Brown ale love
A Review of Red Brick Brown Ale by Red Brick Brewing Co.
Posted on 9/20/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
I have had something bothering me for the past few weeks, and I think I am just going to have to continue to air it out until I feel better about it. Why is it that these days if you aren't a triple double imperial I.P.A. or a Russian dictator Imperial koa wood aged stout, you just can't get any love? I recently wrote about the forgotten cousin to the I.P.A. and said that the standard pale ale just can't seem to get any recognition no matter how great it is. If you don't think its true, without cheating, in10 seconds or less name me 3 great pale ales. How'd you do? See what I mean? This isn't saying that there aren't several great ones out there. It just seems that no one seems to want to write or talk about them that much. Well it seems that the pale ales aren't the only ones getting the snub out there. What about the brown ales? Do the same test. Name me 3. I'll wait. Anything? Exactlly. Why is that? I mean, when done right, isn't a great brown ale pretty spectacular? When done half way decently, they are still tasty brews, no? Well a few days ago I got my hands on the Red Brick Brown Ale by Red Brick Brewing Company and took it for a spin. Now I will go ahead and admit that it isn't the most breathtaking brew I have ever gotten my hands on, just like with any other decent brown ale, it turned out to be pretty tasty anyway.

In the glass it had a murky, copper brown coloration, and it came with a very sudsy off white head that had some fair lacing and retention qualities. After a few minutes of observation time, I started to pick up on some of the aromas that were seeping from the glass. There was a very roasted quality to it that isn't uncommon in a brown ale, but the amount that I was picking up on was a little on the ''higher than average'' end. It seemed to come in the form of roasted cashews and chocolate malts. No complaints from me there. Once you move past it, there is a very earthy quality that comes across in the form of some very muted citrus hops. I would have liked to see a little more life in this area, but it still fell in the range of being totally acceptable. And then, as it warmed a bit, there was a bit of a minerally and tart plum or cherry smell that faded in and out randomly. Now this did cause me to pause for a moment and take in a few extra smells. I was both hesitant and intrigued at the same time. At the least, it was something different that I had not experienced before.

When I went in for the first taste of it, I was immediately met with a sense of calmness. Whatever I picked up on as far as the metallic fruitiness goes was nowhere to be found in the introduction. The roasted aspect of it carried directly from the nose to the tongue with ease. Toasted bread, caramel, light chocolate, and nuts all swirl around your tongue in a very lively fashion thanks to a carbonation level that lands slightly on the side of high. The roasted sensation keeps it from becoming overly sweet, and after it dies down some the subtle hops layer starts to push through. Its more of a flavor and a tangle, rather than a cruel bitter bite. If do you want to know the truth, it really just manages to provide the right amount of balance to keep things in check. But just as you start getting comfortable with its yummy brown ale vibe, that odd metallic fruitiness that I mentioned earlier does start to peek through. The only way I know how to describe it is tinny tartness. Simply put, it's just not a flavor that you're accustomed to finding a brown ale.

When all is said and done, the Red Brick Brown Ale would still qualify as a decent brown ale in my book. Yes, it does have that one odd flavor in there, but it's not so bad that it totally ruins the experience for you. I would probably place it in the ''feel free to try it if you see it when you're out, but don't actively go searching for it'' category. There are a lot better examples of the style out there, but it could save you if you found yourself in a pinch. It's pretty harmless, and at the bare minimum it can keep you away from the mass produced toilet swill garbage out there.

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Red Brick Brown Ale by Red Brick Brewing Co.
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