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Old Town Brown Ale | Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.

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Old Town Brown AleOld Town Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Malts: Maris Otter, Cara Vienna, Cara Pils, Crisp Caramel 77, Chocolate Malt, Special DH3, Aromatic, Biscuit

Hops: Progress

Yeast: London, 1028

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2004

For Trade:
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 162
Photo of hernamesbarbara
4.65/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Natty Greene's Brown blew me away. It pours red-brown and has a nice fluffy head. It has very little aftertaste and is extremely refreshing.

I was so impressed with this adult beverage that I emailed the brewer to see if they'd ship some to me in NYC. Unfortunately, they don't have out of state distribution yet!

If you're ever in Greensboro, NC, it would be no small tragedy to miss out on sampling some of this beer.

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Photo of uncggop06
4.48/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First batch of Natty Greene's bottles found at a local Harris Teeter. I've been waiting for this for quite some time, and I'm glad that I'm not disappointed.

Not much to the initial head and what was left dissolved fairly quickly, though a thin ring lingered through the glass. The beer looks great, nice light brown.

Smell is of sweet roasted nuts, just perfect. The same comes through in the taste, a wonderful peanut butter flavor with a smoky background, finish is all peanut butter, delicious!

I think something is lacking in terms of mouthfeel since this isn't bottle conditioned (oh, I wish it were!).

I have yet to compare the bottled offerings back to back with the pub poured versions, but I'm sure they will stack up well.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best When Served By: BLANK. I'm sure it's fine, though. I'm sure of it!

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark brown body with a bubbly, light beige-hued head.

Smell: A malt, chiefly nutty nose, though there's plenty of chocolate, caramel, and light roast to be found as well. Meager dehydrated dark fruits beneath the maltiness. Again: nuts.

Taste: Where I found the aroma to be largely nutty, the taste was mainly of chocolate powder. Supported by additional malty influences of sweet dark caramel, toasted nuts, and a splash of mellow coffee. Light raisin-like fruitiness. Subtle earthy hop character with a light hint of clean bitterness. Finishes smooth, sweetish, and with more of those fine malt tastes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A pleasant, tasty, low-alcohol, malt-forward brown ale. Were I to have regular access to this, I'd keep it in steady refrigerator rotation.

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Photo of Gilly1980
4.27/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into my trusty Guinness pint glass.

A- Pours a gorgeous garnet red with a little bit of tan foam that does not stick around. No lacing to speak of.

S- Yeast, biscuit and pretzel. Lots of sweet malt. Just a hint of alcohol.

T- Tastes pretty much like it smells. Hard sourdough pretzel jumps out at me. Aftertaste is warm and malty.

M- Not as chewy as a stout without being watery.

O- Fantastic beer from a local brewery. I don't know how many of these I could drink in one session but I look forward to buying this one again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent caramel/chestnut color with a pinky of mocha colored head. Not much head retention or lacing

S: Toastyness to the nth power, some toffee

T: Much toastyness, a kisss of brown sugar & nuttyness, plus some herbal hops up front. Dryness, mineral hoppyness & toastyness blend together as this warms. Finishes dry with toffee sweetness & toastyness & just a whisper of astringency

MF: Light/medium bodied, fairly low carbonation

Pretty sessionable, nice example of a well put together English brown. Was slightly better on draft IMO

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Photo of FloppyDog
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass. A clear deep amber brown with a finger high off white head. Definitely filtered.

Aroma of chocolate malt up front along with a faint hoppiness that is really overpowered by the chocolate.

Taste is more of the chocolate malt, with a nice balance of hop bitterness that shows up in the middle of the sip, but fades back to chocolate after it goes down.

Overall, a light to medium bodied super easy drinking brown ale that I could drink no matter what the temperature is outside. Not too flavorful that it fills me up quickly, but still plenty of flavor to be delicious.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the First Street Draught House in town. I've had this in bottle form, but this is a first on tap. Came out a dark brown with ruby edges and a good 1-inch tan head on top. Retention was fair, but there was tons of sticky lacing on the glass edge. Smells like molasses, brown sugar, toasted bread, and roasted nuts.

The mouth was creamy and smooth with a touch of carbonation on the tongue. The brown sugar that I found in the scent is also in the flavor. This is a pleasantly sweet, roasty Brown Ale. Bitterness is low. Plenty of malty goodness in this beer. I much preferred this beer on tap. Recommend.

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Photo of dmbdusty41
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, to glass = great head, lingering head, nice brown head, after it finally setles, leaves great lacing. It's a really dark brown, however lighter on the pallet than I was expecting from the color. However it can start to sit a little heavy on the gullet. If a beer is even good at room temp. it's a good beer and Old Town Brown is a good beer.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-Appearance 3.5: Poured out a deep and dark brown with a slight C02-powered head that quickly faded. Completely opaque, this baby almost looks like a stout!

-Smell 4.0: HUGE bouquet on this beer, which is great. Deep, roasted caramel malts predominate and make me think of a Scotch ale. I also smell some smokiness in here.

-Taste 4.25: Front is slightly sweet and features a very nice caramel/barley taste. Middle is dry, but there is still a pleasant, deep barley flavor. Finish is understated and pleasing with more barley and deep, dark, caramel grains. There is a slight hoppiness here, but it is of a very low alpha level. Aftertaste is long and features syrupy remembrances of maple syrup, caramel sauce and King's syrup. Nice.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Mouthfeel is definitely a contribution to the enjoyment of this particular brew. Carbonation is a bit over-stated, but this may be because the bottle I have is so old; there may have been a second fermentation in the bottle in addition to the CO2.

-Overall 4.0: Excellent brown ale. I am mystified as to why Natty Greene moved this one out of their 12-pack in favor of other beers, but there you go. This is one you should not pass up if you ever see it. Light, smooth but with a depth of flavor that you would not expect. Would be an excellent session beer. Recommended.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Pours a massively dark brown with a red hue when held up to the light with a one finger off-white head that subsides to a minimal amount fairly quickly. Maintains decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma is comprised of roasted malt, chocolate, and subtle coffee beans. The flavor is of roasted malt, cream, bitter chocolate, and subtle coffee. It has a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this is a pretty nice brew. The aroma and flavor on this one are nothing at all like I expected, but this is in a good way. Well balanced flavor and aroma. Will definitely be having this one on tap next time I'm at the brewpub. I suggest you either do the same or find a bottle.

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Photo of OldManMetal
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Town Brown Ale pulls a bit of a bait-and-switch right off the bat: the malt-forward nose is caramel, toffee and molasses, promising a sweet flavor, while on the palate the flavor is an admirably complex bitterness composed of dark chocolate, coffee and a roasted flavor that's damned close to burnt. The medium body and miles-past-dark-brown color almost require the briefly lingering coffee flavor found on the finish, and the lack of head and lacing are actually aesthetically appropriate for such a coffee-like beer. This would be a great breakfast beer with steak, eggs and hashbrowns.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz received as a bitchin extra from Onenote81.. Thanks Jon!! This is a new to me brewery... Poured into my shaped SA glass.

1" lite tan head dies back fairly quickly with a good cap and a brew that is deep brown and then just brownish red when held to a light..

Aroma is a little toffee and just a bit of a nutty maltiness... as expected for the style.. just enough going on to keep it interesting..

Flavor again has a good amount of nutty maltiness with a shotgun of lite caramel... a fairly large toasty element mid palate... as it warms a bit of chocolate emerges.. and possibly some diacetyl too... just a tad buttery.. but that's all good.. so far.. this is a nice English brown that is sorta surprising me.. even is sorta minerally too.. I like it.

the body is lite/medium with a good carbonation..

It's not often that I get a chance to try a good American Stance on such an established style.. but I am pretty impressed.. I would love to check out more Natty Greene beers... Now I just have to remember to look for them!! No kidding.. You want my Deschutes or Grand Teton locals.. let's do business :-)

Thanks again Jon on the super trade!

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Photo of wedge
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut brown under a nice, creamy tan head. Creamy, nutty aroma...more toasty than roasty with a solid dose of toffee, brown sugar, and chocolate. Smooth caramel and bittersweet chocolate malt flavor. Nuts, dark bread, and a light raisin sweetness. Just a whiff of hops. Smooth, lightly drying medium body. Nice local brown ale! Not sure why I overlook this so often, but it hits the spot when wanting something malty and sessionable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

--Nathanael Greene

Pecan brown with orange highlights... that becomes dark scarlet when sunlight is permitted to filter through the glass. The golden khaki colored crown looks very nice and indicates a well-brewed ale. An abundance of lace is further evidence.

The nose has more 'oomph' than beer of this style normally evinces. In particular, it's more dark malty, with an impressive amount of Hershey Bar chocolatiness. Who am I to question the use of 8 different malts when the result is this wonderful?

Old Town Brown delivers on the palate as well. I love the expert use of malt and hops, the interplay between bitter and sweet. This beer is what happens when a brewer uses quality ingredients, uses enough of them, and uses them in well thought out proportions.

Like the nose, the flavor profile is dominanted by bittersweet chocolate. It also contains baked nuts and a herbal-spicy English hoppiness (U.K. Progress) that is more aggressive than expected. The hoppiness is great, but a touch more malt sweetness would improve things even more.

Given the sheer amount of flavor, I'm surprised that the body/mouthfeel isn't a bit bigger. Hopes that it would firm up with warming haven't being realized. Even a subtle creaminess would have boosted this score in line with the others.

It's easy to see why Old Town Brown won a silver medal in the English Brown Ale category at the 2006 GABF. It's a quality brown that doesn't do anything new and different, it just does the expected things very well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the chance to try pretty much the entire lineup from Natty Green's and I just do not pass up the opportunity to try these things.

Nice pour here and about what I would expect. Light brown in color with a small off white head on top that faded out quickly and left only light lacing on the glass. Nice aroma of molasses and brown sugar on top of some decent malts. Warming brought out some nice sweet notes as well. Smooth even flavor here. Clean with hints of brown sugar and molasses as well as an herbal bitterness toward the back of the palate. Little light on the body for me but it was still very drinkable.

Overall a nice little sessionable brown ale, little light on the body but pretty big on the flavor. Would not mind going after this one again one day, but dont know if I would seek it out.

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Photo of tjdietz
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap, came to me in a pint glass with about 1.5 fingers of head clinging to the pint glass. Normally Not a big fan of Natty Green's, but gave this one a try for 2 bucks and was glad I took the risk!

A-was dark brown, with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

S-was a little weak, some nuttiness and chocolate/toffee flavors which had me wondering if i overpaid.
T- was spot on for the style, got a good bit of nuttiness accentuated by caramel, toffee and chocolate. Finish was lightly bitter.

M- felt very nice on the palate with a nice creamy texture to it. A little too much carbonation but I'm not one that likes an overcarbonated beer.

Drinkinability was fair, I could easily enjoy a few of these!

Overall very solid offering out of a local brewery and one I'm sure to enjoy over!

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Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a meium brown but with a few lighter notes near the bottem of the pint glass with pretty thin head,aroma is lightly sweet of chocolat a touch of nuttiness.Taste is very smooth lightly sweet but not overdone I picked up even a little caramel, no earthiness or nutty tones seemed to be more a northern England style brown then a nut brown.Very quaffable for the the style in my opinion a solid brown in my opinion.

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Photo of cbleary
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good american brown ale. It poured nicely with a deep brown color and a humble head. It had a pleasing moderate hop bitterness which gave way into a nutty malt finish. It's a bit less sweet than a lot of brown ales I have had, but this isn't a bad thing. It was quite drinkable and satisfying.

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Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a big fluffy light brown head. Fades somewhat fast, leaving decent lacework behind.

S: Toasty crackers and a little bit of nuts. A hint of brown sugar.

T: More toasted cracker and lots of it. Mild nuttiness and just a hint of toffee and cocoa in the finish. Pretty simple but smooth and almost creamy brown ale.

M: Borderline watery, it is only 4.5% ABV after all. Not bad for the low ABV to be honest.

O: A simple and very light brown ale. Tasty enough, especially for only 4.5%. Very drinkable, balanced and smooth.

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Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown almost black with a thin head that diminishes to a ring. The aroma was of dark malts with a hint of chocolate, a tad weak. The taste was very good for a brown ale, chocolate, nuts, and a hint of caramel. The beer was light and refreshing and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of MrStark
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is clear deep brown with a pretty small off white head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is fairly sweet with malts of caramel and chocolate. A pleasant aroma.

Taste is is similar to the smell with a nice chocolate malt presence as well as some caramel and nutty earthiness as well. Quite a mild hop bitterness in the end. Its not a particularly complex flavor but good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side for me with a mild amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is good. It goes down nice and easy and would be something I would like a s a session beer. Not an amazing example of the style but still pretty good. I'm pretty sure this finishes out the beers available from Natty's in bottles for me and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with my local brewery. I have to stop in soon and try the others they have on tap.

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Photo of jsdunlop
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown with some red hues. The head makes an appearance with an off white foam, then recedes fairly quickly to sparse bubbles on the top of the brew. The smell is malt forward, with some sweet, caramel like notes. Some mild chocolate is noticed, along with a touch of dark fruit. At first sip, this one is quite watery on the mouthfeel, with some moderate carbonation. It has a nice nutty and roasty character with a prune-ish aftertaste. There is a touch of sweetness, but nothing overpowering, reminds me of just a touch of lactose with some faint vanilla notes. Slight chocolatey taste seems to accent the roasted character very well. Nice,creamy, refreshing beer, just a tad bit watery but a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear very dark brown in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts with lighter notes of caramel sweetness. Very light hints of chocolate and earthiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of slightly sweet chocolate malts with a light note of caramel. There is a light flavor of nuts and just a hint of earthy hops. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable - not too nutty in flavor but a decent amount of nutty aromas. Very well hidden alcohol and nice easy to enjoy flavors.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in pint glass from the growler. THANKS TO TIMTHEENCHANTA FOR SHARING!

This beer pours a translucent brown with a creamy tan head that holds nicely without much lacing. The smell is roasted grains and slightly nutty. The taste is exploding with tons of roasted grains and nutty flavor with some hints of chocolate and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel has a medium-full bodied with smooth carbonation. Overall, a very drinkable brown. One of the best out there. Its not terribly complex but its definitely tastey.

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Photo of SimpleM
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.

I liked the color of the beer, darker than most browns I have tried. Not much head, disappeared quickly, and no lacing to speak of.

Aroma was pleasant, but too weak to identify what the smells were akin to.

First instant of taste is quite good, but then it kind of goes bland. I waited for the bitterness of the hops on the back end and basically just kept waiting. I'm still waiting...

Mouthfeel seems to be the best thing about this beer to me. It is as full and satisfying as any brown I can remember.

Drinkable? Yes. Choose it as a regular? Not me.

A good, if simplistic brown ale. I like the fact it is 4.5 abv. I am diabetic so I must limit both calories and alcohol. At least this one helps with the alc.

I keep trying browns to find one I really like, and am having trouble finding one I would buy a six pack of. Maybe brown is just not a style that I will ever really latch onto like I have reds and porters.

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Old Town Brown Ale from Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co.
3.71 out of 5 based on 162 ratings.
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