Big Boss Bad Penny Brown Ale

Big Boss Bad Penny Brown Ale

Brewed by: Big Boss Brewing Company

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Brown Ale
  • Variation: English
  • Seasonal: No
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 25

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Bad Penny dark brown ale is slightly sweet with a caramel and dark fruit finish. A show case of fine English malts, floor-malted the old way. We use pale, chocolate and crystal malts to produce a complex but easy drinking dark ale. Very reminiscent of northern English ales.

Malts: Pale, chocolate, crystal

First Impressions

Artwork: Retro vector artwork of a 70’s era woman.

Color: Don’t know, drank from bottle.

Aroma: Toasted nuts.

The Tasting

Arrived in: Bottle

Served in: Bottle

I found Big Boss Bad Penny Brown Ale in a food court at the Charlotte, NC airport. Boy am I glad I did not choose their other beer option — Miller Light!

I drank Bad Penny with a pulled pork sandwich, and both parties got along famously. The toasted nut aroma paired well with the hickory smoke in the food. A good sandwich, an even better beer.

Much like my last beer on this trip, my container options were bottle or plastic cup, and I stuck with the bottle again. I am just going to imagine it had a darker color since you could see the liquid through the frosted brown glass.

Bad Penny was a thicker consistency, not one of those lightweight browns that gets classified as brown ale, strictly due to its color. Bad Penny’s density can be found right in the middle of the spectrum between a regular ale, and a heavier stout/porter. To me, this is where a brown ale should be.

There were touches of caramel or vanilla, and the mix of malts and chocolate produced a deep, nutty flavor, almost like hazelnut.

I wish I could find Bad Penny Brown Ale locally in San Diego, and any other of Big Boss’ creations for that matter.

Final Score: 4/5


I might rate Bad Penny Brown Ale even higher if I could drink it again. I really enjoyed this beer, but didn’t want to get too carried away in my scoring during my initial (and final) tasting. This was a more full-bodied brown ale, that tasted like a nut flavored chocolate confection.

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