Generally fall beers drop into one of two categories; pumpkin or Oktoberfest. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, Ca decided to mix things up a bit, and go with a brown ale. They describe it as an “Autumn Brown Ale.” The year 2010 was clearly marked on bottle. I’m not sure if this is the first year that Sierra Nevada has produced this beer or if it follows with their other seasonal beers.
Tumbler pours a clear brown color and has a slightly off-white head. The nose is pretty malty, as you would expect with this style. There are also some nice roasty notes in there that we stronger than what I had expected. The smell and taste go hand in hand. Lots of malty components followed by some robust roast. The nice thing is that there was a hop bite at the end that did not come through in the nose. The hops really sit on the tongue and they are slightly piney. I generally don’t care for piney flavored hops, but this one really fit the beer nicely.
I think you can really tell that this is a Sierra Nevada beer. The hop profiles are very similar to their other beers, just toned down a bit. There is nothing super complex but it was drinkable. I think this beer would be wonderful on a cold, windy fall day. As I said before it was a nice alternative to the normal fall beers and I hope that other breweries explore other avenues of fall beers. I’m not sure if brown ale is the perfect fit, but it was a nice change. (more…)