Beer Review: Natty Greene’s Old Town Brown Ale

Tonight, I picked up a six pack of Natty Greene’s Old Town Brown Ale.

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Beer Packaging: This beer’s box is a typographical adventure. Random words appear in italics, while the normal words are styled to look like they’re either from the 1800’s or yelling at the reader. “NORTH CAROLINA CRAFTED” proudly arcs across the top, and text in the bottom-right corner advises drinkers to “Taste the South.” The italicized the makes one wonder which South this beer tastes like. Could it be:

  • The Antebellum South? Probably not—nobody likes the Antebellum South.
  • The Deep South? Nah, North Carolina doesn’t count as deep.
  • The South during Reconstruction? Possibly—the guy on the box looks perturbed, as if his house was destroyed in the Civil War and it’s taking just forever for the damn Yankees to rebuild it.

But despite its ambiguity, Taste the South is a fine enough slogan, and I’m guessing TASTE DIXIE wouldn’t have polled quite as well.

Beer Style: Despite its American stylings, Old Town Brown is actually an English Brown Ale. I attempted to research English Brown Ales by visiting Total Wine’s page on the beer style, but the first sentence begins, “English Brown Ales originated as bottled versions of Milds,” at which point I became confused and disoriented by the Brit-speak and gave up.

The Brewery: Natty Greene’s Brewing Company is named after Nathanael Greene, the guy on the box. He was a general during the Revolutionary War who, according to GeorgiaEncyclopedia.org, removed the occupying Brits from the South. Greene’s forces were outnumbered, so he used quick strikes and aggravating strategic retreats to wear down the huge but lumbering British army. All of this means my Reconstruction South packaging theory doesn’t hold, but at least the brewery picked a badass namesake.

Old Town Brown in One Text: “Natty Greene’s sounds like a dangerous Natural Light derivation, but it ain’t bad.”

Old Town Brown, Elaborated: Brown ales are one of my favorite beers, and this one is pretty solid. It’s not very unique or piercing in any one way, but when it comes to brown ales, that’s OK. It delivers a decent amount of flavor for being only 4.7% ABV. However, make sure to let this beer rest on the middle and back of your tongue briefly, or else you’ll just get a weird, weak alcohol taste. A fun side note: If you’re looking to have a hell of a night, this beer is pretty nice before or after a glass of bourbon. Old Town Brown is “AVAILABLE year-round,” according to the packaging, so give it a shot sometime.

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