I don’t drink a lot of Anchor Brewing’s beers. Maybe it’s because their labels are all so similar and not that eye-catching. Or it could be due to the fact that their beers are relatively straight forward. That doesn’t mean they aren’t good. What I have had has all been rather enjoyable. Where am I going with this? Thanks for asking. I’m here to tell you about an Anchor beer that I recently drank that was purchased because of the fact that it was unique enough to catch my eye while sitting amongst hundreds of its peers on the Total Wine beer shelf. Which beer am I talking about? Let me show you.
Inspired by the all-malt brown ales in Anchor’s brewing archives, Brekle’s™ Brown has a coppery brown color and unusual depth of flavor with hints of citrus which makes for richness and complexity without heaviness. The classic, all-malt, single-hop brown ale.
Right out of the gate (or the bottle to be more accurate) I knew things were going to be a little different with this beer. It poured a mahogany/brown color with auburn highlights that showed up when held to the light. It wasn’t nearly as “brown” as one would expect from a beer that not only falls under the brown ale category, but also has the word “brown” in the title. The head was an inch of tan that faded into a milky ring.
Aromas of faint chocolate, molasses, cough syrup, and raisins greeted me when I stuck my nose into the glass. There was also an artificial chocolate note that reminded me of Hershey’s syrup.
At this point I wasn’t picking up any of the citra hops that they referenced and I was starting to think it might have just been a “publicity stunt” to capitalize off the popularity of that specific hop. Oh, wait there it is, hiding in the flavor. Chocolate and orange zest were the first tastes I picked up. However, neither flavor is all that big or forward in the taste. Raisin notes appear toward the end, with a noticeable dry roastiness that most likely comes from the malt.
Mouthfeel was lighter than I’m used to with the style, with a ton of bubbles that I didn’t really visually pick up. As with most highly carbonated beers there were some hanger-ons left behind after each sip.
Brekle’s Brown is a unique beer. Whether or not that is a good unique is still up for debate. The citra hops add an odd orange note that you typically don’t see in the style, but it wasn’t necessarily a positive. I would be interested in trying this on nitro sometime to to see what the added creaminess would do to this beer.
Overall: 6.5 out of 10
As an AMERICAN BROWN ALE: 5.5 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Boulder Beer FLASHBACK ALE, Foothills INDIA STYLE BROWN ALE, Bellwoods AMERICAN BROWN ALE