American Brown Ale…a style of #beer often overlooked…

There are few styles of beer that are less sexy than the American Brown Ale.  Often a staple beer in a microbrewery’s offerings, it usually receives little to no fanfare or attention in the current trends of craft beer popular flavors and styles.  The popularity of hop-centric beers and the more recent push towards sours really leave the Browns out in the cold, but done correctly, this can be a very solid, very tasty, and often very drinkable beer with rich flavors and dynamic layerings.  Sometimes simple can be dynamic, and good quality knows no trending.

BeerAdvocate.com describes the American Brown Ale as follows: “Spawned from the English Brown Ale, the American version can simply use American ingredients. Many other versions may have additions of coffee or nuts. This style also encompasses “Dark Ales”. The bitterness and hop flavor has a wide range and the alcohol is not limited to the average either.”  Because of the simplicity of the style requirements a ton of variations can be found in the market.  As the previous description noted the possible additions of coffee or nuts, you can also have variations with vanilla, toffee, caramel, honey, or many other sweet profiles.  You can literally try 12 different beers from this style and get 12 completely different flavor profiles.

So, without further ado, here is my current top five list of American Brown Ales:

1. Hazelnut Brown Nectar – Rogue Ales (Oregon) 6.2% ABV

2. Palo Santo Marron – Dogfish Head (Delaware) 12.0% ABV

3. Rio Lodo Brown Ale – Chama River Brewing (New Mexico) 5.5% ABV

4. Dippity-Do American Brown – Throwback Brewery (New Hampshire) 5.7% ABV

5. Improv (Improvisacion) Oatmeal Rye India Style-Brown Ale – Cigar City Brewing (Florida) 9.0% ABV

There were plenty of opportunities to throw in some Chris Brown and Bobbi Brown jokes throughout this entire post, but I’d like to think I have standards.  Truth of the matter is, at this point, you’ve probably heard them all anyway.

This list is just my opinion based on the beers I have currently tried.  Have a different one that is a favorite?  Let me know, maybe it’s something I haven’t tried yet.  Tell me why you like it so much.  I throw these out to you, my readers, to give you some options in a basic style that maybe you haven’t yet tried.  Perhaps you never really liked the American Brown Ale style, but may find one of these crafted brews to be to your liking.  It’s always good to keep avenues open, and as always, drink educated my friends!

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