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How Now, Brown Ale?

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Brown ale is often the first beer attempted by novice homebrewers. It is, however, a beer style whose definition is often disputed by beer authorities and commercial brewers. Homebrewing emphasizes hops and "lots of everything," whereas "craft brewers consider their brown ales as a natural antidote to a highly hopped flagship pale ale." Is Brown ale defined by its color, or by a flavor common to all beers under the rubric of its name?

So began my review of Brown Ale: History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes (ISBN 0-937381-60-8, written in 1998 by Ray Daniels and Jim Parker and published by Brewers Publications, an arm of the Brewers Association.

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