Peter Brown Tribute Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
617 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 617 |  Reviews: 355
Photo of seanwhite
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Like the label on this one. Always enjoy a tribute ale. Glad to cheers to Pete Brown. Even though I have never met the man, it's evident that he meant alot to the brewery. Here's to you Pete!

Poured from a bomber into a FW pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with a one finger tan head that dissiaptes at a fairly quick pace.

S - A good nutty smell with some brown sugar and a little roast...

T - Roasted malts, molasses, brown sugar, and a good amount of nuttiness up front. Also pick up a decent amount of earthy hops. Ends with a bit of hop bitterness...

M - Pretty thin, but I wouldn't expect much else from a brown. On the lighter side of being medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Interesting take on the style. The hop presense make this for an interesting drink. Some might call this unbalanced, but i'm going to go with unique...


 878 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I eyeball this one at my local Whole Foods all the time, and now I'm finally taking the plunge. Let's git er' done!

A: Dark brown with a reddish tinge. I think if this sucker were a shade later lighter, I might be able to see through it. However, that's not the case. The finger or so beige froth died down into sawdust quickly.

S: Almost like Nutella. Not a brown sugar bomb in the least, and with a malty, caramel, hazelnut quality that dessert-like, and quite potent.

T: Okay, this was one of the more hoppy browns I've ever tasted and I just KNOW there's an IPA in there somewhere! Kidding aside, this one suffered from an identity crisis. The trouble I had with it is that the yummy nuttiness was juxtaposed with a rather bright, almost citrus-like fruit profile that didn't quite work IMO.

M: Pretty thick, which was cool, but I got a good bit of sour lingering that was rather funky, but not entirely bad. Nice tempered sweetness. Moderate, splotchy lacing.

O: I liked this, but couldn't have it all the time. I think Bear Republic really knew what they were doing here, however, I think I prefer a straight ahead brown ale. Different strokes I guess....

 1,166 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, I did a little cooking and drinking with this one.

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass (and my red beans and rice sauce)

Appearance: Cola brown, 1 finger head that quickly dissipates; good lacing.

Smell: Nutty, malty. Mmmm...ready to sip.

Taste: Malt/nut combo with brown sugar and a clean, molasses finish. Hints of coffee round it out. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: heavy, thick on the tongue; great carbonation.

Overall: One of the best brown ales I've tried. Cooks well with red beans and rice and tastes great on the side.I'll definitely be trying more of this one. Just right for fall.

 601 characters

Photo of avaldivia
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery.

A: Murky dark brown. Not much head or lacing.

S: Roasted malts. Good amount of a caramel character.

T: Same as the smell. Rather light.

M: Medium light bodied. Good carbonation.

O: Very well done brown ale, but not my favorite. Decent flavors, but kind of light.

 290 characters

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a really rich, dark brown color from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV on the label. Some light penetration along the sides, looks almost opaque.
Luxurious two finger head from a slightly aggressive pour that dissipates slowly and leaves some beautiful lacing.
Aroma is predominantly malty with hints of nuttiness, bread, some sweetness.
The taste upfront is nutty with hints of roasted malt bitterness intertwined with hints of sweetness. Hints of caramel could be felt. This is one delicious brew, with all it's flavor complexity and smoothness. Almost feels like a full bodied ale.
Mouthfeel is very good and the deliciousness makes this a very drinkable beer. In my opinion this is one of the finest brown ales around. Bear Republic has brewed a winner here.
Definitely worth a try and comes highly recommended.

 817 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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

 565 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 860 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

 548 characters

Photo of SDtastentune
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, small head and not much lacing.. poured slow. Has some sediments floating in the abyss.

S - Sweeter malts mixed in with some lager'ish alcohol. Brown sugar and thin molasses, not too strong though.

T - Great malty brown suger kind of thing, not too sweet but balance between darker malts and brown sugar. Kinda has a watery thin taste. Little toasty.

M - Good carbonation, lower to medium not over fizzy or prickly. Good after taste and not over the top. Little watery.

O - Good brown ale, not over the top but definitely crafty brew. Might need a little more alcohol kick or bitter hops to bring it to an imperial/double status but a great drinker for a brown ale fan. Personally I would like it a little more sweeter on the brown sugar side of things.

 774 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Appearance - The beer pours a brown colour with a large frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some great lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, brown sugar, hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lots of chocolate mixed with malts and brown sugar. There is also a nice amount of hops going on. The beer ends with a chocolatey sweet aftertaste with a nice contrasting hop bitterness.

Overall – The beer has a fantastic balance, and although it is sweet is highly drinkable. It's definitely one of the better brown ale's that I've ever had and I'd buy it again for sure. Worth seeking out.

 792 characters

Photo of sendsilk
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle received in a recent trade.

A- Good, nice and dark and, well, brown. slight lacing.

S- Typical brown ale smell, a little light on the old proboscis with scents.

T- A decent, not great , but decent brown ale. Not my favorite style so I don't know all of the descriptors for them. It tastes brown with some brown ale highlights and brown finish.

M- Right in line with the style.

O- Solid,decent and good.

 421 characters

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +1%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

 418 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with tons of tan head and mild lace. Lots of roasted malt in the nose, hints of root beer, some phenols.

Mildly sweet, but quickly turns dry behind the roasty malts and piney hops. Body is a bit too thin; slightly high on the carbonation front. Good drinkability, and an excellent value at $5/bomber.

 312 characters

Photo of dgilks
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep brown colour with a foamy, tan head. Decent head retention. Some lacing. Good.

Mild nutty malt aroma. A hint of earthy hop. Fine.

Earthy hop bitterness with sweet, dark caramelised malts and a touch of sharpness.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. This could be integrated better.

A straight forward simple American Brown. Good flavour and nicely balanced.

 381 characters

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a small plastic cup at a beer tasting at The Percolator in El Paso, Texas.

Appearance - Iced coffee. Light off-white lace.

Smell - Iced coffee. Hints of chocolate. Very malty.

Taste - Iced coffee. With alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Iced coffee. Without the ice.

Overall Drinkability - More expensive than iced coffee.

 326 characters

Photo of drinkiusmaximus
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into SA Perfect pint. Soapy and thick hazelnut colored head with decent retention and Moderate lacing.

S: Bready, sweet with aromas of brown sugar and plenty of molasses. Faint hops.

T: Sweet, but not cloying. Coats they mouth nicely. Pleasant hop bite, As the beer warmed the flavor opened up some, and frankly got better. As I worked through the bomber I was getting more of a chocolatey character.

M: It is extremely decieving, looking at this beer you expect medium to full body but this is actually very light.

D: I could have had a second, easily. This was very thin on the mouth which to me was the only drawback.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. I love Brown Ales and this one is no slouch.


 722 characters

Photo of t420o
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Semi aggressive pour produces a 1 finger khaki/light brown head that recedes somewhat quick leaving little in the way of lacing. Beer is brown in color with hints of ruby.

S- toasted nuts dominate the smell along with some chocolate malt, coffee, caramel, and molasses. Also a very faint hops scent.

T- Much like the nose, the predominant flavor is toasted and roasted nuts along with caramel and chocolate malt, some molasses, slight hop bite. This is an excellent brown ale.

M- Slightly thin as compared to other beers of the style as well as other Bear Republic beers. Carbonation level is nice though as usual with Bear Rep.

O- This is an excellent brown ale. One of the better ones I've had recently

 714 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with a bubbly khaki head. Very low retention yet fair lacing.

Nice nose with notes of dark toasted malt, toasted brown sugar, leather, cocoa and a touch of nuttiness and oak.

Flavor is similar to the nose but better and a little more intensified. Notes of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, cocoa and a touch of oak, molasses and brown sugar. Great flavor, balance and depth. Aftertaste is nice with light notes of cocoa and a touch of coffee.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall this is a Great beer. A perfect representation of the style. Only the second Bear Republic beer I've ever had, I think, and both have been very good. This is a must find and I look forward to trying more of their stuff.

 751 characters

Photo of omnigrits
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A. A very handsome brown ale - deep mahogany colour, crystal clear and with a strong light tan head.

S. Plenty of roasted malts and nuttiness. Maybe some earthy hops in the background?

T. This is a long way from being one of those sweet, often cloying brown ales that have turned me off the style. The hop character is muted, but there's a spicy twang to this beer that's very pleasing, and a subtle bitter finish. When all's said and done though, it is to the sweet of centre.

M. Medium bodied and smooth.

O. Bear Republic have come up with a very nice brown ale here. Seriously well balanced with more flavour than you can shake a stick at.

 679 characters

Photo of whatthehull
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted June 9th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip

A - very deep dark brown, half finger medium tan head and some nice lacing

S - smells of a nice stout or a big black lager. Fruity, molasses, caramel, oak, yeast, alcohol, some hops and toasted multi grains

T - sweet, tastes of booze, toasted, slight chocolate, oak, some floral hops, molasses and very nice bitter flavor

M - chewy, low acidity, long finish and well balanced

D - tons of flavor, well balanced

Final thought - at $3.50 a pop, upside of 6% ABV, its like McDonalds, I'm loving it

 572 characters

Photo of Kevin1082
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing!

I was given a bottle as a part of a wedding gift from a dear friend that collect beer that just got married.

Great color

Great Taste

...and overall great beer!!

Pete Brown and friend you have done it. Now i just have to go out and find where I can buy a 22.

 284 characters

Photo of jjboesen
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a sweet brown ale from those boys at Bear Republic, one brewed in honor of their "Million Dollar Salesman" Pete Brown (1949-2002).

This tribute opens with a a slobbering vanilla froth; the head consists of a hilly landscape of shimmering foam. Beneath sits a deep pool of liquid molasses. The sticky lacing is of a moderate proportion. As this is going on, the nose is forced to do battle with an intense molasses miasma, one that permeates the initial pour. Meanwhile, back at the palate, there are subtly sweet spoltches of brown sugar peppering the tongue. Not overwhelming; however, you gotta know about it.

This tribute offers a nice balance, comfortable and palatable, and a sturdy body supplemented by a mild mouthfeel of toast crumbs.

While this brown ale cannot compete with the strength and determination of the iconic Newcastle Brown, it is a commendable rendition of the style; a worthy tribute to Pete Brown, a man I never met, yet respect.

Rest In Peace, Pete.

 989 characters

Peter Brown Tribute Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 617 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.