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Lost Coast Downtown Brown
Written by Taylor
When you hear the term “brown ale” today, it could mean a few different things. Brown ales are most widely brewed in England, Belgium, and North America, and range from mild, low-ABV to more hoppy, higher-ABV. Lost Coast Brewery’s Downtown Brown is one of those brown ales that you could be good friends with. It’s not super filling, but packs some serious depth and flavor. It is fairly true to style, and in my opinion seems aimed to be an ale for all sessions.
I found a single bottle of the stuff at Trader Joe’s last week and finally poured it out … into my glass of course. The label is pretty cool, and just like Lost Coast’s other beers has an abstractly-drawn subject with bright colors to boot: a bright and lively design that I wouldn’t have thought would go with a darker, more mellow style of beer. But nevertheless, it is cool.
From the pour I immediately knew I would be enjoying the beer. A light tan head formed easily through the pour, and the color was a dark brown with a reddish tinge … very easy on the eyes. I didn’t have to lean in to smell the rich malt aroma … it was there, proud to spread its essence in the room.
Taste-wise, Downtown Brown delivers across the board. A smooth, nutty, malty sweetness really dominates, and it has a nice carbonation, crisp but not lingering, which gives it a really palatable mouthfeel. In the second half of a sip you can taste a little bright hop bitterness, which then fades, leaving you again with that excellent nutty malt flavor. You then sit back and realize it’s delightfully light (ABV of a mere 5.0%) and yes, you would definitely like to have another. Although in my case, the pint of Downtown Brown was gone within a matter of minutes, and I had no more bottles to chase it with.
Overall, I found Downtown Brown to be one of the better brown ales I’ve had to date, and would recommend it to anyone who likes the style. I felt the beer did not deserve an A or A+, mostly because it didn’t seem to “go the extra mile” in any singular way; instead it simply executed a nut brown ale well, and aimed to make it light and sessionable.
Now, I would really love to try this beer on tap … cheers to those of you Californians who get to enjoy Lost Coast on a daily basis!
Grade: A-Lost Coast Downtown Brown,