Ah the Brown Ale. To the home brewer it's a practice style. To the craft brewer it's a gateway beer for lovers of light colored ales willing to go to the dark side. No matter how you describe the Brown Ale it’s still hard to find in the United States. On the other side of the pond however, you can spot this brews in pubs throughout England that carry this slightly sweet, slightly bitter ale.
So today we reflect on what was released only a few weeks ago, Georgetown Brewing’s Bob’s American-style Brown Ale.
Arguably one of our most important and popular brews, Bob's Brown Ale is brewed once a year and released every May 14th (Bob's birthday). 100% of the proceeds from Bob's are donated in honor of Charles "Bob" Hirsch to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska to provide a "home away from home" for Children's Hospital patients and families. A big, chocolaty, hoppy brown brew, the only thing nutty about it are the brewers that make it. ABV 6.2% half gallon fill $12
Georgetown Bob's Brown Ale as is it released from its 64oz 'bottle' pours a burnt caramel brown while still displaying some clarity near the bottom of the glass. As it settles an inch and a half of stucco colored foamy lace rests on top. As this American-style Brown Ale slowly warms up, the once prominent head recedes revealing small isolated islands of lace throughout the glass.
Suggested Style Guidelines from the Brewers Association
American brown ales range from deep copper to brown in color. Roasted malt caramel-like and chocolate-like characters should be of medium intensity in both flavor and aroma. American brown ales have evident low to medium hop flavor and aroma, medium to high hop bitterness, and a medium body. Estery and fruity-ester characters should be subdued. Diacetyl should not be perceived. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperature.
Bob’s from the growler appears an oak brown without much in the way of clarity. The appearance is only complimented as the formation of head is restricted to a modest mound on top of the glass. Taking the first sniff one detects sweet nuttiness interplayed with minor roasted caramel malt and a hint of floral earthiness.
Initially one is greeted by mild chocolate with a slight citrus tang, almost reminiscent of mild orange chocolate bar. Taking a second sip you cannot help but recall the medium nuttiness that is given off in between the bits of medium roasted bread and caramel. Overall Bob's represents the American-style Brown Ale well, with only a minor side effect in the form of a mild lingering hop bitterness.
You Should Try This. American-style Brown Ales such as this are hard to come by given the regions obsession with India Pale Ales and Pale Ales. While this beer is more than likely no longer being offered we would like to let you know that it’s only another year until you can get your taste of Bob’s Brown Ale.
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