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American-Style Brown Ale

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Location: North American
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 19C - American Brown Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Brown Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Brown Ale beer style.

  • Color: Deep copper to very dark brown
  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium levels of roasted malt, caramel and chocolate aromas and flavors should be present.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Medium-low to medium-high
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium-low fruity esters may be present. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Well-modified pale malt, plus crystal and darker malts (typically chocolate). American hops are typical, but continental or New World hops can also be used.
  • Commercial Examples: Anchor Brekle’s Brown, Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale, Brooklyn Brown Ale, Bell’s Best Brown, Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale, Telluride Face Down Brown

Brewing Properties of American-Style Brown Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of American-Style Brown Ale beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.2 - 6.3%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
30 - 45 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
15 - 26 SRM
(30 - 51 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.040 - 1.060
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.010 - 1.018

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.