Just as spring transitions us from the cold of winter to the heat of summer, a nice brown ale is a good transition from the big stouts of winter to the lighter pilsners and session ales popular in summer. In general, I usually find brown ales a little too much on the sweet side, but Ellie’s Brown by Avery Brewing Company in Boulder does a great job balancing the sweetness with a slight bitterness both from the dark roasted malts and hop bill. Pouring a deep brown with shimmering amber when held to the light, the beer has a medium head that fades rather quickly. The pour releases scents of sweet malt, coffee, milk chocolate, and has a distinct nuttiness as well. ellie's brown ale When drinking, the sweet malt flavors are picked up initially by the sides of the tongue just before a slight carbonation burn tickles the front of it. Atypical to most brown ales, there is a tropical fruitiness that is both a surprise and a welcome contrast to the malt flavors. The sweetness morphs into a dry, roasted malt flavor on the back of the tongue before the aftertaste is dominated by an interplay of coffee-like bitterness from the roasted malt and hop bitterness. From a company with a well-known love affair with hops, it should be expected that this brown would feature more hop characteristics than some. Avery recommends pairing with spicy or smoky foods. Their recommendation for pairing with ancho chili pork tacos sounds absolutely delicious. (That’s a hint, Kristin.) The dark malt notes, the underlying refreshing hop flavors, and the low ABV at 5.5% make this a great beer for this time of year no matter if the weather decides to be sunny and warm or overcast and cool. The cans make it great to carry on your next adventure, and the flavor profile is such that it is a nice drinking beer even when warm. Cheers, Alex Bikepacker Friendliness 9/10 Aroma 7/10 Flavor 7/10 Style Appropriateness 8/10

One Comment

  1. Ellie’s is one of my faves. If you are ever riding in the Richmond, VA region, check out a Legend’s Brown. Rich malty brown goodness that is not too sweet.

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