The storm by which all storms are measured. Our winter offering pays tribute to those who were there and those who have endured hearing about it over and over again. We created a classic English-style Brown Ale with fresh roasted coffee beans added from Acoustic Java to give Blizzard of 78 a rich, smooth character that will make you enjoy hearing more stories of walking through 27 inches of snow, uphill, blah, blah, blah.
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English brown ale is a coffee or tea-colored beer that’s made in both southern and northeastern England. These two regions produce different styles of English brown ale. Northern English brown ale is malt-focused and flavorful and carries hints of caramel, biscuit and nuttiness, while southern English brown ale is darker and sweeter. This style of beer has a low hop bitterness, making it more approachable than many other ales — and less strong, as well. The mildness of English brown ale is also a “young” beer, meaning it’s often brewed for short periods and therefore won’t have the strong flavor of aged beers.
English brown ale’s deep, coffee-like color hints at the flavors within. You can expect plenty of earthy flavors like nuttiness, a gentle malty sweetness and sweet notes like chocolate and caramel. You’ll notice that English brown ale has a balanced flavor profile, with low hop bitterness. Brown ales originating from southern England tend to lean toward the darker, sweeter side with lower alcohol contents, while those from the northeast are malty, stronger and nutty.
English Brown Ale is a famously moderate beer in terms of alcohol content. It tends to have an alcohol by volume (ABV) ranging between 4% and 5.5%. This is in the same ballpark as other ales like Irish red ale, though it’s significantly lower than IPAs. This low alcohol content contributes to English brown ale’s soft body, and along with its low to medium carbonation, it gives it a short finish and medium to high attenuation. It’s also got a low enough ABV to let you enjoy more of it than you might a higher-ABV beer.
English brown ale is not gluten-free, at least not in its original incarnation. As with nearly every ale brewed in England, brown ale is made from 100% barley. Barley contains plentiful gluten, meaning traditional English brown ale cannot be gluten-free. However, English brown ale enjoys lower carb counts than many other beers, with around 14 grams of carbs per 12 oz. serving.
English brown ale is indeed an ale, is indeed brown and is indeed brewed in England as it has been for centuries. Ales are differentiated by lagers in several ways. The first is the type of yeast used — there are ale yeasts and lager yeasts and each performs best under specific conditions. The second is that ales ferment in warmer temperatures ranging from 60°F to 70°F, while lagers prefer cold temperatures between 35°F and 50°F. These differences result in the final differentiation, which is their flavor: Ales tend to be full-bodied, fruity and full of esters, while lagers have a cleaner, crisper taste.
A 12 oz. glass of your standard English brown ale will deliver around 142 calories and 14 grams of carbohydrates. Compare that with a standard glass of beer, which has 150 calories on average and 13 grams of carbs. English brown ale pretty closely hits the average mark here, making it a good choice if you’re calorie and carb counting. It also delivers rich, sweet flavors while weighing in at far fewer calories/carbs than many other ales.