I have lamented about this previously, but in my opinion one of the more underappreciated beer styles is the English brown ale. Its light and quaffable, but also flavourful and interesting. Something about the character of a brown ale – malty and nutty – complements cool days and falling leaves. But despite this love, I often find myself forgetting to brew it – gravitating instead to its more famous cousin bitter. As chance would have it, while taking a malt inventory I found myself with all the grains needed for a brown ale. So I whipped out the recipe for last winters Benders Two Nuts and brewed up a batch – sans walnuts and sans last years constant stream of profanity.
This is a great style for the beginner home brewer, as its a simple recipe, easy brew day, and goes from grain-to-glass in as little as 7 days.
Because this is a rebrew, I’m only posting the tasting notes. The only change from the previous batch was the use of London Ale (wyeast 1028) in place of Nottingham, and no f&*%ing walnuts.
Appearance: Has a deep brown body, almost mahogany in hue, and pours with a long lasting off-white head.
Aroma: The aroma is dominated by a toast-like character and sweet fig-like maltiness.
Flavour: Modestly toasty with a deep and rich malt backbone. Subtle chocolate notes are apparent, along with some mild fruity yeast esters. As the beer warms a fig-like note emerges from the background and the chocolate note becomes more dominant. The after taste is pure malt goodness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-to-heavy bodied, smooth and whetting, with modest carbonation.
Overall: As with the previous batch, this is an excellent brown ale. A perfect sipper after a day spent outside in the cool fall weather. The only thing I would change is the addition of a small amount of a highly roasted malt. This would give the beer a bit more of a sharpness and would make the beer more thirst-quenching.