Beer: Old Brown Dog Ale
Brewer: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Style: American Brown Ale
Description: Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale pours a beautiful russet-brown color with a tan-like head that dissipates and leaves nice creamy foam on top with perfect lacing. The aroma is very rich and is dominated by a nutty malt scent followed by caramel, chocolate, and just a touch of earthy floral hops. The taste of this beer is initially very nutty, but is quickly overtaken by wonderful coffee and chocolate with a moderate amount of bitterness, but with a very juicy caramel sweetness. The finish on this beer is long and dry, leaving behind a tingling hop bitterness and coffee-like roast flavors. The medium body for this beer is perfect to encapsulate the smoothness with the perfect carbonation, enabling Old Brown Dog to linger on the palate. This is certainly one of the best American brown ales on the market today!
Food pairing: American brown ales are an absolute dream to have around during the summer months, namely because they go so well with grilled meats. Old Brown Dog is no exception and is an absolute perfect match with a nicely grilled T-bone steak. The caramel and roasted malts in the beer will match up perfectly with the caramelized bits on the steak and meld into one another for an amazing taste experience. Another great pairing is with some lovely grilled sausages, or if you are really in the mood to cook and have an amazing pairing, break out the smoker and have yourself some nice ribs with a bottle of Old Brown Dog; just an absolute dream pair! Also, Old Brown Dog can hang in there with some lovely chocolate or cream desserts. Whether they are standard ice cream or something a little more adventurous, this brown ale is great. Old Brown Dog truly is a beer for any course during meal time, so be sure to have a lot on hand. After all, you wouldn't want to eat without a beer in hand!
Is it worth trying?: Without a doubt, yes! There is an old German proverb that says “To live long, eat like a cat and drink like a dog.” I agree completely! Old Brown Dog is a classic example of the American brown ale style and with good reason. This brown ale is a true workhorse and can blend in with a lot of varying dishes, which is not an easy task. This was also available at the Steamtown Beer and Music Festival this past weekend, so hopefully you were able to get yourself some while you were there. If not, do yourself a favor and go get some now! Also, be on the lookout for Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale for a real treat.
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it?: Currently available on in bottles at: Arena Bar and Grill, Wilkes Barre; Goldstein's Deli, Kingston; Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes Barre; and Wegmans, Dickson City.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer expert, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek's beer blog at idtapthat.org.