Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale (2013)

Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

Brewed by: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Brown Ale
  • Variation: American Style
  • Seasonal: Fall
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 37

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

As the leaves on the Valley Oaks begin to tumble and fall, we reach for a beer with depth. Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale is our take on the classic brown ale, featuring roasted malt with full, complex toasted aromas and nutty flavor with the slightest hint of smoke. Sit back with a glass and watch as autumn’s yearly dance unfolds.

Hops: Challenger, Yakima Golding

Malts: Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Smoked

More Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Trees are turning their fall colors along a lazy river in autumn.

Color: Deep toffee to auburn tones.

Aroma: Damp bread and toasted grain.

The Tasting

Arrived in: Bottle

Served in: Glass

On my beer calendar, I look forward to winter seasonals the most. Luckily there are some quality fall releases that bridge the gap to those dark winter beers.

Tumbler is on that list, but this year it doesn’t look like Sierra Nevada distributed it as widely, since it was harder to find. Their new late summer / early fall Flipside Red IPA might have cut into some of Tumbler’s previous market share.


  • Update 1/14: With much sadness, we regret to inform you that Sierra Nevada has decided to stop production of Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale in 2014. RIP, old friend.
  • Update 9/14: Tumbler is back from the dead! It’s now released as part of Sierra’s new Fall Pack. (we just updated the post with improved imagery)

After it was poured, Tumbler had a decent sized off-white, to tan colored foamy topper, which mellowed down after a few minutes. When you stared into its deep brown color, it was surprisingly carbonated, like a fizzed up cup of coffee.

The ale itself was medium-bodied, and extremely satisfying for its consistency. It went down easy, with the mouthfeel of a lighter ale, but did start to become a bit filling.

That must have been from the heavy doses of malt they used during the brewing process. But more on that in a bit…

As far as the taste, Tumbler gave an immediate jolt of toasted, or smoked nut flavor. From there, a hint of sweetness like caramel or molasses, followed by bitter roasted malt in the finish.

Why the ever-present maltiness, and assortment of flavor in this ale? Sierra used Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked malt varieties. They defined the sweet, bitter, and smokey notes.

Tumbler did not come across as overly thick or chewy from the malt levels either, but a nice ample roast instead.

That mixed bag of malty goodness gave Tumbler many flavor possibilities, including toasted bread, which paired well with its smooth, buttery finish.

Final Score: 4/5

4 Stars

Brown ales are a dying breed, and a well crafted one can be very hard to come by these days. Add Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale to your fall beer list, and you’ll be happy you did, especially if you like toasted/roasted dark ales.

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