Smuttynose Brewing Company - Old Brown Dog Ale

Smuttynose Brewing Company - Old Brown Dog Ale

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


Brown Ale


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


Smuttynose Brewing Company - Old Brown Dog Ale

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    45-50º F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass or Mug
  • Malts:

    North American 2-Row, Munich 10L, C-120, Chocolate
  • Hops:

    Galena, Cascade, Willamette

This GABF Silver medal winning brew goes way back, being first brewed at the Northampton Brewery in 1988. Considered by many to be a definitive example of an American-style brown ale, Old Brown Dog delivers, unsurprisingly, a rich brown color boasting crystal clarity, and lots of foam from an aggressive pour. Look for aroma notes of rich caramel, toasted bread crust, and hints of chocolate accompanied by a certain nutty character. Willamette hops offer their classic earthy spice notes with a woody edge, while a fig-like fruit ester quality lurks under it all. Lightly sweet malt and slightly peppery hop flavors follow, along with some hints of floral essences and that aforementioned subtle fruitiness. Enjoy this medium-bodied brown ale with a bowl of French Onion soup, a perfect match. Cheers!

Smuttynose Brewing Company takes its name from Smuttynose Island, one of the Isles of Shoals, a small archipelago just off the coast of New Hampshire and southern Maine. Legend has it that mariners in the 1600s named the island for the nose-shaped 'smutch' of seaweed on the southeast corner of the island. The brewery was founded in Portsmouth, NH in 1994 by Peter Egelston, who, years earlier opened one of the two original New England brewpubs (Northampton Brewery in western Massachusetts), as well as the Granite State's first brewpub (Portsmouth Brewery). His 'beer career' started in 1986 when his sister Janet and her boyfriend convinced Peter to quit his teaching job in Brooklyn, New York and move to Massachusetts to open a brewpub – Northampton, which opened the next year. Peter stayed in Massachusetts until 1991, at which point he opened the Portsmouth Brewery.

You might think that with two successful brewpubs under his belt, Peter would have begun looking to expand by setting up a production microbrewery, but in fact, he sort of stumbled into starting Smuttynose B.C. As Peter puts it himself, "There was a small brewery that had opened here in Portsmouth and went out of business, and the bank auctioned off their assets. I attended the auction without having any intention of purchasing anything. Of course, I ended up purchasing this building full of brewing equipment."

By 2008 the company had begun reaching the limits of their existing brewery, and a plot of land was acquired that would become the home of a brand new facility. With all preparations complete, in June of last year Smuttynose moved in to their new brewery at Towle Farm in Hampton. An attached pub is in progress and slated to open early this year. For more information about the brewery or scheduled tours, call 603-436-4026, or visit their website at

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