Donovan Bailey founded Down the Road Beer Company in 2013, with the goal of creating “high-quality Americanized versions of traditional European-style beers that taste as fresh and flavorful as those you’d find at the best overseas small brew pubs,” according to the brewery’s website.
So when we found Hooligan Nut Brown Ale, a Northern English Brown ale, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try some and review it.
We poured it into a Shaker Pint and it built an inch-and-a-half-thick, tightly beaded, frothy off white head. That head sat atop a dark brown liquid. But when we held it to a light, Hooligan Nut Brown Ale presented a beautiful palette of earthy colors, including garnet, ruddy brown, rusty orange as well as tangerine and honey highlights. We also discovered that it’s very effervescent, which helps maintain the head.
Eventually that head settled to about a quarter-inch tall and that’s where it stayed. As we drew it to our noses; aromas of toffee, malt and dried fruit, such as raisin and currants presented. Lovely.
We couldn’t wait for that first sip. And what a sip it was.
Hooligan Nut Brown Ale starts sweet presenting flavors of toffee and raisin. Then coffee-like flavors and bitterness develop in the middle. It finishes dry, with a light, earthy bitterness that lingers for a couple minutes. Then it’s gone and the only trace is a light, sticky sweetness lingering on the lips.
And that’s when we noticed that it also left an inch-and-a-half-wide sheet of lacing around half the glass.
This is one flavorful, and thanks to its medium-bodied mouth feel, easy-drinking Brown Ale. Not only could we drink it all year round – and thankfully it’s available year round – we would recommend it to anyone who likes complex and flavorful beers.
And if you want to pair Hooligan Nut Brown Ale with something, we would recommend a hearty beef stew, a shepherd’s pie or a Sunday roast dinner with roasted vegetables, such as parsnips, carrot and Brussels sprouts.