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First Posted: 4/28/2014

Beer: Ellie’s Brown Ale

Brewer: Avery Brewing Company

Style: American Brown Ale

ABV: 5.50%

Description: Ellie’s Brown Ale pours a deep copper brown with creamy tan head that, as it dissipates, leaves behind a thin lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of roasted malty goodness with notes of mocha, chocolate, caramel, and toffee backed by very light scents of earthy hops. The taste follows suit with the aroma, but with even more flavor variety and depth. The roasted malt notes of caramel and toffee are evident up front and followed by chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla, and brown sugar, while spicy earthy hops cascade over the palate for a relatively dry finish. The medium body and moderate carbonation create the extremely smooth mouthfeel that this beer possesses and makes for an exceptionally easy drinking experience. Ellie’s Brown Ale is easily one of the best examples of an American Brown Ale available on the market today.

Food pairing: The impending warmer weather makes a person think of sunshine, outdoor activities, and grilling on the barbecue. If these sound like future plans, you will want to have some of Ellie’s Brown Ale on hand. This smooth brown ale is the perfect accompaniment for a wide variety of barbecue dishes. Try it with steaks or burgers; the delicious caramel flavors will really go to work with the caramel emanating from the freshly cooked meat. If you are looking for true barbecue, then pair this with barbecue ribs or pork; again, the roasted flavors within the beer will complement those coming from the meat, and the smooth body is hefty enough to cleanse the palate in between bites. If you are a vegetarian, then have this fantastic beer with a bowl of spicy meatless chili.

The final word: Ellie’s Brown Ale is a top-notch example of the American brown ale style. This fact is no surprise, though, to those who are familiar with the fantastic lineup of beer offered from Avery Brewing Company. While Avery is very familiar with over-the-top beers – look no further than its Mephistopheles’ Stout or Rumpkin, both coming in at over 16 percent ABV – the brewery is also quite comfortable producing standard American classic beer like Ellie’s Brown Ale. The rich, smooth, and enjoyable malt character make this beer one that can easily be enjoyed year-round. This is a must-try for fans of darker beers, but one to seek out regardless of your affinity towards the color!

Rating: W W W W V

Where can I get it? Currently available in 12-ounce bottles and/or cans at: Jack’s Draft House, Scranton; Wegmans, Dickson City and Wilkes-Barre; Weis Market, Clarks Summit; and Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre.

Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!

-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour on 102.3 FM Saturdays at 10 a.m.