Humboldt Brownie Double Brown Ale
Mad River Brewing Company
About the beer and brewery:
This is now the third beer we’ve reviewed from Mad River Brewing Company in California, with previous reviews featuring John Barleycorn Barley Wine Ale and Signature Oak-Aged Imperial Cream Stout. I’ve been so impressed with this brewery, and I highly recommend everyone try their beers. I have yet to be disappointed.
This beer is the first release of their 2018 Artisan Reserve Series, a seasonal rotation of 22-ounce bottles. The Humboldt Brownie is a 2015 silver medal winner of the Great American Beer Festival. It comes from a mash of two-row pale malt, Munich 10, Vienna, Crystal 70/80, Aromatic, chocolate malt, and Black Patent malts with Nugget hops for light bittering as well as Cascade and Willamette hops for flavor and finish.
“Humboldt Brownie is a personal favorite of mine,” says brewmaster Dylan Schatz. “It’s based on one of my homebrew recipes from ages ago. The inspiration came from Charlie Papazian, author of The Homebrewer’s Companion, and his recipe for a beer called Buzzdigh Moog. The brew evolved over the years, and Humboldt Brownie is certainly its own beast of creation at this point, though I believe Charlie would appreciate this incarnation of a double brown ale.”
When they named it “Brownie,” they weren’t messing around. If you could melt a brownie into liquid form and bottle it, this beer would be the result. The first thing you notice when pouring it, aside from the rich, chocolaty aroma, is the deep, dark brown color and thick, light brown head.
This beer is decadent. It smells and tastes like fresh-baked brownies, but it isn’t overpoweringly sweet. It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and goes down as easy as dessert. This beer would fit nicely with a quiet night by the fire.
General Cigar Company’s Cohiba Blue Toro. This is one of my favorite cigars from last year, and I continually come back to it. This medium-bodied and firmly packed cigar has oaky and creamy flavor notes. It’s velvety and smooth, yet not sweet, perfectly complementing the brownie taste of the beer. The cigar lasted about two hours for me, the perfect amount of time to enjoy a 22-ounce beer. And the best part is the Cohiba Blue is so well-behaved that you won’t have to bother touching it up or relighting.
Wrapper: Honduran Olancha San Agustin (Habano)
Binder: Honduran Olancha San Agustin
Filler: Dominican piloto, Honduran Jamastran and Nicaraguan Ometepe
For more info, head to cigarworld.com.
Mad River Brewing has done it again. While, so far, the Oak-Aged Imperial Cream Stout is still my favorite, it wins only because I prefer stouts to ales. The Humboldt Brownie Double Brown Ale is a truly delicious brew, and I can’t wait to see what Mad River Brewing releases next.
Located in stores throughout California, you can also find this ale in the 22-ounce section of your local craft beer store or market.