Face Down Brown Ale, Telluride Brewing Co., Telluride

Style: Brown Ale

Serving Type: 12-ounce can

ABV: 5.7 percent

Malty? Hoppy? The best of both worlds

Reviewed: March 2015

Since its first beer was poured in 2012, Telluride Brewing Co. has made a name for itself with the Face Down Brown Ale. The small brewery in downtown Telluride won a gold World Beer Cup and a gold Great American Beer Festival medal for this beer the first year it was open. The beer would quickly become one of Colorado’s favorite brown ales, and win again in 2014. (Last year, the Face Down Brown Ale was one of three Colorado beers to sweep the American-Style Brown Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival. Upslope Brewing took home bronze and Diebolt Brewing Co. in Denver took home silver.)

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This English-American Brown ale hybrid combines elements of traditional European brown ales, like rich malt backbone and roasted flavors, with the hop-forwardness and dryness of American-Style browns. It’s a medium-bodied beer that smells of toffee and cocoa, and tastes like hazelnuts and slightly bitter black coffee. This beer is hopped with the citrus-forward, juicy American hop varieties Magnum, Tettnanger CTZ, and Cascade.

Would we buy it again? Yes, as a year-round staple. This mountain-brewed beer is light enough in ABV and body to have a few, not to mention it appeals to both dark beer drinkers and hopheads. Especially now that it’s available in canned 6-packs, it makes for an ideal fridge beer. Roadtripping out of state? Bring a 6-pack of Face Down Brown to friends so you can brag that it was made with Rocky Mountain snowmelt.

(Check out 5280’s comprehensive guide to Colorado’s craft beer scene)