Being that it is now officially fall and Oktoberfest is almost officially over, I’ve been on the hunt for brown ales, which has led to the discovery that brown ales are oddly difficult to find on tap (Newcastle being the exception here). This leads me to believe that browns don’t move that fast. It might be because they’re such an innocuous style: people who have gotten into Newcastle will often stick with that, and people who are really into craft beers tend to go for something more extreme or complex: something darker and maltier or something brighter and hoppier or something stronger and Belgian-ier or whatever. At least, that’s my guess.
For my money, however, brown ales are a bloody fantastic thing to be drinking when it’s bright and sunny and only about 60 degrees out. And they’re usually super food-friendly, pairing well with nearly anything that isn’t way spicy. So drink some, and maybe someday we’ll have wider selections of these lovely, lovely beers.
Now, onto the Moose Drool:
Name: Moose Drool Brown Ale
Origin: Big Sky Brewing Co., Montana
Style: Brown Ale
IBU: not given
I drank this: on tap at Barleys, Overland Park, KS
This is one of my favorite beer names of all time. Honestly, how could it not be?
This is a nice clear brown color with a nutty/bready scent and maybe a hint of biscuits. The head disappears really quickly. As I’ve said a few times, head retention isn’t a big thing for me unless the head is something really spectacular (it isn’t here), so I’m happy to see it go. It gets me to the beer faster. It has a medium to light body - i.e., this is not a beer that feels very thick to drink.
Flavor-wise, this is sweet brown malts with faint caramel overtones. I know there are hops in this because it’s not insulin shot sweet, but the hops really aren’t noticeable beyond making sure the beer isn’t too sticky – this is an excellent beer for the hop-phobic among you. This is common with brown ales: if you’re looking for a beer that will do a good job of showing off its malts it and don’t want hops getting in the way of all that malty goodness, and you’re also not in the mood for a stout, a brown ale is exactly what you want to be drinking.
And so, summed up, that’s pretty much a Moose Drool. My only complaint with Moose Drool is that it’s almost too simple – I don’t miss the hops, but sometimes I wish the malts were slightly more complex/nuttier/breadier or something. It’s a great beer for throwing back when you don’t want to think about the beer itself all that much – it’s fun and thirst-quenching. However, if you’re going out to taste something fun and new and different and you’re planning on spending some time really thinking about the beer, go for a Lost Coast Downtown Brown or a Goose Island Nut Brown instead.
Quick note to Dad: Moose Drool reminds me of the homebrew brown we make – I checked and it’s got roughly the same malt profile and the same Willamette hops. I like our brew better though