It’s the third-t0-last Into the Pint Glass! I’m pretty bummed about this link-up ending, not gonna lie — but don’t worry, I’m pretty sure the beer-related posts won’t stop anytime soon. I’ve got more than a few ideas brewing here (pun very obviously intended).
So! This time we’re drinking brown ales, which is yet another style I’m not super familiar with — but I do remember really liking a brown ale or two in the past.
I actually found it really funny that Mariah and Katie mentioned Newcastle as an example for a standard brown ale in their posts. For a short, but significant time in college, one of my best friends loved Newcastle. He drank it all the time and got several of us drinking and enjoying it as well (and we thought we were so cool and cultured drinking imported beer instead of cheap American beer). I don’t think I’ve had a Newcastle since that time, until about a month ago when I ordered it by mistake at a restaurant (I saw “Newcastle Viking” on the draft list and thought “that sounds interesting and nothing else is jumping out at me,” but the server, I think, just heard me say “Newcastle” and brought me the brown ale instead, and I was like “eh, too much of a hassle to order again.” Also I think it was the day before or day of said friend’s birthday so I got a kick out of drinking it and remembering college). It…wasn’t nearly as good as I remember.
Anyway, I tried Bravery Brewing’s Buster’s Brown (a West Coast brown) this time — and for the record, I probably would have grabbed this one for the label alone, even without our lovely hosts prompting me to.
Buster’s Brown (6% ABV)
Color/appearance: A nice cola-brown, which had a slightly reddish hue when I held it up to light. The color was nice and thick but not totally opaque (like a porter/stout would be). And there was a thick tan head that stayed on the top, sort of taking on this melted marshmallow shape as I drank it.
Aroma: I mostly picked up caramel and some toasted malts.
Taste: It was lighter in the mouthfeel and more bitter than I was expecting. There was some definitely smokiness and just a hint of caramel (again, not as much as I expected based on the aroma).
Overall: Pretty nicely balanced beer and, from what I understand, a good representation of the style. I think the “west coast” part of it means they added more hops than normal, which is what added the unexpected bitterness — but that balanced out any sweetness that might have come from the caramel and malts, which I tend not to like much. But in general…I’m a little torn. I want to like this a lot, but I may just not be the biggest fan of this style. Or I need to sample more browns to appreciate them more.