This is musician JJ Grey ...
… and this is his beer, Nare Sugar Brown Ale.
Born in Jacksonville, Grey has teamed up with Rock Brothers Brewing (a Tampa company that pairs musicians with custom brews) and Cigar City Brewing (the Tampa brewery contracted to make the stuff). The novelty for people who don’t know Grey’s music is that Nare Sugar Brown Ale is made without added sugar. That caught my eye because brown ales are generally too syrupy for my taste.
This is literally heady stuff, foam spilling out of the unagitated can when I opened it. Once the inches of foamy head from the emergency pour died down, the aroma is very malty and roasted. There’s just a little bit of light getting through, like a deep cola.
For no added sugar, it’s still plenty sweet. The coffee and roasty char flavors are there too, but seem lighter and brighter than a lot of brown ales. I think part of that lightness is the bitter hops cutting through the sweet and cocoa. I get vanilla and a mild mineral note at the finish.
Still too sweet for me, but drinkable. Five percent of net proceeds are donated to the Snook Foundation for the Preservation of Florida Fisheries – a gamefishing non-profit.