Michigan Brewing Co.
Nut Brown Ale
This brew from the North Coast pours with a slow-rising tan head that stays active and tumbles inward lacing the glass with a full web. The clarity is good, and the beer boasts a really nice cola-brown that is slightly plum red with just a faint touch of gold. So far, it looks promising.
The nose has a hazelnut and caramel sweetness that gets the palate going and seems to hint a mix of chocolate maltiness and some welterweight bittering hops. If the beer follows this nose, it should be nicely balanced, if a bit sweet. After letting the beer sit for a minute, mix of gingerbread and clove aromas seems to sit in that sweetness and may serve to tart up what threatens to be a bit of a saccharine swallow.
The beer is sweet, but not cloying, and coats the mouth fully. There are some cocoa notes, and maybe a tiny bit of honey, but it is definitely bready, and is less crisp gingerbread and more toasted whole grain bread.
The hops are really subtle, in a great way, and provide a refreshing finish, like a piece of fruit at the end of a meal. That’s not to say this beer is fruity. There is a slight stickiness to the beer, but the biscuit qualities are adequately roasty and malty – necessary for a good brown ale – and prevent this beer from seeming like a lager.
Enjoy this one anytime; it is not a filling brew – like most brown ales (think Newkie) – and is full but isn’t so complex that you’ll be chewing through it at every sip.