Over the summer, I wrote a 7-part series about my summer 2011 tour of Maryland brewpubs. In that same spirit, I offer my Winter 2011-12 DC Brewpub Tour, another multi-part series featuring even more local places to get great beer. I hope these posts encourage you to support the awesome DC-area brewing community and visit more of our local breweries and brewpubs.
Part 3: Brewer’s Alley, Frederick, Maryland
When Visited: December 24, 2011
Occasion: Christmas Eve. We knew we would be homebound for all of Christmas Day and wanted to get out of the house on Christmas Eve to stave off cabin fever. So we grabbed an empty growler, hopped in the car, and drove up to Frederick for a nice Christmas Eve lunch and growler fill.
Beers Sampled: We picked a great day to visit Brewer’s Alley. The day we visited they had seven seasonal beers on tap, in addition to their excellent year-round house beers.
Brewer’s Alley offers a six-beer sampler rack, and you get to choose the beers. I like their standard-menu beers but have tried them many times, so I had an all-seasonal sampler, which included:
- Amber Fields Mild, talk about a session beer, this brew made with local barley is only 3.0% ABV
- Humulus Lupulus Rex, a light Pale Ale with an interesting name (4.1%)
- Scotch Ale, a strong malty brew for the cold weather (8.4%)
- Solidarity Porter, a sessionable Porter at 4.5% ABV
- RyePA, a Rye IPA (5.5%)
- New Moon Ale, a cask conditioned Strong Ale (8.2%)
As much as I liked the seasonals, we filled our growler with one of the year-round house beers:
- Nut Brown Ale, Nut Browns are one of my favorite styles and this one is excellent (5.5%)
Best Beer: RyePA, a beer that tastes just like a loaf of fresh baked rye bread. This is one of the best rye beers that I’ve sampled.
I was most impressed with: The overall beer selection. Check my picture of the Brewer’s Alley “chalkboard” below — a total of 12 brews were available in a wide variety of styles!