Frosty Beverage Report

Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

Sipping our way through the craft beer renaissance—one brew at a time.

Don't worry, the reviewer was drinking the 2011 version.

For some reason, a lot of fall brews hit the shelves at the height of summer, right around that time when I’m just trying to hold it together in the heat. So when mega-microbrewer Sierra Nevada’s newish Tumbler brown ale—it launched just last year, with a name meant to evoke falling leaves—reappeared this August, it wasn’t exactly on my radar. But now, with an upcoming weekend where the thermometer won’t break 70F in NYC, it seemed a perfect time to crack open a bottle of the stuff.

It pours out with a fluffy tan head, and the color is, well… brown: deep, a little bit translucent, and pleasing to the eye. The smell is subdued, with roasted malts at the forefront. And the taste? Well, it’s a brown ale, so it’s not shy on the malt, which is a little sweet, really nutty, and quite smooth (a result, apparently, of adding it just days after roasting). It’s nicely balanced, too, resolving with a muted hop bitterness that keeps things from becoming cloying and makes that second glass go down just as easy as the first sip.

Tumbler is available nationwide. A six-pack of 12 oz. bottles will run you about $10-12.

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