Mann’s Brown Ale and a call for suggestions


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.

17 thoughts on “Mann’s Brown Ale and a call for suggestions”

  1. Stonch wrote a piece about Brew­Dog Edge 2.7% back in Jan­u­ary. “A cross between a Scot­tish 60/- and an Eng­lish mild ale.” Not known any­one to try it yet but sure­ly a good con­tender if you can get your hands on it.

    Maybe the pleas­ant chap at in Rich­mond could get his mits on it? They were stock­ing most of the Brew­Dog range before xmas.

  2. The oth­er obvi­ous can­di­dates that spring to mind are:

    Bad­ger Har­vester’s Ale

    and at slight­ly over 3%

    Cains Dark Mild
    Thwait­es Dark Mild

  3. When we had our beer shop we had a steady string of retired cus­tomers for this beer. I tried it and thought it was awful. Too sweet and very lit­tle else to it.

  4. Brew Dog Edge is a cask beer only, I believe.

    If peo­ple are inter­est­ed in try­ing it, I can prob­a­bly arrange for some firkins to come down and let you all know where they end up.…

  5. Andy – just read your review of Har­vesters. Sounds inter­est­ing, but I note that you found that sweet too.

    Stonch/YCC – Brew Dog Edge sounds inter­est­ing too. If it’s on some­where, we’d love to know. Keep us post­ed!

    Beer Nut – I’ve nev­er seen the Heineken Oud Bru­in on sale in the UK, but will keep my eyes peeled. Anoth­er com­par­i­son in terms of taste might be Pelforth, which is more than twice as strong, but near­ly as sweet (from what I recall).

    Paul – by the time I got to the bot­tom of the glass, I was detect­ing quite a bit of com­plex­i­ty, but I need­ed to adjust to the sweet­ness first which was, as you say, total­ly over­whelm­ing.

  6. Mon­ty Python is one of those exports that seems to be more loved abroad than in its home­land! Per­son­al­ly I’ve nev­er found it fun­ny…

  7. I thought 60/- was Dark Mild?

    I have some brew­ing records for Heineken Oud Bru­in some­where. Oud Bru­in is one of my favourite styles. Most­ly because it’s my stock answer when some­one says “Tell me a style that isn’t brewed in the USA.”

  8. I used to drink it with the lads from work in the 1960s it was cheap and eas­i­ly downed, and tast­ed between cre­osote and demer­ara sug­ar but bril­liant, you can­not get many brown ales any­more and it was a plea­sure to recent­ly find some it brought back many mem­o­ries.

  9. Quite a few super­mar­kets stock it (I’ve seen it in Sains­bury’s and ASDA, I think). Fail­ing that, any­where that has Wych­wood or Brak­s­pear ales ought to car­ry it, too.

  10. I know this is very late but I know Asda and Booths sell it.

    I drink it in its own right and I’m 21. Which def­i­nite­ly makes me an odd­ball. 😀

  11. Any­body who has a Home Bar­gains store near them should be able to pick up a 500ml bot­tle of Manns for a very rea­son­able 95p as i do here in Birm­ing­ham. A love­ly brew which slips down easy and does­n’t leave you wish­ing you did­n’t have work in the morn­ing!.

  12. Its a very nice beer to have, and at the prices you can buy it for, unbeat­able. It’s very sup­pable, acquired taste, but i’ll drink it, its a gor­geous smooth taste

  13. It’s changed! Has any­one noticed the new shape bot­tle, and change of brew­ery from Ush­ers to Marstons. It now has a nasty bit­tery after­taste which lasts for ages, like most bot­tled beers.…it’s been ruined! I’m so sad now, this was my per­fect pint, and 95p from home bar­gains too. Am going to bitch to Marstons with pre­sum­ably no effect. Still have a cou­ple of old bot­tles to keep for best.

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