The brown ale style is what got me into craft beer and while it’s not
one of my favorites anymore, I can still appreciate a good one whenever I
get the chance. Unfortunately, Red Brick Brown Ale is not one I would
offer up as an example of the style. It might work on a basic level as
simply as transitional beer, but nothing more than that.
I received a 12oz bottle in a trade with Ding (thanks!). I poured it into a nonic pint glass.
Appearance: Deep chestnut colored body, opaque. Forms a huge, off white,
foamy head that is slow to dissipate and leaves fluffy lacing around
Smell: Mild aroma of generic sweet maltiness. A hint of apple juice. Otherwise unremarkable.
Taste: Let me disclaim this review by stating that the bottle I drank
was likely old and expired. The date stamped on the label is difficult
to read, but appears to be at least five months old judging from the
bottling date. Anyway, I’m usually a fan of brown ales, whether they be
American or British, but Red Brick Brown Ale doesn’t seem to conform to
either style. I’m not sure how to classify it per se, more of just a
generic dark ale with a hint of apple flavor to it. Nothing much in the
way of nuts, caramel or toffee.
The only distinct flavor I can really pull out is a slight apple juice
or even apple cider taste. This could be a sign of acetaldehyde or just
what happens when this beer gets old. It’s not particularly bad, in fact
there’s mild sweetness throughout, and I would describe this palate as
being mild and drinker-friendly. But mostly it’s just a boring beer,
even compared to Newcastle Brown Ale.
Drinkability: When I poured Red Brick Brown Ale it generated a gigantic
head which lead me to believe it was going to be a spastic brew and a
challenge to drink. It was actually the opposite: more on the tepid side
with a clean, slightly refreshing body with minimal aftertaste. I’m a
little shocked to learn it’s 6% ABV as it does not seem to have the
weight or robustness of something that big.