overall
84
94
style
RATINGS: 70   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.45/5   IBU: 35   EST. CALORIES: 144   ABV: 4.8%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Long enough ago, all beer would’ve been brownish because of the difficulty of drying the malted grain without darkening it. Same was true in America until the fancy-pants German immigrant brewers started brewing pale lagers which eventually took over. Thankfully, American homebrewers and a few bold craft brewers like us have revived American Brown Ale for your pleasure. Malty, caramelly, tart and toasty, earthy and citrusy, with delicious hints of bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

Y’know that story about the hypocrite who tattled to President Abraham Lincoln about General Grant’s drinking? Ol’ Abe answered, “Well, find out what he’s drinking so I can send a barrel to every general in the army.” We’re pretty sure Grant was drinking The Civil Life American Brown.

For those who want to know:
ABV: 4.8%
IBU: 35
COLOUR: Nice deep brown colour with creamy, long-lasting off-white foam and lace. BJCP STYLE: 10C. American Brown Ale, one of our all-time favourites
INGREDIENTS: US pale malt, UK Maris Otter pale malt, Crystal, Brown and Carafa dark malts, Cascade hops, American ale yeast

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4.3
phaleslu (10101) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 15, 2011
UPDATED: MAR 25, 2015 Draft at the brewery. 4.8% ABV. Pours a cloudy chestnut brown with an inch-thick beige head that leaves some sloppy lace in the glass. Aroma of huge toasted malts, pecans, toasted brown sugar, wheat, and earth. Flavor of toasted malts- more subtle than in the nose- along with earth, nuts, and cola. Medium-bodied, with a toasty mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Very much an American-style brown ale, and a damn good one at that. This really hit the spot.

4.2
seymour (1989) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - FEB 4, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2015 I order this whenever I see it, more times than I can recall: at the brewpub and throughout the area. Complex dark grainbill, strong citrusy/earthy/flowery hops. Nice deep color, creamy and persistent off-white head with lace and chill haze. Caramel malt and kettle caramelization, toasty and roasty grain bitterness, raisin bread, plums, smooth and tart at the same time, deliciously chocolatey. Medium body and carbonation, ideal alcoholic strength, long-lasting bittersweet aftertaste. Perfect fusion of American and English brewing traits, a masterpiece.

4.1
JonLaRue (59) - St Louis, Missouri, USA - APR 1, 2016
Served to me in a pint glass. Asked the waitress to check the beer I thought it was a porter. Its a good porter a bad brown ale.

4.1
balloonbuffoon (269) - - MAY 19, 2017
Draft pint that I’ve had several times as this is apparently Civil Life’s flagship brew. Appears brown with small head that retains some character. Aroma senses nuttiness and a caramel-earthy blend. The palate is a tad heavy for the style, but still medium in body and not overly carbonated. Soil and unsweetened brown sugar (if this description makes sense) flavors are prominent to let you know this ain’t no watered down brown ale. This is not quite a session brown for me, but it is very good stuff.

4
twothumbs (2) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - OCT 28, 2011 does not count
Very nice brown with good malt. I felt this was less hoppy than many American Brown’s I’ve had and more English in taste, but overall a very nice offering from a promising start-up.

4
BOSSbrewer (2705) - Arkansas, USA - AUG 12, 2013
Somewhat metallic and tinny. Had this at their tap room in saint Louis Fall 2012. Everything I tasted was good to great.

3.9
DiarmaidBHK (4797) - Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 26, 2013
Draft at PI Pizzeria.purs dark brown with a half inch of khaki foam that leaves a lot of lacing. Slight malty note on the nose which becomes more prominent as the beer warms. . Big malt, roasts, nutty notes on the tongue. Finishes clean. Very tasty!

3.9
Finhead (1742) - OFallon, Illinois, USA - DEC 30, 2013
A hazy brown pour with an off-white head. The aroma has raisin and molasses with some lightly roasted coffee. It has a medium body with smooth texture and lively carbonation. The taste is mildly sweet with some roasted dark chocolate in the finish.

3.9
Frank (4172) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 23, 2014
The St. Louis locals seemed pretty enamored with this beer and for good reason. It is a great beer. It is amber to brown in the glass and the head leaves lots of lace as it slowly dissipates. The nose is earthy, herbal hops. There is a great depth to the malt character w/o being sweet, which I feel is something only very good brewers ever achieve. It is light bodied w/o being watery and finishes w/ a firm earthy bitterness. This would definitely be a regular purchase if I could make it to the brewery regularly.

3.9
CanIHave4Beers (4184) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - JUN 26, 2014
On draught at the brewery.
Pours a dark reddish brown with a good head and nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is roasty with some coffee and chocolaty notes. Lightly hoppy and lightly nutty.

The flavor is roasty and nutty with a good coffee character. It’s got a decent level of hop bitterness and fruity character.

This brown ale lifts!


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