From the Bottle:
“Crony is designed to highlight the unique tropical fruit aromas and piney character of Simcoe hops. Layer these distinct hops on a smooth malt body and you get a NW Brown Ale with hints of garnet red.” 5.1% ABV American Brown Ale
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Tioga-Sequoia teardrop glass. Crony pours a deep reddish-brown, which doesn’t really come through in the photo above. Held up to light, the body is crystal clear with little carbonation visible. A thin beige head is poured, which fizzles away and leaves scant lacing on the glass.
The aromas on Crony are mostly subtle, with the hops being more prevalent. Slightly spicy, earthy characteristics come though and combine with a bit of resinous dank. I get some carbonic, metallic-like aromas in there as well. The malts notes are light, mid-crystal/caramel malts and a touch of roasted/chocolate malt.
Crony has a medium-thin body with a dry, moderately roasty finish. There seems to be more bitterness from than the 30 IBUs would suggest, though that could be accentuated by the carbonic bite noticed in the nose. The flavors are also more on the subtle side, with the aromatic hop qualities carrying over from the nose. More typical brown ale/brown porter qualities present themselves as it gets closer to room temperature, and smooth out as the beer degases. A modestly lingering aftertaste of chocolate/roasted malts, nuttiness, and the earthy hop zest round it out.
No-Li Brewhouse Crony is described as a “NW Brown Ale”, and while it is definitely more hoppy than a standard English Brown, I was almost hoping it would be bordering on Brown IPA territory given the Simcoe hop emphasis described. The earthy nature of the hops came through fine, but the thick, resinous, “catty”quality I’ve come to expect from Simcoe wasn’t quite there. So, to me, this beer is in between a couple of preferred Brown Ale styles – not hoppy enough to be an enticing West Coast entry, nor having the rich malt complexity you can find in a simple English Brown. 6/10
No-Li Brewhouse – Spokane, Washington