Style Details

Name
Ame­ri­can Brown Ale
Cate­go­ry
Amber and Brown Ame­ri­can Beer
BJCP Style Code
19 C
Appearan­ce
Light to very dark brown color. Clear. Low to mode­ra­te off-white to light tan head.
Aro­ma
Mode­ra­te mal­ty-sweet to mal­ty-rich aro­ma with cho­co­la­te, cara­mel, nut­ty, and/or toas­ty qua­li­ties. Hop aro­ma is typi­cal­ly low to mode­ra­te, of almost any varie­ty that com­ple­ments the malt. Some inter­pre­ta­ti­ons of the style may fea­ture a stron­ger hop aro­ma, an Ame­ri­can or New World hop cha­rac­ter (citru­sy, frui­ty, tro­pi­cal, etc.), and/or a fresh dry-hop­ped aro­ma (all are optio­nal). Frui­ty esters are mode­ra­te to very low. The dark malt cha­rac­ter is more robust than other brown ales, yet stops short of being over­ly por­ter-like. The malt and hops are gene­ral­ly balan­ced.
Fla­vour
Medi­um to moder­ate­ly-high mal­ty-sweet or mal­ty-rich fla­vor with cho­co­la­te, cara­mel, nut­ty, and/or toas­ty malt com­ple­xi­ty, with medi­um to medi­um-high bit­ter­ness. The medi­um to medi­um-dry finish pro­vi­des an after­tas­te having both malt and hops. Hop fla­vor can be light to mode­ra­te, and may optio­nal­ly have a citru­sy, frui­ty, or tro­pi­cal cha­rac­ter, alt­hough any hop fla­vor that com­ple­ments the malt is accep­ta­ble. Very low to mode­ra­te frui­ty esters.
Mouth­feel
Medi­um to medi­um-full body. More bit­ter ver­si­ons may have a dry, resi­ny impres­si­on. Mode­ra­te to moder­ate­ly-high car­bo­na­ti­on.
Over­all Impres­si­on
A mal­ty but hop­py beer fre­quent­ly with cho­co­la­te and cara­mel fla­vors. The hop fla­vor and aro­ma com­ple­ments and enhan­ces the malt rather than cla­shing with it.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Well-modi­fied pale malt, plus crys­tal and dar­ker mal­ts (typi­cal­ly cho­co­la­te). Ame­ri­can hops are typi­cal, but con­ti­nen­tal or New World hops can also be used.
Histo­ry
An Ame­ri­can style from the modern craft beer era. Deri­ved from Eng­lish Brown Ales, but with more hops. Pete’s Wicked Ale was one of the first and best known examp­les, and inspi­red many imi­ta­ti­ons. Popu­lar with home­bre­wers, whe­re very hop­py ver­si­ons were some­ti­mes cal­led Texas Brown Ales (this is now more appro­pria­te­ly a Brown IPA).
Comments
Most com­mer­cial Ame­ri­can Browns are not as aggres­si­ve as the ori­gi­nal home­bre­wed ver­si­ons, and some modern craft-bre­wed examp­les. This style reflects the cur­rent com­mer­cial offe­rings typi­cal­ly mar­ke­ted as Ame­ri­can Brown Ales rather than the hop­pier, stron­ger home­brew ver­si­ons from the ear­ly days of home­brewing. The­se IPA-strength brown ales should be ent­e­red in the Spe­cial­ty IPA as Brown IPAs.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Big Sky Moo­se Drool Brown Ale, Brook­lyn Brown Ale, Bell’s Best Brown, Cigar City Madu­ro Brown Ale, Smut­tynose Old Brown Dog Ale, Tel­lu­ri­de Face Down Brown
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.045 - 1.060 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.016 SG
Color
18 - 35 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 6.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
20 - 30 IBU