Overview for the American Brown Ale

The American Brown Ale is similar to the English Brown Ale but has greater alcohol strength and more hops. However, it’s still a malty brew with flavors of chocolate, caramel, and nut. Its darker malt character is more robust than an Amber Ale but doesn’t quite reach the strength of a Porter.

Style Expectations

A malty but hoppy beer frequently with chocolate and caramel flavors. The hop flavor and aroma complements and enhances the malt rather than clashing with it.


Light to very dark brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.


Moderate malty-sweet to malty-rich aroma with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty qualities. Hop aroma is typically low to moderate, of almost any variety that complements the malt. Some interpretations of the style may feature a stronger hop aroma, an American or New World hop character (citrusy, fruity, tropical, etc.), and/or a fresh dry-hopped aroma (all are optional). Fruity esters are moderate to very low. The dark malt character is more robust than other brown ales, yet stops short of being overly porter-like. The malt and hops are generally balanced.


Medium to moderately-high malty-sweet or malty-rich flavor with chocolate, caramel, nutty, and/or toasty malt complexity, with medium to medium-high bitterness. The medium to medium-dry finish provides an aftertaste having both malt and hops. Hop flavor can be light to moderate, and may optionally have a citrusy, fruity, or tropical character, although any hop flavor that complements the malt is acceptable. Very low to moderate fruity esters.


Medium to medium-full body. More bitter versions may have a dry, resiny impression. Moderate to moderately-high carbonation.


Double Brown Throwdown

American Brown Ale  •  Rogue Ales

Double Brown Throwdown Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Brown Ale, an American Brown Ale by Rogue Ales blends chocolate, molasses, nut, earthy bitterness, and whiskey. Read More

Brooklyn Brown Ale

American Brown Ale  •  Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brown Ale is an American Brown Ale by Brooklyn Brewery that blends caramel, nut, and chocolate with a big bite of herbal hops. Read More

Muy Bonita

American Brown Ale  •  Funky Buddha Brewery

Muy Bonita is an American Brown Ale by Funky Buddha Brewery that’s sweet and spicy with apple, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, cinnamon, and booze. Read More

The Barista

American Brown Ale  •  Clown Shoes Beer

The Barista is an American Brown Ale brewed by Clown Shoes Beer that balances coffee, roast, and hops with caramel and lactose. Read More

Old Brown Dog

American Brown Ale  •  Smuttynose Brewing Company

Old Brown Dog, an American Brown Ale by Smuttynose Brewing Company blends molasses and hazelnut with mildly bitter hops. Read More

Indian Brown Ale

American Brown Ale  •  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Indian Brown Ale is an American Brown Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery that blends flavors that are sweet, roasted, and hoppy. Read More


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