Peter Brown Tribute Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
355 Reviews
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 Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 355 | Ratings: 615
Photo of Wonka
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 PT. 6FL OZ.
6.3% ALC. BY VOL.

Tribute to Sales Manager Peter Brown 1949-2002

Brewmaster Notes: Keep cold, respect life, give more hugs, Make Beer not Bombs, Real ale is alive, yeast is good, serve at 45º - 50º

2004 GABF Gold Medal Winner Brown Porter Category

Appearance – certified opaque brown; massive rocky, tiny-bubbled, cream tinged head at start with good retention throughout; lace is rather good; some particulates in the last pour

Smell – nutty sweet; molasses emerges; a bit roasty; light on hops

Taste – brown sugar, molasses; light hops; a good shot of brown sugar with a nicely dosed roastiness on the close

Mouthfeel – nice crisp open moves to a consistent moderate body with pleasant carbonation; bit dry to close

Drinkability – very easy drinking brown; not too heavy or with a single flavor dominating in any segment

What a solid tribute beer. Don’t be gentle with the last pour. The flavors pop more when getting to the depth of the container. Fantastic.

 1,011 characters

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!

 382 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clean dark brown beer with amber highlights. Has a big foamy light brown head. The aroma has a good malty nose with a rich nutty character and a hint of hops in the bacground. The flavor starts with arush of roasted maltiness with a hint of molassess on the back of your tongue just before a light roasted malt bitterness finishes things off.

 344 characters

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.

 364 characters

Photo of mickeymac
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a rather thick tan head. The smell is a very nice mix of brown sugar, caramel, and a hint of nut. Expecting good things, I was disappointed in the taste. It seemed a bit one dimensional and never lived up to the promise of the inviting aroma. Although it seemed on the verge of exploding with flavor, it wound up retaining a somewhat flavorless dryness. Based on past experience with BR, I expected great thing but was a bit disappointed. This is the first time I've rated a BR brew under 4.0.

 517 characters

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

 252 characters

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.

 1,738 characters

Photo of rkhaze
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown with garnet hues. Medium sized spongy tan head.
Nutty toasted barley aroma. Red fruit, chocolate and some spiciness. Mild grassy hop aromas.
Rich mellow flavors. Light roasted malt with nuts, red fruit and hints of dark caramel and chocolate. Finishes dry with a tangy, grassy hop presence.
Light bodied with a creamy smooth mouthfeel and good carbonation.
Decent drinkability. Not my favorite style of beer, but another fine
effort by Bear Republic.

 478 characters

Photo of Truh
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Played some toss and retrieve with this one on 2/7/2005. 16-0z. pour in a shaker at the Sunset.

Very thin, porter or dry stout fining head with a half crescent in it. Dark brown with just a touch of ruby to hue. Very sweet nose; like raspberries dipped in caramel, or, like Duncan Hines brownie mix. Gargle of peanut butter cup on tongue with a whisper of burnt character in its tailing; seems almost closer to a rauchbier; nice malt foundation. This is a palatable offering, though a little off-kilter for a brown.

 518 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.72/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful crystal and roasted malt scent that is almost perfect for the style. It also has a nice floral hop aroma that balances it well. The taste is perfect. It has a creamy and sweet crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy with a hop flavor that is present, but secondary to the malts. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a f@#king great beer. I love the taste more than anything. It has so much going on; the hops, malts, etc. This is my new favorite brown ale.

 657 characters

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.

 468 characters

3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

THis is dark brown in color with a thick foam of a head.

The first thing that hit me with this beer was a familiar flavor that took a littlel while to pinpoint, and then I got it. Good, old aged brandy, minus the alcohol. Along with this comes a candied sweetness with hints of prunes, buttered whole wheat toast, and sesame seeds. After a while I realize a nuance that does not quite fit the mix, and it all goes back to that 'old brandy' thing, i think. But it is a unique taste, and a distraction that I can easily get past.
Everywhere else, this is a great drinking brew. The mouthfeel kicks ass, on par with the rest of the Bear Republic brews I've had to date. Both light enough and heavy enough, ya know?

 717 characters

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.

 855 characters

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

Bomber bottle with no freshness dating. Leaves alot of creamy and thick lacing. Malty, cocoa nose.The bottle talks about this being a "strong American Brown ale", but this one really tastes more British in style. Its tastes are fairly muted and reserved. It does show off a well developed and lucious sweet,malty backbone. Notes of vanilla, caramel, light chocolate. Medium bodied, easy to quaff, a pleasure to swill with food. Tasty and very drinkable Brown ale.

 463 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.84/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown with a low light brown head and decent carbonation. Fairly strong citrusy hop aroma and flavor for a Brown Ale with a nice roasty nutty malt balance throughout. Light-medium bodied with a dry roasty/hoppy finish.

A very robust American Brown -- close to a Porter. Would definitely buy again !!

Label States: "Strong American Brown Ale" & "Pete Brown 1949-2002" & 6.3 % ABV

Per B.R. website: American Brown ale with molasses and brown sugar for more body and a slightly higher alchohol content.
Gold - 2004 GABF - Brown Porter Category

'03' emb on bottom
Tasted: 11/06/04

($4.04 / 22 oz.)

 616 characters

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

22oz bottle purchased somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a 1" medium tan head over the deeply reddish brown brew. Head is dense and lasting, with good lacing. Aroma is of toasted malts, mainly, with some hops notes. Flavor follows the nose nicely. Mouthfeel is good, although for such a full malt flavor you'd expect a bit more substance over the tongue, almost comes off a bit thin, but good nonetheless. Drinkability is great. Nice brown ale.

 554 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Interesting, fantastic aroma of maple syrup, juniper, red apples, wet bark, toasted grains and brown sugar.

Supreme fruitiness, mainly dark berries, with an inappropriate syrup taste of maple and fruit and an underlying taste of caramel and other toasted grains. This is very tasty for the style but I wish the toasted malt would shine through a bit more.

 366 characters

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

Pours a deep chestnut brown color with a tan head. Rich, roasty chocolate and malt notes, nutty, and a healthy dosage of lower alpha hops, too. Very pleasant array of flavors without being overwhelming in one aspect. Husky and chocolaty and vastly nutty in the malt. Mouthfeel is kept to a minimum without sacrificing its intention of being a grandiose English brown. Finishes a bit on the drier side mith almost a macadamia nut-like residual flavor. Very good.

 461 characters

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

Pours a foamy, solid light cocoa colored head. Dark chestnut colored beer. Rich dry chocolatey aroma that is just barely nutty. Woody, chocolate flavored beer. Easy drinking, moderate bodied beer. A solid nut brown, but you can do better for the price.

 252 characters

Photo of cokes
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twilight burgundy beneath a lofty, faded tan foam.
Sparce nose after the initial green West Coast hop rush. They seem in a hurry to get out of the bottle, then they just vanish. What remains is woody and dusty, sprinkled with chocolate.
This is a dry Brown. But maltiness is still vivid, via walnuts gently coated with fudge and molasses. Earthy, with tobacco, splintered maple, and dusty gravel. Bitter chocolate holds sway over the later section, just prior to the entrance of the herbal, leafy hops, accented just slightly with pine. A final nod toward bourbon exists right around the gulp.
I'd be interested to see the actual hop profile of this one. I suspect it is all (or at least mostly) West Coast hops. However, they seem to suggest an amped-up dead grassiness a la Fuggles on PCP. But I'd be willing to bet that no Fuggles are actually present. Somehow, the sandy, gritty, earthen malts quench the boisterous Western American hops, allowing just the faintest pine squeals to escape.
This is beefy for a Brown. Fluffy and full in the mouth. Completely well mannered despite the slightly elevated A/V. It vaporizes as soon as it hits the throat. Brittle nut skins and parched herbs are all that's left. But these lingers a good long while. Further sips are assured.
This transcends a sometimes yawn-inducing style without selling its soul or forgetting its roots.
Really nice.

 1,393 characters

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

22oz bomber bottle with a label stating this beer is a tribute to sales manager who passed away. This one pours a dark brown color with a reddish highlights and a light tan head with decent size. The smell is of nutty malts and coffee flavors with notes of hops as well. The flavor starts of with a nutty sweetness and espresso/coffee notes. There is a roasted taste as well throughout with piney hop notes also. Mouthfeel is full and rich and it goes down very smooth with a slight sweet aftertaste. One of the tastier brown ales I have ever had and another good beer from Bear Republic.

 588 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque brown coloor with ruby highlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a medium colored light brown head. A wonderful aroma jumps out of my glass, it is a mix of nutty malt flavors, espresso, and fresh hops. Hoppy flavors up front yield to a dry roasted malt finish. It is slightly sweet up front and has a certain nuttiness that carries throughout the beer. I get notes of sweet caramel, toffee, and a certain huskiness in the finish. This is a fine example of a Brown ale, and I definitely recommend it.

 527 characters

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

Appearance: Dark with slight hints of brown when you hold it up to the light. Not quite black, but pretty close. Tannish off-white head.

Aroma: Unprocessed unsweetened chocolate. Slight notes of cherry. Roasted coffee. The chocolate smell is almost harsh.

Taste: Roasty malt up front. A bit of carbonation in the middle of the tongue. The finish is bitter from the coffee flavors. The finish lingers for a long time after you swallow. The cherry from the aroma is present in the taste as well. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected.

Notes: Mouthfeel is a bit soft, and thats about the only negative I can find on this one. Good beer. Flavors linger for a long time, but they're not too harsh for a brown.

 712 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours out an extraordinary appearance. It looks opaque, dark brown in the glass, but held to the light, exhibits a stunningly clear, ruby mahogany body. The tan head is a generous, three fingers tall and hangs around for quite awhile. Impressive sheets and patches of lace decorate the glass.

Aroma is subdued, with caramel and burnt brown sugar up front. Vague, floral hops are in the background.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated, and medium bodied.

Taste begins with a Porter-like chocolate, with some brown sugar in the background. Some smoky, chicory nuttiness emerges near the end, reminding me of a dry Stout. This has plenty of hop bitterness, and balances out well.

This is very well crafted, and nicely balanced. I'm just not a fan of American brown ales, and this one doesn't change my mind, in spite of my affinity for Bear Republic.

 867 characters

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

The beer poured clear medium/almost dark brown. The head was off white and fell quickly, but laced the glass.

The aroma was caramel with a slight nuttiness. Chocolate also made up the aroma.

The flavor was caramel and chocolate in well accomplished balance with hops. The hop bitterness and hop flavor work well in the beer.

The finish was dry with lingering chocolate and nuttiness. The body was medium.

The 6.3% ABV is not even noticeable in this well crafted and easy drinking brown ale.

22 ounce bottle.

 522 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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