Brown ale is a style of beer with a dark amber or brown color. The term was first used by London brewers in the late 17th century to describe their products, such as mild ale, though the term had a rather different meaning than it does today.
Today there are brown ales made in several regions, most notably England, Belgium and America. Other than being top-fermented and having a darker color than pale beers, brown ales share little in common in terms of flavor profile. Beers termed brown ale can include sweet, low alcohol beers, medium strength amber beers of moderate bitterness, and malty but hoppy beers.