Burly Brown | Stevens Point Brewery

195 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Burly BrownBurly Brown

Brewed by:
Stevens Point Brewery
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wheatyweiss on 04-09-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 195
Photo of DeepSacks
1.18/5  rDev -64%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bought this beer in a variety pack which means I will drink anything. Not impressed that it smells like stinkbait. I've never eaten stinkbait so dont know if the smell follows into the taste. Not recommended for anyone. The other beers by Stevens Point Brewery are great and this one needs to be left out of the next sampler.

 325 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
1.52/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I picked up a single of Stevens Point Burly Brown a few days ago at The Lager Mill for $1.19. I wanted to try a beer from a brewery I have never heard of so when I saw this beer on the shelf I figured I would take a chance on this brewery and see how their Brown Ale stacks up. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label on this beer looks pretty good, I like the drawing of a brown bear trying to catch a trout in a stream. The label made this beer a little difficult to look up, it said James Page brewery on it but it's made by Stevens Point, its a little confusing, you would think they would want you to easily know they were the ones who made it. It poured a deep copper/amber color that was bordering on being brown with two and a half fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end.

S- This beer has hardly any aroma and what little aroma that is there is just a light amount of lightly toasted malts and some malty sweetness, nothing else seemed to show up at all. This has to be the lightest aroma I have encountered in a Brown Ale, pretty disappointing.

T- I was hoping the flavor of this beer would have more life in it then the aroma had, but that wasn't the case at all. This beer basically tastes like slightly malted water. The only thing I get in the taste is a really slight glimpse of some lightly toasted malts that hardly show up and that's pretty much all the flavor I got out of this beer. There was no hops or any other types of flavor in this beer, this tasted more watery then a Bud Select 55, I didn't even think that was possible.

M- Watery, medium light bodied, with a good medium amount of carbonation that makes this beer a little fizzy.

Overall I was pretty disappointed with this beer, I thought this beer was pretty bad and it's the worst Brown Ale I have had to date. This beer is nothing like what a good Brown Ale should be like, it hardly had any flavor and it was very watery, there was nothing there to hold my attention. What I liked most about this beer was the appearance, it was a little light for its style, but it was still the best thing about this beer. The thing I liked the least about this beer was the taste, as dull as the aroma was, the taste was even duller, nowhere near what a Brown Ale should be like. This beer is light and flavorless so it could be chugged down pretty fast, but with so little flavor I have no motivation to want to session this beer. I will not be buying this again and I am pretty sure I would turn this down if offered one. I don't recommend this beer to anyone, it's a very poor representation of the style and miles away from what it should be. I don't see how any brewery can taste this, put their name on it, and call it a Brown Ale, in my opinion that's a disgrace to the style, the brewers at Stevens Point need to drink a Tumbler so they can see what a real Brown Ale tasted like. After finding out this beer is from Stevens Point instead of James Page I have noticed that I tried their 2012 Black Ale and that was much closer to Brown Ale then this beer was, they should just drop this beer all together and stick with the 2012 Black Ale cause this beer isn't cutting it. After trying this beer I will be thinking twice before buying another beer from this brewery.

 3,341 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
1.64/5  rDev -50%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep amber to brown in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet nuttiness and some lager like undertones. In the taste, sweet nuttiness and quite lagery with Saaz hops. A small bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry nuttiness and a lager like aftertaste. Quite lager like, thin and watery.

 318 characters

Photo of gonger
1.72/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into pint tumbler.

A-Deep brown (not black.) Nice pancake of creamy looking head remains.

S-Weak. Mostly malt, chocolate, a little yeast, musty, faint citrus.

T-Watery. Some weak roasted malt and hop bitterness in the front and middle is quickly washed away. No real finish.

M-Some creaminess, but too thin. Unsatisfying.

Brown ale is one of my favorite styles, but this brew is just disappointing. I won't recommend it, or drink it again.

 463 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.12/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a lovely ruby highlighted brown hue with an light khaki off white head forming thick and dwindling quick for a beer that labels itself as burly. Smells of light nutty accents with caramel undertones in the malt department. No real cereal grains apparent maybe some kind of caramel concentrated addition to give color seems low on specialty grains. Flavor is metallic with a sidecar of syrupy nut brown sweetness arriving to try and rescue the mineral laiden experience. Well, it's too little to late this is a mess of a beer that again gives craft brews a bad name. This is a large regional brewery that is aiming at the mass produced beer drinking audience that is making craft style labels/beer styles without adhering to the actual craft in this case traditional brewing methods. Mouthfeel is of syrupy additions in carbonated water it's a weird experience. I'm with the all or none theory and I give this brewery absolutely no street credentials. Drinkability is poor a shell of what a brown ale is supposed to taste like much more in line to compete with Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown Ale than Bell's Best Brown Ale.

 1,130 characters

Photo of beveritt
2.23/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: Poured from a 12 brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. The label is different than that one currently displayed on BA. Mine has a large bear reaching towards what looks like a jumping salmon. No discernible freshness date, this one is described as having "Deep brown color and creamy smooth taste."

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 3 fingers og very light head, almost white. This big bubbled foam settles quickly, leaving no lacing and dropping to a quarter inch layer. The beer itslef is a medium to dark brown, but by no means "deep brown."

Smell: Slightly sweet malt, with hints of adjuncts. A strong, almost sweet tomato smell. I swear this smells like I am sniffing pasta sauce.

Taste: Syrupy and sweet. Like drinking sugar water, with little to no malt backbone. Alittle hint of hop flavor int he finish, if you force your tongue against the roof of your mouth and try to squeeze it out of the brew.

Mouthfeel: Very low on carbonation. Body is average.

Drinkability: This tastes like somewhat bitter cough syrup with none of the typical flavors associated with a brown ale. Probably a drain pour.


 1,137 characters

Photo of douglasmoran
2.42/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From a bottle into a clean pint glass. A: Reasonable brown color for the style, but a noticable lack of a head. A thin white layer, perhaps 1/4 in height, which disappated very quickly, w/in 1 minute. S: smell OK, was "off" but nothing remarkable. T: Seemed thin, watery. M: Again, thin. The lack of carbonation made this flat. D: I had several, thinking perhaps the first was a bad bottle. All were the same. Overall, disappointing.

 433 characters

Photo of PokerGod
2.55/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip glass

Appearance- Nice color: Dark Chocolate brown, similar to cola. But, very little head which dissipates quickly. Also leaves little to no lacework.

Smell- Nice, chocolate, nutty, coffee, sweet aroma. a little too subtle, however, I like a much more forward smell.

Taste- A nice brown ale that has a very nutty taste. There does however seem to be a lingering aftertaste that isn't quite as pleasant as the front. almost a soapy aftertaste.

Overall- Still a decent beer, but I would prefer others from this style. See Bell's Best Brown Ale.

 587 characters

Photo of jackndan
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Burly Brown Ale: Brown, duh. Nice head, rock, not white, but not too far from white. Malty aroma, and very heavy malt tastes, almost a little too sweet. Not really my style, I’ve never been a big fan of brown beers, they always seemed a little cloying sweet, with the hops buried down a little to deep. Not to bad, but not my style.

 341 characters

Photo of russpowell
2.61/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an effervescent caramel/brown with a thumb of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing, sadly the best part of this beer..

S: Not much aroma, a touch of caramel & leafy hops when very warm

T: Astringency & tannins up front, like drinking tea filtered through oak bark with some dryness as well. Herbal hops, tannins & a whisper of caramel as this warms. Finishes dry with a touch of toffee swimming through 2 day old, unsweetened ice tea

MF: light/medium bodied with soft carbonation, but rough balance

Drinks on the verge of drain-pour. If you stumble across this, let it warm the hell up & even then you might still be depressed. Off style, by a country mile...

 681 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Stevens Point Burly Brown

Pours a cola brown, small head forms and doesn't stick around long. Aroma is alittle nutty, roasted. In the taste, some caramel, toasted malt, notion of hop but not very discernable. Mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied, carbonation a bit low and also a little watery. Overall its an below average American brown, good gateway beer at least to macro drinkers.

 397 characters

Photo of KI9A
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a clear, light amber, with some head, lace. I think Michelob Amberbock is darker than this. I expected a richer look, considering the name.

S: Some light grains. Thats about it.

T: Bitter, almost a burnt grain taste. Some sweetness mingles in. Again, not impressed at all, considering the name.

M: Light, some bitterness.

D: Almost a drain pour. There is NOTHING Burly about it, and, barely even brown. It's like a nut brown ale "light".

 452 characters

Photo of morimech
2.74/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear brown with a large white head that had decent retention. The head eventually falls away to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. The aroma is very weak. Just a hint of malt. The flavor is also rather mediocre. Watery malt flavor is about the only thing I can come up with. Nothing special here. The body is also a bit watery but has nice carbontion. Overall a very unremarkable beer. Nothing undrinkable but their are so many better browns to spend money on.

 502 characters

Photo of nicksta
2.79/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Light, tan lacing and a thin bit of foam sits at the top of the beer. The beer fades from cola brown to a ruby brown depending on the light. Semi sweet chocolate and dry hops make up the smell. Weaker scents than a soft drink. The taste starts sweet, but bitter hops take up most of the taste. Great with red meat, but not complex enough. The mouthfeel leaves a lot to be desired. Thin, and too much carbonation. I've had better.

 429 characters

Photo of kingothewoods
2.83/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice golden copper color when poured from the bottle. The head stays with the beer as you drink it down in the glass .... good retention. This one smells like sweet malt and that is about it. Tastes very bitter and could be described as drinking a sour apple. Smooth mouthfeel going down but then your tongue perks a little from the bitterness. It's a so, so beer.

 364 characters

Photo of keoki182
2.84/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown poured a very watery and light brown, very thick white head. Smelled like beer-soaked aluminum. Flavor was pretty decent with a bitter roasted flavor. I didn't detect any chocolate, but I did pick up on pizza crust? Interesting take on a brown ale, but not really "burly" or very good at all. This would be a better red/amber ale than a brown.

 354 characters

Photo of ZAP
2.86/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

My first impression of this after tasting it was not good but it is growing on me a little as I dig deeper into bottle #2.

The first impression is thinnish, acidic, fizzy, dumbed down...

But as it settles I get more of the following:

-Medium brown color....nice creamy tan head...

-Light aroma of caramel

-Taste offers the caramel and a nice dusting of chocolate...

-Still feels too thin even for this style but overall this has a little flavor and is drinkable. Not close to good for this style though.

 510 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
2.91/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into standard pint glass, created a nice 1" thick creamy white head that stuck around on the top and clinged the glass nicely. Color is a nice translucent brown with amber highlights.

Smell is very mild, a feint hint of roasted, caramely malt with light touch of caramel and earthyness.

Taste is bland and flat, just mild malt sweetness, with touches of caramel and roasted malt, but underdone. It just needs a bit more, just a little thin.

Mouthfeel is decent, what flavor there is balanced through the tongue and cheeks and finish.

Somewhat drinkable, I actually like the aftertaste a bit more than the first taste, interesting.

 641 characters

Photo of katan
2.95/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Deep brown, darker than a "straight brown". Very clear, lots of bubbling. Head formation is strong, 1mm, well retained.

S - A rather empty nose. A hint of caramel malts.

T - Starts off with some light caramel and toffee malt note. Sweet, but not overwhelmingly brown from the specialty malts. Mid-stream gets more bitter, balanced, but the overall flavors of this beer are light. Finishes with a little more grainy malt notes. Finishes clean.

M - A fairly thin body - carbonation bite is strong however. Leaves behind a little of a clinging oily texture.

D - Pretty drinkable. Flavors are very unoffensive. Not filling, despite its strong carbonation.

 679 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.95/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: color's a pale, rubyish brown, with red around the sides, and a sad, short dun-colored head swiftly blooms, then dies.
Aroma: hints of nuts and caramel, but largely empty. A peppery, cola-ish quality exists.
Taste: sticky-sweet, even treacly, rich in caramel notes, with light to non-existent hops, and moderate malt. Texture is terribly thin, carbonation feels too high, and could swear I'm having some sort of alco-pop.
Little body, nothing to enjoy. Drinkable, yeah, but absolutely no fun at all.
Sorry, James Page, not one of your good ones.

 561 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass, pours clear, kind of copper, kind of hazelnut, with nice half inch head, decent retention, and decent lacing. Aroma is decent enough, caramel and slightly roasty, nutty malts. Taste is slighly better, notes of caramel malt, roasted, no hop presence, sweet, average. Mouth is on the thin side, a little overcarbonated, almost distracting. In all, ... eh.

 372 characters

Photo of hanco005
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of my James Page sampler pack. Label on the bottle has a big brown bear, standing on the shore of a river, swatting at a pink salmon. 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A—clear, cola like brown that produces minimal head, no lacing whatsoever

S—chocolate and caramel malts are strong, perhaps chocolate is the strongest, this is strange, but it smells like those gummy coke bottles (that I really love)

T—tastes a little like a chocolate cola, roasted chocolate flavor mixed with caramel. Bittersweet

M—thin and watery, cola like qualities with the carbonation, expected something thicker

D—Not bad and could do in a pinch. I couldn’t get chocolate cola off my mind while I was drinking it. I guess that is what I will call it…chocolate cola.

 765 characters

Photo of ThickestHead
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A very below-average brown ale and it was a stretch to give it the 3's that it got.
The only burly thing about this brew is the odd sour taste/aftertaste to it.
Glad that I tried it, but I wouldn't get it again.

See other reviews for a more indepth analysis of this stuff ...

 276 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice dark brown colour, finger of head which quickly dissipates leaving no real lacing.

S - Scent is mild and metallic with hints of honey, burnt sugar and a touch of caramel.

T - Again, rather mild, but a sweet caramel flavour dominates alongside hints of vanilla and cream. Toasted biscuit and bready flavours linger.

M - A tad thin, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish.

O - An easy drinking brown ale, but nothing spectacular or overly memorable.

 473 characters

Photo of TheBierBand
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased a mixed 12 pack of James Page brews. Got 3 each: Burly Brown, White Ox, Voyager Extra Pale Ale and Amber Lager. The Burly Brown poured a very light brown color and a loose foamy head forms and then settles quickly back to just about nothing.

The smell is light and clean, slight maltiness and with just a hint of toasted grain.

Taste: Clean, easy-drinking malty character. The flavor is very light, (NOT "burly" by any stretch...) I find the aftertaste a bit strange. Like a sour flavor that lingers.

The mouthfeel like the flavor is very light. I would prefer more depth and robust nature, like the name suggests.

Drinkability: Average all the way around.... a bit of a disappointment.

 702 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Burly Brown from Stevens Point Brewery
3.28 out of 5 based on 195 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.