Downtown Brown
Amsterdam Brewing Company

Downtown BrownDowntown Brown
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Brown Ale - English
Ranked #298
Ranked #47,042
3.48 | pDev: 12.07%
Amsterdam Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
Downtown BrownDowntown Brown
Notes: The object of desire, Amsterdam Nut Brown Ale is crisp yet subtle in character. A classic British-style brown ale brewed with a blend of Canadian and European malts (including chocolate malt from Belgium), this traditional deep chestnut coloured ale exudes a bold and attractive taste. Brewed with English Ale yeast and balanced by four varieties of continental hops, our Nut Brown Ale delivers an uncommon smoothness and distinct drink-ability.

17 IBU
Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 137 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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InspectorHound from Canada (ON)

3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours medium brown with a light head.

Smells sweet and grassy.

Mouth feel is slightly oily.

Tastes of whole wheat bread, and toffee, no nut tastes to speak of.

This beer earns a B -

Feb 22, 2020
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ADicerni from Canada (ON)

3.12/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is lees than spectacular with nice nut brown colour but almost no head other than a thin tan foam around the edge of the glass.
Smell is also lacking. Near odourless but a faint smell of malt.
Taste is somewhat better with the light hoppy Malt flavours of caramel and biscuits.
Mouthfeel is light and watery.
Overall, an unimpressive ale for me.

May 19, 2018
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Boto from Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Amsterdam Brewhouse: This one pours a dark caramel color. It has a thin light tan head. Good nose. Malts, biscuit, toffee and some grasiness. The taste is good. Malts, biscuit, toffee, some nuttiness. Nice!

Aug 27, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a mug. The appearance was a slight dark amber almost brown color with a finger and a half’s worth of white foamy head that held for a little bit before gently dieing. Just a wisp of messy lace. The aroma had some sweet caramel/toffee malts up front with some nuttiness. Light toast and then some earthy/grassy hops. The flavor did a decent job of blending sweet to roast and that slid into the aftertaste and sliding into the finish. The feel was about medium bodied, maybe just a tad under with a pretty good sessionability about it. Good carbonation. ABV felt good. Overall, nicely done English brown ale well worthy of having again.

Jun 28, 2017
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body, with orange highlights, semi-opaque, with an off white head. Nose of caramel and toffee, flavors very much the same, with a nice bread quality, a touch of minerality over the middle, and a very mild hint of bittering hops in the close. A quite solid brown.

Jul 07, 2016
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fortyfield from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer that opened my eyes into what craft beer was capable of. I believe this was my first ever ale after a couple of years of being a macro lager drinker and had started to look for different lagers to try. At the time, I was blown away by the sweet malt and nutty flavours in this beer. I was blown away and recommended to all my macro lager drinking friends to try it. Of course now when I have it, it is simply an enjoyable yet only above average English Brown Ale, but the approachability of this beer to a macro drinker combined with the solid flavour profile to satisfy a craft beer drinker make this a strong offering from Amsterdam Brewing Company.

Jan 18, 2016
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safaricook from Netherlands

3.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am drinking this Downtown Brown from Amsterdam Brewing company not in Downtown Toronto where I bought it but in Downtown Amsterdam.
This is one of my first brown ales and I am no expert in the style. Still I am surprised but the high amount of roasted flavors that I get. It is smooth and very drinkable with more focus on the malt then on the hops. I quite like it, much better than leader of this category regarding the number of reviews. I paired it with savory Indian food (Butter Chicken) and it was more a hit then a miss but not outstanding.

Jun 21, 2015
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PorterPro125 from Canada (NB)

3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Dark Brown, slightly ruby pour with a 1 1/2 finger tan head that works down to a skim quickly. Lots of lacing.

S- Strong caramel malts and a certain nuttiness. Not much else coming through.

T- Caramel, nuts, light chocolate, and an odd metalic taste. Good up until the metallic mystery note comes in.

M- Low carbonation and medium body.

O- Nothing special here but nothing terrible either. Fairly easy drinking and sessionable. I just wish that metallic note would bugger off!

May 07, 2015
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BigBry from Canada (AB)

3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Amsterdam Brew House in Toronto.
Deep brown color, clear liquid topped with an inch of head. Decent retention but no real lace left behind.
Strong aroma of caramel malt and a bit nutty.
Taste has lots of the same malty, nutty sweetness. No real hop or bitterness.
Body and mouth feel are average, smooth but not really 'creamy'.
A pretty good malt based brown ale.

Dec 09, 2014
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neenerzig from Ohio

3.69/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there recently. Poured into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a clear, medium to dark brown color with deep ruby highlights when held up to the light. Looks a lot like cola. Tan head is about 3/4 of an inch thick when poured, eventually settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Wish it had more lacing though. Aromas of bready, caramel malt and roasted nut are certainly nicely present along with hints of dark fruit such a raisin and plum. H as a nice bready and caramel malt sweetness upfront that gives way to roasted but flavor of almond and walnut that is rounded out with a hint of the aforementioned dark fruit. Not really any discernible hop presence at all, which is really this beer's downfall flavorwise. It needs a bit of hop bitterness to help balance out the sweetness from the malts, nuts, and fruit notes. Has a crisp, slightly prickly, smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a refreshing manner. AN okay beer overall, not bad per say but not all that great either. This beer has potential. The recipe just needs a little bit of tweaking and I feel it would be a lot better.


Jun 05, 2014
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patre_tim from Thailand

3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark wood stain brown with light ruby tinge when held to the light, 4 fingers of light beige head, frilly lacing left on the glass.

S: Chocolate, earthy, like heather or fertile soil, light vanilla note, toasted malts.

T: Chocolate, light earthiness and heather, molasses, then a metallic note, like sucking pennies.

M: Medium body, medium low carbonation.

O: Nice ale, not digging the metallic notes. Other aspects are great, smooth and chocolaty.

May 26, 2014
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BGDrock from Canada (ON)

3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark brown with ruby tint; tan head sizzles away in a minute or two

Aroma: not much to it, a little tinny, whisper of chocolate

Taste & Mouthfeel: has the grain flavour of lager but with the light chocolate, nutty touch of darker malts; clean, well carbonated, and easy drinking make for a good sessionable beer that's a little different than the average; over time really wish it had more of the nutty/chocolate flavour, as it can't quite fend off a growing taste of aluminium that is drawing it into the territory of bland

Overall: had potential at the start, but actually grows less interesting over time and more metallic; may be a different story on draft; don't recommend

Apr 06, 2014
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Derek69 from Canada (ON)

3.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown ale, poured in glass. Sweet flavour throughout, which for me isnt a great thing. Not a lot of head, about a finger and a half. Lots of roasted malts, very in your face brown, just too many sweet aftertaste notes for my liking. Easy drinking, not offensive at all, very good winter brew.

Dec 20, 2013
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

473 ml can purchased from LCBO. Picked up another can becuase I enjoyed it enough after sipping on one throughout the Grey Cup that I figured it deserved a review.

Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark cola brown color with 2 fingers of light brown foam on top which lingers for a moderate duration. Head is frothy but only sparse lacing is left. Can't tell the carbonation as the beer appears a bit hazy and is dark enough to make determining other characteristics a challenge.

Smell - Light nut aroma, and even fainter dark fruit profiles. Also a bready backbone that is the star here. Pretty good overall and decent nose even when cold.

Taste - Nuts, namely almonds and walnuts. Combined with a bready flavor. There's not a lot else here, but while straightforward it does taste rather good (to my palate anyway).

Mouthfeel - Smooth, creamy with a slightly dry conclusion. Moderate-high carbonation.

Overall - Pretty good brew, definitely going to have again. To be honest this is one of my favorite Amsterdam beers I've had. While it's no Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, it's something possible a little more accessible and certainly cheaper in these parts.

Dec 11, 2013
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Kremlock from Canada (ON)

3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown colour with mahogany hues. Pours a 1/2 inch frothy head that falls completely. Beer appears to be clear.

S: Nutty and biscuity forward. Hints of brown sugar, molasses.

T: Biscuit, and hints of nut present. Slight acidity (twang) to it.

M: Light - medium body, low carbonation, great level of acidity on palate. Hints of an old ale mixed with a young ale.

O: A great beer that can be drank in a session for sure.

Mar 05, 2013
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

473 mL can from the LCBO; production code E0212. I reviewed this over four years ago, although that was a bottle (shrink-wrapped like in the picture). I haven't had this particular brown ale since, and decided it was at least worth a retry.

Pours an attractive reddish-chestnut brown colour, nearly opaque but not quite so dark. Over a finger of dense, creamy tan-coloured head looks promising at first, but evaporates disappointing quickly for a brown ale. The aroma is malty but I can't confidently describe it much more accurately than that. Maybe it's nutty or maybe it's mostly roasted malts and caramel, it's just too faint to be sure.

The taste is quite approachable, but straightforward - lots of roasted malts, with hints of nuts, raisins and caramel. Dry, roasty aftertaste with a hint of red cherries. Respectable flavour; unfortunately the body is pretty thin and watery, and although the low carbonation does make for a smooth brew with superior drinkability, it does not exactly aid the thin body.

Final Grade: 3.33, a respectable B- grade. Amsterdam Nut Brown tastes alright, and is definitely an easy one to slug back. As far as Ontario brown ales go, this one is middling - better and worse examples are relatively easy to find, with this one's main advantages being its high drinkability and decent flavour.

[Updated Nov. 9 2013]

I picked up a can of this the other day assuming it was a brand new offering, but a little research has confirmed my suspicion that Downtown Brown is just a re-branded version of the old Nut Brown Ale. I don't really have much to add - this is a decent, bare-bones example of a brown ale; something I can drink easily and without complaint, even if I'm not all that inclined to return to it regularly. Something I might recommend to a fan of Newcastle looking for something a bit more local/fresh.

Jun 01, 2012
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SebD from Canada (ON)

3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice amber/mahogany color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down quite fast and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts with a nuttiness, caramel and some light dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet caramely and nutty character with a roasted malt taste and a bit of floral hops.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a light and somewhat watery overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Probably would't buy this again.

Mar 25, 2012
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada (ON)

2.96/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

473 ml can to pint glass.

A - Poured very dark brown, almost opaque with very small traces of ruby glow around some of the edges. Two fingers of cream coloured head formed and receded to about half a finger.

S - Sweet nutty malts with an off-putting metallic aroma that was very distracting.

T - Sweet roasted malts with big nutty flavours and a touch of chocolate. A slight dry bitterness is evident as well that lingers in the finish.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Feb 04, 2012
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hopsolutely from Canada (ON)

3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Believe this to be a decent example of the style!

Beautiful dark brown, mahoganny colour. Very little head and no lacing, with a very low carbonation level. Mouthfeel is not the highlight of this beer.

Aroma is very malt-forward, as is the taste, albeit with nutty flavours and mild spices that fit the style admirably. Caramelized malts remain the focus and the lingering sweetness has little evidence of bittering (or flavouring) hops.

Would recommend to anyone who enjoys the British "brown ale" style...

Dec 25, 2011
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rmalinowski4 from Illinois

2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up while in Canada. Poured into my Founders snifter.

Pours a deep mahogany red with one finger tan head. Head recedes quickly leaving some lacing on the glass.

Smell is of dark malt and dark fruit, like prune and raisin. It smells sweet and I can slightly notice the alcohol in the smell.

Taste is dark malt and fruits, very little bitterness at all. Sweet with a slightly heavy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

This is pretty simple. All malt with very little hop bitterness. There is some dark fruit, but nothing else. It is not bad, but it is not great either.

Nov 01, 2011
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.47/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Appearance - The beer pours a reddish brown colour with a small fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some decent lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, roasted nuts, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste chocolate mixed with malts and and a bit of a smokiness. There are also some notes of dark fruits and some roasted nuts. The beer finishes with a malty chocolate aftertaste.

Overall – A fairly decent beer that has enough flavour to keep it interesting. It just didn't really have anything exciting about it that would make me want to buy it again.

Aug 29, 2011
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Kartoffeln from Canada (ON)

3.39/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep, dark mahogany brown with a fizzy, diminuitive tan head that quickly dissipates and leaves little more than a bubbly patch of foam. No lacing to speak of.

S: The nose is full of rich chocolate and brown malts with a buttery character and pronounced nut and molasses undertones. Hints of roasted malt, burnt sugar, and dark and candied fruits (plums and candied figs especially) round things out nicely.

T: Toffee and brown malts start out with an almost sugary sweet character before levelling out to show earthier notes of mildly roasted barley and nuts. A bit of the dark fruits from the nose perceptible towards the finish, but altogether lacking complexity.

M: Light-bodied with above average carbonation that's still quite smooth, countering the rather sticky mouthfeel. Despite the sweetness of the flavour profile, the finish is at least relatively clean and keeps it from getting cloying.

D: A bland brown ale with a promising aroma but disappointing taste; the sweet malts dominate the flavour profile and leave very few nuances. A fine session ale but not a sipper.

Jul 29, 2011
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bryehn from Canada (ON)

3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby-brown colour with a moderate head that falls in a few minutes but survives as a collar and film. Nice hazelnut brown along the edges when held up to the light.

Smells like roasted malt, walnut shell and caramel and it really develops a sweetness and a smokey wood character as it warms. Its very inviting.

Tastes like roasted chocolate malts and acorn. It's quite sweet, but it does have a floral, hoppy character that balances things out a bit.

Thanks to the long-lasting collar, the mouthfeel is generally creamy throughout, but it also has a nice prickly carbonated feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is fairly dry with a smokey wood flavour.

Solid, but not quite great effort from a solid, but not quite great brewery. Very accessible though and better than the macro alternatives.

Mar 25, 2011
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TheHammer from Canada (ON)

3.16/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a solid thumb of head that did not lace or retain especially well. The body is an incredible deep and dark red of which I can't see many signs of carbonation. I just barely gets the 3.5.

Smell: I think I'm picking up a little bit of malt and chestnuts, but it's hard to tell. Warming didn't seem to help it's case either.

Taste: Starts out with a mild dark caramel malt that builds somewhat but seems to be held back by a degree of smokiness. It's kind of like toast that isn't quite burnt but had you left it for another 5 seconds it likely would be. At the end we are treated to a nutty roasted nut taste backed up by a mild mix of earthy and floral hops.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is very delicate in this beer as it seems to really come forward near the start excessively and barely at all near the end. It sadly also pans out at the half way point. The aftertaste is a nice nut and caramel malt though, but something needs to be done in the carbonation department.

Drinkability: I wouldn't call it smooth, but it's going down. A little bit heavier then I'd expect from most browns but it's enjoyable and drinkable. It strikes me as something you might seek to nurse over the night.

Final Thoughts: I dunno, it's ok, but the lack of carbonation hurts the cause. I'm to understand it's fairly reasonably priced by Canadian standards, so in that regard it's good. I would not however say it's exceptional, and while it's not for me, if your on a budget it's worth considering.

Jan 09, 2011
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treque from Mexico

2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: completely dark with some reddish and brown hues, opaque, medium body, beige head, with good retention, some carbonatation is present.

S: obviously nuts are noticed, nevertheless probably this beer has been storage for a while, some acidity and vinegar notes appear

T: the acidity is more notorius, and the nut flavour is kind of hide

I think i will need another one to review just to verify it was just my beer or is the beer in general

Nov 09, 2010
Downtown Brown from Amsterdam Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 137 ratings