The 9 Best Brown Ales of 2022
We mentioned that American amber/red ales aren't the sexiest style out there. Well, brown ales probably fall even farther down the "cool kids spectrum," teetering into the realm of boring. Which is exactly why we wanted to write about them. Because in reality, brown ales might appear plain, but inside the pint they're bubbling with complexity.
Similar to red and amber ales, brown ales are aptly named for their brownish (and even amber) hue.
Found in England, Belgium, and the United States, brown ales actually fall into a variety of categories based on their origin. For example, the American brown ale native to the United States, English milds from England, and Abbey bruins or oude bruins from Belgium, among others.
A Brief History of the Brown Ale
A term first used in the late 17th century by English brewers, "brown ale" referred to a lightly hopped but mostly malty beer, getting its distinctive color from…brown malt (shocking, we know).
Cheaper pale malts caused brown ales to fall out of favor until around the early 20th century when the now-iconic Newcastle Brown Ale brought the style back to life.
In America, we can thank Pete Slosberg and Mark Bronder from Pete's Brewing Company for defining the American brown ale with the release of Pete's Wicked Ale in 1986.
Since then, American craft brewers have done what they do best: innovate. Today, we can find revered versions of the style, including Rogue Ale's Hazelnut Nectar, Bell's Brown Ale, and many more. While even well-respected breweries like Hill Farmstead, Tree House, Southern Grist, Burial, and Founders have all created their own interpretations.
Untappd's 9 Highest-Rated American Amber/Red Ales of the Year
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