London Brown Ale

Recipes:
35
BJCP 2021:
27A
Era:
Historical
Origin:
🇬🇧 Great Britain
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Dark
Strength:
Low
Taste:
Malty

Profile

London Brown Ale is a traditional British beer style, hailing from the 1920s. This style showcases a sweet, malty character that has become synonymous with the historic pubs and breweries of London. Historically, it was brewed to provide a sweeter counterpoint to the more bitter beers available at the time, aiming to appeal to a broader audience that included those who had less affinity for hop-forward ales.

In appearance, London Brown Ales present a dark brown hue with ruby highlights and often possess excellent clarity due to the absence of heavy hop haze or yeast presence in the glass. They generally have moderate off-white to beige head retention, creating an inviting presentation. When brought to the nose, these beers exude rich malty aromas replete with notes of caramel, nuts, and sometimes slight chocolate undertones. Hop aroma is typically low and should never overpower the malt character; if present at all, it could offer a faint floral or earthy touch.

Flavor profiles in London Brown Ales are dominated by malty sweetness but are not cloying due to their well-considered balance. The initial taste reflects caramel and toffee tones with potential background hints of coffee or chocolate that stop short of imparting any roasted bitterness. Mild fruity esters might be detectable adding complexity while enhancing its drinkability. The body tends towards medium-full with relatively low carbonation enhancing its smooth texture. Hop bitterness is quite restrained and serves mainly as a balancing act against the sweet malts rather than as a feature in its own right.

This style is closely related to other British brown ales but stands apart due to its sweeter profile when compared with its northern relatives which tend towards dryness and greater emphasis on hop presence. The London Brown Ale’s flavor profile leans away from any significant roasted or hoppy characteristics found in some American interpretations of brown ale styles, instead nodding toward its roots in English brewing tradition by highlighting malt as the star player in both aroma and flavor.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
2.8 – 3.6 %

In Database
2.8 < 3.4 < 3.9 %

Bitterness

Specification
15 – 20 IBU

In Database
15 < 17 < 19 IBU

Color

Specification
43 – 69 EBC
22 – 35 SRM

In Database
40 < 54 < 67 EBC
20 < 27 < 34 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
8.3 – 9.5 °P
1.033 – 1.038 OG

In Database
8.0 < 9.2 < 11.6 °P
1.032 < 1.037 < 1.047 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
3.1 – 3.8 °P
1.012 – 1.015 FG

In Database
2.0 < 2.7 < 4.7 °P
1.008 < 1.011 < 1.019 FG

Popularity Over Time

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Trending Hops

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