I’m a sucker for brown ales. Every brewery and brewpub should have a great example of this style. It should be a staple in any beer drinkers arsenal. It’s getting a little warmer out so I’m moving away from the super-heavy winter beers and to me, brown ales are pretty drinkable year round. I saw one in the store the other day and was intrigued by the name, so here we go. Here’s Gritty’s Best Brown Ale (which interestingly, is not profiled anywhere on their website).
Gritty’s Best Brown Ale,
Northern English Brown Ale, 4.8 % ABV
Aroma: Caramel malt notes with a hint of hops, nice toffee scents.
Appearance: Pours amber, clear, with a medium head of light tan foam.
Flavor: Opens with malt sweetness, then some faint hop bitterness, finishing with very caramel sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied, nice carbonation, easily drinkable.
Overall: This has gotten some bad reviews on other sites, but to me this is a great session beer. It’s got a great complex aroma, great malt flavor with a nice finish. I think some people might be put off by the sweetness, but it really has a nice caramel profile if you’re into that sort of beer.
I’ve been to New Hampshire a number of times, but those trips were all as a kid and subsequently, I didn’t get to taste any beer. What I do remember were bike trips through forests and along nice back roads, with beautiful fall foliage. So even if you aren’t going there to drink, there is plenty to enjoy. However, if you are going to drink, you’ll find a number of brewpubs and quality breweries like Smuttynose and Redhook, as well as the awesomely named brew club, Brew Free or Die. My local beer shop carries a number of these, so last time I was in there I decided to pick up a Smuttynose staple, the Old Brown Dog Ale. It’s an award winner and so, deserves a review. Here it is for you to enjoy.
Aroma: Toasty malts, a hint of sweetness and earth.
Appearance: Brown/deep red in color, small head, almost no lacing.
Flavor: Light malt flavor up front, then a nice lingering tartness and hops at the end.
Mouthfeel: Light but with a pretty good amount of carbonation, makes it a little less smooth.
Overall: Nice brown ale, good hop character. I almost felt like it was a tad over carbonated and wanted more lacing (could’ve been my glass), but this is a good example of an American brown with a nice dose of hops.