The English-style brown ale, the godfather of many other English styles, is undoubtedly a craft beer classic with two distinct varieties- Northern and Southern English. Their unmistakable and dominant light, malty-sweet and toffee-like aroma take centre stage, with slight hints of dark, fruity esters of light hops lingering behind. They typically appear as reddish-brown to dark amber, having a distinct caramel-like malty sweetness, with a somewhat malty and dry finish accompanied by hints of dark fruit, biscuits, and coffee. The English-style brown ale is versatile and a great companion to diverse meals as an alternative to being enjoyed independently.
English-Style Brown Ale’s Origin Story
The English-style brown ale originated from Mild in the 1800s. Eventually, it faded out because many brewers ditched using 100% brown malt as a base, favouring other options like pale malt. Pale malt was relatively cheaper due to its higher yield and became the preferred base choice for all beers, even Stout and Mann. History credits the Mann brewery with the English-style brown ale’s comeback at the end of the 19th century. Whitbread and the famous Newcastle followed suit shortly as other breweries tried to recreate their craft beer versions. Mann’s brown ale represents the Southern English style, while Newcastle epitomizes the Northern English-style brown ale.
Enjoying An English-Style Brown Ale
The English-style brown ale goes well with almost any kind of meal, including sausage, pork, short ribs, red meats, etc. This craft beer’s sweeter versions combine well with seafood and different types of game. You also can’t go wrong using it as a base for stews like chilli and beef stew or to wash down cheeses like Gouda or Cheshire.