My last few blog posts have focused on the winter mix-packs that I’ve been sampling, but my winter beer-drinking has not been confined to bottles. I’ve also enjoyed a lot of great draft beer at my local brewpubs and beer bars. Here’s part 1 of my Winter 2013-14 DC Brew Tour:
Part 1: Brewer’s Alley, Frederick, Maryland
When Visited: December 7, 2013
Occasion: Hockey practice — when I found out my son had a hockey practice at the Frederick ice arena, I started making plans to visit Brewer’s Alley, one of Maryland’s oldest brewpubs. Any trip to Frederick is an excuse to go to Brewer’s Alley!
Beers Sampled: There were 14 beers on tap – 12 house beers and two guest taps.
Since I brought an empty growler, I ordered the six-beer sampler rack to help with the decision on what to take home. My rack included:
- India Pale Ale
- Nut Brown Ale
- Scotch Ale
- Proclamation Porter
- Four Score and Seven (strong American Wheat Ale)
- New Moon Ale (cask conditioned Strong Ale)
I also had a pint of Dunkelweizen, which is one of my favorite styles. Dunkels are hard to find on draft, and I liked Brewer’s Alley’s so much that I decided to fill my growler with it. This dark, unfiltered, Bavarian-style wheat beer has a distinct aroma and flavor.
The two guest beers on tap were brewed by Monocacy Brewing Company, which is also in Frederick. The brewery opened in 2012 and I had yet to sample their brew. I missed my chance at Brewer’s Alley because I focused on the house beers, but the Beer Gods were smiling on me this night.
On our way out of Frederick I stopped at a beer store for a couple of six-packs and was lucky to find Monocacy’s Riot Rye Pale Ale. According to the brewery, The robust texture of rye allies itself with with the flavors from specialty malts and hops to rebel against preconcerived notions of beer. Unseat the crown. Start a Riot.
I loved Riot Rye and can’t wait to pick up more bottles from Monocacy in the future. And I’m planning to visit the brewery soon for a tour and tasting.
I also grabbed two six-packs of Brewer’s Alley beer that I didn’t sample in the brewpub: the drinkable Kölsch (5.0%) and the historical 1634 Ale (5.5%).
Considering the brewpub visit, growler fill, and bottles-to-go, I’d say that my trip to Frederick was an awesome beer adventure!