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Thursday, February 1, 2007

SBP #2: BridgePort Beertown Brown

I'll say this for BridgePort: they know how to send samples of a session beer. Two weeks ago a 12-pack of their new Beertown Brown showed up at my mailbox, just before we had my daughter's 13th birthday party. It was the hit of the party, enjoyed by all (the adults, yes, of course, the adults). And why not? It's a light-brown beauty, with a nice ruddy touch to it, a tenacious cap of foam, and a wonderfully malty nose with a nutty earthiness: very British, and so it's supposed to be. The nose follows through perfectly on the palate: this is a very honest, up-front beer that tastes just like it smells, and it tastes wonderfully fresh. It's hovering on the edge of SBP parameters at 5.2%, but it was with beauties like this in mind that I made it 5.5% in the first place...

I was not a brown ale fan at all for years. Things slowly chipped away at that, and when I did the brown ale tasting panel with Eric Asimov at the New York Times last year, the old prejudices were overthrown. I liked these beers, they were tasty, not overbearing, and quite good with a wide variety of foods. To use a horrible word...they were friendly. And they are archetypical session beers. Find one -- if you're going to find a Beertown Brown, better hurry; it's a seasonal -- and make friends.


Adam said...

You know I really don't "get" browns as much as I do other styles. I don't feel bad about that though. It is just another area of beer that has yet to be "tapped". ;-)

Stonch said...

I surprises me that you consider a 5.5% beer a session brew. However, I think most American and indeed Belgian beer lovers would agree with you. In England, I think most people would put the threshold at 4.5% ABV. Cheers.

Loren said...

I'm shocked at the love Avery's Brown Ale gets. Tastes like spearmint dirt water.


Sierra Nevada's Brown Ale deserves more love though.

Drink the Brown...kick the clown.


Lew Bryson said...

I'm bowing to reality here; beer's big in America, at least craft beer is. Remember too: Budweiser is 5.0%.

Lew Bryson said...

Loren, allow me to explain:

Blind tasting.

Blind tasting.

Blind tasting.

Believe me, I was shocked, too. Haven't had SN Brown in years, need to revisit. Thanks for the suggestion and the...what, blunt frankness? Rock on, brother.

General statement of purpose (that I may amplify elsewhere): No fear of speaking your mind here, but if anyone gets ugly and personal, I'm gonna moderate 'em. Fair warning to all. I've seen it get ugly, and I won't have it here.

Anonymous said...

Loren - I like Avery's Ellie.

Lew - How much of a beer do you drink in the NYT blind tastings. Do you sample the beers again after you know what they are?

Lew Bryson said...

We get about 5 oz. of each. We use spit buckets (some more than others...). And after the blind comes off, I'll go back and taste a couple...but not as part of the write-up. They often have two dozen beers; hell, we had 15 rye whiskeys in that tasting. I DID use the spit bucket on that one.

Loren said...

I don't know Stan...the hops (Bullion mainly) just don't work for me here. Unlike in Old Jubilation which I adore, strangly. Maybe the Fuggles mixing in kills it for me? I don't know. It just tastes...dirty.

Que se ra.