Beer Review: BEAR REPUBLIC ⁄ FAT HEAD’S ⁄ STONE TBA (TEXAS BROWN ALE)

Beer Review: BEAR REPUBLIC ⁄ FAT HEAD’S ⁄ STONE TBA (TEXAS BROWN ALE)

Nothing says festive cheer like sharing a brew with pals, especially when it involves the collaborative efforts of Matt Cole from Fat Heads and Richard Norgrove from Bear Republic at Stone Brewing Co. This “sort of” old-school American (or Texas) brown ale, crafted in the pre-Christmas hustle, boasts a blend of specialty malts, molasses, brown sugar, and a mix of Columbus, Bravo, Brewers’ Gold, and, making its debut at Stone, Cascade Hops. Stone Brewing Co. aims to evoke nostalgia for the early days of classic craft brews with this holiday creation.

Appearance:

The pour reveals a dark amber hue crowned by a dense, creamy head that gracefully leaves behind exquisite lacing.

Aroma:

Amarillo-ish dry hopping dominates the olfactory experience, with a faint undercurrent of toasty nutty malt struggling to be heard beneath the hoppy symphony. There’s a subtle Armor All note that adds a touch of intrigue.

Taste:

The journey begins with a hoppy punch, revealing mildly toasty maltiness along the way. Hints of grapefruit and earthiness emerge, culminating in a bitter finish that doesn’t overstay its welcome or overwhelm the palate. The alcohol is skillfully concealed, rendering the overall taste quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel:

On the thinner side of medium, this concoction boasts a highly drinkable quality, accompanied by moderate carbonation that enhances the overall experience.

Overall:

Despite the enticing narrative and backstory, my expectations for a typical American Brown Ale were not met. Apart from its color, the brew displayed minimal resemblance to a traditional brown ale, lacking the anticipated nutty or toasty notes. Instead, the spotlight was firmly on the dominating hop presence, both on the nose and palate. In the realm of collaborations, if the previous one was dubbed ‘More Brown than Black,’ this offering could be aptly described as ‘More Amber than Brown.’ While not aligning with the anticipated style, the beer holds its own as an intriguing divergence from the norm.