When we first moved to Raleigh almost three years ago, we were super lucky and scored a tiny, cinder block house for super cheap in the best location. We were within walking distance to a legendary watering hole in Raleigh, Players Retreat. The first time I can recall having this beer is during one of their $10 pitcher specials. I've been in love ever since.
Lonerider's Sweet Josie Brown, in my opinion, compares more to a porter style beer. Lonerider characterizes it as an American-style brown. It pours brown with a creamy, light caramel head on it. The flavor was a bit roasty with hints of chocolate. This is fitting with Lonerider's description. I think it is the chocolate and malts that remind me of a porter-style beer instead of a brown ale. This is by far, my favorite brown ale. It warms my heart that it comes from Raleigh, NC!
GABF, also known as the Great American Beer Festival, is a renowned festival for those in the beer industry (or just lovers of beer). The competition is where it is really at, and it's a huge honor to win a medal there. Sweet Josie Brown was lucky enough to come home with a coveted gold medal! So you know it's good!
As for food pairings, I drank my Sweet Josie as my cooking beer. We made some pretty delicious tofu, okra, & guac tacos. I'd recommend complimentary chocolate flavors or contradicting salty flavors.
I have a link-up list waiting. If you give me the word that you're interested in linking up, I'll add it in!