The Brown Ale term was coined in the late 17th century by London, England brewers. By the 18th century, the style had largely disappeared due to pale malt being cheaper because of their higher yield. However, the Brown Ale resurfaced in the 19th century with the English creation of Mann's Brown Ale. The style then became extensively popular and brewed in the 1920s.
Early on, Old Brown Ale styles came in various alcoholic strengths, were all mildly hopped, and were typically brewed from 100% brown malts. Today, the brews are made very similarly, but with unique variations depending on where they are produced. The leading producers of Brown Ale beers were of course England, as well as, Belgium, Germany, and the United States.
Brown Ales are one of the few beer styles named after its dark amber to brown color, which is seen as pretty generic and unoriginal to beer drinkers. The top fermented, dark colored beers can have a broad flavor range. Most Brown Ales taste sweet, have medium strength, are moderately bitter, and contain some malt and hop characteristics. Caramel and chocolatey features are apparent in the brew. When Brown Ales are chilled they may exhibit some haziness.
English Brown Ales vary by region. Northeastern English varieties generally have a stronger alcohol content, and malty, nutty profile. Southern Brown Ales from England had lower alcohol content, and tended to be darker and sweeter. American Brown Ales, possessed a much drier character than the Brown Ales from England, and had a delicate citrus flavor, bitterness, and medium body because of the American hops used in the recipe. The beer can be made in many forms including: English Milds, India Brown Ales, British Brown Ales, Moroccan Brown Ales, Imperial Brown Ales, Honey Brown Ales, Nut Brown Ales, American Brown Ales, and so many more.
Our craft beer club has featured some of the best Brown Ales, including: Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale, Duck-Rabbit American Brown Ale, Black Forty Honey Brown Ale, Brau Brothers American Brown Ale, Carson's American Brown Ale, Mt. Carmel American Nut Brown Ale, Black Hog Granola Brown Ale, Ale Asylum American Nut Brown Ale, and the list goes on. We love featuring all different magnificent varieties of Brown Ales and cant wait to feature more!
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