Maybe it’s the cooler, darker afternoons. Maybe it’s the wind, rain, and drifting foliage. One way or the other, fall makes us craft autumn beer styles—märzen, a.k.a. Oktoberfest, especially. But one oft-overlooked beer style (or collection of related styles, actually), is the humble brown ale.
Derived from English, German, and Belgian origins, the tawny colored ales get their color and malty backbone from roasted barley. They range in flavor from hoppy to sour to biscuit-bready and even nutty.
What’s your favorite brown ale? Tell us below.
And read on for five recommendations of five different brown ale styles from around the country.
La Folie – New Belgium Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
A Flanders oud bruin, or “old brown” style beer, New Belgium’s La Folie—a mainstay of their adventurous Lips of Faith series—varies from year to year, blend to blend, but always rocks a pleasant tart-tannic tang from the interplay of oak, cocoa-like malts, and souring lactic acid. It’s been a pathbreaking beer for over a decade. Seek it out. (7%abv)