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randomness, truth, and burritos

Craft Beer: Avery Brewing, Ellie’s Brown Ale

elliebrown

I have to say I picked this brown ale for two main reasons.  One is that I had a family dog named Ellie (as in Ellie Mae from the Beverley Hill Billies, she was…sassy), and I love the chutzpah of Avery Brewing Co. advertising this as “lab tested” (see picture of can above).  I figured this beer was deserving of a little attention.

This is a pretty standard strength (5.5% ABV) brown ale brewed by Avery Brewing in Boulder, CO.  It’s named after their chocolate lab and brewed with fresh Rocky Mountain spring water.

Pouring the beer put a decent head on the glass.  It was a bit smaller than I would have expected from such a dark rich smelling beer, but it lingered for a good while after pouring.  The beer has a sweet scent, so sweet I’d go ahead and push past the molasses comparison and say it smells more like brown sugar.  The smell has a peppery-ness to it that wakes up the nose a little.  The smell also has a sour wetness to it that reminds me of cooked grape leaves or spinach.

The first taste of this beer is actually quite mellow.  This surprised me considering how dark it is.  The first taste is so mellow I almost qualified it as lacking.  That’s “almost”  until the follow-through hit me, and wow what a follow-through.  It is still not by any means a heavy beer, but it has a semi-sweet chocolaty-ness that really sets it off as a great brown ale.  As the beer hits you as you swallow you’re engulfed in the essence of malted barley and some very mild hops.  As the aftertaste rolls in you get the strong hints of molasses and high quality dark chocolate.

This beer is a very high quality drink, but as I work through it it seems to continue to be perplexing to my pallet.  It tastes like it should be a heavier beer, but it isn’t.  If it wasn’t for the chocolatey finish I’d rate it more as refreshing, but I can’t say I’d want to drink this on a hot summer day.  Maybe this would better be drank right now, at the very beginning of fall, where it isn’t too hot for a richer beer, but not so cold that you want a thick porter or stout.  I guess it fits that this beer comes from mountain-country.  I think you get more of that weather up there.

People who are looking for that overwhelmingly thick malty brown ale might be a little disappointed, but this a great brew unto itself.  It would also be an excellent beer to introduce some novice craft beer drinkers into darker beers without knocking their socks off.

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