what is/was THE standard for brown ale?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by tronto, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. tronto

    tronto Initiate (84) Dec 22, 2010 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Not necessarily a great brown ale, but what is the brown ale you think many are fashioned after and has somewhat set the standard for a brown ale? Thanks.
  2. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    DFH Palo Santo Marron! After that, it's all down hill.
  3. Stevie_Janowski

    Stevie_Janowski Initiate (0) Mar 18, 2012 Illinois

    Santo Marron or even DFH Indian Brown, thats my go to
    Lantern and hogansct like this.
  4. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,839) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I'm still partial to Samuel Smith's Nut Brown. A hoppy Brown? Dogfish Head Indian Brown. If I went and checked my reviews, I'm sure there would be others.
    Lantern, Prospero, FosterJM and 8 others like this.
  5. HoyaSaxa7

    HoyaSaxa7 Initiate (122) Aug 19, 2011 Massachusetts

    No way is it anything DFH. Those are great beers but definitely not 'the standard' of brown ales. For Americans I'd point to Smuttynose. English - definitely Sam Smith Nut Brown Ale. No question.
  6. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (3,805) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Surly Bender and Dark horse Boffo
  7. Steve_Oldrati

    Steve_Oldrati Initiate (86) Nov 1, 2012 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'm gonna go with Hoya and say Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.
    Duff27, palma, jcb7472 and 4 others like this.
  8. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,547) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Yeah - I have to agree those are the best I've had. Since I can't get those locally I'm going Bell's Best Brown.
    BrownAleMale and 5thOhio like this.
  9. lic217

    lic217 Champion (892) Aug 10, 2010 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Well said.
  10. Hockey_Fan

    Hockey_Fan Zealot (507) Jan 13, 2013 Maryland

    The standard has to be Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale. It is a pure unadulterated brown ale.
  11. tronto

    tronto Initiate (84) Dec 22, 2010 Kentucky
    Beer Trader

    Funny, that's what I'm drinking that spawned this question...its a great beer but it doesn't taste like any brown sled I've had. Are nut browns and brown ales different?
  12. Dtapeski

    Dtapeski Initiate (152) Oct 26, 2012 Colorado

    For me it was Newcastle, because it was the 90's.
  13. ABisonEgo

    ABisonEgo Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2012 Illinois

    I wouldnt use this as a classic example of a brown ale. While it is fantastic, it is also oak aged and because of this doesnt make it more of a standard for that style. Having said that, in conjunction with bjcp guidelines and the recent styles classes I have taken... I would go with big sky moose drool.
  14. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,347) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Rogues Hazelnut Brown Ale for me.
  15. javincik

    javincik Aspirant (223) Jan 23, 2008 North Carolina

    I'd say Avery's Ellie's Brown Ale is pretty solid and a good representative of the American style.
  16. Thickfreakness

    Thickfreakness Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2010 New York

    Actually, it's Palo Santo wood aged. :wink: I understand it's not the standard. Plenty of killer Brown ales out there that are more traditional than any DFH brown. This is just the best of the best of brown ales imho!
    RichardMNixon likes this.
  17. chocosushi

    chocosushi Initiate (0) May 1, 2011 Oklahoma

    THE standard is Samuel Smith Nut Brown

    American Brown Ales I'd go w/ DFH IBA & Sierra Nevada Tumbler.
    tronto likes this.
  18. ScottieD

    ScottieD Devotee (474) Jul 30, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    Sam Smith Nut Brown for an English traditional but I adore Pretty Things St. Botolph's Town.
    tronto likes this.
  19. mattafett

    mattafett Initiate (0) Mar 9, 2009 Iowa

    I have always enjoyed New Glarus' Fat Squirrel.
    misterid likes this.
  20. robboyd

    robboyd Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2011 Indiana

    I'm sure this is not going to be a popular opinion but the Brown Ale I judge other against is Abita Turbodog. It's very accessible in my part of the country, is fairly sessionable, and is extremely tasty, well balanced, and drinkable. I've had plenty that are better but it is my measuring stick. I tend to think of a brown ale as an easy drinking beer and one that is a great gateway beer for future craft drinkers. Turbodog is that in spades.
    kingofhop and Mediczod like this.
  21. gory4d

    gory4d Defender (668) Apr 14, 2007 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Pretty Things' St. Botolph's Town, whichever side of the Atlantic you're on.
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  22. ScottieD

    ScottieD Devotee (474) Jul 30, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    My feelings exactly!!!
  23. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,365) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Gotta throw Moose Drool in there, too.

    But, yeah, Samuel Smith's has probably had more influence.
  24. travisdiener32

    travisdiener32 Aspirant (244) Mar 31, 2009 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Everyone is afraid to say it but I bet their first brown was Newcastle, it is big beer that was craft beer, before craft beer. That being said, I'll drink a CCB Maduro all day, any day
    HOMEPL8, SammyJaxxxx, tronto and 2 others like this.
  25. tkelley

    tkelley Initiate (0) Sep 23, 2010 Massachusetts

    Agree with those who say Smuttynose Old Brown Dog.
  26. Nectar

    Nectar Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 New Jersey

    DFH will never be the "standard" of any style, and I think they prefer it that way...
    ESeab likes this.
  27. joelwlcx

    joelwlcx Initiate (198) Apr 23, 2007 Minnesota

    I gotta say:
    Best Brown
    Hazelnut Nectar

    Any of those are what I think of when I hear "Brown ale".
  28. TicoCali

    TicoCali Disciple (350) Jul 25, 2010 California

    Downtown Brown
    SN Tumbler
    --Dom-- likes this.
  29. RochefortChris

    RochefortChris Meyvn (1,261) Oct 2, 2012 North Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Wychwood Hobgoblin. One of my first craft beers and still one of my all time favorites.
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  30. ChefBergo

    ChefBergo Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2011 Illinois

    Moose Drool was awesome!....before it started getting distributed everywhere...since then its just not the same.
  31. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Right on. I love DFH Indian Brown, but it's too hoppy to be a standard Brown (in my opinion). Sam Smith brown on the other hand is what I would say is the quintessential brown.
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  32. BB1313

    BB1313 Poo-Bah (2,734) Jul 16, 2009 Ohio

    I'd say Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is the best traditional example of the style. But Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar is easily my favorite example of the style and one of my favorite beers ever. Also, Mt. Carmel Nut Brown Ale is probably the best unknown brown that's bottled, it's so good..
    ESeab, SammyJaxxxx and tronto like this.
  33. LieutenantDan

    LieutenantDan Initiate (0) Nov 18, 2012 Texas

    Id have to say my standard choice brown ales would have to be real ale brewhouse brown, santa fe nut brown, dogfish palo santo. I dont mind a hazelnut nectar from rogue every now and then either. I have yet to find a brown ale that really blew me away.
  34. kingofhop

    kingofhop Initiate (0) May 9, 2010 Oklahoma

    Samuel Smith, Moose Drool, SN Tumbler. All great browns. But none have been immortalized like Newcastle, in the great Humble Pie song "30 Days in the Hole".
  35. Matynich

    Matynich Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2013 Virginia

    Newcastle was one of my first stepping stones in to craft beer years ago and I'm grateful for it. Sam smiths was my next step and have always judged other Browns based on it. Just recently had alesmith nut brown and loved it. Give it a try if you get a chance.
  36. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (526) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    Mann's Brown Ale. It's the original.
  37. texasdrugaddict

    texasdrugaddict Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2012 New Mexico

    Oskars Blue "The Deuce" is really good. Its a coulab beer but can't remember with who right now.
  38. chinabeergeek

    chinabeergeek Meyvn (1,279) Aug 10, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    for everyone citing samuel smith, keep in mind that many (perhaps even most) UK beeradvocates do NOT consider them exemplary of british brewing. it's only the facts that they have been imported to the USA for a long time and that they were one of the few "small" or "craft" breweries who even did export to the USA, which grew their reputation amongst non-UK drinkers.
  39. WhatANicePub

    WhatANicePub Initiate (183) Jul 1, 2009 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    But it comes in 500ml bottles and hence is not true to style. A proper brown ale should come in returnable brown half-pint bottles, well scuffed.
    billlang675 likes this.
  40. Mediczod

    Mediczod Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2012 New York

    Abita tends to get the short straw, and I wish it wasn't so. It is also very accessible to me here in NY, and Turbodog is a very consistent, easily obtainable beer, and it is very inexpensive as well. It isn't the best brown out there, but it is by no means a bad one, and you can't go wrong with it. And it is one of the best for the money.
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