of splashy lacing

Smell: Molasses and burnt caramel

Taste: Starts with a very sweet burnt caramel, molasses front end that is joined with some nicely balancing hops; a bit of chocolate on the finish, which is also has the slightly phenolic character that I often find in brown ales

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation; velvelty

Drinkability: Pleasant enough to drink but a few flaws keep me from enjoying it more

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Photo of largadeer
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks appropriately brown with a large cream-colored head. Caramel and butterscotch come through strongly in the taste and smell, with a slight roastiness and mild hop presence. Somewhat overcarbonated for the style and perhaps a bit thinner than I'd like, but overall very drinkable and nice.

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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 zeff80
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgandy/brown color with a tan, bubbly, two-finger head. Very little lacing left behind.

S -It smelled of caramel and sweet toffee.

T - It tasted of burnt toast and roasted malt. Nice caramel flavors. Also, some grassy hops.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a nice brown ale. Easy drinking and tasty

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Photo of superspak
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle, no bottle date. Pours slightly cloudy reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense khaki head with excellent retention that reduces to a nice cap. Fair amount of lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of caramel, toasted malt, cola, spicy hops, nuttiness, and light chocolate. Decent aromas here with good strength. Taste of big caramel, toasted malt, nuttiness, molasses, cola, and spicy hops. Decent amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, nuttiness, light chocolate, and spice. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel. No alcohol noticed other than a slight warming after the finish. Nice flavor balance. Overall this is an excellent and robust brown ale with a great flavor profile.

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Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of off-white foam on top of a clear, brown body with amber highlights.

S - Toasty malt and a hint of chocolate with a bit of spicy hop character.

T - Thick, dark bready malt up front with some brown sugar and molasses in the middle. A bit of piney hop character shows up towards the finish and moderate bitterness works nicely to balance the thick malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Nicely done, this isn't an India brown ale by any means, but it is a bit hoppier and better balanced than most sweeter brown ales. Nothing over the top going on here, but it is flavorful and quite drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 22 oz bomber a deep brown with some reddish highlights thru ou with a rather thin off white fizzy head.Love the rich aromas here deeply roasted malt and caramel with a nice raw nuttiness in there as well.A bigger than normal brown here and packed with flavor,milk choclate and caramel up front but a dry,earthy raw nut finish make this quite complex and very drinkable.I have to say this is one of the better browns I have had,heres to ya Pete Brown!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another winner from Bear Republic! This beautiful brown ale has a great appearance and the typical brown ale nutty/toasty malt aroma and flavor that's expected with a small handful of extra hops thrown in. It's very well-brewed, clean, balanced, and highly drinkable! Of course it's still a very basic beer - brown ale is! - but it's a good one! I'd love to try in cask-conditioned!

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Photo of chinchill
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an undated but recently purchased 22oz bottle into a Unibroue snifter.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with reddish tones. The short off-white head fades quickly and leaves only a tiny ring in the glass and a few spots of lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a bit subtle, but has a nice and comples blend of roasted malts, maple/caramel, toffee, nuts and spicy hops.

T: The taste starts sweet, malty and nutty. Mid-taste has a less sweet and darker roast flavor, with a bit of molasses coming into play. The finish and aftertaste have a good sweet-bitter balance. The hops are mild but but strong enough to bring out a good balance and to add a nice layer of light spice to the flavor.

M: Despite the small head, there's plenty of carbonation, rendering the beer a bit crisp. Medium body. Finish is slightly dry. [4+]

O: An easy drinking beer, as is typical for style, but richer and slightly darker in flavor than average. Easily recommended, although perhaps a little closer to an average brown ale than I expected from this outstanding brewer. Do not serve very cold.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from turfy, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, maple, nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with bready flavors of nuts and a hearty roasted malt character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel and maple come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary but strong enough to bring a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style but darker than most, this is a solid beer to drink for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an appropriately dark brown body with a thin, beige-colored head.

Smell: Predominately malty nose smelling of oven-roasted nuts, chocolate, black tea leaves, burnt sugar and with a distinct note of rum raisin.

Taste: Toasty, chocolaty maltiness with a middling sweetness throughout. Slight tastes of toffee, cola, and earthy molasses. Sweetish, raisin-flavored fruitiness. Roasted nut husks. Floral hops combines with the roasty qualities and a tannic tea-like quality to counteract the sweetness. Drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight creaminess to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well balanced between malts and bitterness, reasonably flavorful, sensible ABV... An 'a little bit of everything' kinda brown ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly hazed, plummy Burgundy. The generous head of toasted tan foam is creamythick and is a good visual counterpoint to the beer on which it sits. I'm constantly amazed at how a beer's quality is readily apparent from watching (and feeling and hearing) the pour. Great beer just exits the bottle and enters the glass in its own distinctive way.

The nose is wonderful and beats the noses on most brown ales with room to spare. It's rich and malty and smells like melted milk chocolate mixed with brown sugar syrup. I can't say that I appreciate the molasses per se, but then brown sugar is just white sugar mixed with molasses. It isn't an overly complex (horizontal) nose, but it is plenty deep (vertical).

Pete's Brown is delicious beer. The flavor profile consists of milk chocolate (with a lactose sweetness) and enough ground coffee bean to bring to mind cafe au lait. The brown sugar is still present, but I wish that it played a larger role. I got excited when I read on the BR website that brown sugar and molasses were added (even more would be even better).

There's some nuttiness as well, but chocolate is the king of the hill. In fact, it tastes a little like the beer equivalent of a Hershey's with Almonds candy bar. The body is medium for the style and is as smooth as possible given the lack of heft. I'm forever hoping that someone will stick a more full body on an English brown... and am forever disappointed. This one is better than most though.

Pete's Brown is a wonderful beer and is one of the best of the 25 brown ales that I've had to date. Bear Republic does not disappoint. While it doesn't rise to the stratospheric heights of their hoppy beer, this tribute to Pete Brown is a fine tribute indeed.

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Photo of russpowell
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brown/chestnut with 3+ fingers of rocky sand colored head. Outstanding head retention & lacing

S: Bready, roasty, & nuttyness

T: Bready, roasty malt, & dryness up front. Slight nuttyness, caramel, some chocolate & herbal hops as this warms. Finishes too brown sugary-dry, chocolatey, with a bit more herbal hops, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, too dry, with low carbonation

Drinks alright, but the dryness does slow me down. I expected a little more from this one from Bear Republic

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown in color with a wonderful tan head on top. Very nice robust look to it, almost a cedar hue to it. The aroma was a big suprise. Rich cocoa and hints of roasted malts. Touches of caramel as well as a light tobacco touch to it. Really huge brown ale here. Smooth, mellow carbonation, rich, creamy profile with each sip having to be savored time, and time again. Lots of rich caramel malts wash across the tongue with the very first sip, and so it begins as the smooth, mellow cocoa notes start to come together and mixed with a light, earthy bitter hoppines

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Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at approximately 45 degrees into my La Fin Du Monde tulip from the 22oz brown bottle.

A - Deep mahogany w/ a full 3 fingers of whipped up toasted marshmallow head. The bead is fine and the lace is moderately well clinging.

S - Nice, nutty sweet odors w/ a sour cherry like odor. Hazelnuts and sweet chocolate and bready yeast aromas.

M - Sweet creamy and full w/ a toasty and nutty feel w/ full carbonation and a sweet finish.

T - Dark cherry and deep chocolate malt w/ a sweet nutty quality at first taste. Very clean for such a big beer. Nice creamy taste w/subtle hop notes. Mostly brown malt flavor w/ a light crystal malt sweetness and very tasty w/ a lingering nutty flavor.

D - Very good American brown, slightly stronger than average, but basic roasted and chocolate malt flavors w/ out much yeast character. One you may get bored w/ yet "easy to knock back" w/ mushroom soup, a nice offering from Bear Republic.

Tasted blind - May 2009, served chilled in a double walled tumbler by tb69
A -3.5, S-4, M - 3.5, T-4, D - 4

A-Deep burgundy/tootsie roll-esque. The color of medium roast coffee w/ a thick rocky light tan head. Good clarity and good lacing from a moderately hard pour

S - citrus hops and dark fruit aroma w/ dark brown sugar and mild alcohol note w/ rich woody almost maple aroma

M - Thick concentrated sugar, but juicy taste w/ hins of herbal hops and noticeable abv in the feel. Somewhat sweet finish-wise and creamy textured

T - The flavor is deep berry and toffee w/ hints of coffee and the light molasses w/ a nutty and caramel malt note w/ a balanced flavor of pine hops and nutty/toasty accent. The flavor has more of a brown sugar and almost bourbon wood influence in the sweetness end of the flavor spectrum.

D - A tasty brown full of flavor, potent but not a beer to take lightly since is is not a session brown, but certainly fits the American brown category well.

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Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good starting head (three fingers). Recedes in a lumpy fashion. Dark brown color where light shines through on the edges.

Strong chocolate aroma. Semi-sweet, closer to a dark cocoa.

The flavor mirrors the smell--lots of cocoa. There is a light hop presence in the swallow. The aftertaste is short but resembles a semi-sweet chocolate. The body is rich and the carbonation is low. This is a good chocolatey Brown Ale.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/18/12 notes. Had this on tap at Beery Authority in NYC. Have passed this up before, glad to get a chance to try it now.

a - Pours a very dark mahogany brown color with once inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, nuts, caramel malts, sugar, dark fruits, chocolate, toasted malts. Nice nuts and chocolate, I like the nose quite a bit.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, toasted malts, burnt malts, nuts, sugar, dark fruits. More chocolate and less nuts, I think I like the nose slightly better, though the taste is still quite good.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good brown ale; really glad I got to try it. Some nice nuts in the smell and chocolate in the taste, with caramel throughout, and easy to drink. Would definitely order it again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My pour resulted in a finger's worth of thick, mocha-tan head with good retention. The nose was very chocolaty, like cocoa powder. Color was a deep, dark brown with very little light penetration. Mouthfeel was thick and creamy with a definite chocolate taste on the tongue. Finish had a smokiness to accompany the chocoalte. This was a darned good brown and that is high praise from one who usually disdains the style.

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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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