Beer Review: Howe Sound Rail Ale Nut Brown
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company has made a number of beers over it’s nearly 17 years of operation (it was started in 1996 by John Mitchell, a central figure in BC’s beer history). One of the more successful and long lasting styles of late is the Rail Ale Nut Brown. As the name would suggest it’s a nut brown ale.
The style’s characteristics are those typical of a brown ale, with a more nutty flavour. They’re generally similar to a pale ale though darker in colour, smoother with more malt than hops in the flavour department.
Howe Sound’s Rail Ale is named after the Squamish region’s strong ties to the railways. Luckily the name is the only characteristic the beer shares with trains. It pours a dark brown colour, in the chestnut or walnut range, if we’re keeping with the nut theme. From first sip the sweet, malty flavour is the most prominent characteristic. The malt in this case definitely leans to caramel, and personal opinion leads me to say, it’s a little too much.
While a decent beer, it’s too sweet and a little thin on other flavours. As time went on and it warmed up, the nuttiness came through more, but got boring. It lacked in complexity and refreshment, not that one would go to a nut brown for a refreshing beer. More of a fall style, if that can be a thing, where cooler temperatures mean drinkers aren’t looking for a patio beer, more something in a pub while it rains outside.