STYLE: Southern English Brown
Aroma: Malty-sweet, often with a rich, caramel or toffee-like character. Moderately fruity, often with notes of dark fruits such as plums and/or raisins. Very low to no hop aroma. No diacetyl.
Appearance: Light to dark brown, and can be almost black. Nearly opaque, although should be relatively clear if visible. Low to moderate off-white to tan head.
Flavor: Deep, caramel-like malty sweetness on the palate and lasting into the finish. May have a moderate dark fruit complexity. Low hop bitterness. Hop flavor is low to non-existent. Little or no perceivable roasty or bitter black malt flavor. Moderately sweet finish with a smooth, malty aftertaste. Low to no diacetyl.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, but residual sweetness may give a heavier impression. Low to moderately low carbonation. Overall Impression: A luscious, malt-oriented brown ale, with a caramel, dark fruit complexity of malt flavor. May seem somewhat like a smaller version of a sweet stout or a sweet version of a dark mild. History: English brown ales are generally split into sub-styles along geographic lines. Southern English (or "London-style") brown ales are darker, sweeter, and lower gravity than their Northern cousins.
Comments: Increasingly rare. Some consider it a bottled version of dark mild.
Ingredients: English pale ale malt as a base with a healthy proportion of darker caramel malts and often some roasted malts. Moderate to high carbonate water would appropriately balance the dark malt acidity. English hop varieties are most authentic, though with low flavor and bitterness almost any type could be used.
OG: 1.035 - 1.042
IBUs: 12 - 20
FG: 1.011 - 1.014
SRM: 19 - 35
ABV: 2.8 - 4.2%
Commercial Examples: Mann's Brown Ale (bottled, but not available in the US), Tolly Cobbold Cobnut Nut Brown Ale 1 1C. Northern English Brown Ale Aroma: Light, sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty and/or caramel notes. A light but appealing fresh hop aroma (UK varieties) may also be noticed. A light fruity ester aroma may be evident in these beers, but should not dominate. Very low to no diacetyl. Appearance: Dark amber to reddish-brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head. Flavor: Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a nutty, lightly caramelly character and a medium-dry to dry finish. Malt may also have a toasted, biscuity, or toffee-like character. Medium to mediumlow bitterness. Malt-hop balance is nearly even, with hop flavor low to none (UK varieties). Some fruity esters can be present; low diacetyl (especially butterscotch) is optional but acceptable. Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation. Overall Impression: Drier and more hop-oriented that southern English brown ale, with a nutty character rather than caramel. History/Comments: English brown ales are generally split into substyles along geographic lines. Ingredients: English mild ale or pale ale malt base with caramel malts. May also have small amounts darker malts (e.g., chocolate) to provide 12 color and the nutty character. English hop varieties are most authentic. Moderate carbonate water. Vital Statistics: OG: 1.040 - 1.052 IBUs: 20 - 30 FG: 1.008 - 1.013 SRM: 12 - 22 ABV: 4.2 - 5.4% Commercial Examples: Newcastle Brown Ale, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Tolly Cobbold Cobnut Special Nut Brown Ale, Goose Island Hex Nut Brown Ale