Brown Ales, they’re a style of beer that often gets over looked. So many breweries and tap rooms are packed full of hopped up IPA’s and Stouts that quite often a brown ale won’t even make it into the line up of a brewery. Although I personally am a fan of a brown ale it’s not uncommon that I hear my fellow beer geeks saying that brown ales are a style they could do without. That being said it only takes one fantastic beer to change the opinions of people who might judge a beer by its style. Sumatra Mountain Brown by the good folks at Founders Brewing Company is up to that task.
To start this beer pours exactly like you would expect, it has a nice dark brown color with a tan head that isn’t insanely thick. As soon as you pour this brew your nose embarks on an aromatic journey loaded with coffee and fairly sweet malts that are extremely inviting. To this point if you were to give this beer to me blindly, I probably would have assumed it was a porter, for me that is anything but bad. The beer’s body is where you really start to pull more of the Ale characteristics. Although there is plenty of toasted roasty flavors that is highlighted by coffee and delicate caramel sweetness the body of the beer is still crisp with a dry finish, common to the type of body you would you would find in a good ale.
All these characteristics are great but how does the beer taste? At the end of the day that’s what really matters right? Well, to put it bluntly, Sumatra Mountain Brown is absolutely fantastic. The beer’s flavor profile is loaded with coffee, and in my book coffee is second only to beer. Combining the two is almost always a win in my opinion. This abundance of coffee doesn’t over power the brew though, it’s still got a great sweetness and a light enough body to balance everything out and make a beer that is really easy to drink and incredibly enjoyable. This beer is crafted in such a masterful way that it should appeal to both veteran beer fanatics that have the highest expectations with anything poured in their glass; but it’s so well-balanced and features popular flavors like coffee and caramel that I could easily see people just discovering the world of beer falling in love with Sumatra Mountain Brown as well.
We do a lot of reviews about the beer that Founders brews. There’s good reason behind that. Founders, as long as I can remember, has always been a brewing company that not only makes beer that I love but completely exceeds my expectations. They have a real knack for taking everything that’s good about a style and delivering on those positives tenfold. Sumatra Mountain Brown holds true to this self-imposed trend that Founders has bestowed upon themselves. I’ve said this about some of the other beers brewed by Founders before, but I have to say it again. This is a beer that I honestly feel like I could happily drink on a daily basis without hesitation. Whether you’re a fan of brown ales or not this is a beer that you really need to pick up and give a try.