North American brown ales trace their heritage to American home brewing adaptations of certain northern English beers. They range from deep amber to brown in color. Caramel and chocolate flavors are evident, due to the use of roasted malt. Brown ales from northeastern England tend to be strong and malty, often nutty, while those from southern England are usually darker, sweeter and lower in alcohol. North American brown ales are usually drier than their English counterparts, with a slight citrus accent and an aroma, bitterness, and medium body due to American varieties of hops. Fruitiness from esters are subdued. When chilled to cold temperatures, some haziness may be noticed.
North American commercial examples include Pete's Wicked Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale, and Fat Squirrel Ale.
English commercial examples include Newcastle Brown Ale and Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale.
Based, in part, on the industry definition published by the Association of Brewers.