Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Underappreciated Beer Series, #1 - Brown Ales

There are beer styles that don't get the attention of Imperial Stouts and India Pale Ales, nor have the place in the pantheon of beers that Belgian or German offerings possess. Some breweries just don't bother with these styles very often, or if they do, it's treated as part of their "normal" beer offerings. Maybe your friend that loves "X" style knows of it, but you won't find it highlighted on too many blogs, or on too many craft beer lists. Maybe I'm crazy or wrong (feel free to point out styles you think fit, or how I'm wrong about a certain style in the comments), but I'm going to try to point out styles that seem under-appreciated, as the season they best fit into occurs.

Brown Ales in general seem to have fallen into this kind of under-appreciation. One friend of OMG Beer! commented that this does seem to be the case, but it's because many of them "just are boring or not very good." I beg to differ. In terms of what I mean when I say brown ales, I'm talking about both English varieties (southern and northern), and the American descendant of those two varieties (which seems to encompass both versions of the English). Perhaps I'm biased. The style fits into my dark beer drinking perfectly. Rarely does a stout or porter get supported with the hop profile of an American brown, nor are they as fruity or nutty as the English versions. Less chocolate than those two dark beer styles, and perhaps more sweet caramel, more toffee, more butterscotch. Coffee flavor, if present, should be provided by real coffee, and not dark, burnt black grains. Nut flavors could be from real nuts (see Rogue Hazelnut Nectar) or from grains.

No comments:

Post a Comment