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Bad Penny Brown Ale

By Andy Murphy
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bad penny detailThe second day of my North Carolina Beer Week is a real winner thanks to Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing Company.

This beer stood out immediately thanks to its funky label. In fact, I half expected to open the bottle and release the musical theme from Shaft.

The Big Boss site describes Bad Penny for us:

This 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.

The beer poured brown, dark with a creamy head. It’s aroma was somewhat sweet and malty, and the taste was delicious. My first sip of Bad Penny began as a soft and smooth ale with a hint of sweet toffee, but the malt taste grew sweet and chocolaty before expanding into a roasted, smoky malt crescendo. And that was just the first sip! As I drank, the hops became more apparent, acting as a glue between the sweet malt and the roasted malt.

Bad Penny highlights everything that makes brown ales so tasty. It’s just good beer with lots of flavor and complexity, but there’s nothing extreme or unapproachable about the brew — and that reminds me of the Big Boss mission statement:

Big Boss is designed to be appreciated, but crafted to be enjoyed. It’s a beer drinker’s “house brand” – always satisfying. Enjoy a pint when you’re out, and keep a few in the fridge.

If you’ve had Bad Penny or any of the other brew from Big Boss, please let me know what you think!

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Categories : Beer a Day



This is probably my favorite local (Raleigh/Durham) beer, with the possible exception of LoneRider’s Shotgun Betty.

I find this beer to be an all-around ‘winner’ for the senses, without being overwhelming in any way ~ the packaging is visually interesting (http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2009/05/big-boss-brewing.html), the aromas please the nose, and the flavor has a complexity that builds as you drink the beer without ever being too much to handle.

Glad you enjoyed it, Andy. I know I certainly feel myself lucky to be able to on a regular basis.

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