Burly Brown | Stevens Point Brewery

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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.

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 195
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surpringly flavorful with a 'true' malt taste and refreshing dry finish, Burly Brown makes for a very enticing Brown Ale that has more in common with norther English Brown Ales than American.

While pouring the staple brown color, the beer carries deep amber highlights as well as a slightly off white froathy head that lingers the sessiona and leaves even pockets of foam behind with each sip. A firm and inviting Brown Ale.

Malty rich aromas of whipped cream, caramel, grain, and medium woods all yield a slight nutty and chocolate scent. Light butterscotch, but no real fruity ester profile or spiciness- the beer's aroma remains true to Browns by focusing on malt depth and little distraction elsewhere.

Firmly malted to taste as well as chocolate, nuts, medium toast, bread crust, and lightly caramelized sugars provide the bulk of the flavor matrix. Ligthly toasted woods, toffee and a slight grassy taste balances the sweeter malt base, but not with the zeal that's expected from American hops in American-style Brown Ales. Again, with a cleanly malted profile and just enough balance from hops, the beer remains void of the distraction of fruitiness or spiciness from yeast that would have muddled the waters.

Medium and almost full- the higher levels of carbonation seem to reinforce the notion of dryness and lightness, albeit releasing a carbonic bite that brings undue attention to the grainy mid palate. Lightly grassy and with a dry woody character the finish is lightly powdery, minty-cool, and overall refreshing.

Burly Brown seems more similar to Sam Smith's Nut Brown and Wychwood Hobgoblin than more appropriate American Brown Ales like Bell's Best Brown or Sierra Nevada's Tumbler. But it's an easy drinking and palatable Brown Ale regardless of the origins for style or influence of recipe.

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Photo of zeff80
3.17/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper/amber color (didn't look like a brown ale) with a small, tan head of foam. It left some soapy lace.

S - It smelled a little earthy and grassy with biscuity malt aroma.

T - It tasted of burnt toast malt with a woody, tannin-like taste. A little unusual for a brown ale.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. It is a light bodied ale.

D - This is an okay beer. It just doesn't taste like or look like or smell like a brown ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with butter rum edges. The peanut shell colored cap is whipped creamy and is currently filling half the glass after a high-altitude pour. In its wake, an average amount of melty lace sticks hesitantly to the glass. Even though (like a lot of brown ales) this one isn't brown, it's still a pretty good looking beer.

The nose is more toasted malty and earthy than it is roasted or cocoa-like. I suppose it's a valid aroma for the style, but it certainly isn't my preferred one. I hope the flavor is more burly than the nose because so far I'm not jumping out of my seat.

Burly Brown Ale is a relatively mild version of the style that favors caramel sweet over bitter and features a hint of diacetyl. Actually, it tastes as much like an Oktoberfest as it does a brown ale. It's hard to figure the malt bill (pale, chocolate and roasted) because there isn't much evidence of those last two. I guess the folks at James Paige and I don't see eye to eye on what constitutes a good brown.

The beer is incredibly easy to drink if you have sessioning in mind. In fact, it tastes and feels like it was built to be consumed in quantity. Too bad the quality isn't a little higher. The mouthfeel is light, yet still manages some amount of creaminess; not an easy thing to pull off.

As should be obvious by now, I'm not thrilled with Burly Brown. If brown ales are your favorite style (hard to imagine), give this one a try. Otherwise, spend your money on New Glarus Fat Squirrel or Tyranena Rocky's Revenge. As far as I'm concerned, those are the two best browns that Wisconsin has to offer.

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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...

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Photo of woodychandler
3.93/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This created a huge, rocky, eggshell-white head with only mild retention. The color was a deep copper/light brown and the nose was moderately sweet with malt. The mouthfeel was medium, but I got a real sweetness in the mouth, like maple syrup. The finish had a chocolaty aspect to it, like a porter. I was looking for something other than my usual hop-driven beer that afternoon, and this really hit the spot! Much more like it, as my initial notes read.

It probably would not be too tasty, but this beer combined with a Surly Furious would make a Burly, Surly, and Furious, which might be just the thing if you were itching to start a bar fight.

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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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the winter variety pack:

Pours light to medium brown with a rather quickly vanishing head. Only a few dots of lacing stick.

The smell is of dark toffee, hint of nuts and slight roast.

The taste is of sweet toffee and a hint of subtle nuts, The sweetness is balanced by mild roast and a bitter-ish touch in the finish.

It is lighter in body than expected, could be creamier, but it is smooth and easy to drink.

A decent, though "forgettable" brown ale - it has a nice malty character - though not strong. I would say it is between a traditional English-style Brown and a less hoppy American brown. It's decent.

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Photo of Billolick
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating to be had. Pours Hazelnut brown, off white head without any lacing left behind. Nose of some maple syrup. fairly sweet brown ale, nothing all that "Burly" about this one. Finishes fairly watery and a tad prickly on the tongue.

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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.

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Photo of Tone
3.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of nut, sweet malt, slight yeast, and slight hop. Fits the style of an Amerian Brown Ale. Mouth feel is very smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight wateriness. Tastes of slight roasted malt, sweet malt, yeast, and slight hop. Overall, a rather average brown.

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Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a bit weak and a bit odd. There's a nice mild dry bitterness, but a lack of nutty or chocolate malt flavors. Where's the brown? Not bad for a cheaper micro, but its really something I have at other people's houses. I'm happy to drink it, but it lacks the proper flavor and complexity for me to ever buy it myself.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with some amber hues and a 1 inch head. Smell is of caramel and malts. Taste is a bit nutty, hops and caramel. A well balanced beer. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to beerwolf77 for this one.

Pours a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a slight hint of chocolate, and lots of caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, a hint of chocolate. Medium body, the finish is dry/bitter. Drinkable, another tasty brew from SPB.

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Photo of WesWes
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a metallic, pale, crystal, and roasted malt scent. It's dry and roasted with a touch of caramel malt sweetness. The taste is decent as well. It has a weak caramel malt flavor with only hints of roasted malt character. It goes down easy with a dry, metallic finish. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an above average beer, but there are plenty of better brown ales on the market.

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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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a mug)

A- This beer has an amber brown body that is crystal clear. There is thick light tan head that fades pretty quickly.

S- The smell of pot caramel and light noble hops is soft.

T- The faint pot caramel note and a light brown malt hint finish with a green hop bitterness that hangs on the tongue. As it warms there is a light tang in the finish that is a bit odd.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a watery texture.

D- There is malt and hops in this beer but neither have much character of depth. Just taste like another brown ale.

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Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant brown color with amber highlights. A fairly spotty one finger cream head dissipates with no lace.

Toasted caramel malt, nuts, and a hint of floral hop are evident in the aroma. Malts definitely dominate.

Flavor begins with sweet toasted malt, caramel, and bread crust. There's a slight citrus note mid palate, before the dry, barely bitter finish. Tea-like herbs emanate as it warms.

Body is medium with moderate carbonation and a hint of astringency.

Overall, a decent beer. Not a standout, but fairly drinkable.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.01/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. twist-off bottle poured into a Nonic
5% ABV

A - An aggressive pour unleashes a tall light khaki head on this beer which lasts and lasts, covering the pint above the gorgeous clear crimson copper-colored beer with thick lace.

S - Burley Brown combines the dry, mildly astringent aroma of toasted malt and biscuit character with subtle caramel and toffee sweetness for a balanced and inviting smelling brown.

T - Mild earthy hops cut through this brown's malt base of toasted wheat bread crust and suggestions of caramel and toffee for a balanced brown finish.

M - Burley Brown is anything but burley as this light-bodied beer crosses the palate with lasting, faintly metallic dryness and a smooth finish.

O - One of Points more balanced and thorough beers, Burley Brown does a good job of having different malt nuances such as toasted dryness and caramel sweetness play off one another for a very easy drinking brown ale.

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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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a medium brown color with a dark orange-red hue to it. The head forms at under a finger and slightly fizzy, but manages to stick around a bit. Lacing is light but just enough to push the appearance over average for me.
The nose is difficult. Aromas are very light, but I get a malt backbone with a smoky note and very, very light hints of nuts. Perhaps there's a touch of caramel in there.
The taste is likewise a little soft, but the flavors are nice. Lightly smoky and mildly nutty with roasted malts, there's a touch of wood in here. With a bit more strength, this could be a better brown since it manages to avoid the harsh astringency and charred notes that some browns are prone to.
The mouthfeel is kind of bland, not having any real activity to it. While I don't expect any crispness to it, there's also not much smoothness. Carbonation is light and the body is medium.
That's two Stevens Point brews thus far, and thus far it seems like this is a brewery not to seek out but also not to avoid.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Color of deep muddy water, murky brown of chestnut with some reddish tones around the sides and bottom, solid cream colored head that maintains some nice spongeyness for awhile and leaves minimal strings and spots of lace. Smell is more sweet then roasted of the malts with some light cocoa-cola and nutty notes. Taste is again more so on the sweet then the roasted malts, like cocoa-cola mixed with a stout. Some caramel lightly comes through over some of the sweet tones in the finish, but no hop quality seems to appear anywhere. Feel is a bit thin, not quite light, and definately not medium, just kinda there with a carbonation that doesn't seem to fit. An OK brown at best and wasn't looking forward to another sample but felt it necessary to review it.

Two samples at Autumn Brew Review poured from the bottle.

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Burly Brown from Stevens Point Brewery
3.28 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
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