Funky Buddha's French Toast Brown Ale
JUSTIN KENNEDY

Brown Ales are the Rodney Dangerfields of beer—they get no respect. Often perceived as an overstayed holdover of the '90s "microbrewery" phenomenon, they evoke images of beer bellied bros in musty brewpubs with stale popcorn and loud TVs. The style is nothing if not familiar—Newcastle Brown Ale, one of the classics of the genre, is one of the first imported beers that many of us drink during college. It's also an easily enjoyable craft brew for beginners.

Like many neglected styles, however, the brown ale is gaining newfound traction thanks to refinement and experimentation on the part of brewers, as well as rediscovery among eager drinkers. Because of their mild, nutty flavors and dialed back hop aromas, today's brown ales are also easy-drinking and great for pairing with food, especially with Maillard-enriched dishes like roasted root vegetables, grilled chicken, and caramelized onions. From balanced English-style brown ales to funky, wood-aged Belgian oud bruins, here are nine of our favorites.

February 23rd, 2016

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