UPDATE APRIL 2013: Apparently, ASDA and Morrison’s sell it, if you’re looking to buy some, as apparently many of you are!
Mann’s Brown Ale is not something you see many people drinking in its own right. Traditionally, it’s used in a ‘brown split’ with ordinary bitter — in other words, to give a bit of oomph to that half a pint of flat, brown keg beer you’ve been thinking about abandoning for fifteen minutes.
But Michael Jackson lists it in his 500 Great Beers book and, at 2.8%, we wondered if it might not fit be just the trick for school nights, when a hangover is simply not an option.
As you can see, it looks nice in the glass — very dark brown, almost black, with an off-white head. The body is remarkable for such a weak beer, and there are some nice aromas of malt and roasted grains.
The taste… well, nice in some parts of the mouth, if that makes any sense. Too sweet at first, with a harsh burnt treacle flavour, but rather pleasant going down, when the slightly bitter chocolate flavours come through. Reminiscent of the sweeter variety of mild, we thought.
On balance, I suspect this would taste wonderful with chocolate cake, which tends to make most beers taste too dry, but it’s not something we’d drink too often.
So, over to you. Any suggestions for other beers under 3% which are worth a go…?
Bonus feature: here’s an old post with an advert for Mann’s featuring Sherlock Holmes.