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What is a "nut" brown?

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  • What is a "nut" brown?

    I've had customers at the brewpub ask for a "nut" brown. What makes something a "nut" brown?

    I'd always assumed that the letters N-U-T on the label were what did it...

  • #2
    Munich malt tends to lend a nice "nutty" character.
    Tim Butler

    Empire Brewing Co.
    Syracuse, NY


    • #3
      nut color?

      I had always thought it alluded to the color of the ale, nut brown as opposed to dark brown light brown etc. Although some people are making hazelnut (or other) flavored nut browns.


      • #4
        Caramelish malts can often lend a nutty flavor/aroma as well. I get a little bit of nut aroma from some darker crystal malts as well.


        • #5
          its making me nuts

          Well the question is still kind of nagging at me for some reason so i pulled out the BJCP style guidlines. As far as I can tell all the "nut browns" are Southern or Northern English Brown ales (at least the commercial examples). As opposed to english or american brown ales. So I guess nut brown is not a style on its own (according to BJCP) but hey I am all about coloring outsides the lines so I would say if the mood strikes you, you can call any brown ale you make a nut brown.


          • #6
            I was thinking along those lines myself. I also noticed that says that Ekhardt, Jackson, and someone else say that "nut" is basically a marketing term.


            • #7

              The term "nut brown" typically refers to brown ales in the Northern English style, not the Southern. When looking at the BJCP guidelines, you'll notice that the description for Southern English Brown is focused principally on crystal malt-derived sweetness. On the other hand, the description of its Northern cousin specifically mentions a "nutty" character.

              That being said, you may want to try replacing perhaps 10% of your base malt with English brown malt. You could also include some light chocolate malt. You may want to get it dehusked to avoid any tannic astringency. I've found Carafa I (Spezial) to give particularly nice results.


              • #8
                As I recall, Samuel Smith's from the UK used the term "Nut Brown" as a marketing term to separate their product from the more well known Newcastle. I'm not sure if it was a color referance or flavor tie-in.

                Thanks to Charles F. and MerchentDuVin, the Sam Smith's products were some of the first beers Craftbrewers in the 80's started to emulate.. I think they (we) picked up the term as a quasi-style, and also as a marketing thing.
                John Stuart
                Green Man Brewery
                Asheville, North Carolina


                • #9
                  we do a nut brown ale. it's a blend of beers we do. just a traditional brown beer basically
                  Head Brewer - TDM 1874 Brewery.
                  Yokohama, Japan.